What if companies interviewed translators the way they interview coders?
Jose Aguinaga

The Son of Senecca — your response to Gayle Laakmann McDowell was mostly on point but I wanted to call out one thing.

Someone asked you about your Maven experience because a very effective way to evaluate the depth of your experience is to evaluate your interactions and expertise with the entire environment that a developer encounters. However, I’ll also say this was not the most productive line of questioning. It would be far more useful for the interviewer to run this sort of script:

“What dependency-management solutions have you encountered?”

“Describe a situation where you had serious problems with that system and what you did to remedy them.”

And the reason for this is that it is inevitable for a senior Java (for example) dev to encounter these situations, and to be successful that Java developer must learn something about the inner workings of Maven, Gradle, Ant, Ivy, Apollo (if from Amazon), etc. If you cannot give a good answer here many interviewers will probably not evaluate you favorably as a senior dev.

But a skilled interviewer will not put their eggs just in this basket — when I conduct interviews, I scan for many indications of depth. I am usually not conducting lots of interviews unless we’re short-handed and desperate, so I’m looking for evidence to hire you — not evidence not to hire you.

And that’s where we run into the crux of the issue — most people drafted into interviewing situations are poor interviewers, they don’t know what they’re looking for, and to avoid legal trouble they standardize on poor interview techniques that have no basis in anything useful or equitable.

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