Knowledge is POWAH!

I recently put out a call on Twitter for QA interview questions. “What are your favorite questions to ask potential QA for your team?” I asked. Brian Prince (@brianhprince) suggested I ask Jim Holmes (@aJimHolmes), who promptly linked to a post on his blog on a pre-screening questionnaire. Go read it, I’ll wait…

His question 6 hit home for me – “What have you done in the last week to improve your skills?”.

I always ask during interviews “Where and how do you get your tech news?”. I don’t necessarily want people to get it from the same place I do. Hell, I’d rather they got their tech news from places I didn’t, for varied information on the team! However, I find it disheartening when people respond that they don’t really keep up with tech news.



Even if you don’t have a formal computer science education, and you’re not familiar with Moore’s Law, you must at least be vaguely aware of when people complain that their computer is out of date just minutes after purchasing it, it means COMPUTER SCIENCE HAS ADVANCED THAT QUICKLY!

Don’t choose computer science in general if you don’t want to learn anything new during your career. Do you think learning is over after you’re handed your degree?! This isn’t medieval literature!!!


Back to the previous point – I used to ask about how people get their tech news ONLY. I didn’t ask about how they improved their skills in the past week.

Now, however, I realize that’s core to what I want on my team. Not just someone that’s informed about what’s going on in tech in general, but someone that has ACTIVELY worked on bettering their skillset recently.

Thank you, Jim, for the insightful blog post. It added a layer of pre-screening to our hiring process, which is already saving us time, and gave me something to think about – who do I *really* want on my team?


Posted on January 10, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Awesome post!For me, that skills improvement question is quite likely the most important one of all during the entire interview process. The interactions with other team members (#4) is a close second.I care more about how fired up someone is for learning than I do about most anything else. Technology and process can be mentored. The core passion and spark can’t.

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