As our Java project progressed, we began to add new members to our development team.
This meant many resumes to review and many interviews to conduct.
It was to become quite a time consuming chore for the interviewers.
During a portion of the interview, a series of technical questions about Java are asked.
The goal behind these questions is to allow the interviewee to talk to us about Java.
Some of the Java questions are general. Some of the Java questions are more specific.
The general questions will sometimes yield some very creative answers from the interviewee.
One of our questions is fairly specific.
The question is : "How can you send data from a Servlet to a JSP and back?"
A very simple question. A very simple answer is all that is expected.
The answer we expect needed to include mention of
the "getAttribute" method, the "setAttribute" method, and the "HttpServletRequest" object.
We believed that all of the Java interviewees would answer this question easily.
We were wrong!
Over 90% of the interviewees could not give a satisfactory answer to this question.
Some of the answers, we got, were long-winded statements about frameworks, tag libraries, database access, etc.
Some of the interviewees would simply say, "I don't know".
When the answer is revealed, the interviewee would usually say, "oh yeah, that's right".
This greatly surprised us. Why was this happening?
We concluded that this question can be correctly answered by the Java developer who
has actually written this kind of code.
To someone who has never written this kind of code, the answer is not evident.
Nevertheless, we have been able to find plenty of Java developers for our team.
The turnover rate of developers on our team is very low.
We have been very happy with the quality of work produced by the Java developers on our team.
We still ask this question during our interviews.
The fact that this question is giving most of our interviewees so much trouble,
causes us to wonder if we are asking the interviewees to solve the greatest riddle of all time!