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The Joys Of Interviews

July 22, 2009 Leave a comment

In last couple of weeks we have been interviewing new contractor candidates. The standard has been pretty good with a few notable exceptions;

  1. If you say you find multi-threading easy yet do not know what the lock statement does I tend not to believe you are any good at it.
  2. If you have six years experience in c# and describe your competence as excellent, you really should know the difference between abstract and sealed.

People who need to revise for a simple OO test make me shudder.

Categories: Development Tags: ,

Hiring again

We’re hiring again at work, getting some contractors in to help us with the deliverables in the next three to six months. From the last time we were interviewing the standard seems to be significantly higher, which I imagine is due to not as many companies taking on contractors. I have heard about people despairing over the standard of .Net developers but I have noticed that many more seem to have an understanding of mocking, testing and the SOLID principles than even a year ago.

So many CV’s came in we changed our hiring process and asked sent the applicants a single method to improve maintainability and email us the results, the standard was pretty high (although the original code was really bad) but I think it will give us a good starting point to discuss with the candidates we get in for interview.

As someone involved in the hiring process we can now afford to be more selective, I have found with our current hiring process we have a reasonably simple multiple choice OO which as perhaps a little too much trivia and a very simple practical which I don’t think that this is enough to really understand how good the candidate is, I would rather that they thought more rationally about design and maintainability than knew their way around SqlCommand and the SqlDataReader.

For any candidate we interview, they should understand unit testing, IOC, separation of concerns, know why large classes and methods are wrong and expect to write code in the interview, not being able to write code under pressure is not a reasonable response. We won’t give them FizzBuzz but might ask them to solve a problem on the whiteboard.

Lastly, if I am interviewing you, one last piece of advice, don’t suggest that I use DataSet’s in my Domain Objects we have enough of that sort of architecture here already!

What’s your interview process and has it changed over the last couple of years?

Categories: Development Tags: ,