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

Post-interview recommendations: a case against 'maybe' September 23rd, 2022

If you’re ever an interviewer on a role I’m hiring for, there’s this one thing I’m going to ask you to do that might feel weird. After you conduct that interview, I’m going to ask you to send me a recommendation, and I’m going to insist that the recommendation begins with a very clear “hire” or “no hire”. I won’t accept any form of “maybe”.

Quality Is Systemic September 9th, 2022

Software quality is more the result of a system designed to produce quality, and not so much the result of individual performance. That is: a group of mediocre programmers working with a structure designed to produce quality will produce better software than a group of fantastic programmers working in a system designed with other goals.

Taking notes in interviews August 12th, 2022

Techniques for effective note-taking during interviews.

Panel interviews don't work July 8th, 2022

There’s a Right Way to conduct job interviews: one-on-one, with a single interviewer per interview session. If you need multiple interviewers (you probably do), schedule multiple sessions, each one-on-one. The alternate approach, panel interviews – having multiple interviewers in a session at once – is almost always a bad practice. It increases stress on the candidate, risks measuring the wrong things, and doesn’t lead to better results. Avoid panel interviews: they don’t work.

Checking References: What to do if a reference check goes wrong July 6th, 2022

Most of the time, reference checks go very well: you only turn up information that confirms your decision to hire this candidate. But sometimes — maybe about 10% of the time — the reference will tell you something concerning. Here’s what to do if that happens.

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