Job hunting, interview process and anything related to the experience of a job writing the Clojure language.
Aron 2021-04-17T07:46:45.037200Z

> No. I'm conveying my own opinions and experience, nothing more. I find this attitude troublesome. You could say anything and if anyone disagrees, just say 'well, this is my opinion, deal with it or ignore me'?

chrisulloa 2021-04-17T09:04:19.044400Z

I had a really strange interview experience this week. 5 hr technical interview, was told in advance they would focus on communication and collaboration. There were four 1hr long pair programming sessions. During each of the interviews, the interviewer was doing something distracting or bizarre. One person was constantly changing headphones, while I was talking. One person didn't introduce themselves and had a very loud notification buzz from email inbox that persisted during the interview. Another person was just ignoring me during the interview, looking at their phone. Another person was constantly typing quite loudly throughout the interview, distracted by other things. Looking back it's fairly obvious that they were simulating a bad pair programming partner and they were testing my communication skills. I did my best to reel the person in and keep them engaged and work through the problem, but I did feel really peeved throughout the interview that they were so rude and unprofessional. I checked out quite early and decided to chug through the interview as a learning experience. Has anyone else experienced an interview like this?

Dimitar Uzunov 2021-04-18T15:32:11.051300Z

hmm sounds to me like someone from management forced the guys to do pair programming for the recruitment process and they don’t really want to do it

raspasov 2021-04-18T21:21:38.051800Z

@christian.gonzalez How big of a company was that?

raspasov 2021-04-18T21:21:59.052Z

Are they using Clojure?

chrisulloa 2021-04-19T16:17:18.052400Z

Small company, and yes @raspasov

raspasov 2021-04-19T16:30:20.052600Z

Wow, ok. Now I’m really curious 🙂. I would have thought the combination small company + Clojure would be mostly immune from problems like that.


A lot of factors can play into team synergy, i caution against assuming a preferred programming paradigm implies other traits as well.

danielglauser 2021-04-21T17:35:51.083100Z

What an awful experience. I'm sorry to hear you were subjected to that. At least there isn't any ambiguity, you know that you don't want to work with them.

practicalli-john 2021-04-23T07:14:54.098300Z

I would have declined to even take part in 5 hours of interview. I did 5 interviews in one day in the past with a well known consulting company. I had 4 excellent interviews that also confirmed everything I had hoped the company valued. In the 5th interview I was horrified as to what the person was saying, they were acting against all the principles of the company. This was the person I would be working for. I was completely thrown and hardly had much of a discussion. My impression of that company plummeted and I walked away thinking I avoided a big mistake. I don't think I even consider they were doing it on purpose to see how I would react.

p-himik 2021-04-17T09:48:11.046300Z

I've never even heard about such a process before, but I think you made the right choice by moving on and thinking of it as a learning experience.

Jivago Alves 2021-04-17T19:02:09.047200Z

We do push back on some topics during the interview but only when it makes sense. This kind of simulation is unproductive in my opinion to say the least. If they were not simulating, then we can all agree it's a bad environment.

seancorfield 2021-04-17T19:15:35.047400Z

FWIW, I find myself agreeing with @ashnur here and I think @p-himik’s approach reflects a degree of privilege that isn’t available to a lot of people. We need to remember that as software engineers we already live quite a privileged life, compared to a lot of people, especially if software is anything close to a passion of ours. I have seen enough people struggle with trying to learn things on their own, while holding down a full-time job and juggling family responsibilities, to accept that some people literally do not have even half an hour a day to dedicate to additional learning — or even if they have an hour, they’re simply too exhausted by everything else that just need that hour just to relax and not have to “think”/work too much.

seancorfield 2021-04-17T19:18:19.047600Z

I consider myself extremely lucky and extremely privileged to have the career I have, at this point, and to have had the freedom to learn new tech multiple times throughout nearly 40 years as a professional software developer. Several of my early jobs that helped me gain a broad range of otherwise “specialist” knowledge came about in part or wholly because of “people I knew” and not just hard work on my part.

p-himik 2021-04-17T19:19:06.047800Z

I was specifically not talking about such people. I'll try to be more clear. Initially I wrote: "If you have a modicum of time [...]". "Having an hour while being too exhausted and having to use that hour for some rest" is not "having an hour". Free time is free - it's not the one where you have to rest.

seancorfield 2021-04-17T19:19:29.048Z

I’m also very lucky to be working somewhere that provides a lot of autonomy for staff to learn on company time and to experiment with things and, in my case, allows some amount of time each week for me to work on open source software.

seancorfield 2021-04-17T19:19:55.048200Z

@p-himik Right, and I understand that. I’m just trying to point out that “having time” is a luxury not available to a lot of people.

p-himik 2021-04-17T19:20:53.048400Z

Sure, I don't have anything against that notion!

seancorfield 2021-04-17T19:22:04.048600Z

For several years, I worked closely with a lot of ColdFusion devs (because I worked at Macromedia for six years and Adobe for a year) and many of them were self-taught back in the HTML days and so they had “just enough skill” to use CFML but they were often in situations where they didn’t have time — either at work or at home — to invest the time and effort necessary to learn more complex tech, that would enable them to move on to non-CFML jobs.

seancorfield 2021-04-17T19:23:54.048800Z

I initially would say “oh c’mon! you must have some time each week that you could learn new tech?” but I came to realize that a) many did not and b) many didn’t have the network of people to learn from. Many, being non-comp/sci folks, didn’t have the skills/background to pick up new tech without mentoring/training 😐

p-himik 2021-04-17T19:28:10.049Z

Yeah, it's definitely an unpleasant situation to be in, and I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all solution to it.

raspasov 2021-04-17T23:51:28.049300Z

@clementhamon I learned Clojure after mostly PHP experience, so it has been done. I have no comp-sci degree or anything related (went to a business school, of all things). But I’ve been building websites since I was 13 or so, a lot of various experiences, ranging from Flash animation (back in early ’00 days when it was still Macromedia), through HTML, basic design, etc etc. As with anything, when learning something new, an “I CAN DO THIS” attitude is essential. I can’t recall a situation where somebody has made significant progress in a reasonable amount of time without it. I would not quit a day job unless you’re comfortable financially or you’re OK with higher levels of risk. The latter is very subjective and varies much across people. You know your own tolerance and level of preparation, both financially and psychologically. Use proper judgement. In my personal opinion, most people skew towards WAY too little risk, but that can be a hard pill to swallow in the heat of the moment. You can make the time to learn while still having a job. Assuming you’re working standard 8 hour day, there’s weekends, nights, etc unless you have a lot of other commitments. If you have other commitments (family, etc), communicate clearly you’re doing this and you’ll be less available over those N-months. Those can be the hardest conversations to have, possibly even harder than the actual learning. Don’t expect to just receive buy-in. You need to earn it. Be respectful. Good luck!