Softwaree Engineer | Coursera Community
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Softwaree Engineer

  • 8 March 2019
  • 1 reply

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Hi Folks,


This is my first post and hoping the community can give some advice on below queries.

  1. I have been a software engineer with more than 15+ years of experience working mainly on Python, Perl, Bash Scripts on Linux/Unix systems to create tools and solution for system administrator and database administrators. Though I have created tools using above scripting languages but not satisfied with my programming skills.
  2. Is there a way to test (aptitude/traits/etc) who can be a good programmer
  3. How to identify a field (within IT industry) one is good at.

1 reply

Userlevel 5
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Regarding (2):

Spotting Aptitude is a really hard problem. There is probably a billion dollar company for the first person who can spot talent better than the current methods (e.g Interviews and Resume/CV screening).

Further, I'd also remind you of Goodhart's Law: when something becomes a target it stops being a measure.

In other words, the whiteboard coding interviews probably did at one point supply good data on a candidates ability to problem solve. But now that candidates know they are to be scored on these tests they start practising how to pass. So now its not necessarily the most talented that do well, rather, its often the most prepared candidate.

Also, be aware that any heuristic you use may end up short-changing one candidate over another. So example, you might want to see evidence of coding outside work hours because you believe those people are more passionate. Sounds good! But, such metric means that those with 2 kids to look after find themselves as being labelled as less desirable employees.

In general though, IQ is probably the best indicator to look out for; throughout numerous studies it has fairly consistently shown a positive correlation between high skilled jobs and work performance.

Regarding (3):

This is also not an easy question, and a bunch of the stuff I said in (2) above would also apply here.