Episode 30 Hiring Junior Developers with Dan Weese

Episode 30 – Hiring Junior Developers with Dan Weese

In this episode we’ll be talking with Dan Weese about his perspective on interviewing and assessing developer candidates, and building strong teams.

‘Sharpening the Tools’ is the section of the show where we discuss what tools we’re using, concepts we’re learning, and generally how we are continuing our learning in software development.”

Sharpening the Tools


Continuing with Docker and starting with ElasticSearch!


Shifting gears with containers … also, 64 bit encoded strings!



“Opening the Toolbox”

Episode Outline

Today we welcome Dan Weese to the show to discuss a Hiring Manager’s perspective on hiring junior developers.

Dan is Software Development Manager with over 20 years in software application development, including 14 years in healthcare, 12 years in commercial software, 10 years in Supply Chain Management and Warehouse Distribution, and 10 years in operations. (By my math some of those experiences must overlap, since added together that’s 46 years of experience!)

He is self-taught in 4 programming languages. While Dan’s degree is in Audio Engineering, his skills have led him to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer, Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Product Owner, and Certified Scrum Professional.

Dan’s unconventional entry into the IT community gives him a unique perspective on hiring and he’s been able to take several people with skills outside of IT and apply them towards a successful career in the technology sector.

  1. What do you look for when hiring junior developers? Particular skills? How much proficiency in those skills? Demonstrating a drive to learn etc.?
  2. Job descriptions often vary and are unclear between whether they are entry level or “junior level”, so junior can mean anything from it’s your first job up to I’ve seen 5 years of experience preferred. How do you evaluate junior developer skills?
  3. When you write a job description, how many of the skills listed are you expecting your candidates to meet? What’s your advice for juniors applying for junior-level positions?
  4. What differences do you notice in education background? Traditional CS degree vs. software bootcamp vs. self taught?
  5. How do you typically interview a junior? Do you give them a whiteboard or take home coding test? How effective do you think those methods are?
  6. How do you come up with interview questions?
  7. What non-technical skills are you looking for in an interview?
  8. What are some things you can’t tell about a person from an interview, that you only learn on the job?
  9. One of our listeners wants to know, how should they dress for an interview, especially in a casual workplace? Is it weird if the interviewee is overdressed compared to everyone else?
  10. When you’re reviewing a lot of resumes, what are you looking for? What makes someone stand out?
  11. Are cover letters still a thing? Does the email you’re attaching the resume to suffice, or do you appreciate a formal, separate letter?
  12. Final words of wisdom for junior developers applying and interviewing for jobs?


You can reach Dan at:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-weese/

Twitter: @danweese

Instagram: DanWeese

E-mail: dan@danweese.com

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


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Posted by Junior Developer

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