How to find companies that rate high on the "Joel test" : LUSENET : Joel on Software : One Thread

What strategies exist for a jobseeker wanting to locate companies that rate high on the "Joel test"?

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2001


How to find companies that rate high on the Joel test?

In one word, ask.

Say you're a programmer interviewing for a job. In at least one of your interviews, you'll be talking to a programmer with a job similar to what you would get. (Otherwise, run don't walk to the nearest exit.) Ask a few questions like:

What are you working on right now? Can I see the spec to it?

How hard is it to build your product? Can I watch you do a build right now?

What sorts of tests do I run before checking in changes? Can I see them run right now?

What's the typical bug backlog per programmer? How many active bugs do you have right now?

Note that the actual answers to these questions are not nearly as important as whether the questions have short answers. If the answer to the bug question is "I had 3 this morning; let's see if it's changed", then he passes. If the answer is "I don't know; I think that Joe over on the test team has a list" then he fails.

And so on. While the company's goal during the interview is to determine whether they want to make you an offer, never forget that part of your goal is to determine whether you want to accept if they do.

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2001

Thanks, but my question was how to "locate" companies that may rate high. I use the "What Color Parachute" approach and want to find them before they have even announced an opening.

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2001

Why, the ones that have successful products and huge profits, obviously. =^)

-- Anonymous, April 25, 2001

If you are in a company's neighborhood, see how many cars they have late in the evening. That means that either (a) they are working shifts or (b) People are working long hours. This has always worked for me.

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2001

Unfortunately, asking questions sounds simple but I ran into a case where that is not possible: top secret classified government contractors. I have interviewed with two companies that can give me little to no actual information or evidence on their projects or methods as a result of the nature of their work. Anyone have ideas for getting people to talk without having them put national secutity at risk?

-- Anonymous, August 02, 2001

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