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Re: Assessing Perl skill level in job interviews

by le (Friar)
on Aug 15, 2000 at 21:13 UTC ( #27960=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Assessing Perl skill level in job interviews

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(Ovid) RE(2): Assessing Perl skill level in job interviews
by Ovid (Cardinal) on Aug 15, 2000 at 21:42 UTC
    le, I disagree. Why should I trust your Perl just because a previous employer is happy? If you own a gun and haven't shot yourself in the foot, it doesn't mean I should trust you with my gun.

    Elizabeth Castro wrote "Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web". She clearly has Perl experience. Further, some of her previous employers may be happy with the work she has done (if they haven't been hacked yet). However, her actual Perl appears to be pitiful. It's poorly written and has tons of security holes. The same thing can be said of Matt from Matt's Script Archives. Having Perl experience and having good references (can't we all get good references if we list the right names?) doesn't mean we know Perl well enough to be trusted.

    If an applicant simply walked out on me, I would rush over to hold the door for them. That says to me one of two things: bad attitude or bad programmer. I've hired too many people to simply trust them and their references to tell me the truth. I need to know for myself.

    Cheers,
    Ovid

      Elizabeth Castro wrote "Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web". She clearly has Perl experience.
      ...
      However, her actual Perl appears to be pitiful.

      Is this really necessary? I'll keep this in point form so it doesn't turn into a flame:

      1. There is a second edition out that most likely fixes 90+% of your complaints. Insulting an older edition of an author's book is like me making fun of a report you did in grade 2.
      2. The original book is accessible. It's an inexpensive, short, easy to read introduction to Perl. Insult its quality all you like, it got many people (including myself) interested in Perl. In my opinion that's far more important than explaining things like strict, warnings, and all the other frequent regurgitated complaints around here.
      3. As for security, you're looking in the wrong places. If someone who has only read a visual quickstart guide is placing code online for any type of serious organization, their problems already runs far deeper. Do not concern yourself with locking doors when you have no walls.

      I should also point out that your criticism of Matt Wright is also somewhat invalidated. He recently changed his site to support the NMS project and provide a secure alternative to his scripts. Perhaps you need to find some new scapegoats?

      If an applicant simply walked out on me, I would rush over to hold the door for them. That says to me one of two things: bad attitude or bad programmer.

      How about if they flat-out told you that based on your questions they weren't interested in working for your company? An interview is just as much about the employee judging the employer as it is vice versa.

      Ha! I just read this entire thread thinking it was recently posted (due to a reply showing up in newest nodes), then looked at the last comment's date. Please feel free to ignore my reply :)

        Regardless of whether or not your reply was timely, there's still a point one can take issue with: my tone was awful. While I certainly had problems with Castro's first book or Wright's scripts, I didn't need to say it in such a rude manner.

        Cheers,
        Ovid

        New address of my CGI Course.

RE: Re: Assessing Perl skill level in job interviews
by KM (Priest) on Aug 15, 2000 at 21:45 UTC
    I disagree here. Not only have I done technical interviews, but recently had a few (since I am moving I had a few interviews). I expect that people will ask a few questions (basic to advanced) on Perl to help guage skill level. You would be surprised at how many people have programmed Perl for a few years and don't know what CPAN is, or the difference between chop and chomp, or about ties, or anything you may expect them to know. At an interview 2 weeks ago (which I got an offer from, yay me!) one of the guys read an unpublished article I did on ties and he said 'Just to make sure you really wrote it, explain how you would write a package to tie to a database'. I was happy he did since I know the interviewer is doing their homework on me.

    Something I like to do when interviewing is take a recent or current problem being worked on and ask them how they would solve it. This way you can see how someones mind works, as well as their technical ability since they may mention various modules or techniques in the process which will demonstrate their clue level.

    So, to make a short comment long... I think asking strategic and pointed questions about Perl is a Good Thing when interviewing. If the interviewee is offended by it and leaves, then they were simply not a fit.

    Cheers,
    KM

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