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Joel Spolsky. Two great approaches

September 10, 2007

12 steps to better code


Joel Spolsky test: 12 steps to better code


Joel Spolsky has published a method for assessing the efficiency of software companies. The test requires participants to answer questions related to how they structure their working process and their approaches to project work. This test assesses the development team’s level of commitment and responsibility. It includes 12 “yes or no” questions. Each positive answer is worth one point and the final results are evaluated in the following way: 12 points – “perfect”, 11 – “tolerable”, 10 or less – “bad”. This test is unique because it allows participants to evaluate a company’s professionalism in just 3 minutes. This is the exact amount of time needed to answer the test questions without thinking too long or hesitating.


Joel’s test could be used with the same effect by a company manager, a programmer applying for a job at a software company, or by investors. Of course, a positive test result alone cannot guarantee success as there are many other important factors to consider when determining the success of a project. Nevertheless, the highest score certainly testifies to the discipline and organisation of the development team.


EDISON Software Development Centre consistently achieves the highest number of points – 12, giving positive answers to all of the questions.


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Finding great developers


Joel Spolsky: Finding great developers

Sooner or later every software development manager is faced with the problem of having to find specialists. When you start searching for the talented software engineers, it soon becomes clear that finding the right person for the job is no easy task because the best specialists never have to look for a job and can’t be found on the labour market. Standard recruitment search and selection methods are of little help here and an alternative approach is required.


Joel Spolsky offers three options: attending technical conferences and exhibitions, “raising” your own crop of great developers from gifted student-trainees, and attracting your target audience by creating an appropriate community.


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