Is it true that there are some people working as programmers and don’t really know how to code?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 10, 2020 05:28 AM 0 Answers
Member Since Dec 2019
Subscribed Subscribe Not subscribe
Mudassir Ali
- Feb 10, 2020 05:28 AM

Originally Answered: Is it true that there are some people working as programmer and don’t really know how to code?

I interviewed a developer who had graduated from a very good University in Asia, and moved to the UK to be with family. He had a good CV, and was applying for a contractor development role – where it was mainly about developing multi-table SQL queries. This wasn’t an entry level role, and as a contractor we expected them to be able to hit the ground running, and at least have intermediate skills.

I asked him to outline how how would solve a simple two table problem, to discover the latest entry set of related entries in table B which related to a particular entry in table A – he had no clue how to approach it. This wasn’t about terminology – I would been more than happy for him to have explained how to do it without know the right jargon. The kicker was that he told us it was impossible to do in SQL without creating views or de-normalising the data – (a surprise to us since most of our code base did this successfully 1000s of times a day; for jargon nerds you use a correlated subquery).

It was frustrating to go to the expense and time spent preparing for and interviewing someone to then realize they didn’t understand the basic concepts required by the role.

He had ‘fluffed’ his CV (to overstate his knowledge), and the employment agency didn’t really get the requirements.

EDIT : I am getting a number of comments saying that the above example isn’t a good example as it is skewed in some way to one particular area of skills. I would argue that programming is so large that one could be an expert in one area and not even a beginner in others – and yes it is entirely possible for that to have been the case here. For instance I am a reasonable Python programmer, but in a role which required me to develop Haskell or even Perl I would fail very badly – and it would be justified for people to say that I can’t code in those specific skills/languages.

I recognize it is entirely possible that the applicant in the example had go like skills in other areas but in the skills we needed him to have – he was barely a beginner, and I think it is entirely fair to characterize him as being unable to code IN SQL; and given the scope of computing it is entirely fair to constraint an answer to a given skill set – especially when that skill set was made very clear in the job advert before they applied for the role.

The key is whether the person had the requisite skills in the area that he/she needs; there are very few – if any – who know how to develop all types of software in any language.

Reply on This
Replying as Submit
0 Subscribers
Submit Answer
Please login to submit answer.
0 Answers