Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Part 2:: Who I Want To Hire and Work With::Fitting into the Team

In continuing my thoughts on who I want to hire and work with I want to start going into detail about the 3 main areas. Today I will cover fitting into the team.

How will this person fit into the team?

Will they work in a collaborative environment?

Being able to fit into the current team is very important. Having a team focused on a goal and not killing each other is a difficult place to get to. There will be stressful times on a team and they are usually the most critcal points of the project. It will not matter how good they are technically or whether they can solve every algorithm no matter how complex if the person causes the rest of the team to stop performing I do not want them on the team.

I prefer working in an agile environment. Which means a very collaborative open environment which requires a lot of trust. Some people do not fit into this environment. Many developers want to work on their own and be left alone and they leave everyone else alone. This does not fit in an agile environment. In my oppinion this does not work in many environments but to be open maybe there are a few places such as a one man project. However, every environment I have worked in required constanct communication. Even before I worked in an agile environment we would get our project team together in a conference room for a couple of months to work faster and better together and help keep ourselves focused.

Will they fit in and still add a new perspective to the team?

I guess this is more of a goal that an absolute must have, but maybe I will change my mind after writing more. :) A good developer that has the exact same view point as everyone else and very similar experience to everyone else may not make the team better. Since I want a continually improving team, I want to improve the team with each hire. I want someone who has a slightly different set of experiences. Maybe I have a team whose expereinces are from large companies at which point I might consider someone from a small company. This person would bring the negative and the positive experiences and add that to mix that goes into all aspects of what we are doing. The great thing about this is it chanllenges both the new person and the existing team members. Everyone grows and the team improves. In James Surowiecki's book 'The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations' he discusses that lack of diversity is one of the things that cause groups to fail. OK, I have changed my mind this is not optional.

Will they be challenged enough to be engaged with the team?

If I am looking for a full time employee, which in most cases is the only reason I should be hiring someone, I want them to stay a while. If I want them to stay I need to have a good idea they will be challenged.

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