With the rise of PHP developer as career, many are trying to get their share in the pie. Lately I’ve met a number of developers who have worked for more than one/two years in developing PHP applications in various companies and they consider themselves as “senior” developers. They try to emphasize that they’ve done enough raw programming and they are now in a position where they’ll only design architecture of applications.
When you interview them and ask about complex topics, they’ll reply: “Oh my last company didn’t allow me work with that, but I’ll be able to grab that in a day“. You trust them and think that if they get the chance, they’ll sure be able to excel. After all, they’ve got that Company X’s experience and Guru Y’s reference.
At first everybody gets amazed with these developers employment history, the projects they’ve done, the technical jargons they can utter, the ideology/framework/pattern they talk about, etc etc. Everybody wants them in their team. The team who gets them finally are happier than ever, after all life will get easier to have such an expert in team.
Soon projects get rolling and everybody in his/her team is eagerly waiting to see the magics from these “senior” developers. To their disappointment, more ideas/criticism/review (e.g. “Pattern X is better than pattern Y. Why you’re choosing X?”, “Why are you doing Z in this way? Who taught you this?”, “Have you ever heard of DEF?”, “I have done research on DB normalization and you teach me schema?“) takes place but they don’t see actual code from these developers.
They come to office in an awkward timing, leaves early, works with personal things at office – but nobody can question their activity as people might not believe them. With much regret, the remaining team members continue to complete the work which the “senior” developer was suppose to do. Instead of a team synergy, an unintended pressure is created in the team.
Eventually the project misses deadline by miles, team members become unhappy as they had to do extra work each day to cover the team’s ass, company gets screwed as client is unhappy and decides not to do repeat business. Company digs down the cause of the failure, finds the responsible person, and fires them away.
Surprisingly, when a friend of the “senior” developer asks them in a social party: “What happened with the Company X you were working on?”, they’ll reply: “Oh that crap! You know, it’s a pain to work with junior developers. They don’t understand things. All they know is coding, no knowledge, no understanding of architecture. And the management is so poor, you won’t believe……“.
Don’t include someone like them in your team and think twice or thrice if you don’t have many options. Try to find out how good programmer they are in the interview. How senior they might be, ask them to write code in the interview. Try out proven questions that others have shared from their experience. Overall, make sure you’re taking the right person. The best hiring option is to hire “no one”.
Have you been in such situation? Share your experience here!