Jacob Kaplan-Moss

I’m a software developer, co-creator of Django, and engineering leader. I work at Latacora and co-own REVSYS. Previous jobs: Hangar, 18F, Heroku. If you’re looking to contact me, please see the ways I’m available to help.

Writing

Book Review: Powerful (Patty McCord) January 18th, 2022

Patty McCord was Netflix’s first head of HR and a member of its executive team for 14 years. She (along with Reed Hastings, Netflix’s founder and CEO). She’s probably best known as the co-author (with Hastings) of Netflix’s famous Culture Deck, a 125-slide deck that lays out Netflix’s unusual culture. Powerful is a deep examination of that culture and its ramifications. It’s one of the better dissections of what “culture” really is and how it works. I recommend it to anyone in a position to influence company culture. You may or may not want to mimic Netflix, but thinking through which parts of Netflix’s culture you do and don’t want to mimic is an excellent exercise – it certainly was for me.

Year in Review: 2021 January 7th, 2022

A round up of my writing in 2021: what were my goals? How’d I do? And some statistics.

Work Sample Tests: Wrap Up and Q&A January 6th, 2022

This is the final post in my series on work sample tests. It’s a wrap-up post: I’ll address a few random points I couldn’t quite fit in elsewhere, and answer some questions from readers.

Work Sample Tests: What doesn't work (and why) December 30th, 2021

I’ve written about a bunch of effective work sample tests and the “rules of the road” that make them effective. One thing I haven’t talked about is counter-examples: types of work sample tests that don’t work. I tend not to do this sort of thing: I find it’s usually more useful to talk about what does work than to pick apart what doesn’t. But here, I think it’s illustrative: looking at why certain kinds of work sample tests fail can help illustrate the principles of effective tests. Let’s look at a few kinds of work sample tests that (usually) fail, and why.

Work Sample Tests: Labs & Simulation Environments December 24th, 2021

The work sample tests I’ve covered in this series so far all involve software development. But what about roles that don’t involve day-to-day coding: roles like security analysis, penetration testing, technical support, bug bounty triage, project or program management, systems administration, technical operations, and so on? For those roles, I turn to simulated, “lab”-style environments. Here are some examples of that kind of test.

Full Archive →