Was lead developer at a small startup, I was hiring and had a budget to add 3 new people to my team to develop a new product for the company.

Some context first and then the rant!

Candidate 1 - Amazing, a dev I worked with before who was under utilized at the previous company. Still a junior, but, she was a quick learner and eager to expand her knowledge, never an issue.

Candidate 2 - Kickass dev with back end skills and extras, he was always eager to work a bit more than what was expected. I use to send him home early to annoy him. haha!

Candidate 3 - Lets call him P.

In the interview he answers every question perfectly, he asks all the right questions and suggests some things I havent even thought of. CTO goes ahead and says we should skip the technical test and just hire the guy, his smart and knows what his talking about, I agree and we hire him. (We where a bit desperate at this stage as well.)

He comes in a week early to pick up his work laptop to get setup before he starts the next week, awesome! This guy is going to be an asset to the company, cant wait to have him join the team - The CTO at this stage is getting ready to leave the company and I will be taking over the division and need someone to take over lead position, he seems like the guys to do it.

The guys starts the next week, he comes in and the laptop we gave him is now a local server for testing and he will be working off his own laptop, no issue, we are small so needed a testing stack, but wasnt really needed since we had procedures in place for this already.

Here is where everything goes wrong!!! First day goes great... Next day he gets in early 6:30am (Nice! NO!), he absolutely smells, no stinks, of weed, not a light smell, the entire fucking office smells of weed! (I have no problem with weed, just dont make it my problem to deal with). I get called by boss and told to sort this out people are complaining! I drive to office and have a meeting with him, he says its all good he understands. (This was Friday).

Monday comes around - Get a call from Boss at 7:30am. Whole office smells like weed, please talk to P again, this cannot happen again. I drive to office again, and he again says it wont happen again, he has some issues with back pain and the weed helps.

Tuesday - Same fucking thing! And now he doesnt want to sign for the laptop("server") that was given to him, and has moved to code in the boardroom, WHERE OUR FUCKING CLIENTS WILL BE VIEWING A DEMO THAT DAY OF THE PRODUCT!! Now that whole room smells like weed, FML!

Wednesday - We send P a formal letter that he is under probation, P calls me to have a meeting. In the meeting he blames me for not understanding "new age" medicine, I ask for his doctors prescription and ask why he didnt tell me this in the interview so I could make arrangements, we dont care if you are stoned, just do good work and be considerate to your co-workers. P cant provide these and keeps ranting, I suggest he takes pain killers, he has none of it only "new age" medicine for him.

Thursday - I ask him to rather "work" from home till we can get this sorted, he comes in for code reviews for 2 weeks. I can clearly see he has no idea how the system works but is trying, I thought I will dive deeper and look at all of his code. Its a mess, nothing makes sense and 50% of it is hard coded (We are building a decentralized API for huge data sets so this makes no sense).

Friday - In code review I confront him about this, he has excuses for everything, I start asking him harder questions about the project and to explain what we are building - he goes quiet and quits on the spot with a shitty apology.

From what I could make out he was really smart when it came to theory but interpreting the theory to actual practice wasnt possible for him, probably would have been easier if he wasnt high all the time.

I hate interview code tests, but learned a valuable lesson that day! Always test for some code knowledge as well even if you hate doing it, ask the right questions and be careful who you hire! You can only bullshit for so long in coding before someone figures out that you are a fraud.

  • 20
    Quality rant!
  • 22
    Holy shit, that guy should have gone rather for marketing or politics than for development.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop I think he is more a software architect. Designing the architecture and infrastructure.
  • 7
    @Codex404 Uh-oh, that would be an architecture astronaut designing shit completely detached from reality. Of course, he'd switch projects as soon as a project comes closer to implementation so that he could always leave his crap to the next team.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop what made me say that was because OP said that he knew it in theory and since an architect only does theory. He should indeed not implement it.
  • 8
    @Codex404 And I'd say an architect who can't implement anything won't be able to make good, implementable designs in the first place. He's just a bullshitter.

    A good architect could implement all of that himself, but doesn't because he doesn't scale. So instead, he leverages a team. However, since he could do the implementation, he also knows where the rubber meets the road and designs for that.
  • 5
    @Codex404 His theory was awesome, even after the fact he would still say "smart things", but when asked to implement them he would completely mess it up. In the end I had to pull all the GIT logs and redo all of his work, which put me a week behind schedule and I still had to complete my modules. It was a mess I never want to deal with again.
  • 10
    @Drmzindec I guess, in the future, you will have a nose for weeding these people out...
  • 1
    @Demolishun hahaha! I suspect that weeding out bad candidates is a new skill I required.
  • 4
    @Codex404 "since an architect only does theory"

    Not necessarily. Like @Fast-Nop I think an architect who doesn't code is bound to become useless.

    And from my personal perspective... well I'm kinda rebellious. If I'm involved in the work then I'm involved in the decisions. Fuck architecs that just dictate stuff.
  • 2
    @VaderNT Yeah just think of Torvalds. He has the competence to code every line in the Linux kernel all by himself - but he doesn't have the time. "Linus doesn't scale" was quite a popular slogan back in the day.
  • 1
    Should have fired him on the spot after the 3rd time he did that. Also that last sentence triggered my imposter syndrome :p
  • 1
    I loved that rant. I wasn't involved in the interviews but my company has had some experience with how some code interviews can really show the skills you claim to have.

    One of our data engineers wrote some quite simple code tests to test knowledge of data transformation and design patterns. It was given out two weeks before the interview so candidates had time to look at the code and review it. The favourite candidate after the initial stages before the face to face, where they'd have to present their code test answers, was the favourite but one of the interviewers quickly found a stackoverflow question from the candidate asking for reviews on *his* code.

    Stackoverflow didn't give him an answer so he couldn't give the interviewers an answer.

    Imagine how he'd code if we let him skip the coding test.
  • 0
    Was the biggest problem the coding piece or the weed issue? Reason I ask is would the coding test have solved your main problems with this guy?
  • 0
    Only way I would skip code tests is for trainees or management grades.
  • 0
    Extremely complex code that is not easy to write. Although as I recall, I wrote my best code in high spirits, by the way then I smoked weed from this store https://express-marijuana.com/produ...
    Has anyone else tried to write code under marijuana?
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