• Nick Gammon

    Unfortunately, we'll reject most software developer job applications.

    Tue 27 Mar 2012

    Recruiters get paid when they put someone into a job. We WANT to get you a job, so we get paid. We don't want to reject your job application. In an ideal world, we would get a job for EVERYONE who applied. Hundreds and hundreds of people apply for jobs, so if we got a job for everyone who applied, we'd buy yachts and islands, trips on spaceships and ponies for our children.

    Unfortunately we reject the vast majority of developers who apply for a job within minutes of speaking to them on the phone. The reason is that most software developers can't give accurate, clear and concise answers to fundamental questions about object oriented programming.

    Here are the first few questions we ask, and we estimate maybe only 1 in 200 software developer job applicants can give accurate, clear and concise answers to all these questions:

    1: Explain public.
    2: Explain private.
    3: Explain protected.
    4: What is an abstract class?
    5: What is an interface?

    Most software developers can fumble out some sort of passably adequate answer to at least two of these questions. Very, very few can give accurate, clear and concise answers to all five questions. Virtually all employers we work with REQUIRE this knowledge as an absolute baseline. It's a start point, just the beginning. Knowing the answers to these questions doesn't get you a job, it earns you the right to be asked more interview questions. As a programmer, this is the barest minimum of knowledge that you must have about object oriented programming. Few have it.

    Is it coaching to reveal what we are looking for? No, because we'll find out if you're faking your knowledge of object oriented programming. It's an ongoing mystery why so few developers actually know this stuff. What we're really looking for is not people with the barest basics, but people who have deep, expert knowledge of object oriented programming, as well as expert knowledge of development tools - perhaps that's too much to ask?

    So if you have applied for a developer job, and you can't give accurate, clear and concise answers to the above questions, we'll reject your application. It's not personal, and we don't want anyone to feel personally judged or inadequate, it's just that employers want people who have these basics down. Most programmers looking for work don't.


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