The Artima Developer Community
Sponsored Link

Weblogs Forum
Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams

108 replies on 8 pages. Most recent reply: Apr 10, 2010 12:52 PM by Aye Thu

Welcome Guest
  Sign In

Go back to the topic listing  Back to Topic List Click to reply to this topic  Reply to this Topic Click to search messages in this forum  Search Forum Click for a threaded view of the topic  Threaded View   
Previous Topic   Next Topic
Flat View: This topic has 108 replies on 8 pages [ « | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 | » ]
Eric Weise

Posts: 2
Nickname: eweise
Registered: Feb, 2010

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 9, 2010 11:56 AM
Reply to this message Reply
Advertisement
9 hour workdays, constant threat of losing your job, interruptions from really loud phones. I'm curious what the motivation is for top talent to work there besides being able to work with other talented people. I'm guessing that the salaries at kayak are much higher than at other places, although its never stated in the article. It would be great to hear from one of the kayak engineers on this board, to get their perspective on working in such an environment.

One positive I see is that kayak realizes that engineering talent is a competitive advantage for their business. It would be great if more businesses came to this same conclusion instead viewing engineers as interchangeable cogs that should be bought for the lowest possible price.

robert young

Posts: 361
Nickname: funbunny
Registered: Sep, 2003

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 9, 2010 2:12 PM
Reply to this message Reply
> I'm
> guessing that the salaries at kayak are much higher than
> at other places, although its never stated in the article.

I spent my first years of employment in Boston, where there are lots of really smart people. What I discovered is that paying people more doesn't make them smarter; nor does beating them (in any sense of the word). At the same time, paying more doesn't always attract smart people; those who do the paying tend to take the Glengarry Glen Ross approach, which is to say, sales motivation. Really smart people just don't find that attractive. Smart people don't want to make a big payday then retire to Boca; smart people don't retire. Managers, in every sense of that word, would do well to understand that.

Kondwani Mkandawire

Posts: 530
Nickname: spike
Registered: Aug, 2004

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 10, 2010 8:33 AM
Reply to this message Reply
I've been interviewed by a guy like Paul English before, I don't think I'd willingly change jobs to a guy I forsee to go by his particular principles. To each his own though right?

And in all honesty as another poster mentioned, if they have such a high firing rate, then there must be something wrong with their interview strategies/approaches.

David Kerr

Posts: 1
Nickname: decanibass
Registered: Feb, 2010

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 10, 2010 12:51 PM
Reply to this message Reply
Personally, after two decades of working with closed minded, mediocre colleagues, not prepared to learn, resting on their laurels, I CRAVE to work for an organisation that recognises real development talent. I have worked on so many projects where the developers don't care, that for someone like me who is passionate about software development it breaks my heart. I would welcome working for a company that wants the best (because I consider myself to be amongst them). I can imagine the buzz would be great.

Perhaps its a measure of confidence, or having a "winning" attitude. Many of the comments here seem to be defeatist, and demonstrate the current malaise of thinking work is "their right".

I don't read anywhere in the original idea that good talent is not nurtured, or that developers are not treated as people, instead of interchangeable "heads". In some ways, I would say Kayak sounds like a more humane company. There's certainly less BS.

I wonder if there isn't some less draconian way of performing this extended interview, perhaps 1st step (before interview) would be a real-life programming task, which would be reviewed not just for correctness, but also to demonstrate good design and coding practices. Discover the passion and ability to deliver.

When interviewing, I have taken people to the pub or for a game of pool (etc) to find out about them. HR don't typically approve of bohemian ideas like this though!

Bruce Eckel

Posts: 874
Nickname: beckel
Registered: Jun, 2003

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 10, 2010 1:16 PM
Reply to this message Reply
In Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, there's a section on interviewing which shows that interviews tell you almost nothing about how the person will work out, even if you include exercises and the like. It appears that the only way to tell how well someone will fit is to look at their past performance (not always available, and you can't always get the whole picture) or to put them in the actual job and see if it works.

If that's true, then a job offer that's a commitment is going to produce a team that is likely to acquire some poisonous people. At least, that's what seems to have happened in those situations. Interviewing techniques can be improved, but the interview will never be a substitute for the real thing.

Bruce Eckel

Posts: 874
Nickname: beckel
Registered: Jun, 2003

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 10, 2010 6:11 PM
Reply to this message Reply
Hiring and teams seems to be in the atmosphere:

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001320.html

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/interviewees

Achilleas Margaritis

Posts: 674
Nickname: achilleas
Registered: Feb, 2005

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 11, 2010 6:42 AM
Reply to this message Reply
> http://theoatmeal.com/comics/interviewees

It's an ancient problem. Karl Marx described it as 'dependent labor'. As long as one human depends on another one, there are situations like this.

