A few weeks ago, I helped conduct two interviews for open web developer positions at my employer. I’ve written in the past about the unfortunate lack of diversity in my industry, so it’s a little embarrassing to admit that not only were both candidates white, male, and relatively the same age, they also had the same name, Dan. Oh, and they're both from the same city too. I don’t think we could have found more superficially similar candidates if we’d tried. I wasn’t really involved in the early hiring process, so I’m not sure if anything could have been done to cast a wider net in the search. Maybe there are just a lot of similar people looking for web developer jobs in central Iowa. Nonetheless, the irony is not lost on me.

But beyond the irony are some, I think, interesting and unique Dans. It’s true, they both added The Airbag Blog Advisory System to their blogs yesterday, but they did get different advisories. Interview number one was Dan Conner, whose advisory is currently "elevated", and who just this morning wrote about his interview process:

Ian and Scott remain in the conference room atop the Butler Mansion, watch on another MacBook connected via Remote Desktop (or whatever that is on a Mac) to the one I have, and break out some microwave popcorn for the show. it feels awkward at first. I giggle a bit with an uncomfortable but accepting feeling, and the awkwardness starts to recede.

For the record, I recall no microwave popcorn. But it was awkward (maybe popcorn would have helped), and I’m glad Dan was able to get past that and have some fun. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to accept the job offer, so I won’t be working with him. The second interview was Dan Hellerich, whose advisory is currently "asshat" (though I don’t see any rough language at all), and who posted yesterday about his move. His technical interview was equally awkward, but hopefully it was also somewhat fun. He accepted the job in any case, so I’ll be in Des Moines for the next month helping him become familiar with our projects before my trip to Peru.

I hope we can reduce the awkwardness factor in future interviews without reducing the fun. But overall, the interviews turned out well. We only ended up with one of the Dans we wanted, but that may turn out to be for the best. At least now we don’t need to come up with nicknames to differentiate. There’s still another opening for a web developer at my employer, if you know anyone who might be interested. The name Dan is entirely optional.