Getting New CS Grads Up To SpeedApril 18, 2006
Some newly minted CS grads have recently joined our staff to take on various and sundry contracting tasks. I'll hire the best ones full time at the end of their contracts. It's interesting to see what they really know, what interests them most, and where the holes are in their programming knowledge. I'm in a coaching role with them and loving the opportunity to watch them flourish in areas in which they were previously unfamiliar. If nothing else, the "ah-ha" moments are priceless.
Database programming beyond the basics seems to be a lost art in the university system. I dont know if it is that schools dont really focus on this area or if it is just that students choose not to remember anymore. All the new hires know the basic statements but still there is a tendency to use application logic where a more advanced SQL statement might be more efficient.
The most experienced of the recent CS grads, "J", has done commercial .NET work before but works for me only half time due to ongoing school obligations. He is more productive than a number of more experienced folks that I worked with at Microsoft. Good kid with good smarts.
By far, the best conceptual thinker of the group is "P". She is simply "wicked smart" and a great hire. What she lacks in commercial programming experience, she more than makes up for with old fashioned enthusiasm and intellectual horsepower. She has thought through and solved some fairly complex issues within a week of her start date.
My one disappointment is the web designer who showed up for three days and then never came back (not even for his paycheck). I would have least come back for my paycheck. Kids, these days…sheesh.