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Discussion on: Let's face it, we have a broken technical interview process in our industry

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deepu105 profile image
Deepu K Sasidharan Author

Thanks for the response. No offense but I call bullshit on some of these (for the lack of a better expression I could think of)

we have to be able to verify your skills!

There are multiple different ways to verify someone's skills. Some I could think of right now

  • Give them a small take home and ask to explain the approach and if you find issues in implementation discuss about that. It will tell you if the person did it or not (I guess you mention this above so I assume you agree).
  • See if the person has a GitHub account, most people do these days, look at what they have done.
  • Have a one on one discussion about the skills they say they have, talk about technology, architecture and so on, look for the ability to learn
  • Have a field day with them at the office, show them what you do, ask for their opinion. Have honest discussions

I agree there might be some people who can't code but they will be very easy to catch once you have a discussion with them. You don't have to put everyone through unnecessary stress or some bad actors

I agree with the take-home stuff but not with live coding. Even if live coding is built on top of take-home it still induces performance anxiety and you can't expect every interviewer to understand and evaluate accordingly. So this is not realistic or fair IMO

I'm talking about performance anxiety and imposter syndrome, the real-life high-pressure situations are quite different. any decent developer will be able to handle that. I have experienced such situations many times in my career (I once accidentally deleted a production DB on the night of a critical cutover for a huge airline, so imagine the pressure to restore and go live before morning) and was able to do my job quite well but I still suffer from performance anxiety. I also know a lot of developers with performance anxiety who have never broken down during a high-pressure work situation. So high-pressure != performance anxiety and I really don't believe you need to evaluate for that unless you are doing rocket launch and stuff like that maybe

I get your POV though, you are saying that even when you do live coding and such you are aware of the issue and you take them into consideration, but my experience is that not everyone does that. But still why put someone through that pressure. It's quite emotionally and psychologically nerve-wracking. The person applying for the job might already be having many issues (Jobless, desperate, family issues, money issues, and so on) why add more stress to that?

It's possible that your didn't encounter people who struggled or many of them did struggle but got through it without showing it (which also happens a lot) especially if the problem given was easier and the interviewer was very friendly but that doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist. Look at the research paper I linked chrisparnin.me/pdf/stress_FSE_20.pdf

I disagree with your last point about unvetted team, you are assuming live coding is the only way to evaluate. I have had 3 jobs in a decade and all three didn't involve any live coding and these were amazing teams I worked with and you can find 1000s of similar testimony. I have interviewed for some amazing companies with no live coding involved in the process, one of them was my dream team but unfortunately, I didn't make it

Again thank you for sharing your POV

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codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

Well, we will definitely never agree on this point. You didn't "call B.S." on anything validly, but I understand your views are based on your personal experience.

Just please recognize that, as you (from what you've said) have little to no experience managing or hiring for a team, your ideas are based largely on conjecture and largely unevaluated theories. I'm speaking out of having done this for many years.

Just please be aware of where your expertise stops; it is all too easy to misguide young developers into making career-devastating decisions.

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deepu105 profile image
Deepu K Sasidharan Author

Yes lets agree to disagree. And I'm not expecting everyone to agree anyway. Btw I never said that I haven't done hiring or managed teams. I have done both. I was part of the company wide hiring team in 2 out of 3 companies I worked for and in a decade of being in IT I have been a project manager and team lead on multiple occasions so I'm not talking without experience here.

And I believe I'm not misguiding young developers here, I'm specifically asking people who have a say to speak up and others to honestly tell the interviews how they feel. We need to be more realistic and straightforward in this Industry. You are entitled to your opinion the same way I'm entitled to mine so lets stop accusing each other of anything. Cheers