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Archive for the ‘Interview Process’ Category

World’s First Agile Job Fair at Agile India 2014 Conference

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

Come, join the very FIRST Agile Job Fair in the World!

A platform dedicated for the Agile practitioners to meet their potential Agile employers.

Agile India Job Fair is being organised by Agile Software Community of India, a registered non-profit society. We have been running conference and other events in India since 2004. This job fair is on the very next day, after our international conference – Agile India 2014, which attracts about 1000 international participants.

Why a job fair?

Agile methods have become mainstream and they are here to stay. In India, many companies are having a hard time finding needles in the haystack .i.e. finding really good Agile practitioners from a whole lot of posers.

The few, really good practitioners out there, have a similar problem. Every company wants to hire Agile people, but are they ready? Do they really believe in Agile culture and even have an agile mindset?

Many practitioners want to talk to real people from the company to really understand the culture of the organisation and the nature of the work.

Browsing the classifieds or surfing the Internet or talking to headhunters (recruiting companies) can only get you so far.

To solve this problem, we are creating a first-of-its-kind, unique opportunity where job-seekers can meet several top Agile employers face-to-face under one roof, clarify their doubts, interview with potential companies and also socialise with other candidates.

Walk-In to explore a gamut of Agile career opportunities with the best Agile employers in India.

What kind of candidates would this event attract?

We have a database of 56,512 software professionals from top companies in India. We will market this event to all these folks. However, who will attend will largely depend on the kind of companies that will be participating to hire candidates. We would filter the companies, to make sure only top companies are part of this event and hence ensure that we would be able to attract really good practitioners.

What can a participating Company (Employer) do to attract participants?

Seeing is believing! So we would strongly suggest you give participants a glimpse of your work culture. May be setup a pair-programming station and project the programming session on a large screen. May be you can setup a story card wall. Showcase some the nature of problems your company is solving. Run a slideshow of pictures from your office. And may more. Just get creative!

What is the cost to participate?

This is a non-profit event. There are 2 major costs, the hall rental and the cost of setting up stalls. We would pass the actual cost to the companies. Our estimate is 35,000-50,000 INR per company. And we are planning to keep it free for Job Seekers (Agile Practitioners) to attend.

Exclusive Event: Get FREE agile career counseling and coaching from Naresh Jain, the founder of the Agile movement in India.

Sounds interesting? Fill the form to participate…Agile Job Fair

How to Seek more information about a Company?

Friday, October 19th, 2012

In my previous post titled: What Software Company should I join in India? I put together a laundry list of questions I might be interested to learn about a company before I decide to apply for a job or not.

Multiple people asked me, how does one go about finding this info. Following is a high-level approach I would take:

  1. Seek as much info as possible
    1. Start off by reviewing the company’s website. Study it in detail. Make notes of things that interest you. Write down specific questions where you would like to learn more.
    2. Most companies have a News or Press section. Look at the link in there, it will help you understand what others(media) thinks of the company.
    3. Most companies have a Career or Jobs section. Review it to understand what technology the company works on. What kind of people they are looking out for. (Most good companies are always looking out for good people, even if its not listed under their jobs’ section.)
    4. Search for the Company’s Name online and see what other information you get about the company. Is this inline with what you already know about the company?
    5. Search for the Founder’s Name online. See what the internet has to say about them. Also search for videos or slides from any public talks or interviews. Generally if you Google for their name, you should get all these details.
  2. Establish a communication channel
    1. Most companies or Founders have a blog. Read thru all their blogs. Try and leave a comment or two on their blog.
    2. Most companies or Founders have a Twitter or Facebook account, where they actively share their updates. Follow them. Most of them even respond to your questions or tweets.
  3. Connect
    1. See if anyone from the company (ideally the founders) are presenting at the conference or local user group or hosting a webinar. Try to attend at least a couple of these events. Usually these events are free. This might be your opportunity to meet them in person & ask them specific questions.
    2. Search for the company’s profile on TechCrunch (CrunchBase) and LinkedIn. From here you should be able to review the profiles of all their employees.
    3. Try and find someone in your network who is connected with anyone from this company. Try and talk to the employees to get some of your questions answered.
    4. In your network, also try to find someone who has recently been thru the company’s interview process. (Whether they were hired or not, be ready for some biased opinion.) Ask them about their experience.
  4. Experience
    1. Most companies I know are open to visitors. Drop in and spend some time at the company. Seeing is believing!
    2. If you are more keen to join as a developer, see if the company runs/hosts any open source project. Participate/contribute to that project.

What Software Company should I join in India?

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

If you are a fresher (just graduated) looking to begin your Software profession or if you are already working as a Software Professional, looking for a change. The top question on your mind might be:

What Company should I join? Which company will be good for my career? And what role should I pick from a long-term perspective?

