This is old news, but I realized I hadn't stashed it in my blogki when I came looking for it today. In 2006, BruceEckel had a post
on what questions you, job hunting employee, would ask a prospective employer. Good stuff.
Then there's also the famous Joel Test
Some of my own:
- tell me about the last release. How did it go? What were the schedule expectations up front and how did that play out? If it didn't go well, why do you think that is? do you do retrospectives? how have those been looking the last few releases?
- how many different release cycle cultures do you have? (e.g. “We're pretty relaxed in the fall and winter, then code like hell in the spring, and zone out in shock during the summer” ... or “at the beginning of a release we plan and document and do thorough design, then we get closer to release and shift into bug fix mode.”)
- how long does it take to regress your stuff? how comfortable are you with the coverage?
- can you verify the deployed production site is the intended released version?
- process. what isn't working? what are you struggling with?
- how do review code / cross-train?
- how long do builds stay broken?
- what sort of legacy issues do you have to deal with? if you could take a month to just work on infrastructure/legacy, what would be your priorities? would everyone on the team agree?
- how do plan new features and work with the business on deadlines?
- does management adequately communicate the business side of things to the geeks?
- how disruptive is the business to technical work?
- does management shut down push back from the geeks, or do they listen? (and vice-versa).
- how does management deal with deadlines? Missed deadlines?
- do you have any Apollo 13 managers?
- describe a project that failed.
- how open is management to the geeks working on research projects, tinkering, etc?
- how tech savvy is your sales dept? other depts? do you have competing philosophies when it comes to the right way to build tech
- have you let anyone go from the team? how did that process go? do you have anyone you’d perhaps ideally like to let go but aren’t sure how to do it?