American vision

Am I a mediocre software engineer? (see details)

Answer on @Quora by Eddie Offermann to Am I a mediocre software engineer? (see details)

Answer by Eddie Offermann:

If I received those questions, even modified to suit a language I code in a great deal (I do very little C#), I'd probably look blankly at them for a moment and excuse myself from the interview, knowing they were looking for a different person because if they were looking for *me* they'd be asking a different set of questions. I wouldn't ask these sorts of questions in an interview – they tell me almost nothing about what your actual abilities are as a software engineer. It's as if you were being hired as a copywriter and the interviewer started asking you about pluperfect tense verbs and relative clauses. It tells me if you know the language and the terms used to describe it, but little about how you'd actually write. A different interviewer would quite possibly see you very differently with a different set of questions.

What I'm saying is – you may or may not be a good software engineer. You obviously aren't conversational about some straightforward C# structures and terminology – but I don't even find that to be unusual. A lot of us can't talk for crap and it has little or nothing to do with our ability as engineers. This company, however, may really need you to be quite verbal and very conversationally familiar about technical aspects of C# and OOP in general, irrespective of your ability when you're actually writing.

Now, if you've genuinely done very little, you may not meet their expectations for this job – and with only two years of experience, you probably *are* mediocre. I think I'm great but at this point I'd better be – I've probably been programming since before you were born, as have many of the people you'll end up working alongside if you haven't already. When I'd been doing this for two years, I'm pretty sure I sucked.

If they're looking for someone with a lot more experience, there's nothing you can do but to keep working elsewhere. You had a bad interview. Learn from it, keep working, keep coding, keep getting better, and you'll have better interviews.

Am I a mediocre software engineer? (see details)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s