I get quite a few of these requests from people looking for help to decide/pick a company. They believe, I can advice them on this hard problem. Let me tell you up-front, there is no ready-made solution. A lot depends on your background/context and your aspirations.

The company you pick plays an important role, but I think your attitude, your passion, your aspirations play a much bigger role. 

For ex: If you come from a financially weak background, your family depends on your monthly income, you don’t really have the time to experiment or take chances and in the long-run you would be happy working at a good position in a large, stable company, then you have many options in India. You can pick any large product or service company and you would do just fine.

However, if you come from a financially strong background, your family is happy to give you some slack to figure out what you want to do, you are the person who has big aspirations, you might want to build your own product company (because most suck!) then working for a large product/service company will destroy your soul. Unfortunately, there are not many options for you in India. The options are growing, but its like finding needles in a haystack.

Here are few things you might want to keep in mind:

  • Does this company have a real vision. A vision worth fulfilling?
  • Will you be working closing with the founder/s of the company, who have this real vision that stikes a chord with you? (If you don’t get a high listening/thinking about the vision, find another company. Don’t waste your precious time. Life is too short for non-sense.)
  • What does the company value? And more importantly, do they walk-the-talk or is it just lip-service? And do these company values suit your personality? Is it aligned with your believes?
  • Is this is a small company of extremely talented (read as capable) & passionate people?
  • Does this company have the potential?
  • Is the company flexible and open? (I know some companies, who have their employee policies on their website.)
  • Do they care about their employees? Are they open to letting you try out different things before you’ve to decide which career path you want to choose for now?
  • Does the company have a very strict hiring process? Generally this ensures your co-workers will be at least as smart (if not more) than you. Ideally I like to be the worst band-member of the band. This way, I’m constantly challenged and I keep learning.
  • Will this company push you outside your comfort zone and let you grow?
  • What is the work-culture of the company? (You want a creative design-studio kind of an environment, not a factory setup.)
  • Will you be collaborating and interacting (read as learning) with different teams. You don’t want to be pigeon-hole into a spot (role) and restricted to that specific task.

Don’t shy away from slogging. (Of course you need to see if its worth slogging and its done for valid reasons.) I meet many people with 10 years of experience, but they have 1 year repeated 10 times. Don’t make that mistake.

Finally the litmus test is:

Does this company excite you enough, that you would be willing to work for free?

If this makes sense, then the next step is to find more information about the company so you can answer these questions. Read my next blog: How to Seek more information about a Company?

Hiring XP/Lean Coaches @ Industrial Logic, India

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Industrial Logic was founded in 1996, is headquartered in Silicon Valley and has a workforce distributed around the world.

We are a globally recognized Agile coaching, training and eLearning company, composed of internationally recognized Extreme Programming and Lean Management pioneers and practitioners.

Our mission is simple:

We inspire software teams to go from good to great.

Since the late 1990s, we’ve steadily improved the agility of ourselves and our global clients, including:

Standard Life HP Google GE ThoughtWorks

Our coaches are skilled practitioners who provide technical, managerial and entrepreneurial wisdom in their work with executives, managers, customers, analysts, developers, testers, internal-coaches and others.

Coaching for us means helping software people and organizations move towards high discipline, better risk management, reduced technical debt, increased productivity and delighted customers.

We judge our coaching engagements by whether we helped engender a culture of continuous improvement.

We teach live workshops and provide innovative Agile eLearning to help thousands of people around the world learn and practice valuable skills in Extreme Programming and Lean Management.

We begin most engagements with assessments that help groups understand current strengths and challenges, consider where they’d like to be tomorrow and map out strategies for getting there.

We are growing and we’re searching for highly-motivated XP/Lean coaches to join our company.

Interested? We currently seek ‘senior’ and ‘junior’ coaches. We expect our seniors to drop right into (paired) coaching immediately. The juniors, on the other hand, will need training and practice, and can expect their initial time to involve shadow-coaching with one or more seniors.

We are currently seeking coaches in India. We have domestic and international clients. Our travel schedules are manageable and balanced with local work. When not helping clients you’ll be contributing to the larger Agile community and collaborating with us on product development.

SENIOR XP COACH

  • A passion for excellence;
  • Ability to hit the ground running;
  • Coach organizations at different levels (Executives, Middle Management, Teams)
  • Outstanding communication skills, whether to geeks, suits, or anyone in between;
  • A willingness to travel approximately 30%-40% per year, generally working four-day weeks onsite every other week (often paired with another IL coach).
  • High energy and good cheer. A sense of humor is a big plus.
  • Willing to pick up new skills on their own at a very short notice
  • 4+ years of solid experience working on XP projects
  • 7+ years of software development, with specialty in Java, CSharp, and/or C++;

JUNIOR XP COACH

  • A passion for excellence;
  • Coach organizations at team level
  • Outstanding communication skills
  • Basic familiarity and some experience with the XP practices;
  • A willingness to travel approximately 30%-40% per year, generally working four-day weeks onsite every other week (often paired with another IL coach).
  • High energy and good cheer. A sense of humor is a big plus.
  • Willing to pick up new skills with limited guidance from others
  • 2+ years of solid experience working on XP projects
  • 3+ years of software development, with specialty in Java, CSharp, and/or C++;

At Industrial Logic, we eat our own dog food: when not at clients, we spend our own time developing products using an ultra-Lean process that we continually improve.

