Blog Archives

Programming expertise, it’s all about the turtles

When I’m asked at an interview to talk about my weaknesses, I usually say that apart from being a perfectionist¬†(said with irony) I can sometimes be too analytical. Being analytical as a programmer is a major advantage, but I’m told

Posted in Interviewing, Programming, Software Development

Reflections on leaving MegaCorp

To the person who next sits at this desk; I have worked at MegaCorp on and off since 2002. This time I’m leaving and I won’t be back. If I had a magic wand to fix I wish you If

Posted in Programming, Software Management

Writing unit tests for legacy code – an open letter to developers I work with

This is an email I sent today to developers who work with me, it is exactly as I wrote it except for project and developer names which I’ve redacted. Dear Developers, S asked me a difficult question today, and I

Posted in Programming, Software Development, Software Management

It’s a great time to be a programmer in the UK

According to the Office for National Statistics the ratio of vacancies to jobs in ICT reached a low point July 2009 and has been climbing steadily ever since. Contrast this with vacancies in all industries, which dipped to around 1.8 vacancies

Posted in Hiring, Software Management

Why software projects are always late (part 1)

Software projects are always late because they are not easy, and because people who should know better do stupid things. It’s a question I’ve been asked many times over the past two decades and, let me tell you, quite often

Posted in Software Management

Should I include GCSE results in my CV?

A quick follow-up to the post “The ideal CV of a software professional” to answer a question I’m asked surprisingly often in various forms: I’m 28 years old. Should I include my GCSE results in my CV? My first reaction

Posted in CV

The ideal CV of a software professional

Tip #1: Make sure you include relevant keywords, but don’t overdo it. Let’s not fool ourselves, the main purpose of a CV is to get you past the filtering process of recruitment agencies, HR departments, and other hurdles that stand

Posted in CV

Interviewer or Inquisitor?

This post is by way of apology to everyone I’ve interviewed over the years who might have witnessed me learning on the job. If I played one of these characters when we met, I’m sorry. The Alpha Geek To the

Posted in Hiring, Interviewing

7 tips to hire the development team you really want

1. Get help. Seriously. I don’t care if you’re an expert in your field. Unless you’re also an expert in software development you’re not going to be able to tell a coder from a clown. Not sure? Here’s a test.

Posted in Hiring

Cranking the code-o-matic

Microsoft recently announced their latest version of Visual Studio, a product pitched on the idea that anyone can produce useful software provided they have the right tools. They call it Visual Studio LightSwitch, and right from the outset they make it

Posted in Programming

Ed Guiness

I am the author of Ace the Programming Interview, published 2013 by John Wiley and Sons. In 2012 I founded SocialCoder.org, a volunteering organisation for programmers. I have been a professional programmer for more than 20 years, and a hiring manager since 2004.

Ask me anything.