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jeanne on software - a reply to "smart and gets things done"

Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 33102

I co-worker leant me "Smart and Gets Things Done" by Joel Spolsky. As I was writing the review, I realized there was a lot I wanted to say in reply. Making it a blog post.

Topics I cover are:
1) Banks
2) Paid interns
3) Employee referrals
4) Private offices vs team rooms (discussing this one in the forums)
5) Passion at interviews

I'm curious to hear your responses to my take on these topics.

Full blog post

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Jim Venolia
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 07, 2013
Posts: 242

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Topics I cover are:
1) Banks

I don't see a problem in working for a bank, if that kind of work interests you. Me? I find it boring. I like talking to hardware, parallel processing, and moving massive amounts of data as fast as possible The hardest things I've done? UIs. I'm good at saying "$Diety that blows", but bad at saying "here's how to make it better". I also hate Javascript with a passion.

2) Paid interns

I'm amazed companies can get away with not paying interns. I myself wouldn't work with an unpaid one. I'm not privy to salary info but my understanding is they make comparable to an entry level programmer.

3) Employee referrals

Referred and been referred, never had a problem. I have been asked to refer someone, and I didn't. (hmmm, wonder if I've been on the other end of that?) I also did an un-referral. Saw a guy walk into the Boss' office. I'd worked with him before and, while he had a silver tongue, in practice he was one of the most useless consumers of oxygen I've ever run across. Told the boss, he didn't get hired.

4) Private offices vs team rooms

Private office. I'm one of those "12 balls in the air" types, I get interrupted and it takes me a long time to get going again. I can handle cubes with headphones, but stick me in a team room and I'll guarantee 2 things: 1) I may be at 1/3 productivity. If you're lucky. 2) I'll update my resume and prolly won't even give 2 weeks notice.
5) Passion at interviews

Meh. I want competence, trainability, and the ability to get things done. Being passionate has nothing to do with these 3 things IMHO.

Everybody here should peruse the Joel on Software page. I quit a year or so ago, not enough new stuff that interested me. But when the blog was new (before he moved to his new digs) it was awesome.

Full blog post

Being cremated is my last chance at having a smoking hot body.
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