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Bonus Schemes Should Be Handled with Care

I was recently chatting with a colleague about bonus schemes, and it occurred to me that every single company I've worked for (that's four, if we're counting) has implemented at least one such scheme, and the outcome is always the same: pissed-off employees.

There seems to be a kind of unquestioned assumption that employees want bonus schemes, and that employers are being good employers by introducing them. Such schemes are, without exception, described as being a "benefit". After all, who doesn't enjoy receiving a bonus with their pay cheque? What could possibly go wrong?

I'd like to argue that bonus schemes can go wrong. In fact, they are harmful more often than not, and should be handled with care.

Continue reading Bonus Schemes Should Be Handled with Care »

Posted on Saturday, the 27th of June, 2009 | permalink | comments (1)

Some Thoughts on Testing Developers

For reasons I can't quite fathom, I've been thinking a lot about testing developers recently. That's testing developers as part of the hiring process, as opposed to developer testing (which I do bang on about rather a lot, to be fair).

I say I can't fathom the reasons, because we're not actively recruiting right now, nor am I looking to be recruited (though if you have your air conditioning switched on you may be in luck).

So anyway, it's fair to say that before you hire a developer, you want to find out if they're any good at developing, right? And therein lies the problem: how on earth do you measure the candidate's skill level?

I've seen, and used, a few approaches myself, so I'll go over a few of them and see what drops out the other end.

Continue reading Some Thoughts on Testing Developers »

Posted on Sunday, the 10th of August, 2008 | permalink | comments (1)

...and keeping them

I'm finding more and more excellent, and very pertinent, content on Rob's site. In Nine Things Developers Want More Than Money he raises a few issues that will make a huge difference to a company's rate of developer 'churn'. And once again he hits several nails square on the head.

He doesn't mention chairs, but I think Joel has that one covered.

Still, I wonder how Rob finds developers who have stable family lives and yet are willing to work until sunrise...without being asked and without extra pay!

Posted on Saturday, the 11th of November, 2006 | permalink | comments (0)

Finding them...

I enjoyed Rob's definition of Web 2.0 companies as being the ones that show up in your browser every time you mistype a domain name. I don't know what you would have to type wrong to find either of our portals, so I guess we're not Web 2.0. But I can live with that.

Anyway, it's from a great article called Personality Traits of the Best Software Developers, which I found particularly interesting, since we're recruiting right now. I can see myself in at least a couple of those (I shan't elaborate!) so maybe I'm not doing too badly.

Posted on Friday, the 10th of November, 2006 | permalink | comments (0)