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RE: JAVA Developer

From: <>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2007 12:49:29 -0500
Message-ID: <>

Luckily for me, I am not doing the hiring, nor the real interviews. I have been invited if I desire to question the candidate with respect to the database. I appreciate all the good advice everyone has given me, and I will definitely use a lot of it.  

First I will speak with the actual interviewer to be on the same page, which is the main goal before appearing in the same room with the candidate. One thing I have learned already is that he like tools like Hibernate which he believes renders actual coding (PL/SQL) less relevant. However, a caveat here is there is somewhat of a language barrier, and he also agrees that the best place for SQL is in the database.  

So...I'm going one step at a time, and just want someone who agrees with the main points presented here which boils down to, are you easy to get along with and learn, can you code PL/SQL. We don't expect him to be doing the modeling. With those skills and attributes we should be able to get good delelopment efforts. It is a senior java development position.  

Joel Patterson
Database Administrator
904 727-2546

From: Niall Litchfield [] Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2007 9:53 AM
To: Patterson, Joel
Subject: Re: JAVA Developer  

I see you've had the odd reply already..

I like to do a "technical test" and some interview questions... The technical test would cover examples of (for a java guy)

  1. connection pooling
  2. statement preparation and execution
  3. inheritance
  4. bind variable/string substitution.

and probably I'd steal some of the other good ideas as well.

Interview questions I might ask a Java guy.

  1. Could you describe the so called Object-Relational Impedance mismatch and discuss some of the problems it presents for database driven development.
  2. How might you decide between solving a problem at the client/in the mid-tier and in the database? What factors might influence your choice of language and solution.
  3. What advantages and disadvantages typically arise from following a waterfall development cycle as compared with an agile development environment?

In principle then the technical test describes their technical competence or otherwise - I've tended not to allow reference books, and accept typos/bad syntax so long as it was clear that they were familiar with what they were doing even if the exact syntax escaped them (I always put the docs on my machines because I can never ever recall correct syntax first time around. ever). The interview process is designed to guage how the candidate thinks about problems, if they are aware of broader issues outside of their specialism and so on. I'd probably always use this sort of approach even at lower skill levels, though I might modify some of the questions.

One of my previous colleagues always used to throw in a question like "if you were an animal what animal would you be?" to see how they dealt with sudden unreasonable and irrelevant questions. This is a mean, mean thing to do and requires great chutzpa on the part of the interviewer. In environments where you are subject to sudden unreasonable demands though it might be appropriate.

On 1/8/07, < > wrote:

We are getting ready to hire a JAVA Developer, and I was asked if I wanted to ask some questions relating to the database.... or to see if we get along.  

Connection pooling comes to mind, not imbedding code that would become a cpu issue, etc.  

Not having much experience with Java, do anyone have questions I could entertain? Some of you may have had such an experience already, and could pass on a couple questions you wish you had asked, or would ask next time.  

Joel Patterson
Database Administrator
904 727-2546

Niall Litchfield
Oracle DBA 

Received on Tue Jan 09 2007 - 11:49:29 CST

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