Another Good (Java) Interview Question

I'm always on the search on good interview questions as I'm doing a lot of IT recruiting. Sometimes in interviews I talk about books the candidate has read recently, to gain some insight into his interrest and enthusiasm - Amazon looks into enthusiasm as an indicator for good candidates.

Another approach to gain some insights into candidates is to ask them about the 5 best software development books, which he considers must-read-books, and why those made it into their Top 5 list. I've written about books I consider good,

My personal list would be something along the lines of:

  • Refactoring
  • Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
  • Clean Code and other books by Robert C. Martin
  • Domain Driven Design
  • All McConnel Books (Rapid development, Code Complete, Software Estimation,...)
  • The Pragmatic Programmer
  • Implementing Lean Software Development
  • The GoF book
  • The Practical Guide to Defect Prevention

(Not on the list are psycholocial books like Influence, design books like About Face, compiler or programming language books, I concentrate this post on software development books in the stricter sense.)

Getting people talking about the books they like, or the recent books they've read and don't like, gets most of the candidate emotional and involved. They show enthusiasm (or not). Don't hire those who do not read books (my opinion) or don't show enthusiasm for topics of books (positive or negative).

Bonus Point: And most of the time I learn something about books I haven't known yet.

Thanks for listening. As ever, please do share your thoughts and additional tips in the comments below, or on your own blog (I have trackbacks enabled).

See also:

Iphone and Complete-M in Germany

I have an Iphone with an edge data flat and a 300mb limited HSDPA plan. As a curious guy I want to know how much I have used of those 300mb HSDPA. Calling T-Mobile for 3 times results in three different opinions:

  1. Callcenter person 1: I should wait for the next month, then I will see the usage in my T-Mobile account (One month later I see nothing)
  2. Callcenter person 2: I can't look online but I should call the call center to ask, they will tell me (and the employee told me my usage, 41mb of 300mb back then)
  3. Callcenter person 3: No one knows how much I've used. They can't see it in their computer (I wonder how the second one could know) and it's not possible for me to see my usage

Isn't that funny? I have a limited data plan, but they can't tell me and I can't see my usage? They are able to monitor all my calls and monitor all my usage and tell (on demand 😉 the police, but they can't tell me how much I've used? They can limit my flat rate to EDGE after 300mb, but they can't tell me how much I've used already? And I can't see?

I'll call tomorrow for a fourth opinion 😉