You're special, reader. You're probably a developer and since you read this site you probably care about writing code that won't ultimately wind up being featured here. And you're hard for employers to find because you're probably employed and not looking for a job.
Now that I find myself the interviewer rather than the interviewee, it's really clear that good developers are hard to find. Even harder when you're a small company sitting under the shadow of big huge corporations that swallow up all the local developer talent. Such was the situation Brent R. found himself in.
Brent didn't have any hiring authority, though. As the only developer at the company, he was the only one that could separate the C-pound experts from the real developers. Still, it was hard to get anyone's attention due to the company's size. With the help of a headhunter, though, they got two promising leads. Both had good .NET framework experience, years of C# work under their belts, and solid SQL Server experience.
Brent wanted to talk to both candidates on the phone first to assess their competence levels prior to a face-to-face interview. First they called Alvin (as we'll call him). The one qualification that Alvin had over the other candidate is that his resume was longer. Not in terms of him working in the field longer, but in terms of it being six freaking pages. Sure, you might be laughing, but do you have a six page resume? No? I didn't think so! Alvin: 1, WTF community: 0.
Brent and the hiring manager (who we'll call Cynthia) thought it was a little weird that Alvin's resume was so long, but they still proceeded to call him for a brief technical assessment. Dialing the number on Alvin's resume, they were greeted with *beep boop BOOP* if you'd like to make a call, please hang up and try ag-. So, at the advice of the friendly robot lady, they hung up and tried again. Still no luck. After getting another number from the recruiter, they called and finally got a hold of Alvin.
Brent and Cynthia took turns explaining various facets of the position. "It's mostly code maintenance," Cynthia explained. "Primarily, you'll be maintaining an internal applicati-"
"Uhh, hang on a minute," interrupted Alvin. Brent and Cynthia traded surprised looks. They heard Alvin double click his mouse over the phone, which was followed by total silence. For several minutes.
*click* "OK, go ahead with whatever you were saying" said Alvin.
Brent and Cynthia finished their spiel about the company, then Brent took over for the technical portion of the interview. Brent opened with a softball; "Could you tell me the difference between a static and non-static class?"
"Yeah, hang on." The conversation stopped again, but this time there was a lot more clicking and typing.
Do you think he's looking it up? Brent mouthed to Cynthia.
"OK, you ready?" asked Alvin. Before Brent could respond, Alvin started his explanation: "Static classes don't have to be instant..." Alvin paused. "Instanted." He paused again. "Instantiated."
Somehow, Brent wasn't impressed with the answer, nor could he shake the feeling that this phone call was the first time Alvin had ever heard the word "instantiated." Anyway, Brent went on to ask more questions, and the answers kept getting more and more ridiculous. Finally, Brent asked Alvin to "explain the difference between managed and unmanaged code as it relates to the .NET Framework."
"Uhh, managed code is like where you work on it with a group. You have someone managing it."
A smile cracked in the corner of Cynthia's mouth, and moments later she was trying to stifle uproarious laughter, and barely succeeding. Trying to keep from laughing, Brent asked "...and unmanaged code is?"
"Unmanaged code is code you work on by yourself with no supervision."
Brent's finger came down on the mute button right as he erupted into hysterical laughter, and once his breathing and cadence returned to normal, he thanked Alvin for his time and said they'd be in touch.
I'm sure Brent regrets the missed opportunity to ask about inheritance, learning that it's not about classes sharing properties and methods, but rather a developer having a child that grows up to be a developer.