I’m surprised that there aren’t more instances of online Chinese Whispers. In this instance I came across an article by The Guardian called ‘Will an algorithm pick you for your next coding job?’ which is actually a commentary on an article by Matt Biddulph, former CTO of Dopplr and currently at Nokia. So now I’m commenting on both and hopefully won’t subvert any of the original content. But I digress.
Matt was new to Berlin and had no easy way of finding good developers. To kick off his search, he thought about his key criteria for finding the perfect candidate – in his case, evidence of personal projects and personal network – and looked at what tools were available. Although he found Github a great source for developers, he found it difficult to prioritise them. So Matt developed code to query the GitHub API and analyse the social graph of the Berlin subset of their users. Bingo! For more details see Matt’s blog.
Sounds like a great idea if you’re recruiting for developers – or if you’re a developer who likes the idea of a job finding you, rather than spending all your ‘free’ time searching job papers, online job sites and fending off agencies trying to persuade you to interview you for a role you’re wholly unsuitable for (or hate).
Of course Matt’s solution is restricted to developers who publish code to GitHub, but it’s an interesting approach all the same.
The Guardian’s commentary loops in the Jeff Atwood article I referenced yesterday (great minds think alike? Hmmm maybe not…) about the difficulty in finding programmers who can actually code. The article asks whether we can stop people copying other people’s code, but I think the most pressing question is how to stop people saying they can code when they can’t, not least because it puts experienced, highly skilled programmers into the same tarnished bucket.