Interviewing Java developers with tears in my eyes

During the last week I had to interview five developers for a position that required the following skills: Flex, Java, Spring, and Hibernate. Most of these guys had demonstrated the 3 out of 10 level of Flex skills even though each of them claimed a practical experience on at least two projects. But this didn “t surprise me ndash; Flex is still pretty new and there is only a small number of developers on the market who can really get Flex things done.

What surprised me the most is a low level of Java skills of most of these people. They have 5-8 years of Java EE project behind their belts, but they were not Java developers. They were species that I can call Robot-Configurator. Each of them knew how to configure XML files for Spring, they knew how to hook up Spring and Hibernate and how to map a Java class to a database entity. Some of them even knew how to configure lazy loading in Hibernate even though not all understood why it “s needed.

Two out of five developers who claimed seniority in Java proved to have a mid-level understanding of this programming language. The other three really disappointed me. They didn “t even know the basics of Java hellip;One of them had no idea of what the interfaces are for. The other one was still killing a thread by calling a deprecated 10 years ago method stop(), the third guy had issues explaining the data flow of a standard Web application built with Servlets and JDBC.

Next time you “ll be interviewing a Java guru, ask him/her the following question, “There is an HTML form with a button Submit, a servlet and a relational database with the table Customers. The users enters a First and Last names of the customer, presses the button Submit, and you need to write the code that would return the detailed data about this customer. Explain IN DETAILS the entire data flow and the HTML/Java processing you “d need to perform. rdquo;

Do not forget to repeat that the candidate is not allowed to use neither Spring, nor Hibernate. You might be surprised…

I like Java, and it “s sad to see these herds of creatures who truly believe that they are Java developers. They aren “t

Update. This blog has been also published as an article in Java Developer ‘s Journal. It has ignited an interesting discussion:

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