Saturday, January 22, 2005

Office Interviews

Recently I started taking office interviews. I have paired with some 6-7 people on office interviews and its been on helluva experience. Each office interview has been an awesome learning experience. PeopleWise as well as Technically.

Recently Gabbar a.k.a Shreekanth (spl ?) and me were interviewing this guy and we were generally talking about JUnit and suddenly Gabbar asked this dude to write a JUnit framework. Brilliant.

JUnit has a simple concept, powerful but simple. At the same time most people never look or think what goes on behind the running of a JUnit test. Before this interview I had never looked at the code, so as this dude was thinking about it I was also kinda thinking how JUnit might have done things internally and it was a pretty interesting experience. The candidate was kind of stumped though :). But I felt this was a nice question to ask at interviews as you actually get some code out of the other person, you could evaluate how a person could think thru a new problem, a problem that he/she was familiar with so you don't have to waste your time explaining things. And at the same time its an interesting problem.

Recently we were taking a phone screen and we were talking about Strings and String Buffers. Suresh asked when would we conciously use Strings in our applications ? Consider we have a Financial Application which passes around the Account Number. Now if this is a String then we are assured of its immutability, hence we can prevent hackers from modifying the Account number and performing operations with the Application using the compromised account number. I hadent thought of this use of Immutable objects. :-) .. like I said Phone screens and Office interviews have been pretty interesting.

At a time when ThoughtWorks India is growing at the rate it is, I feel its imperative that we hire the best so that it can hopefully balance out the problems that sudden growth brings to a small company. Till a few days back I used to feel that we can get people who "will-get-there" and hope that they do, but I no longer subscribe to that. Let us grow, but with the best.


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