[A picture of private offices at Fog Creek Software] Alert! This ancient trifle retrieved from the Joel on Software archive is well-past its expiration date. Proceed with care.

Joel on Software

Smart and Gets Things Done

by Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I wrote a book!

The title is Smart and Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky's Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent.

It is, as promised, concise. Even though it's hardback, it's about the size of a paperback romance novel, with wider margins, and about 180 pages, including some blank ones.

To pad it out, Apress hired my favorite illustrator, Terry Colon, to illustrate it. He did a fantastic job (the cover illustration at right will give you a feel for his style). His goofy, frantic, manically hilarious illustrations are reason enough to buy the book.

Here's what you get:

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: "Hitting the High Notes"
  • Chapter 2: "Finding Great Developers"
  • Chapter 3: "A Field Guide to Developers"
  • Chapter 4: "Sorting Resumes"
  • Chapter 5: "The Phone Screen"
  • Chapter 6: "The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing"
  • Chapter 7: "Fixing Suboptimal Teams"
  • Appendix: "The Joel Test"

As you know, I write first and foremost for the web, so most of this material originated as Joel on Software articles. As usual, I did a bunch of reorganizing, reformatting, and rewriting to make it into a book-quality thing that you can read from beginning to end, and, since it's such a short book, you should be able to do that during the commercials of a typical half-hour sitcom.

It's cheap, about $13 on Amazon right now, so get your copy now before they run out.


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

Want to know more?

You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.



About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, easy web-based collaboration software, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracking and software development tool, and Kiln, a distributed source control system that will blow your socks off. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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