- by henry
I just learned about Joel Test. I have been computer programmer for 22 years, but somehow never heard about it before. I consider my best job so far to be this small investment managing company with 30 employees and only 3 people in IT department. I am no longer with them but I had being working there for 5 years – my longest streak with any given company. To my surprise they scored extremely poor on Joel Test. The only two questions I would answer “yes” are #4: Do you have a bug database? And #9: Do you use the best tools money can buy? Everything else is either “sometimes” or straight “no”. Here is what I liked about the company however: a) Good pay, they bragged about it to my face and I bragged about it to their face, so it was almost like a family environment. b) I always knew big picture. When writing a code to solve particular problem there were no ambiguity about the business nature of that problem. Even though we did not always had written specs we could ask business users a question anytime, often yelling it across the floor. I could even talk to executives any time I felt like doing it: no appointment necessary. c) Immediate feedback. Once we implement a solution and make business users happy they immediately let us know that, we (programmers) become heroes of the moment. d) No red tape. I could always buy any tools I deem necessary, and design solutions the way my professional judgment dictates. e) Flexibility. If I had mid-day dental appointment that is near my house rather than near the office, I would send email to the company: "FYI: I work from home today". As long as one of 3 IT guys was on the floor (to help traders in case their monitors go dark) they did not care where 2 others are. So the question thus becomes how valuable Joel Test is? Why bother with it?