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Interview question doubt

 
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Damon McNeill wrote: Is there really that many charlatans posing as Java developers who cannot see these problems?



From the feedback I have gotten from interviewers, the short answer is "yes".
I've had to do code screens with my camera on and no headphones and no separate browser tabs because there are tons of people who actually try to get their cousin or school friend to do tech screenings for them.
I've later realized that people who made up some fake stories about how their dumb cousin needed help with their Java or C++ homework had actually been tricking me into helping them with take-home programming tests for jobs.  They wound up getting the job, so there is that consolation prize.
The fact is there is a LOT to know about Java and its surrounding eco-systems.
From questions I've seen here, presentations I've watched made by people who had been using primarily Java for years, etc. there are tons of people who are getting paid to code that are surprisingly weak on some fairly basic Java stuff.  A lot of those things have been groused about by myself and others on these forums recently.  Many of them know a lot of framework stuff that I've never touched yet, and I appreciate that.

I've had recruiters and some interviewers tell me that positions I was interested in were staying open for a long time primarily because they were having great trouble finding candidates that really knew basic Java well enough.  Their resumes looked great, they sounded confident when asked if they knew it well, and just did not pan out on tech interviews.  I asked did that mean they would have immediately hired me if I had passed the 819, she said "Yes, the people we wasted our time on would never have passed that"...anyway, the short answer is yes.

I almost forgot to say, that maybe it isn't their faults entirely because management pushes people to rush and gives them half the time they think they need to complete stuff, but I've seen some incredibly bad code that just looked obviously wrong to me just casually looking at it, in production systems that had plenty of $$$ value flowing through them and that customers were spending a lot of money on.  One example, complex tests using || that so obviously meant && and vice versa, another <= in places that obviously should have been >= and vice versa.

So yeah, the short answer is unfortunately "Yes".  Or fortunately, depending on your perspective, so just shorten it to "Yeah, there are."
 
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One example, complex tests using || that so obviously meant && and vice versa, another <= in places that obviously should have been >= and vice versa.



Yeah those are the types of errors that are typically encountered IME. Simple errors (akin to typos) once you give some time to think about the logic. Like a bad conversion factor from seconds to milliseconds in a delay/sleep argument that causes tests to run 1000 times as long, lol. Of course that is forgivable if it really is just a typo vs. I don't really know how to convert seconds into milliseconds, understand boolean logic, etc.

I guess this one just weeds out the bottom grass?
 
Jesse Silverman
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Damon McNeill wrote:
I guess this one just weeds out the bottom grass?



Possible alternative scenario.
Some people are great with coming up with...stuff.
They have great forward momentum.
They love coming up with general ideas, but don't get little details right, and don't like spending hours coming up with all the tests.

Other people can never code that fast, but they tend to get every detail right.

It is one possible use case for Pair Programming.

Early in my career, I worked with one lady who could code like three times as fast as me.

But without me, she would get stuck.  Badly stuck.  And very frustrated.

By myself I coded great, but much slower.

When we worked together, we had her speed and my accuracy.

We were more than twice as productive as either of us on our own.

And were far less prone to burn-out or feeling stuck.

After about a year, we got a new manager, who for some unknown and insane reason pushed her out, and broke us up.

I never really forgave him...

She went someplace else, and made much more money.

I soldiered on.

But again, the two of us, as a pair, were more than twice as productive as either of us on our own.

Putting two similar people into Pair Programming makes no sense to me, it would be like making a party in a Role Playing Game with four clerics, or wizards, or fighters or thieves.

Programming skill isn't a Scalar.  Some small numbers of people are just great at everything or bad at everything.

But some are great at some parts and less great at others.

They make good Complementary Pairs.

Or, what you said.  That can also be true.
 
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