Interviewing is the first step in hiring someone; its usefulness is to eliminate the obviously problematic employees. From then on, it's a matter of being tested in real-life work.

Mika Salmensuu

Posts: 6
Nickname: mikas
Registered: Feb, 2010

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 11, 2010 8:33 AM
Reply to this message Reply
>In Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, there's a section on
>interviewing which shows that interviews tell you almost
>nothing about how the person will work out, even if you
>include exercises and the like.

Probably out there are many other research-studies or books which state otherwise. Interviewing tells more "than almost nothing".

> It appears that the only
>way to tell how well someone will fit is to look at their
>past performance (not always available, and you can't
>always get the whole picture) or to put them in the actual
>job and see if it works.

Yes, indeed the past performance is an estimator and the real test is the actual job.

>If that's true, then a job offer that's a commitment is
>going to produce a team that is likely to acquire some
>poisonous people. At least, that's what seems to have
>happened in those situations. Interviewing techniques can
>be improved, but the interview will never be a substitute
>for the real thing.

Interviewing techniques can be improved and they should be improved all the time in order to manage well the most important asset of a company.

I think that people are a company's biggest asset and with such a high firing rate it looks like one is managing very badly the most important asset of a company.

robert young

Posts: 361
Nickname: funbunny
Registered: Sep, 2003

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 11, 2010 9:53 AM
Reply to this message Reply
> If that's true, then a job offer that's a commitment is
> going to produce a team that is likely to acquire some
> poisonous people.

I must admit, I don't get the logic. Why does "commitment" lead to poisonous people? What do you mean by commitment? How can there be a relationship if there isn't some sort of commitment?

Maxim Noah Khailo

Posts: 25
Nickname: mempko
Registered: Nov, 2004

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 11, 2010 1:02 PM
Reply to this message Reply
With all the talk about people being assets, and poisonous. All the talk about judgment, and "top talent" and past "success".

I feel that maybe the software industry has fallen off the horse and has lost any human element it may have had.

There needs to be a paradigm shift about what success is. About what "top talent" means.

The founder of Kayak needs to look at the problem from an even higher level. What the hell is the purpose of kayak.com and why the hell would "top talent" want to work on something so meaningless.

Maxim Noah Khailo

Posts: 25
Nickname: mempko
Registered: Nov, 2004

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 11, 2010 1:02 PM
Reply to this message Reply
Just to clarify, I meant to say "so seemingly meaningless".

Maxim Noah Khailo

Posts: 25
Nickname: mempko
Registered: Nov, 2004

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 11, 2010 1:04 PM
Reply to this message Reply
In other words, the "top talent" i know about wants to make the world a better place.

robert young

Posts: 361
Nickname: funbunny
Registered: Sep, 2003

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 12, 2010 11:34 AM
Reply to this message Reply
> In other words, the "top talent" i know about wants to
> make the world a better place.

Einstein was top talent. So was Teller. So was Oppenheimer. They disagreed a tad on how to use these talents.

Dan Sickles

Posts: 9
Nickname: dsickles
Registered: Mar, 2007

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 12, 2010 9:49 PM
Reply to this message Reply
A somewhat different take from the founder of a new startup:

http://blog.couch.io/post/382240306/thoughts-on-an-open-source-company

Bhaskar Maddala

Posts: 5
Nickname: maddalab
Registered: Feb, 2006

Re: Rapid Hiring & Firing to Build the Best Teams Posted: Feb 13, 2010 9:42 PM
Reply to this message Reply
Developing teams by quickly weeding out misfits is a good way to develop teams. However the title of your post "Firing" and references to "poisonous people" do a disservice to what should be a strategy for closer inspection. I realize that you referenced poisonous people on open source project and provided a link to the google video. Such classification is ineptitude at best and malicious at worst on part of those doing it.

When you consider the number of people in our industry who spend time contributing to any open source (or community) relative to the size of the industry, the only conclusion to be made is that these individuals are passionate about a cause.

Being passionate results in disagreements, because the individuals involved in the disagreement cannot see past their difference and work towards a common cause. I have seen instances where one individual is willing to work towards a common cause but the other is not, and yet having the first be labeled as the poisonous one. More often than not the second individual is in a position of authority and is willing to use such authority to pass judgment.

It is such labels that ultimately lead to behavior detrimental to the team. This is not an example of a poisonous individual. It is an example of failure in leadership.

Going back to the original title, "Rapid reorganization to build the best teams" would have focused the discussion on the principles involved in building teams.

Flat View: This topic has 108 replies on 8 pages [ « | 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 | » ]
Topic: Programming in the Mid-Future Previous Topic   Next Topic Topic: The Future of UML


Sponsored Links



Google
  Web Artima.com   

Copyright © 1996-2014 Artima, Inc. All Rights Reserved. - Privacy Policy - Terms of Use - Advertise with Us