Inside Interview Code Tests

Posted on

Introduction Code tests are an often debated interview step. Depending on the company, the team, the job market and other factors, code tests may or may not be the right choice for your interview process. Some engineers swear by them (See: Joel on Software), some hate them or think they're useless. If done well, they can be another tool in your interview toolbox. What makes a good interview step? A code test is like any other step in the interview process, and you should apply the same widely regarded “best practices” about interviews to the “code test step”. Keep The Goal In Mind It's v…

Read more »

Story Points Made Simple

The Standish group famously said that 68% of projects fail to meet estimates. But did they fail to deliver, or were 68% of estimates unrealistic? I've worked with teams that use story points and on teams that don't. The common factor on both kinds of teams was confusion. What is a story point, and why use them when we naturally think about estimates in terms of time? We're Terrible At Time Human beings are terrible at time-based estimates. Consider the question “how long does it take you to drive to work?” I might say “usually 20 minutes,” and you might take that as a "reasonable estimat…

Read more »

Keep Your Workbench Clean

Posted on

Let’s face it, a lot of developers are writing code that they wouldn’t brag about. I’ve worked in more than my share of development shops, and I see the same behaviors over and over. Leadership wants to build a culture of software excellence, and the developers want to build better software... but it just doesn't happen. Worse yet, sometimes leadership thinks they’re building great software, but the people on the ground know that it’s not. How does this happen, and what can you do about it? There’s more than enough talent floating around; almost every team has the capacity to write good cod…

Read more »

Welcome to Read Writes

Posted on

Welcome to readwrites.com, a blog on software engineering, software development and management. I'll be trying to capture my thoughts, opinions, ideas, and lessons learned in a series of irregular posts inspired by my day-to-day life. But who am I? According to LinkedIn, Kris Read is "a visionary architect and software engineer with great leadership and management experience." Well, I don't know about "visionary". But I've worn a lot of hats in my 10+ years in the software industry. I've been a consultant to fortune 500 companies, a startup CTO (more than once), a manager, a scrum-master,…

Read more »