Sunday, February 20, 2011

Interview questions

Here is a list of interview questions that Scott Hanselman suggests for senior software engineers:

I usually like reading what Scott writes because he is often interesting and insightful, but I was quite disappointed with this one.  Interview questions must first be designed with an end goal in mind.  Is he looking for someone to implement the business analysts' designs, or gather business requirements themselves?  He's clearly looking for the former, but a significant number of openings I've seen for senior software engineers are looking for the latter.  Is he looking for someone to lead teams of developers, or do most of the programming from base architecture work to finishing touches?  He's not really asking questions about either, so I'm not sure what his assumptions are here.  Is he open to engineers who don't believe that object-oriented programming is the one and only true way of programming?  (That question isn't entirely fair, since it's perfectly valid for a company to say that OOP may not be the only way to program, but it is the standardized way in their company.)  And the list goes on.

In the end, interviewers should be aware of lists like these because they can give an interviewer food for thought in trying to determine which interview questions to ask.  But always keep in mind that the writer has their own biases, and they may be trying to solve problems that may have nothing to do with yours.

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