I have interviewed a lot of developers, junior and senior staff and it has become like a routine. Technical workers are nice people, rude candidates are rare. Usually their (our) self-esteem make them (us) feel they need to show they (we) are over prepared for the job. The curriculum vitae are bloated with lots of technical buzzwords that most of the people have heard of, but can’t barely talk about them.
I have compiled the list of events I can remember interviewing developers because they were funny, very funny:
This man had an impressive cv full of buzzwords, but he only worked in a single project.
Me: So you have been working with J2EE for 4 years, right?
Candidate #1: Right.
Me: What’s your favourite IDE?
Candidate #1: What?
Me: What’s your favourite IDE. I-D-E. (Since this is an English acronym, I try with a vague Spanish translation: ‘Entorno de Desarrollo‘.
Candidate #1: Ah, Eclipse.
Me: OK. Which version of Eclipse?
Candidate #1: The one for Java.
Me: Yes, but what version, release, etc…
Candidate #1: I don’t know. The architect tells me to use Eclipse…
The guy knew all the buzzwords, but he did not even know what the hell they meant.
This one did not learn the acronyms very well..
Me: So you have been developing web applications with java for two years, right?
Candidate #2: Right.
Me: Are you using JSTL?
Candidate #2: Yes, of course!
Me: Well, some developers feel JSTL does not help a lot…
Candidate #2: I don’t think web applications in java can be developed with servlets…
Me: Sorry, I don’t understand.
Candidate #2: With JSTL Pages you can embed your HTML code easily. It’s very hard to embed the code in Servlets.
JSTL sounds very similar to JSP in Spanish… but only similar.
This one was so pathetic…
Me: So you have been developing web applications for two years, right?
Candidate #3: Right.
Me: Which Application Server?
Candidate #3: Weblogic
Me: Excellent! A good understanding of BEA Weblogic is a plus. Which version of Weblogic?Candidate #3: Version… 2
Me: ¿ 2 ? BEA Weblogic 2? Are you sure?
Candidate #3: Eeeehhh… Yes, Java Weblogic 2 Enterprise Edition.Me: … sorry, I think you don’t have good coverage there, I can’t here you very well… I will call you again …
I was not brave enough to continue with the interview without laughing.
This women really had a bad time
Me: Your technical profile is excellent. As you know, spoken English is a must for this position.Candidate #4: I know.Me: Can you continue the interview in English?
Candidate #4: OK…Me: (I looked at my notes for a couple of seconds, and then I heard something bumping on the floor. She was laying there!)The woman lost consciousness for a few seconds. She told me she did not expect an interview in English. That’s what I call a shocking question.
Architect by default
Me: So you are the architect of an enterprise class application for a Telco, right?
Candidate #5: Right.
Me: What app server are you using?Candidate #5: TomcatMe: Which version of Tomcat?Candidate #5: 1.4Me: I see… 1.4, and which version of the JVM?Candidate #5: 5Me: Right, right… Are you sure?Candidate #5: Sure.Me: Why are you using Tomcat 1.4?Candidate #5: Well… actually… the former architect chose it. I don’t know why we use 1.4.Me: Why are you using JVM 5, then?Candidate #5: Well… actually… the former architect chose it. I don’t know why we use 5.Me: Look, there is no Tomcat 1.4, and in that Telco you can’t use JVM 5. Please be honest.Candidate #5: Well… actually… the project is a nightmare and all the developers have left the team. I have not found a new job yet, and in order to keep me in the project, I was appointed Lead Architect by the top management. But I’m just looking for a new job and escape from that hell.
Well, he was honest in the end.
And this is what happens when you interview a p
Me: So you have been working as HTML and ASP developer, right?
Candidate #666: Right.
Me: Can you tell what are your tasks in your current job.Candidate #666: What do you mean?Me: Just tell me what you are doing: what you develop, how, who is involved, technologies… it’s just to start the conversationCandidate #666: Conversation?Me: Yes, I think you are a bit tense. Please relax. Take your time to explain me your job.Candidate #666: I’m no tense, but I don’t like your questions.Me: But we have not started yet… Which IDE are you using to develop ASP pages?Candidate #666: (silence, he starts to sweat)Me: Are you using a Microsoft IDE…?Candidate #666: (he starts to breath anxiously)<silence…></silence…>Me: (Now I tense up…) …are you using Visual Interdev?Candidate #666: (he stands up and look at me) I have not came here to be judged, I just came here to be interviewed.And he left the room while I was shitting my pants.