Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My New Project

I’m kicking off a new project today and am taking you along for the ride. While the subject matter could hardly be less interesting (as you’ll soon find), I hope the process to be worthwhile. Stick with me to the end for your assignment and an opportunity to win fabulously small, worthless prizes.

The Project

interview-questions.gif (446×323)The problem I’m trying to solve relates to how a company manages interviews.

For example, imagine this scenario. You get called for an interview with a company. You schedule a time and go in. You might talk to five different people who all form an opinion of you as a candidate. Ultimately these five opinions are considered in some way and some decision about your future is made.

The software I intend to build helps the company track all these interactions and produce useful information to improve the process.

Say Again?

That might seem a little narrow at first, but before long the amount of information is surprising. Aside from the logistics of setting up the interviews themselves (each coordinated with five different interviewers), we also need to capture each interviewers feedback. Then we need to evaluate it to make a decision.

The side effect of gathering all this information is that we can then analyze it over time. It’s not hard to imagine connections that may appear. For example, suppose that over time it becomes clear that Alex consistently spots the stars but Brad picks duds. This is good to know—we might conclude that Brad shouldn’t be doing interviews. Or, we could find that unanimous ratings are strongly correlated with successful candidates whereas others are not.

I’m actually a little afraid that my test company will discover interviewer ratings are not correlated to candidate success at all. What then?!

What’s Next

This is pretty much going to be a one man show, with a lot of feedback along the way from an actual company. If this was my full time job, we’d be looking at about four weeks of work by 1.5 people. It’s not my job, though, so excluding the first look mockups I’ll be posting soon, it’ll be a while before I have much to show (this is a personal project and not affiliated with my employer).

Your Assignment

woot-bag-of-crap.jpg (600×560)If you are still with me, I’m impressed. Here’s what I’d like you to do: give this project a cool code name. It needs one and naming stuff is hard so help me out (leave a comment)! If your code name is chosen, a special gift of almost no value will be delivered directly to you. Seriously.

The code name need not (and maybe ought not) have anything at all to do with the subject at hand.