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30

The only thing I know for sure is that there's a correlation between obfuscating, avoidant, yet overly confident answers and my desire to not hire the candidate. This is my personal "red flag". Some candidates don't fully answer questions in a satisfactory way and instead they will verbally dance around a psuedo-answer. Above all the goal of these ...


21

IMO you should have the "You don't understand URL rewriting" discussion with your client. Obviously you should not bluntly tell your client, "You don't understand". Instead, I would start off with, "Before we invest anything, I think we should discuss X to make sure we're on the same page about what the pros and cons of X and it's alternatives are." If it ...


20

An amusing filter is the following. Give them a list of buzzwords for different technologies, and ask which they have worked with. Make a couple of them fake made-up technologies. Anyone who claims to have worked with those is a no hire. (Someone actually made up a networking technology, wrote up a good web page describing it, and then used it in phone ...


14

I am looking for some red flags to watch out for and hoping to be discerning enough to not fall into any of this: Is there a correlation between buzz words and ability? Yes. People with too many buzzwords tend to not be capable and try to hide that by making themselves appear flashy, always following "the latest technology". I'd be extremely skeptical ...


12

Well, when the GoF wrote the book on Design Patterns, they intended to essentially document existing best practices so people didn't have to reinvent the wheel. So your criticism that these are old ideas is actually the whole point.


11

Web 2.0 has nothing to do with programming, only with marketing. The techniques existed 10 years ago. The perceived change is, that all over sudden all the people who have no understanding of technology thought this was hip. So just politely tell him Web 2.0 is nothing but a buzzword and whether you do Web 2.0 or not mostly depends on how your product is ...


11

I think you are looking at this in completely the wrong way. A GUI app and a web page are worlds apart so the exact same definition of MVC will never work for both. MVC is more about the ideal: separating certain parts of the app like display and logic. In PHP (or the web in general), a View is the web page itself: the HTML output. It's not "live" as per ...


10

Get them talking about specifics. Preferably about their pet projects. If they don't have any, that would be an orange flag to me, but still acceptable. In that case get them to talk about a project of which they are proud. Get concrete, avoid the abstract chit-chat about anything. Get a couple of developers in on the interview if you yourself aren't up to ...


9

I've found that when someone talks only about their responsibilities in a job and not their actual accomplishments that usually means they won't be able to deliver a working product. Programmers who produce real deliverables can tell you about them in extensive detail.


8

I'd agree with what you seem to be suggesting: there is a correlation, and it's quite a strong correlation, and it's definitely a negative correlation (more buzzwords -> less ability).


8

Getting the formatting/spacing and such "trivial things", are an important prerequisite to discussing more important items. If the code doesn't follow your coding standards it will mark it harder for others to following for a review. As far as re-write, I don't think anything should be re-written just because a new technology exists. However, if a new ...


7

Every specialized field has its argot and it's important to be able to use it properly. What comes with this is the ability to, however shallowly, appear to be an expert by simply bandying about the terminology. However, it usually takes only a little exchange to ascertain whether the person is cognizant of the field whose terminology they're using or not.


7

Yes this is just a term that is thrown around by management types but if you strip away the management language what he's saying is that he wants a department that is seen as using and embodying industry best practices in a way that others aspire to and is doing so to deliver great solutions people like. (This last bit is important - if you're not actually ...


6

I've found buzzwords to be a good indication of what areas a candidate is interested in learning and not what they are completely and utterly technically proficient. That said, there are a number of people if you just say "speak to me like a developer" who totally change their approach. I think after a while they deal with so many HR, recruiters, managers, ...


6

I always begin by asking this question: What's the duration of your iterations? Rate their answer: 1 week is awesome, 2 weeks is great, 3 is ok and 4 mediocre. Longer than that indicates they are struggling and more then 8 weeks is just weird. If the answer is it depends, you know they have no clue whatsoever. Follow up with: How often do you ...


6

This is the problem with weasel words; they sound like they mean something... but they really don't. From context, it sounds like your company produces a product, and that your director just wants your department to be as efficient and effective as possible. IME, it means that they intend to do one or all of the following: Hire new people with "strict ...


6

Bad-mouthing of former employers or colleagues excessively. Criticizing specific decisions is OK, but someone who goes on and on about how incompetent people were is probably arrogant and overbearing towards everyone and incapable of teamwork.


5

Ask them to defend agile methodologies. And then ask them to refute it by outlining its weaknesses. Bonus points if they can navigate this course without littering it with meaningless buzzwords.


5

I would ask them to describe the software development life cycle when using the Agile methodology. If they're familiar with it they should be able to describe each phase in the SDLC accurately. EDIT: I just realized that you were asking from the point of view of the interviewee, not the interviewer. In that case I would probably ask them about their SDLC ...


5

Now, the folks show up in the conference room onsite and you begin the back-and-forth talking about past experience, reviewing the resume, personal development interests... In your experiences of hiring, what were the responses (and questions) that you wished you had processed better initially that may have stopped you from hiring a ...


4

If the other party was technical (C++/VOIP) then you can perhaps talk in detail about the definition of "Web 2.0" and they will gladly listen, learn, and appreciate the gory details. OTOH, and given your subsequent question this may be the case, they're not particularly technical then I'd suggest taking care not to make them feel as though they're a bit of ...


4

The best way to start looking for fakes starts from their resumes. Absence of clear start and end dates in the employment history is a good sign. If there are multiple employers and or projects, when you question them about thier experience dont ask them serially (in chronological order). Ask them randomly, for example just when he is describing his fourth ...


4

I said in comment to the question that I'd rather describe your domain as "resource aware" than "performance aware"; it turns out that the term "resource-aware programming" exists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MIK_ppEXno http://www.cs.rice.edu/~taha/publications/conference/icess04B.pdf I'm not sure this is enough to qualify as a buzzword, given that ...


3

The approach I take really has little to do with the agile buzzwords, but it does have to do with agile practices. One of the commonalities in all agile teams is the short iteration, most people get that part (it's one of the 12 principles behind agile on the http://agilemanifesto.org site). The purpose of the short iteration is to get feedback early on ...


3

I nod my head and say yes. There is almost no point in explaining and going into a big long rant on what Web 2.0 is really does nothing more than make you come across like a pompous asshole. If they pry deeper into what that entails then I'll explain, but in a 'why my job is cool way', not 'why everything you just said is wrong and an example of everything ...


3

I'd say in just about every situation - try to find the common ground. Ideally at least, the technical lead wants quality code to be created in a timely manner. Anything that makes the code better, or the process faster is a win. Sometimes it just has to get boiled up to that level. Code reviews pose an extra challenge - they can be expensive in both ...


3

In my 30+ years of experience a phrase like that usually means we want you to produce more with fewer people.



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