The Job Resume Myth

Last year or so has been filled with interviewing developers. If I’m to summarize one learning from them, it has to be this: Resumes are useless.

There are very few carefully crafted resumes that I’ve come across. Even those haven’t been entirely true, once you have a chat with the concerned person. There are times when it gives you an impression that the guy knows a lot of things, turns out that he can hardly write any code. So then what are resumes for?

1. Filtering purpose (incase of large numbers of applicants)

Well, ask them to write some code. They’ll filter themselves. It needn’t be very difficult problem too. Just throw in a basic problem, and watch their submissions.

2. Pay more attention to code and less to stories.

One thing I like to discuss with people during interviews is their code. I believe a developer resumes should have some references to their code. Without that, its utterly incomplete.

Once you look at people’s code, you tend to have an idea of their style and maturity in that area. The presence of tests, clear separation of concerns, will clearly indicate the proficiency one has in coding maintainable programs. Then, the interviews could be filled with discussions on their design choices and alternate ways of achieving the solution.

Ignoring this, you’re left with a list of technologies listed in the resume. Most of it he’d have only heard of. Some he’d have actually written a ‘hello world’ in. And a small portion, which he would have really used and knows something about.

3. My HR doesn’t know any better.

You deserve poor candidates. Hire Them. Seriously, engineers can’t be hired without rigorous engineering sessions. HR role is book-keeping. Nothing less and nothing more.

These are my thoughts and not of my employer or associates.. Please share if you have any thoughts regarding this.