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I know we've covered what questions you should ask about a company before you would decide to work there. But what do you do with the answers?

In other words, what would you consider a dealbreaker? I.e. what would scare you so much about a company that you wouldn't work there, even if everything else was great?

For example, if they tell me they don't use version control, I wouldn't work there. End of story.

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closed as not constructive by Adam Lear Oct 22 '11 at 16:02

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"Say, have you read 'Twilight'? What an awesome book! Changed my life!" – BlairHippo Sep 28 '10 at 14:37
"We'd like to hire you." Any company willing to hire me is clearly not a company I'd want to work for! – Fishtoaster Sep 28 '10 at 14:46
@BlairHippo: the book is still awesome (yes, I read it) if you compare it to the film... not to mention the loads of vampire stories that were published in reaction to Twilight's success. – ShdNx Sep 29 '10 at 10:22
The book is always better then the film. – Chris Sep 29 '10 at 12:53
I could live with 'Twilight' (i mean, wearing black clothes, speaking wise things noone understands and trying to avoid the sun comes kinda natural to most guys in IT), but when they mention 'Digital Fortress' by dan brown in a sentence without curse words, THAT would be a dealbreaker – keppla Aug 1 '11 at 8:48

33 Answers 33

If I can't ssh home, that's it.

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+1: Even if working from home is out of the picture, you need to at least be able to check on a build or commit something, or change a config script or anything else that you forgot to do at work. And the cost is nearly nothing to make this happen. – Steve Evers Oct 28 '10 at 22:58
@SnOrfus: I think he's talking about accessing his home machine from work, not the other way round! – timday Oct 29 '10 at 4:00
@timday: Ah, I see. I thought it said 'from home'. In that case, it's a shame that I can't remove my upvote. I can't see a real reason that this would be a must. – Steve Evers Oct 29 '10 at 21:33
I've ssh-ed home to read personal email for years now. A more modern setup would be to use webmail, but it works for me. Also useful for checking on the progress of big rendering jobs. – timday Oct 30 '10 at 17:52

Windows. Any version. GTFO.

The key thing for me; at any point is it hinted at that you'll bleed into other roles?

Example: one of my previous job titles was Analyst Programmer... which essentially meant "Sometimes programming, sometimes re-writing requirements document so you can actually start coding, occasionally doing the Analyst's job and other times, well, good luck. May the force be with you.".

If you're applying to be a developer make sure that's what your role will be once you're through the door. Get a feel for a developer's role on a typical project. Ask them to explain the role to you - make no assumptions.

One other question I always ask is: "Suppose technology X becomes the new hotness, how do you fill the technology gap?". If the answer is "we just hire new people" then i'd get out.

Oh, and Windows.

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Heh, so have you tried Windows 7? :-) – Jaco Pretorius Sep 28 '10 at 18:20
I have indeed. It's just not for me, to each their own :). Happy now I get to use a Mac. Sounds silly to some, but the platform you develop can make all the difference. – dannywartnaby Sep 28 '10 at 19:54
I suppose you mean that Windows can be an option, so long as it's not the requirement? Or are you saying that Windows shouldn't be used by anyone at all? – waiwai933 Sep 28 '10 at 23:10
I wish the MacBook keyboards didn't suck so much ass. – dash-tom-bang Sep 29 '10 at 1:23
I've always had the opposite feeling--anyone who is so rigid that they are unwilling to work on operating system X is far too rigid to work as a programmer. Good programmers use the best tool for the job by weighing the pros and cons in an intelligent manner (rather than letting personal bias get in the way). – Stargazer712 Oct 13 '10 at 20:04

If the company doesn't have a control version, you can put it. You should be scared if they say in the interview, that everyone do unpaid overtime (because they are the best or whatever), or they focus too much on the money you will earn in the future (someday...).

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