Doing better technical interviews

Doing better technical interviews

Interviewing is hard, it’s a hard and stressful moment for the candidate. But it’s also a very exhausting moment for the interview.

Essentially you have 90 minutes to decide if candidate is competent, matches the company culture, and great person to work with.

In the following posts I’m going to share some of the experience I’ve gathered from interviewing couple of hundreds of people for various technical positions.

Embracing your routine

Embracing your routine

I like to use vacation time to reflect on my routine. There is no better time to make sure that my routine is generally happy and as fulfilling as it can be. The vacation itself is a great time to reflect from a position that grants a better perspective on your day-to-day life. But the most critical time when I love to use this tool is on the very last day of the vacation, on the trip back home. At that point in time, your “internal routine thermometer” is at its most accurate. Of course, we all hate it when the vacation is over. But the key question I like to ask myself is, “How do I feel about my routine? How do I feel about returning to it?”. You can’t fake it at this point. If you’re routine sucks and you’re just about to return to it after a brief getaway, you’ll feel it and be very unhappy about your unfortunate future. You feel it in your stomach. I know, because I had times when I felt that way, and with time I knew that something had to change.

Why you will never find me signing company cards with the word “Family” ever again

Why you will never find me signing company cards with the word “Family” ever again

A few years ago, I worked for a small startup. It meant the world to me as it had, in one place, so many great things: a bunch of amazing people who became very close friends of mine; a “small gym”; a kitchen that had a variety I could only dream of in my own house; and a laundry service, to name a few. 
 It felt like my second home and we called ourselves “family”. 
 I spent 12-hour days there and it felt great! It was as if all my emotional needs were met — I had people who really cared about me, I was meaningful to them, and I made an impact. Together, it gave me a sense of belonging, which allowed me to laugh, cry, and grow up … you get the picture. Sounds familiar, I’m sure. 

Can't we all just get along?

Can't we all just get along?

I was reading this great post talking about UX vs UI when an interesting thought caught my mind. The post discusses the differences between UX designer and UI designer, and it occurred to me I've been reading a lot of similar ones lately, covering the software world spectrum.

Many of us in the software industry are discussing the differences between Ops and DevOps, Product and Designers etc. 
Discussing the divergence between job titles, talking about what the "other" guys should do, and how they are not doing what they are supposed to do - trying to draw the line on each other's responsibilities.

Performance Tests — Better, Faster, Stronger

Performance Tests — Better, Faster, Stronger

As part of our work, we strive to establish a performance testing culture across the company.
We wanted to provide fast feedback for the developers in performance aspect the same way as we did with functional tests. That means that we wanted to run performance tests for each commit.
While establishing this culture, we’ve encountered some challenges, which made us question whether we should integrate performance testing as part of the development cycle or not.

My Beliefs for New Employees — Deliver Value in Your First Week at Work

My Beliefs for New Employees — Deliver Value in Your First Week at Work

In order to cultivate a culture of growth, be able to maintain the velocity while bringing in more talent quickly. You need to have a good balance between new employees’ confidence and their outcome/value. You need to find ways to push them out of their comfort zone as soon as possible. Others might call it “throwing them in at the deep end” - there is a thin line between the two. (http://mettahu.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/leaving-your-comfort-zone/).

The most pragmatic approach for all of the above is to strive to deliver a feature (value) in your first week (or two). This specific action actually triggers real discussions about the company flows, values and ways to improve it.

Survival Mode Vs. Deep Mode : The Fight for Effectiveness

Survival Mode Vs. Deep Mode : The Fight for Effectiveness

It’s been almost a year. 11 months to be exact. 11 months ago I started to write and described how important it is to take the plunge and just do it in my first post. When I started to write I had very good reasoning. I knew it is a process that is first of all part of my personal growth. So what happened? how could I let almost a year pass before I write another post? Well as always — life happened.

Gamifying Your R&D

Gamifying Your R&D

Continuous Integration means a lot to me. It's like my second child. I found out the hard way that this sort of cultural thing is very hard to rely on and maintain inside an ever growing company.

My latest crusade was about ignored tests. When I first came aboard the company, we had many. Since I considered them a broken window, I started handling them one by one. 

(Leadership) Book Club Cult

(Leadership) Book Club Cult

In the last few months, we experimented with a new company tradition called Leadership Book Club. Before the first session, I had my own prejudices, (e.g.,It’s going to be boring; only strange people will come to such an event; we are going to have an empty room; I don’t want others to choose books for me, etc.). To my delight, reality proved me wrong. The book club session turned out completely differently to the suburban or high school stereotypes. It ended up being a great social activity, and I enjoyed sharing ideas and impressions with friends.

Adopt The Symptom

Adopt The Symptom

A couple of months ago, I needed to use a laptop of one of my co-workers. When I opened the computer I was baffled by the behavior of the mouse pad. Apparently the mouse direction were inverted – when you go up, the cursor moved down. When you go left the cursor moved right. When I asked him what happened he said there is a malfunction in the pad and he doesn't have time to fix, so instead of fixing it he just got used to it…

Lean Back To Look Forward

Lean Back To Look Forward

Wake Up. Get Dressed. Prepare the kids for School. Send the kids for school.
Drive to the office. Get stuck in Traffic. Work. Drive back home.
Get stuck in traffic (again). Arrive home. Spend some time with the family.
Prepare the kids to sleep. Send the kids to sleep. Send the kids to sleep, again. Take a shower. Spend some time with my wife.
Watch TV/Read a book/Play Games/Workout/Work some more. Go to sleep. Wake Up….

 

Well, I think you got the picture…

 

This is my average day with minor tweaks (well I’m lazy so I don’t really workout…) and it more or less worked out pretty well for me.
Well, that is at least until I started to lead my own team.