On this very evening, the Factory in Berlin is packed with people. After a short while, more than 500 people were interested in hearing what Joel Spolsky, co-founder and CEO of Stack Overflow has to say. Stack Overflow is a trusted resource for hiring coding geniuses and a vibrant online-community where coders and developers help each other and solve coding problems together. More than 40 mio people visit the website every month from students to well-advanced code-pros. After a brief introduction by Nicolas from Factory Berlin– in which he thanks BallouPR for the opportunity of hosting – Ramsi and Joel step on stage and the cozy chat begins.
First question is the usual Techie-question: Star Wars or Star Trek? “I would choose Chewbacca over the Enterprise” was his answer and the most important question in the tech-scene has been clarified. However, Joel explains his point of view on hiring: Hiring is, of course, very important. Stack Overflow is a unique aid for HR Managers who look for people with specific skills. But if it comes to hiring for Stack Overflow itself: What does Joel pay attention to? According to him, the most important ability of a candidate is to fit in the culture of a company. “Red flags for me are stubbornness and if a candidate shows hidden signs pretending to be what he isn’t.” Furthermore he says, it only counts to hire individual specialists, who you need for goals, for example: If you need an iOs-Specialist, hw suggests you hire one who only knows iOs.
And that is what he also tries to do with Stack Overflow. His Mission is “Learn, share knowledge and upgrade your career”. It is a space where colleagues help each other and showcase their skills.In terms of building up a company, he says that a community is very important. It takes years to build up a reliable mass of people who want to contribute and share. “Community is such an abused word. Everyone has a community now: Brands, Cars, Food. In my opinion you need to silence all the noises around the core of your product. We want to solve programming problems and therefore we don’t allow private chat. People appreciate that.”
Joel has many new projects, that he wants to dedicate his time to. A new approach on Stack Overflow will be “Documentation” which allows you to show that you wrote a specific code. His last advice for anybody out there is: “Everybody has to start at some point. Programmers are designers, architects and problem solvers. Do a project and see what you can do. And if you run into a problem, you can always rely on the Stack Overflow community.”