Candidate Screening Challenges (Was: Crazy idea from a recruiter)

Doran L. Barton fozz at
Sat Mar 30 12:10:03 MDT 2013

On Friday, March 29, 2013 06:44:18 PM S. Dale Morrey wrote:
> One of my first employers when I entered the field of professional
> programming told me right off the bat my first day.
> "Writing intentionally obtuse or obfuscated code for "Job security"
> reasons is the fastest way to get fired around here.
> He was serious about it too.  There were mandatory code reviews prior
> to any check in, it didn't matter who you were or how long you had
> been there.
> If your code even smelled like it might do something it's not supposed
> to, it would get you marked down on your next review.
> Unfortunately for me, this job involved a lot of Perl and regex stuff.  :(

I don't really get what you're implying. Am I correct to infer that it is 
difficult to write Perl code (including regular expressions) that is not 
"obtuse" or "obfuscated?" If someone writes crappy Perl code, they're simply 
not a very good programmer. Good programmers write code that is maintainable 
and illegible code is not maintainable. 

Setting that aside, my last job, with Grant Street Group in Pittsburgh, was 
doing Perl development. While nobody issued an edict like the one you 
described, because most of our development team worked remotely, our 
development process was very disciplined. Code style and conventions were 
enforced and adhered to. Nothing got committed without undergoing a code 
review and being approved. Weekly one-on-ones with team leads ensured everyone 
stayed on task and any issues holding people up were dealt with quickly. It 
was a powerful lesson in how to do things right. 

Doran L. Barton <fozz at> - Linux, Perl, Web, good fun, and more!
 "Vertical parking only."
    -- Seen in a Tokyo traffic handbook

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