We emphasize sustainable pace, non-stop collaboration, and an overall tone of joyful camaraderie. It’s state-of-the-art agility around here.

Are we a match? If you think so, please send the following to jobs AT industriallogic DOT com

  • a subject line that reads “SENIOR COACH” or “JUNIOR COACH”
  • your resume
  • a brief statement on why you’d like to join our company
  • a sample piece of writing, such as an article, blog entry, etc.
  • links to communities or open source projects to which you’ve contributed

Our sincere thanks for your time and interest in Industrial Logic. We look forward to hearing from you!

10 Most Read Posts on Managed Chaos in 2009

Friday, January 1st, 2010
  1. Agile (as practiced today) is the new Waterfall
  2. Naked Agile
  3. Biggest Stinkers
  4. Goodbye Simplicity; I’m Object Obsessed
  5. Want to Pair Program and Concerned about Productivity?
  6. Estimation Considered Harmful
  7. Refactoring Legacy Projects: Scaffolding Technique
  8. Single Responsibility Principle Demystified
  9. Primitive Obsession
  10. Cannot Evaluate a Candidate just based on their Resume

Cannot Evaluate a Candidate just based on their Resume

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Its been 7 years since I’ve been actively involved in recruiting software professionals for various companies. In most places I’ve defined or helped refactor the existing recruitment process to increase our throughput without compromising on the quality.

In this post I plan to explain the second step in the recruitment process. The first and the most important step in recruitment of course is sourcing. Sourcing the right candidates is no doubt the most important thing when it comes to making your recruitment process efficient.

A good number of resumes do come in directly (company job portal, conferences, user groups, other community initiatives and so on) or through a consultant. At Directi we have a Puzzles and Case Studies section on our website and look favorably towards candidates who solve the puzzles or complete their case studies and send their solutions with their resumes. Once we get a resume, we need to make a Go or No Go decision.

We evaluate the submission first. Of course we also need to go through the resume and check the quality of projects the candidate has worked on, see if she has relevant experience, decent exposure to technology & methodology and good communication skills. Unfortunately in today’s competitive environment this is not sufficient. Following is a laundry list of steps I follow to make an informed decision:

  • Google for the person’s name, see if her blog/website shows up. Its a delight to see if Google suggest shows the name. See what others have to say about the candidate through their blogs, discussions, etc. See if the candidate has any other web presence.
  • Is the candidate active in the community (Local and online)? Did the candidate present at user groups and conferences?
  • Does the candidate have published articles, experience reports or books?
  • Has the candidate authored any products (open source or otherwise)? If yes, is it usable, what is its acceptance, what problem is it really trying to solve, compare it to competing products, etc.
  • If the candidate has a blog, check what she writing on her blog. Based on her blog we can gauge her interests, her depth and breath of knowledge, communication skills, exposure, etc. Lot more informative than a resume can provide.
  • I’m particularly interested to see if the candidate has solved any issues with tools, frameworks, etc and explained it well to others on her blog or mailing list or any article.
  • Social Networking sites are a good source of information. For ex: if the candidate has her profile on LinkedIn, we check if she has any recommendations. LinkedIn gives you a graph of how you are connected to the candidate. This also gives some understanding of who in your connection knows the candidate.
  • And so on…

Typically this gives me enough information to make an informed call about the candidate. Now we can move to the next step of our recruitment process. (Typically an intro email requesting 30 mins casual conversation.)

Quality of Experience Matters; Not Quantity

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

While hiring, personally I look for the candidate’s quality of experience. Quantity (Number of years of experience) does not really matter.

As Conan rightly pointed out:

Watch out for people with “10 years” of experience … it’s sometimes 1 year of experience, repeated 10 times

In fact I would go to the extent of saying that their educational background also does not matter. (Sometimes it actually negatively impacts their impression. Someone with a CS background should at least know theoretically about different computer architectures)

The only time I look at number of years of experience is, when someone claims that they have been doing ‘x’ for ‘y’ years. And during discussions about ‘x’ related topics, its apparent that the person does not have the expected depth on the topic. Then I ask myself, “if this person does not have the required depth after spending ‘y’ years, how good is this person at picking up stuff and internalizing it?”

Of course, we need to give them the benefit of doubt. They might be working in a highly viscous environment.

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