Programming Apprenticeships

Mar 19, 2024

A 2018 article on how Joel Spolsky broke IT recruiting randomly popped up in my news feed today. I particularly enjoyed the section that discussed IT recruiting, though the bits relating to StackOverflow haven't aged well; that site is beyond having jumped the shark.

I'm not a people manager, but I have assisted in hiring a number of folks over the years. Some of them turned out to be great developers, while others turned out to be terrible. It's so hard to vet folks based on a handful of interviews. Back when in-person interviews were more of a thing, it was easier. Today's online-only world makes that nearly impossible, especially given that some candidates are no longer local.

Having an actual apprenticeship program would make the process so much easier. New candidates could come aboard for a trial period; 6 or 12 months. Financially, it would be treated like a contract position. During this period they could then be evaluated over time:

  • Is the candidate reliable?
  • Are their development skills what they said they were?
  • Can they communicate effectively?
  • Do they complete deliverables on time?

After the apprenticeship is up, they'd become a "journeyman" and a full-time employee. A program of this sort would greatly reduce the ridiculous speed bump some employers put in the way of hiring developers. It would also make it really easy to get rid of the downright awful developers who occasionally creep in.

This really needs to become a thing.

1 Comment


4:15 PM on Mar 19, 2024

Testing comments out on the new site. Do they still work?

Leave a Comment

Ignore this field:
Never displayed
Leave this blank:
Optional; will not be indexed
Ignore this field:
Both Markdown and a limited set of HTML tags are supported
Leave this empty: