10 Questions For Interviewing Developers

Rebooted meetup #3 (sorry for the super late posting!). Starts at 6 pm at the Hacker Lab. Show up anytime between 6 pm and 7 pm for networking.

At 7 pm, we'll have a 35-40 minute presentation. We promised to get a bit more technical at this one, and I (Jake) volunteered myself to speak. While I didn't end up having enough time to prepare a new "WordPress performance" talk, I'm going to share a new talk I've given one other time called "10 Questions I Ask Every Developer (And the Answers)". This is 1/3rd a WordPress PHP developer beginner's talk, 1/3rd a pro WordPress developer talk, and 1/3rd a WordPress development philosophy talk. Here's the full description:


I have personally hired more than 30 WordPress developers over the last few years, I've hired more than 45 people, and have considered over 175 candidates in the last 5 or so years.

There are about 20 questions I ask most serious candidates, from philosophical – “Tell me about something that really frustrates you about WordPress right now”- to big picture technical – “Tell me about the two fundamental hook types in WordPress, and the difference between them” to granular – “What’s the best way to prevent posts in a specific category from showing up in the blog home?” Sometimes there’s more than one right answer, sometimes there’s really one right answer. There are also some *really* bad answers.

This talk is a cheat sheet for 10 of the most important questions I ask that offers tips to beginning developers, pro developers, and expores some development philosophy.


Following the talk, we'll open the floor to general Q&A for our community - whether you're trying to conquer a problem with WordPress, or just looking for a recommended plug-in, our audience is a wealth of knowledge!

We'll still do "WordPress performance" in the not too distant future!

Technical or not, hope to see everyone there.

Join or login to comment.

  • steve h.

    I missed this. What were the 10 questions and their answers?

    1 · November 5, 2013

    • John J. L.

      I think a version of this talk is on YouTube somewhere. I know I've seen it before.

      November 5, 2013

    • Mark C.

      Allow me to paraphrase the questions. My memory isn't what it used to be...

      1. What are the two types of hooks in WordPress
      2. What's a taxonomy
      3. How would you figure out how a function works
      4. Explain sanitizing and validating data
      5. What's the best way to selectively exclude blog posts on home page
      6. Tell me about your favorite WordPress function
      7. What WordPress APIs would you use to retrieve remote data once a day
      8. What's the most interesting industry trend today
      9. What's your least favorite thing about WordPress
      10. Why do you want to work with WordPress everyday

      November 5, 2013

  • John J. L.

    I learned a lot for this presentation, and it gave me new ideas for dealing with common problems in WordPress. Not everyone can be a RAWKSTAR developer, but I would like to be known as a solid developer who is easy to work with. Jake's explanations of his interview questions and what he looks for in his answers gave me more understanding of how WordPress is utilized at a very high level.

    1 · April 17, 2013

  • JoAnne O.

    Thanks Jake! Great presentation! I enjoyed your perspective on programming solutions for WordPress and hope to use some of your tips soon!

    2 · April 16, 2013

  • Reid W.

    Jake Goldman did a great job of teaching us how to distinguish a great developer from a crappy one during an interview/hiring process. He provided a good sampling of hiring questions – and corresponding "bad/decent/great" answers – so we could make as informed a hiring decision as possible. The presentation was well outlined and easy to follow, with good audience interaction and a helpful Q&A at the end.

    3 · April 16, 2013

  • Celena R.

    Running a little late hope that's ok. Coming from roseville

    April 16, 2013

  • Jill W.

    I run a graphic design firm with my husband Steve, who is also attending.

    April 16, 2013

  • Yvonne H.

    Is there any way to watch it on a Google hangout....or lifestream?! I really would LOVE to see this!!

    April 16, 2013

  • Chris

    What resources do you recommend for beginning WordPress developer with web development experience?

    April 14, 2013

  • Reid W.

    Hell, yeah, I'm going! :)

    April 15, 2013

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