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How to spot company with good programmers? | Reply
When being interviewed, can someone share tips and tricks how to know if the programmers will be a good mentors/peers who I can learn a lot from? Maybe from the interviewing programmers? What signs to watch? How to fish more information about them?

Thank you in advance.
Re: How to spot company with good programmers? (response to post by amitz.sekali) | Reply
It is very hard to know from your interview. To quote one of the instances, we did interview a few people but they were supposed to join other department. If the interviewee concluded something based on the way we spoke to him, it would be an inaccurate conclusion.

If you want to know whether they are technically good, you can do to a certain extent but if you want to know whether they will be good mentors, I doubt if one can conclude without working with them.

Its always a better idea to speak to an ex-employee of the company to know about a dept and the people in the department.
Re: How to spot company with good programmers? (response to post by sb99) | Reply
Updating this thread...

1. Open source activity, however little, does help the chance of getting interviewed, getting an offer, and increase bargaining power, even when most of my work experience is not IT related.

2. Many vacancies requirements are over demanding. At the end, they don't really need all that stuff at work. So don't be afraid to apply if you only miss 1 or 2 skills.

3. The best interviews by HR is the one where (s)he is accompanied by a technical interviewer. That is indeed strange.. maybe it's just a common practice in my country. This is actually the first time I actively looking for a programming job.. Anyway, companies where HR interviews by him/herself is usually a company where the programmers doesn't look too happy.

4. Their standard of "good programmer" is surprisingly low, especially for topcoders. Don't be afraid of those technical quizzes. Do it slowly, while sounding your line of thoughts, and achieve accuracy instead of speed since you will probably be faster than most candidates.

5. Getting a decent part time programming job is very tough. You probably better off contracting yourself.

6. And yeah, you don't really have the opportunity to test your interviewer unless the interviewers really open themselves. Once, I blew an interview by risking myself by asking him to tell me an example of his open source work, if any. Note to self, don't ask such question unless you're really sure the interviewer doesn't have confidence crisis.

I hope this information can help others. I'll add more if I remember some more.