Prashant's Weblog
Random Brain "Droppings" of yet another software engineer

Monday, June 27, 2005

How to hire Software Engineers!

One of interesting article that is making rounds in the blog circuit these days is the article by Joe Kraus "Engineer Interview Triage?"
Joe Kraus in his blog has listed set of three questions that can help in identifying the right candidate for a Engineer position. According to Joe, if you have a startup and are looking to fill a vacant Engineer position, then the three important characteristics to look for in a potential candidate are..
1) communication
2) tinkering
3) passion for coding

and the best way to find if he has any of these is by asking three simple questions ..
Do you have a blog? What's your home page? Do you contribute to an open source project?

To be frank..I fail miserably in Joe's interview...I do blog, but I do not have a home page of my own and my contribution to Open source is nil(though I use many open source tools). But does these questions really corelate to success as Joe has said? I do not know..I can cite umpteen number of people who do not have a blog or home page and do not contribute to open source, but have achieved tremendous success, that too in startups.

So the conclusion is; Though success may not entirely depend on the fact whether you blog or not or you have a home page or not, but a person who does all the three has a better chance of being successful(i guess).

Monday, June 13, 2005

Indian origin kids on roll at Scripps National Spelling Bee(yet again)

By spelling out "appoggiatura" correctly , Anurag Kashyap became yet another kid of Indian origin to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest. The facts are quite amazing..

1) 5 out of 7 occasions this contest was held, it was won by some kid from Indian origin.
2) This year the final three contestants were of Indian Origin.

This pattern seems too regular to be a coincidence. So the obvious question..Why are kids of Indian origin on roll at this pointless(strictly my opinion) game of spellings?

Reasons could be many..but I think we need to thank the immigration laws of US, which through the last decade allowed only "bright" engineers and doctors into USA. So "bright geek genes" are now showing up in these games. But this still does not explain why kids from other immigrant ethnic groups, not show the same kind of dominance as kids of Indian origin do(we are just around 0.66% of the total population).

One explanation could be the type of education or pedagogy we Indians believe in. We stress more upon rote,Memorization. This comes very handy in contests like these. This when combined with the tremendous parental pressure to deliver at a very young age, sets up an ideal platform for someone to excel in such contests.

What ever the reasons be..It has been teriffic performance yet again. Well done Kashyap.