RE: Requirements

Subject: RE: Requirements
From: "Le Vie, DonaldX S" <donaldx -dot- s -dot- le -dot- vie -at- intel -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2001 11:26:42 -0800

Bruce commented:

>>I've heard coders complain of the same problem:
they're asked about their experience with a particular compiler or
set of tools, even though anyone with experience can quickly
transfer skills from one tool to another.<<

That's right.

I once interviewed with an engineering manager who saw that I had previous
documentation experience with Motorola's 68000 family of microprocessors. He
asks me: "So, what's the biggest difference between an EC68020 and an
MC68060?"

I replied: "I'm sure any good apps or design engineer can answer that
question. That level of detail is not in my knowledge domain. If I had my
reference manuals here, I could answer it too. But if you want to know the
major differences between the 68000 family and the ColdFire family, here
they are..."

He got the clue that putting me in the hot seat wasn't going to work. He
thought I'd panic, but I gave him the answer I wanted him to have. I think
that's part of the scret to successful interviewing. Giving people the
answer YOU want them to have. It's useless to try to pin someone down on the
spot with a question such as "Explain how you would set up a single-source
application using FrameMaker's conditional text utility?" That line of
questioning shows you're a jerk, a brand-new manager, or both.

When interviewing potential writing team members, I sometimes ask them if
they can give me one big difference between FrameMaker and MS Word. If they
can great, if not, it's not a limiting factor. Why is it that we all
understand about the transferability of skill sets but the boneheads who
often interview us don't?

Donn Le Vie

"Why, they couldn't hit an elephant from that dista..."
Union General John Sedwick
(1813-1864), peering over the parapet at
the Battle of Spotsylvania after being warned
of Confederate snipers in the area.





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