Engineering Executive and Advisor, ex DocuSign, ex Microsoft. Passionate about putting together software teams that create award winning products.
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Presentation at the St. Petersburg Python Meetup
At the end of August I was in St. Petersburg, Russia. I was invited to the St. Petersburg Python Meetup group to present how Silicon Valley sees Russian engineers and companies. It was a fun event with a lot of great questions. A lot of the focus was on getting hired and how US counterparts relate to software developers in Eastern Europe.
After interviewing and hiring hundreds of engineers over the past 12+ years I have come up with a few checklists. I wanted to share one of those with you so you could conduct comprehensive interviews of QA Engineers for your team.
I use this checklist when I review incoming resumes and during the interview. It keeps me from missing areas that ensure a good team and technology fit. I hope you make good use of them. If you think there are good questions or topics that I have missed - get in touch with me!
At Ethos we are building a distributed mortgage origination system and in mortgage there is a lot of
different user types with processes that vary depending on geography. One of our ongoing discussions is about how much of the logic resides in code vs. being in a workflow system or configuration. After researching this topic for a bit, I have arrived at a conclusion that the logic should live outside of code very infrequently, which might come as a surprise to a lot of enterprise software engineers.
Costs of configuration files and workflow engines
First thing that I assume is true is that having any logic outside of the code has costs associated with it. Debugging highly configurable system involves not only getting the appropriate branch from source control, you also need to make sure that the right configuration values or the database. In most cases this is harder for programmers to deal with. In many FinTech companies where the production data is not made readily accessible…
About 20 years ago when I started working in technology companies I remember “the best” engineers had similar patterns:
-They worked crazy hours
-They knew the systems no one else knew
-They could react and deliver something faster than anyone else
You could always hear other employees say: “Bob is really smart, no one knows how to get anything done in system X besides him!”
This reinforced optimization around being the only person who knew how to do something in some part of the code. That in turn reinforced job security and bargaining for those engineers, but also chained them to a particular system. We had big code bases of C++ or Java code where some “Bob” hacked up features as soon as he possibly could. “Bob” would have occasional nuclear disasters where he’d sleep in the office or through the weekend and then everyone would thank him for how he “saved the day.” “Bob” sacrificed his quality of life to get praise when he hacked stuff up quickly and then the second time when n…