I’ve been recently approached by a recruiter: she has conned a coworker into giving her my mobile phone number under the pretext that she needs to consult with an Office add-ins expert.

Well, I’ve played along and discussed with that particular company CEO; he’s a nice guy and he means well; it’s not his fault that good developers are so hard to come by these days and all companies are poaching developers. He had a project proposal from an UK startup for a solution involving a Word add-in and later on I had to go through an another interview with the CEO of that company.

That guy really disappointed me:

  • he asked some questions about data structures where I had to remember him that I only have to read the basic books to be able to implement them (hash tables, hash codes, reverse indexes)
  • when he explained what was the technical problem he was trying to solve, I’ve asked him whether he has considered red-black trees and got him off-balance; one of my coworkers (she’s a really smart girl) commented that that guy probably only knows about hash tables and nothing more, this is why he kept asking questions about them 😐
  • he didn’t really had a plan on isolating problematic modules, such as words indexes, Word host application communication, cloud processing servers and so on; after all, I’ve only agreed to help them get up to speed with Office add-ins development, nothing more, so there were many questions that I wouldn’t have asked
  • he had his way of asking questions that constantly forced me to start the answer with “I guess you want me to talk about …” (continuous delivery, continuous integration, etc)

I’ll still help them with their add-in solution, but I’ll probably ask for shared code ownership (I write the code, they have a copy, I have a copy and I’m allowed to reuse it whenever I want to). Thank God we (as in ‘expert developers’) are in such strong negotiating positions now where we can finally impose fair trades, with good pay and perks and code ownership.