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#1 PlaySkool  Icon User is offline

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I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 13 August 2011 - 01:40 PM

I've been having a hard time with this one...
I had an interview recently and everything was going great until they asked me the following question and then I completely blanked out. If you were asked the same question how would you answer?

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Please explain in detail, a projectís architecture that you have been a key contributor that had to deal with high volume/load, reusability, etc. Also explain how you handled scalability, design considerations, operational issues, exception handling/logging, version control and security.


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Replies To: I got stumped...(Interview question)

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 13 August 2011 - 01:54 PM

Well - If you've never done anything that resembles what they want, then that explains why you blanked out.

But I don't think you can apply my experience at doing these things and what I did to manage the project to your own experiences and how you managed a project.

They asked what YOU did in the past for this type of thing.

Are you sure you're not just looking for an answer from someone with actual experience on this so you can can pad out a resume/questionaire?

This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 13 August 2011 - 01:55 PM

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#3 stackoverflow  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 13 August 2011 - 07:42 PM

View PostPlaySkool, on 13 August 2011 - 08:40 PM, said:

I've been having a hard time with this one...
I had an interview recently and everything was going great until they asked me the following question and then I completely blanked out. If you were asked the same question how would you answer?

Quote

Please explain in detail, a projectís architecture that you have been a key contributor that had to deal with high volume/load, reusability, etc. Also explain how you handled scalability, design considerations, operational issues, exception handling/logging, version control and security.


That question is pretty straight forward. If you have never worked on something outside of the classroom you would probably be stumped.

I would just talk about a large project I had done, how I managed the code and how I designed it, issues I came across etc.
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#4 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 13 August 2011 - 10:02 PM

I'd have been stumped too and I certainly haven't only worked with people inside of a classroom.

If you read the question 3-4 times, you begin to understand it. If that is the way the interviewer posed the question, it probably isn't all your fault. From what I can tell, he is asking you about how you handled specific problems in any given project of your choice that meets his requirements. The question is a way of gauging how well you can handle problems relevant to the job you're being interviewed for.

The question isn't that bad, but the was it was worded was ridiculous.

This post has been edited by Raynes: 15 August 2011 - 12:41 AM

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#5 Programmist  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 14 August 2011 - 12:35 PM

Not a tough question if you've had architecture experience. If you don't have architecture experience, but are an experienced developer with understanding of current trends in software architecture you could BS your way through the question. By "BS", I mean come up with something that is a totally valid answer, but didn't actually happen. :)
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#6 PlaySkool  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 15 August 2011 - 05:45 AM

View PosttlhIn`toq, on 13 August 2011 - 01:54 PM, said:

Well - If you've never done anything that resembles what they want, then that explains why you blanked out.

But I don't think you can apply my experience at doing these things and what I did to manage the project to your own experiences and how you managed a project.

They asked what YOU did in the past for this type of thing.

Are you sure you're not just looking for an answer from someone with actual experience on this so you can can pad out a resume/questionaire?


Well for one I'm still in school and I was applying for was a junior - mid level programming job. Like I had stated, everything was going fine till they asked me that question. The question was related to Service Oriented Architecture's. I'm currently working as a applications developer, and where I work SOA's aren't/haven't been implemented since the company's inception.

And in school we've spoke about SOA's but never really went into detail. So to answer your last question, yes i'm looking for an answer; I wouldn't have asked the question if I didn't want an answer(???). I would like to know how an experienced developer would answer that question. And yes...this was a verbal question, and not some question on a paper questionnaire...

Anyways, for a developer like me who isn't in a professional environment to get the experience to answer this type of question, what do you guys suggest I do/read/program to help me be able to answer question's like the above? I'm very interested in learning more about SOA's.
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#7 olibenu  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 15 August 2011 - 06:44 AM

BS could have worked until you understood all of the points.
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#8 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 15 August 2011 - 06:57 AM

*
POPULAR

Here's another idea... One that is apparently missing in today's business world... Tell the truth.

These people aren't stupid. They don't expect someone still in school to have done everything for every job and know everything.

Employers like to have honest people on staff. People they can trust.

If you lie at the interview and they know it, then you're screwed. You can't be trusted to give an honest report, to give an honest statement of whether or not you need help on a project, to give an honest assessment of progress...

hell you might even be lying about all your other qualifications on your resume that are true.

If you are honest about not having skills x,y,z - then the interviewer can feel better about believing you when you tell them about the 25 other skills you do have.

You can look like a bargin to them: Has 25 skills, lacks 3 and is honest.
Or you can look like someone they wouldn't leave alone with the petty cash/donut fund.

You're choice.
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#9 PlaySkool  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 15 August 2011 - 07:45 AM

@tlhIn`toq: I agree with you and I let my interviewer know that I have self study knowledge of SOA but I don't have any workplace SOA experience. I haven't received a callback from them yet but at least I was honest.
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#10 olibenu  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 15 August 2011 - 07:52 AM

i don't support lying since the person doing the interview can easily detect one (he's a pro).
i just mean, don't just stare with ur mouth open or stutter. ask for clarification or something
while you're thinking of an answer
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#11 Programmist  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 15 August 2011 - 08:05 AM

Oh FFS - I was joking about the "BS" comment. Hence the smile emoticon. Let's everyone take a valium and CTFO.
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#12 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 15 August 2011 - 08:38 AM

Your best answer would have been remarkably close to this sentence of yours:

Quote

Well for one I'm still in school and I was applying for was a junior - mid level programming job.


It all depends on who is conducting the interview. If it's an HR dweeb that doesn't know a mouse from a megabyte then you might could have given a very vague answer prefaced by the "my resume says I'm a student, the job I'm applying for is a junior dev position and so any answer I give will be conditioned on a lack of personal experience and much more heavily weighted toward theory".

If it's a tech manager/supervisor then they should fully understand and be okay with "dude, I'm a student applying for a junior dev job" (with a read-between-the-lines side of "why are you asking me that"?). I doubt they'd give a junior dev responsibility for architecting something like that...but you can always turn it on them and ask "is a junior dev expected to be able to architect a project like that?...cause, if so, I'd be really interested in learning how" and then give your conditional theory answer.
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#13 Nikitin  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 18 August 2011 - 03:17 AM

The question is pretty much everything (except security) that I worked on this summer. Had it been asked several months earlier, I would've been stumped as well. I think, like it was mentioned previously, that unless you have worked on such project you can't honestly answer it. I would say it straight up - "don't have such experience".
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#14 Nightfish  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 18 August 2011 - 03:48 AM

Generally, if you're stumped, saying so will usually work out for the best in the long run. Yes, up to a certain point you can bluff your way through stuff, but in the long run that's probably gonna come back to bite you in the ass.

For this particular question, it might not have been out of place to ask the guy to explain it again. Or just start saying "I'm not sure I got this correctly, but I've worked on... and we had those issues... and we overcame them by ...". They'll probably stop you if you start running in the wrong direction.
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#15 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: I got stumped...(Interview question)

Posted 18 August 2011 - 06:53 AM

In my last interview, during the "tech question" part, the guy said "do you remember any of your regular expressions theory?" I responded "oh, wow, probably not, but you could try asking me a question and we'll see." He said, "that's ok, nobody does."
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