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Are we asking too much of Developers?

Posted by Austin on 2/8/2021.

During my career, I've seen a shift from silos of responsibility to integrating these responsibilities into the developer's job and responsibilities... are we asking developers for too much?

Much has been written about the trade-off of integrating (or eliminating) QA teams into the development team. We are in the middle of a DevOps transformation. We expect everyone to understand low level details about hardware, networking, etc.

For many developers this is a heavy burden on top of trying to write solid bug-free code.

Two more responsibilities I had at Amazon - Be a world class interviewer as well as an incident response commander. There is some rudimentary training, but both took years of practice to hone. To focus just on interviewing...

Over the course of 187 interviews, I got better at

  1. Making interviewees comfortable and relaxed
  2. Providing a great brand experience regardless of how well or badly the candidate is doing
  3. Extract behavioral and technical data points that are quantitative instead of guesses or gut feelings
  4. Giving hire / no hire answers that were calibrated to the (slowly evolving) companies standards.

I feel like giving great interviews can be a full time job in and of itself!

Tech interviewing is very broken and most of our interview loops are not "world class" or "good experiences". Interviews are often a terrible experience for the interviewee, as many have documented. But leading an interview is also often a terrible experience for the interviewer, who hasn't gotten enough training and practice to be able to do a good job.

My goal with OpsDrill is to provide this missing incidence response training, so that devs can master these skills much more rapidly. But, I think we are also missing training on how to be a great interviewer.

Developers in our industry are well compensated, but are we asking too much of developers? Should we start moving back to silos for specific responsibilities?

Should the heavy lifting of technical interviewing be shouldered more by the recruiting team, which is staffed with technical interviewers? Would this improve the interviewing experience for candidates? Is the idea of "team culture fit" flawed and does it work against diversity?

Would our software products be higher quality if developers could focus on delivering high quality code?

What do you think? @OpsDrill.

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