• Harris (github)


    I feel dirty for doing that.....

    Addendum 2017-04-13 06:42: This is an all too common issue.

    The issue goes the other way too. Veterans in the industry will profess having skills they don't have. When you interview them, and you cover skills, they may lean on their skills they do have to cover the ones missing. Usually, you can spot this, but in some rare cases, they are experts in misdirection as well.

    I'm actually dealing with this right now. I'm trying to give this person every benefit of the doubt, but it's not looking good.

  • ikke (unregistered)

    First (posted 10 years ago)

  • Bitter Like Quinine (unregistered)

    I recently saw a job advertised as requiring "10+ years of experience with Oracle 12c". Well it certainly feels like 10+ years, perhaps I should apply?

  • poniponiponi (unregistered)

    Clearly the real skill the applicants are missing here is being able to lie about their experience.

  • TheCPUWizard (unregistered)

    You all missed the obvious, the "10" years of experience is binary, not decimal....

  • my name is missing (unregistered)

    In the early 2000's I was looking for a job and saw one requiring 10 years of Java and 10 years of C#. Perhaps it was for a time machine company.

  • Bert (unregistered)

    It should not be too difficult to demonstrate to a sufficiently technical interviewer that the "latest" technologies are 90% similar to at least a dozen non-latest technologies (some of which are on your curriculum vitae), and the remaining 10% is superficial changes like syntax and API design choices. It's the 90% that you get to learn with experience; the rest can be picked up on the job.

    If you can't convince them, you probably didn't do enough research for the interview (or are pretending to have skills you do not possess). If that's not the problem, then you should probably just thank them for their time.

  • Dave Aronson (google)

    Could even have been the same headhunter again.

  • Paul M (unregistered)

    I've had an agency tell me I was turned down for a job because I was overqualified, when my skills matched all their necessary skills and most of the desirable ones... however, on asking a few questions, it seemed that they wanted someone willing to work for a much lower salary and were just hoping to get lucky to find someone desperate.

  • chreng (unregistered) in reply to Bert

    <irony class="superironic">Thank you for your excellent advice</irony>

  • Omego2K (unregistered) in reply to Bert

    Well nobody was able to do that for several months after according to the article. Also do you really want to work with technical people with that line of thinking?

  • sleepynocoffee (unregistered) in reply to Omego2K

    I think that was Bert's point with "If that's not the problem, then you should probably just thank them for their time." If no one was able to convince the technical interviewer that, and the technical interview is the senior engineer, well.....

  • Albert den Haan (unregistered)

    For the folks who were born too late or don't read as much as you should: "All you zombies" is a classic short story by Robert A. Heinlein that works over the some paradoxes of time travel

  • Jonathan (unregistered)

    The fact they ask these questions probably means you don't want to work there, but surely a good interview response could be: "I have been using said technology practically since it was released, you would be hard pressed to find anyone with more experience."

    The other thing a lot of people don't realise about interviews is that the interviewee is also assessing if they want to work there. They could flip the question around and say something along the lines of: Are you sure you have that requirement right, as technology X has only existed for 3 years, it would be like me requiring that you have 5 years driving experience for a car model that only came out last year, so are you sure about what you are asking?

  • Bert (unregistered) in reply to chreng

    That would be sarcasm, not irony. Did you have anything relevant to add, or was that just your way of saying, "I like writing pseudo-HTML"?

  • kitikounel (unregistered) in reply to Bitter Like Quinine

    Do you what base they are using ? As a programmer you should be aware they used binary numbers... ;-)

  • Bitter Like Quinine (unregistered) in reply to kitikounel

    Given this is Oracle perhaps they meant 10+'', which is 10+null, which is null.

    So they were really after complete novices .

  • Bill (unregistered) in reply to Albert den Haan

    And the movie Predestination is based on the short story All You Zombies.

  • Craig Wagner (google) in reply to Bert

    It's not my job as a candidate to tell them they're being stupid. I smile politely, thank them for their time, and thank whatever deity I believe in that I didn't get the job.

  • anon (unregistered)

    So Teddy is his own mother and father?

  • Bert (unregistered) in reply to Craig Wagner

    Right, but that might be "part of the test" to see whether you actually know what you say you know. My first paragraph covers that, and your comment re-iterates my last sentence.

  • Russell Judge (google) in reply to Albert den Haan

    And I thought it was referring to the song by The Hooters...

  • eric bloedow (unregistered) in reply to Paul M

    i remember a similar story: they wanted someone VERY skilled willing to work for a VERY low wage...and didn't understand why no one would accept their "generous" offer...

  • (nodebb) in reply to Russell Judge

    Oh, good, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought first of that.

  • Carter Page (unregistered) in reply to Albert den Haan

    Great story; props to TDWTF for the reference.

  • CrazyEyes (unregistered) in reply to Bert

    Personally I don't take kindly to that kind of "testing," which is reliant on the interviewee not knowing what the true purpose of the interviewer's question was -- or perhaps reliant on them "understanding the game" and playing along. If their management was incompetent or lazy enough not to understand that they're asking for something which doesn't exist, I'd feel bad for helping them by pointing out that their requirement doesn't work. If their job description becomes relevant enough, a poor young developer might actually get suckered into working for them.

