Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I am currently going through an interviewing spree, which is both exhilarating and exhausting. We have established a pretty nice routine with my colleague Josh: he asks smart questions and I ask stupid ones with my outrageous accent.

I think I should share some tips that could be interesting to anyone planning to go through Java jobs interviews:
  • Java 5 is not new anymore. Maybe the Fortune 500 company you have been working for is still on JDK 1.4 (or before) but please do not call Java 5 "new". In case you do not know it, it is already in its end of life transition period.
  • Do not oversell you. If you grant yourself 9.5/10 on Java knowledge or title yourself Senior Something, expect advanced questions on threading, concurrency or the JVM memory model. If you have not read Effective Java or Java Concurrency In Practice, either postpone the interview or consider refactoring your displayed proficiency level.
  • No CS but no BS. We are not Google, so we will not question you on Java Data Structures and Algorithms. This said, we expect you to know the core collections and what they are good for, even roughly. Even if software engineering is closer to plumbing than computer science, this kind of basic knowledge is necessary.
  • Out of your past box. If you have been consulting for a large corporate, you have certainly been exposed to the home-grown Mother Of All Frameworks. That is great but we do not really care because, even if you have use the Mother Of All Frameworks for eight years, it is disposable knowledge. Do not refer to it as an answer to the question we ask.
  • Idle the IDE. It is great that you have been using this particular plug-in of this particular IDE but an IDE is a tool and there are many of them. Never ever give the impression that your IDE has been driving your development activity. It sure supports it, like with refactoring aids, but your first answer should not be "with this plug-in...".
I might update this post in the future after going through some more interviews.

Oh, YAJIHP? Yet Another Java Interview Hints Post.