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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Third Edition by Tim Lister, Tom DeMarco

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16. Hiring a Juggler

Circus Manager: How long have you been juggling?

Candidate: Oh, about six years.

Manager: Can you handle three balls, four balls, and five balls?

Candidate: Yes, yes, and yes.

Manager: Do you work with flaming objects?

Candidate: Sure.

Manager: . . . knives, axes, open cigar boxes, floppy hats?

Candidate: I can juggle anything.

Manager: Do you have a line of funny patter that goes with your juggling?

Candidate: It’s hilarious.

Manager: Well, that sounds fine. I guess you’re hired.

Candidate: Umm . . . Don’t you want to see me juggle?

Manager: Gee, I never thought of that.

It would be ludicrous to think of hiring a juggler without first seeing him perform. That’s just common sense. Yet when you set out to hire an engineer ...

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