web developer & system programmer

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ramblings and thoughts on programming...

filtering companies

published: 30-10-2012 / updated: 30-10-2012
posted in: development, programming, projects, rants, tips
by Daniel Molina Wegener

As you know, I use a well defined set of questions to filter where should I work. If the company does not pass the test, I usually ignore that job offering. For example if I ask “what is your current distributed version control system?” and their answer is “SVN”, they got banned immediately — you know what I mean. The set of questions is pretty simple, and since you are usually interviewed by someone who is hiring or filtering the candidacies, you can do the same asking questions. For example, I am not interested in the company name; it can be Microsoft, but if they tell me “we are using visual source safe”, I do not handle that job offering. For me what is doing and what is using a company is important, because that will tell you how good are they doing their job.

The set of questions is not fixed and depends on the company, and everything is asked on the interview, telling me what is used language and which framework, is not enough. I put special emphasis in the architecure and programming techniques, like the used paradigms. If they are using Ruby, I expect a multi-paradigm approach, not only object oriented. The same applies to other languages. If they tell me “we are using MVC”, I can assume that their architecture and application is small, and it is not integrated with third party applications, because it does not require an n-tier architecture.

The same applies to embedded systems. If they tell me “we are doing iOS applications”, I will ask how do they handle the development. For example, my favorite DVCS is Darcs, and then comes GIT, and finally Mercurial, in that order. Should I handle a development which is using Subversion? I just start thinking on how hard will be doing branch merges, and I got tired immediately. The same applies to the knowledge that shows the interviewer. Should I handle a job where everything that I speak is not understood? I think not. Usually if, they do not understand every technical term that I use, it will lead me to a team that is not applying technical knowledge correctly, and they are not handling technical requirements correctly. So, I expect accurate answers to my questions.

Asking questions is a good approach to identify the scope of the company, how do they handle the development and how do they work. Feel free to ask. You can avoid several headaches if you ask the proper questions, and you will see how good are they doing their job if you ask them early. If your questions are technical, just expect the right answer, not an answer that half fits the question. Technical questions are accurate, expect the same answer. Do not leave anything in doubt, they should answer almost everything that you are asking.

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