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Job relevance of Java/J2EE Job Interview Companion questions

Edvins Reisons
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Joined: Dec 11, 2006
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I very much appreciated the question index in the online sample and experimented with feeding the questions verbatim into Google. Most of the time, the top search results were fairly usable as answers (one exception: instead of "Why is UML important?", as in the book, the search results came up mostly along the line "Is UML important?").

If the answer is just an Internet lookup away, what's the point of asking the question at an interview? If the question comes up on the job, having the answer in memory is no serious advantage.

My experience tends to confirm this line of reasoning, because in recent years, I haven't got any detailed technical questions at an interview.
arulk pillai
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One neeeds to still have the high level concepts in memory. Given the fact that Java/J2EE and its related technologies are vast it is very difficult if not impossible to sit in front of the internet to refresh your skills. The Java/J2EE Job interview companion covers vast number of topics relating to Java/J2EE in a concise manner with lots of dyagrams, examples, code snippets etc. Internet is handy when you want to drill bit deeper into some of the concepts.

It also exemplifies the 14 key areas relating to software development.


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Jesus Angeles
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Joined: Feb 26, 2005
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Since it is high-level, we have to know j2ee first before reading the book, is that correct? And definitely it is not for beginners right?
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Joined: May 26, 2003
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Originally posted by Edvins Reisons:
If the question comes up on the job, having the answer in memory is no serious advantage.

Sure it is. First of all, you need to understand the answer. Second, productivity is affected if you have to look up every little thing. Third, you need to know what question you need the answer to. When learning a topic, knowing what you don't know is half the battle.


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arulk pillai
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Since it is high-level, we have to know j2ee first before reading the book, is that correct? And definitely it is not for beginners right?


It can be handy for beginners but more useful for candidates with some experience and exposure. It is hard to tell and best thing to do is get the free sample chapters from http://wwww.lulu.com/java-success and see for yourself.
Henry Wong
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
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  40

Originally posted by Jeanne Boyarsky:

Sure it is. First of all, you need to understand the answer. Second, productivity is affected if you have to look up every little thing. Third, you need to know what question you need the answer to. When learning a topic, knowing what you don't know is half the battle.


It is also a sign of experience. It is very hard to convince someone that you actually have experience on a subject, if most of your answers are "I can google it".

On the other hand, and probably what the O/P was alluding to. Having a list of memorized answers is not enough. You actually need the experience. And if you have the experience, you probably don't need the generic answer.

Henry


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
arulk pillai
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There is no substitute for hands on experience. We learn a lot from hands-on experience. If we are pro-active enough, we can use good books to learn the fundamentals and apply them conciously and pro-actively to fast track our career and become a high calibre Java/J2EE professional. One does not have to wait 4 years to understand and experience the 14 key areas covered in the book. I applied this myself and it worked for me and hopefully will work for others as well if they are passionate enough to make a difference.



This is why I do not buy too much into number of years of experience. Some have real 4 year experience while others have 1 year repeated 4 times. I have come across intermediate level candidates who have experience in web applications but do not understand the HTTP paradigm like its stateless nature etc. It is easy to identify someone who has memorized the answers by having a wide coverage of the questions, rephrasing the questions differently, drilling down a bit deeper, asking them when, where and how to apply etc.

[ February 27, 2008: Message edited by: arulk pillai ]
[ February 27, 2008: Message edited by: arulk pillai ]
Edvins Reisons
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Joined: Dec 11, 2006
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An efficient approach to "How do you initialize and use Log4J / upload a file / implement internationalization´┐Ż" may start with "I'll find an example", and in a sizable part of the cases, an understanding of the example is not strictly required to make it work. The technologies are designed to be transparent, aren't they ?
An understanding of the big picture can help significantly (one may still argue if the big picture needs to be in a big memory or, for example, on a big poster ), and an evaluation of the quality of the references found is indispensable.
And I wonder how to make all this appear convincing in an interview.
Jesus Angeles
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Joined: Feb 26, 2005
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Probably, if you need this book, then you dont deserve the job.
arulk pillai
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Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3274
Not every one has a photographic memory to remember all the experience they gained in their career. Certainly I don't. I use my own book as a referesher prior to interview. Java/J2EE and related technologies are so vast and it pays to brush up if you are keen to get multiple job offers and stand out from the competition. Preparation is part of your career progression. You prepare for exams, meetings, functions etc why not for interviews?
Edvins Reisons
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The motivation for asking the question was to reconcile the heavily technical content of the book with my recent interview experience, with at most very sparse technology part. In particular, if there is, in addition to the obvious seasonal causes (there are cases when no interviewer has the background to dare ask a technical question), any shift in the general perception of what weight in the interview structure to give to technology, what to business awareness, what to general employability characteristics etc.
arulk pillai
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In Australia some large companies put you on a 3 month probation or offer you only 3 month initial contract to assess you. It is very hard to assess your complete suitability with just interviews alone.
 
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