  • SecondDigitOfPi (unregistered)

    A true professional can garner much more than 1 year's experience in a single calendar year.

    Think about it. You're working on a project with a JavaScript front end, a Java webservice and an SQL Server database. So that's JavaScript, Java and SQL Server. The project takes 3 years. You now have 3 years experience in JavaScript, Java and SQL Server, or 9 years experience in total. Now imagine instead of using those three technologies you had chosen to specialize in just a single one. If you're put the same effort into using that one technology as you did into the three I described above, you would have accumulated 9 years experience in just 3 calendar years.

    Anyone not willing to do this is just lazy.

  •  ¬ (unregistered)

    Interviewing is difficult. The end.

  • Herby (unregistered)

    This talk of N years of experience in a technology that has existed for N-3 years.

    I believe that this is similar to waiting 10 months for pre-natal care.

    Good luck with either one of these.

  • PTO (unregistered)

    Sometimes it's due to a HR policy saying that NN years experience are required to work on a system, often the more senior the role the longer the experience required.

  • Decius (unregistered)

    It's simple. You practice the new tech in your free time, getting 1 year per year experience in your free time. You practice it as a hobby, getting 1 year per year experience as a hobby. You are generally aware of its existence, getting 1 year per year of experience with being aware of its general existence. And the if you are a professional you have n years of experience as a professional. You also have m years of experience as a senior project lead.

    Thus if you try a new language that you are aware of as a hobby in your spare time, after a year you have 11 years of experience with the language, or n+11+m years professional, with that language and a senior project lead.

  • hm (unregistered) in reply to SecondDigitOfPi

    That's an interesting math process, I don't suppose you happen to conduct interviews?

  • Geek (unregistered) in reply to anon

    I think that wasn't the same story.


    It's been a while since I read Time Enough For Love, but I think he was only his own grandfather. I think it's yet another story (possibly by another author) where the person helping the central character has a caesarean scar (that one was somewhat confusing!).

  • (nodebb) in reply to Geek

    The Unreliable Source indicates that All You Zombies is indeed the one about someone who is his(1) own mother and father.

    (1) I use this word with some reluctance. Read about the story and you'll see why.

  • Scarpino (unregistered)

    I do interviews for senior development positions. I wish there were people out there applying for job titles with the word "Senior" who had paid attention in school. I have had people wash out of interviews on "write a method to return the smallest of three integers". I have had people with allegedly a decade of Java experience fail to be able to extract a value from a Map<K, V>. One memorable person wanted to ITERATE OVER EVERY ELEMENT of a map of arbitrary size.

    I said, "But...you have the key." "

    Yes," he said, "so I would iterate through every element to find the key, and then take the value."

    "Isn't there a simpler way to just...get...the value, if you have the key?"


    "But...the map is of arbitrary size."

    "What does that mean?"

    "It means," I said, "that you could be dealing with a very large amount of data."

    "Then the performance might not be so good."

    How right he was.

  • jgh (unregistered) in reply to Paul M

    "it seemed that they wanted someone willing to work for a much lower salary and were just hoping to get lucky to find someone desperate."

    But you applied for the job, so you are explicitly declaring that you are prepared to work for the advertised salary. How stupid can recruiters be? "By applying for this job he's proved he doesn't want this job"???

  • markm (unregistered) in reply to Geek

    In "Time Enough for Love", Lazarus Long (AKA Woodrow Wilson Smith) does travel back in time and have sex with his mother, but it's after he is born. In fact, they have a bit of trouble making sure that young Woodie doesn't catch on. No paradoxes there.

    The Heinlein story that's ALL time travel paradoxes (plus a sex change) is his short story "All You Zombies". The senior time agent is a real self-made man, his own mother and father. (I suspect that's grossly against the regulations, but because he was there, he knew he/she wasn't going to get caught.) At then end of the story, he muses, "I know where I came from, but where did all you zombies come from?"

    Heinlein most clearly stated his philosopy about time travel paradoxes in another novel, "A Door into Summer": the universe does not allow true paradoxes (where two timelines are incompatible). It's a secular version of the theological doctrine that God exists outside of time, and so knows everything that is happening, has happened, or will happen - but to God, it's all happening now. T

  • Ex-lurker (unregistered) in reply to jgh

    I don't know how things are where you live, but in my country and geographic region job listings never mention the salary. In fact, as far as I have seen the HR drone will lead you on for what seems like forever asking tech questions she doesn't really understand but has prepared to hear a specific answer to, until you finally pass and it comes time to discuss employment conditions.

    That's when she finally finds it adequate to mention that whoever accepts the job will be paid in peanuts. Stale peanuts, and not a whole handful.

  • eric bloedow (unregistered)

    i've read lots of stories where someone want ten years of experience with something less than ten years old... i've also seen a few stories where they wanted someone with lots of experience in multiple technologies also willing to work for peanuts...and don't understand why nobody wants that job...

  • Greg (unregistered)

    Someone with 20 years experience in developing apps for iPhone and Andorid would be great. Yeah that would be great.

  • Claude (unregistered)

    Remind me of when I saw an post for a windows 2000 Server specialist with 'production' experience while it was still in beta! Being a professional, I would FIRE anyone that install beta product on production/mission critical environment!

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