[kwlug-disc] how would you interview potential linux employees?

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Tue Jan 27 15:09:43 EST 2009

Robert P. J. Day wrote, On 01/27/2009 11:19 AM:
>   here's a wide-open question -- if you could give some advice to
> someone trying to hire linux expertise, what sorts of questions would
> you suggest asking?
>   yes, that's a fairly boundary-free request, but a colleague asked me
> to suggest a few things.  i figured you could start by weeding out the
> total posers pretty quickly:
> * What distros and versions have you used and are using now?  For
> what?
> * What other distros are you familiar with?  And what are their main
> features -- what selling points set them apart.
> * What hardware have you installed Linux on?
>   obviously, this is pretty lightweight stuff but i think it quickly
> shows who's up on their stuff and who isn't.  are there any websites
> that discuss this?

I'm not sure about the selling features question, although it does 
seem like a good discussion point. I've seen too many distros - they 
all blur together. Mind you, gentoo (?) does stand out in my mind - 
rolling your own, as it were. Otherwise, aside from red hat based vs 
debian based, it seems more pertinent to ask what they use Linux for.

You don't say what type of expertise you're looking for.

Aside from a general, not even Linux specific, "What have you used 
computers for?":

- are you a kde, gnome, or twm/etc. person?
- what do you use to read email? egroupware?
- how do you handle compatibility with MS Office issues?
- today's computers exists with networks - what have you set up / what 
is your context?
- gateways, hubs (switches), voip, other hardware?
- what program do you use most (some will say terminal, others 
tetris); what's your favourite program? gimp?; what's the neatest 
program you've come across?

Seems like there'd be different questions for developers, support, 
infrastructure, trainers, business analysts, etc.

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