Thinking about developers

time to read 3 min | 424 words

Part of my job is interviewing developers, and I get all sorts, some that sticks to mind:

  • ASP.Net programmer - 2 years experiance - couldn't explain how clicking on a button on the client cause the event to fire on the server. "It is ASP.Net that does it." - he kept saying.
  • An experiance programmer, that had a difficulity reversing a string.
  • ASP.Net programmer, nearly broke down and cried when I showed him HTML - "give me back the designer, I don't know what this stuff is"

I had a discussion today about the value of using a non-Microsoft framework for a complex application. The point that came up repeatedly was that they want to jsut grab a programmer from the street and have then start fixing bugs from day zero. For any but the most trivial applications, that is not going to happen. They are seeing the same types of people (appearing with 3 years experiance with MPL* and 15 years of .Net experiance).

The argument against going with the non-Microsoft route is that they need to train developers for that, and that this is too hard. My thoughts on this subject are well known. I refuse to program to the level of someone that is not willing to make the effort. That is far too limiting, and usually lead to the Throw Code At The Problem syndrom, after which the Big Rewrite Comes To The Rescue.

*MPL == My Proprietary Langauge

"The idea of programming as a semi-skilled task,. ideally practiced by people with a few months’ training, is dangerous."
~Bjarne Stroustrup

Update: After writing this, I run into these links: