Weeknotes #006: Recruiting

What I did in the 42nd week of 2020


GOV.UK is hiring a lot at the moment. You should apply.

I helped out with the sifting this week. After our recruitment and unconscious bias training we take an initial raft of CVs, review them against requirements for the job and grade how well a candidate demonstrated their suitability. Two of us review every application, then we discuss any differences in grading. The final grade is an average of the two, from there some progress to interviews.

I’ve not done a lot of hiring in the past, but this seemed to compare well to processes I’ve seen at other organisations.

General advice? Read the job description carefully. Where you’ve used the tools/languages/frameworks the advert mentions, give good examples. Where you haven not, foreground experience comparable technologies or ways of working. We were also asked to sift for demonstrable experience of team working / the more social side of engineering. I think this is really easy to leave off an application. Where the job mentions the team work, don’t forget to show experience where collaboration has been a factor too.

Plus reach out to the recruitment team, they’re lovely, helpful folks. Their advice will be much better than mine!

On accounts we need a lot of different applications to speak to each other. For local development that can be a pain. We use docker-compose, with a light wrapper of our own to help with that. Being able to spin up everything you need locally with one command, feels like magic. I love a day where I can spend more time working on the, feature than setting everything up.

I spent the end of the week writing Rspec feature tests. My colleagues on another team took the time to write up their testing strategy. It’s a document I keep going back to, a fantastic reference for how to test Rails apps in 2020.


Not much, It’s good to see the few friends. The news seems to suggest that might get harder as winter goes on.


Ok really should get back on the books, I get a new audible credit soon and just got a backlog of Cory Doctorow audiobooks… but I’m so nearly caught up on my podcasts.

Listened to

For the Love of Peat - 99% Invisible.

A serendipitous follow on my favourite last week, we bulldozed a peatland and put up a pine monoculture, but who can argue with trees? Perhaps we should have known better by 2020.

Thinking about

| Huw