In my 6yrs job experience, I got names of many software companies. Some seem good, but there are some internal issues. If anyone miss to know any of these, he/she may suffer after joining there.
I think it is a good idea to have a checklist for this. Here it goes!
WORK CULTURE or PROCESS:
1. Does that company follow software engineering process?
In my experience, I found some senior people who STRONGLY BELIEVE that no process can be applied in their projects. Also, some even don’t know the difference between Software Engineer and Programmer.
2. How about their interview process? That is they will take your interview and you will also get idea about them.
Some companies don’t know how to take interview for Senior software engineer, software engineers or programmers. All seem same to them. So, if you are appearing interview for sr s/w engg, but their interview seems that for programmers, you should know that they will assign you task of programmers.
3. How many hours do you “actually” need to work a day, on average? Can a programmer can work more than 8hrs a day? Every overtime just add bugs in projects.
4. How frequent is overtime and working in weekend? In some companies, 11/12 hrs a day is normal working hours and their projects are always buggy. And same about weekend, on an average 3/4 weekend are added to working day in a month.
5. How friendly is the relationship among the engineers and also with management?
1. How many projects are currently going on?
2. What is the average age/length of the projects? How many years employees are involved there? that is, project is long, but for some reason, employees can not stay there.
3. Do they work on products or projects for clients? Products are so long and all are preplanned. So. company has to release 1/2 times a year with the specific features. So, work load is distributed in whole year. but if projects for clients, sometime no task, sometime so much pressure.
4. Which technologies does the company work with? which domain etc.
SALARY and other benefits:
1. Office space or location. It shows how much the company is serious about their business, how much the company are investing for this business. It shows the job security, financial strength.
2. What is the salary range for a fresher?
3. How many times in a year do your company give salary increment? Do they review in time or some months delay?
4. What is the average percentage of increment?
5. Do you feel that your job is secured? How many years employees stay at that firm? Can this company show any long-term vision to employees?
6. What are the other benefits?
7. Do they use documents such as offer letter/appointment letter, experience letter, release letter? some companies have some plan to cheat. They won’t use any documents of proof of job.
8. What is the payment method? Bank account or cheque or cash.
And at last Joel Test
The Joel Test
Do you use source control?
Can you make a build in one step?
Do you make daily builds?
Do you have a bug database?
Do you fix bugs before writing new code?
Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
Do you have a spec?
Do programmers have quiet working conditions?
Do you use the best tools money can buy?
Do you have testers?
Do new candidates write code during their interview?
Do you do hallway usability testing?
Better score, better company..
So, you should choose your employer as like as employers choose their employees.
[ Idea courtesy: Ahmad Ferdous Bin Alam's post Checklist Before You Join a New Company ]