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Where is the joel test on jobs.stackoverflow.com

How about giving all the employers using to careers.stackoverflow.com the opportunity to take the Joel Test? Or should they even be required to answer the 12 questions?

  • 2
    Opportunity or require?
    – beggs
    Commented Nov 14, 2009 at 6:54
  • 2
    +1 if it goes to "require" from "opportunity"
    – warren
    Commented Nov 14, 2009 at 13:04
  • Disagree about the REQUIRE .. hopefully there will be jobs for things other than development.
    – tomjedrz
    Commented Dec 2, 2009 at 2:45

5 Answers 5


What would be nice is if the employers had to fill out some sort of a bio about their company that you get to see when they contact you. I agree this should include the Joel test, but I don't think it should be required, and here's why. The test itself does seem to be a really good indicator as to the state of a company, but it's a really good indicator as to the competency of the management staff if they know what it is. If you don't make it required, the companies which have their hr people searching the careers board, or have managers who you would rather stab your eye out with a fork than work for won't fill it out. They probably won't even know what it is. It's like getting to ask a question before you even respond. Something like this:

"Do you know who Joel Spolsky is?"(not whether if you agree with him).



I have a distinct feeling the board will get popular enough that companies will just sign up to the board, because some consulting firm charging them a lot of money said they can get hire good people from this board. The companies where everyone asks, "Who's this Jeff Atwood guy, and why does he have this logo of someone with his hair sticking up? Does he have a bad hair stylist? Is it a fashion thing?" If you require it, most companies can stretch their response to be maybe a 6 or a 7 without outright lying (I was thinking of my last company which was no way near a place I would call good at software development). That being said, if no one at the company knows the significance behind filling it out, that is a telling key.


If you look at jobs.stackoverflow.com right now, there are a bunch of employers who have filled out Joel Test scores, and it does make them look like more attractive places to work. For example, I've never heard of "Quantios" but if they have a 12 on the Joel Test they might be a good place to work.

So, on the whole, I think it would be valuable if the employers using our service had some way to self-declare their Joel Test score. If a programmer put up their CV and got a bunch of messages from employers, they might look at the ones with high Joel Test scores first. And it's a part of the general gist of careers.stackoverflow.com, which is, it's all about quality, not quantity: good jobs for good programmers.


I would like the ability for a candidate to add requirements to pass particular Joel Test questions. If the employer doesn't pass, don't list the CV. One of the benefits of the Joel Test is that it appears to encourages employers to admit some of their failings in order to show off some of their wins. "Do you do hallway usability testing?" Nobody cares. "Do you fix bugs before writing new code?" Nobody does. "Do programmers have quiet working conditions?" If they don't, stay the hell out of my face.


It should be required AND when we are contacted by the employers we should be given a list of questions from the test the employer did not pass.


It's featured on the job board, I assume it would be on careers.

  • @stu How would you do mathematical induction then? Commented Nov 14, 2009 at 11:31
  • @Sam: Apparently that is the source. Movie is from 1995, and the bar (Billy the Bums) opened in ~1996. Commented Nov 14, 2009 at 11:42
  • 2
    Sigh...the delicate flowers of Stack Overflow strike again... Commented Nov 15, 2009 at 8:13
  • I'm sorry I missed whatever it is these comments refer to. I do not follow them at all.
    – dlamblin
    Commented Nov 15, 2009 at 8:35
  • @dlamblin: smells of deleted comments, but with replies sticking there anyway...
    – Francesca
    Commented Nov 16, 2009 at 4:24

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