The story of a software engineer’s motivation, aptitude, and desires can often be played out between the lines of their resume. While it frequently requires some digging, buried between the wood fibers and ink is a tale of successes, failures, accomplishments, and disappointments.
Increasingly significant accomplishments over time showcase a motivated engineer who loves learning and has the aptitude to take on progressively more complicated tasks and responsibilities. These accomplishments demonstrate not only technical aptitude, but leadership and influence, and often result in significant organizational impact.
A set of accomplishments that have plateaued or are decreasing in scope tell a different story. In some instances, an engineer has maximized their potential and is not able to take on greater responsibilities. In other cases, they’ve become comfortable with their role and don’t have the motivation or energy required to take on more. Perhaps they’ve become weary of the constant learning that is required to remain relevant in the software industry.
It’s important to understand these reasons and motivations, as there still may be situations where it makes sense to hire an engineer with a flat accomplishments trajectory. In some instances, an engineer continues to do excellent work. They are not interested in taking on more responsibilities, but still enjoy their work and perform well in their role. These situations require careful consideration by the hiring manager to determine whether the engineer is a good fit for the expectations and responsibilities of the position.
Describe the most significant accomplishment in each of the last three organizations or roles. With this question, we are looking to understand two things. Has the candidate’s accomplishments been increasing in scope over time. If not, it may indicate that they are no longer growing their skills or knowledge. This could be that they’ve plateaued based on their capabilities, or that they’re lacking motivation to improve. Secondly, I am looking to gauge whether the scope of their most significant accomplishment is commensurate with the role that I am currently interviewing them for.
Could you talk about the accomplishment of which you are the most proud? I often use this question as a follow-up to the previous question, but this tends to be more focused on what types of things this candidate is motivated by.
Attention all leaders of software teams! Are you interested in discovering a consistent framework for evaluating software engineering talent?
The most important responsibility for a leader of a software development team is to hire the right talent. Hiring the right team will make you look good, regardless of whether you have any faults and weakness. However, if you lack the ability to properly assess engineering talent, it is highly likely that you will fail.
This book will help you conduct a complete talent assessment of interviewees without focusing too heavily on a candidate's skills and knowledge and will help you to:
It doesn't matter if you are the best leader in every other way, the universal truth in software engineering is that you can't lead poor talent to do great things!
But with this book you can eliminate having poor talent in the first place and make sure that only the best people work for you. Every time