[thelist] Offering contracts: Opinions on Etiquette?

Warden, Matt mwarden at odyssey-design.com
Fri Nov 3 21:39:33 CST 2000

> Before we met, I asked if he would be willing to bring some code that
> he had written so that I could take a look at it, to benchmark his
> skill level.
> His response was to immediately go cold, and decline the interview.

I think his reaction might have been a little overdone, but some would have
reservations about exposing source code from previous paid projects... I know
I would. Think about it, one is being paid to write the code for a specific
project, not to build an example of coding style. There is also an issue of
security. By looking at the source code, a site could be comprimised. I know I
wouldn't want that on my head. I can't think of a lot of good reasons why this
is bad, but my first reaction would be similar to that of the person you
interviewed (just to a lesser degree).

> I've seen his site, I know he can do HTML & DHTML, but I still wanted
> to correctly evaluate whether I was getting someone that had the
> skill level my company is looking for.

There are other ways to do this. A common practice is to hand them a small
project/goal to complete in a set amount of time. Don't tell them that
performance counts. Don't tell them that the code has to be readable and the
variable names have to make sense... or that they should use some kind of
convention to denote data types and scope of variables. Just have them
accomplish the project and then review what they have written.

> Here's the question: Is asking to look at, without making copies
> (example: reading it off a floppy disk) of previous work at the
> source level out of line?

I think so. It's one thing to have the potential employee walk you though a
site he worked on, telling you the basics of how it works, but it's quite
another to look at the source code to another company's (maybe even a
competitor's) site or application source code.


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