I had my first true, honest-to-god, technical interview yet in this entire “find a new job you like” process. I’d already been through an HR screen and a design/analysis phone tech with this company and managed to do well enough on those to get invited in for an in-person grilling. I’d been to one of these back in September and came away unimpressed with how that particular company screened candidates. I’m a big fan of Joel’s “Smart and Gets Things Done” approach and today was at least similar to that, at least in part.
The initial part of the interview, probably 45 minutes, dealt with the CLR and .Net in general, mainly aimed towards the architecture of the framework, garbage collection and whatnot. Overall, with the exception of one stupid glaring brain fart regarding boxing and unboxing, I think I handled it pretty well. I knew enough ASP.Net to at least not sound like a bumbling idiot even though I’ve got precious little experience in it. Once this part was done, we moved to the whiteboard.
The first task was to code up a sort method for an array which I proceeded to screw up reasonably royally. In the end it was close, but it certainly wasn’t complete and given such an easy task, I was a little bummed about that. Once that was done, we moved on to design of a hypothetical scenario and I got that done but it was ugly on first cut. We discussed how it could be better and of course, you never think of that when you’re standing at a whiteboard with not only your interviewer but also three other random guys from the company in the room behind you. One thing I didn’t like about the whiteboard part of the interview was the emphasis on syntax over semantics but overall, it was a decent experience (EDIT 12-19-2007: I’ve given this some more thought and while I think it definitely is more important to focus on the semantics in a whiteboard coding experience, the truth of the matter is that I got something fairly fundamental wrong so bringing that up probably is the right thing to do, just in case I have no freaking clue what I’m doing.)
Once that was done, we discussed the job, what it would be like, I expressed reservations over being a consultant which I’m still working through and that was it. I think this would be a cool company to work for. They are supposed to be in touch next week and we’ll see where we stand at that point.
Monday is an initial discussion with a startup which I’m pretty excited about. Of course, I know next to nothing about it other than what I’ve read on their web site but I think a startup fits my style a lot better. This is all just an adventure anyway.