Yet another interview wtf



  • I interviewed for this position where the headhunter told me that they were being VERY picky. I met with 3 peer developers, the boss and his boss. We all hit it off. Then it was time to meet the peer-nerd from another team.

    Him: Tell me about stuff you've done with Struts (Struts was not a skill requirement
    for the job)
    Me: I haven't worked with Struts
    Him: Discuss how Struts implements transactions
    Me: (uh oh) As I said, I haven't worked with Struts; I'd rather not make wild guesses
    Him: Ok, you have this system: web server outside firewall, firewall, app server inside
    firewall, database. Twice a day it's slow for 2 minutes. You can not touch any
    component of the system. You know nothing about any part of the system (all
    black-boxes). Diagnose what's wrong
    Me: Find which host(s) in the system is/are experiencing the delay
    Him: They are all running fine
    Me: Are there any big backup/ftp/transfers/cron-jobs going on during the slowdown?
    Him: No
    Me: Are any other processes on the same boxes interacting/affecting...
    Him: No
    Me: Get on the system when it happens and see what's going on
    Him: Can't be done
    Me: Check logs to see which part of the system is experiencing the delay, ...
    Him: The logs only indicate that transactions are being delayed, but don't indicate why
    Me: Based upon the log statements, look at the code between the statement that first
    shows slowness and the statement where things pick up again. Then see how that
    relates to anything else that's going on
    Him: You don't have access to the code
    Me: Since it's a black box, I have no way of knowing; call tech support
    Him: You are tech support
    Me: Then I should have access to it, and more than zero information about what the system does
    Him: So you don't know what is specifically wrong and how to fix it?
    Me: Not without more information. Will I be working with The Great Carnac?

    More than this idiot, I wouldn't want to work with managers who would have this guy doing interviewing...

    </rant>



  • The ideal candidate should have following skills:

    - Excellent programming skills in: Java, C++, Ruby,
      Erlang, Lisp, Prolog, Fortran, Ruby, C#, D, Smalltalk
    - Excellent customer interface and requirements 
      gathering skills including being able to predict user
      requirements without input from the customer
    - Be able to diagnose, repair and prevent any problems 
      without having any information about the system
    - Exceptional enthusiasm for programming with high logic
      and team spirit and always willing to do what he is told 
    - Great resistance to stress and willingness to work 
      indefinte amounts of overtime in a cold dark corner without
      food or water
    


  •  Heh, it almost sounds to me like this was a real problem they were having and they were trying to use interviewees as unpaid tech support.



  •  

    Him: You are tech support



  • @Vechni said:

    Him: You are tech support
     

    So I would escalate to second level support? :-)



  • A janitor comes twice a day and unplugs the firewall to free an outlet for the vacuum cleaner. Was obvious to me once I read the problem description.



  • @Vechni said:

     

    Him: You are tech support


    And then BigBrother-69 was tech support.



  • @Spectre said:

    A janitor comes twice a day and unplugs the firewall to free an outlet for the vacuum cleaner. Was obvious to me once I read the problem description.
     

    No you moron, you are a complete loser. It wasn't the janitor. We don't have a janitor. It was a cleaning person from another company. Jeez, I can see why you would fail. You people have no clue!



  • @Vechni said:

     

    Him: You are tech support

     

    You are, Number Six.



  • @mrprogguy said:

    @Vechni said:

     

    Him: You are tech support

    You are, Number Six.

     

    You are the brute squad!



  •  I am not a number, I am a free man!



  •  I would have asked some questions about what time of day the slowness occurs.  My guess is AM/PM shifts.  Change the clock to 24 hour mode if possible.



  • It's obvious the Struts system is having a problem implementing transactions.



  • @sootzoo said:

    @mrprogguy said:

    @Vechni said:

     

    Him: You are tech support

    You are, Number Six.

     

    You are the brute squad!

     

    I am Spartacus!



  • @TehFreek said:

    @sootzoo said:

    @mrprogguy said:

    @Vechni said:

     

    Him: You are tech support

    You are, Number Six.

     

    You are the brute squad!

     

    I am Spartacus!

    I'm Brian and so is my wife.


  • @bjolling said:

    @TehFreek said:

    @sootzoo said:

    @mrprogguy said:

    @Vechni said:

     

    Him: You are tech support

    You are, Number Six.

     

    You are the brute squad!

     

    I am Spartacus!

    I'm Brian and so is my wife.

    No, I am Brianandsoismywifeacus!



  • @Evo said:

    I am not a number, I am a free man!
     

    I am not a number, I am a

    - decimal string

    - complex

    -object with an intValue() method

    ===

    More seriously, my response would have been along these lines:

    "Look. I can understand trying to understand and troubleshoot a system that is a bunch of interlocked black boxes. It's called your typical commercial unix system. You don't get the details of what's going on inside. Yet I will spend hours -- 5, 8, 10 hours a day, playing with it, finding out what makes it tick, determining what isn't documented. I take those black boxes that you get no access to the code on, and tear them apart and put them back together until I do know what's going on. But that takes time -- weeks, months. I've been doing this for 25 years on about a dozen different types and flavors of unix. I can handle your system -- if you give me the time to learn it. Now, can you give me the salary I need to make learning your black boxes worth it?"

     



  • @DaveK said:

    @bjolling said:

    @TehFreek said:

    @sootzoo said:

    @mrprogguy said:

    @Vechni said:

     

    Him: You are tech support

    You are, Number Six.

     

    You are the brute squad!

     

    I am Spartacus!

    I'm Brian and so is my wife.

    No, I am Brianandsoismywifeacus!

    But what I really wanted to be was a lumberjack.


  • @Spectre said:

    A janitor comes twice a day and unplugs the firewall to free an outlet for the vacuum cleaner. Was obvious to me once I read the problem description.

    More often than not when you unplug a black box, it stops working rather than just slowing down.  

    And - who carpets a machine room?



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

     I would have asked some questions about what time of day the slowness occurs.

    My thoughts exactly. I would think it's environmental, though... like people arriving/leaving, or shift changes, something like that. The vacuum cleaner idea isn't terrible.


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