How to brew your cup of JAVA?

Date:   Thursday , August 02, 2007

All recruiters want to hire the best candidate for the job. However, do you as a candidate know how to brew your best image to make a hirer smell your Java beans and say, “You are the next coffee coder for our company!”

Cracking the Recruitment Nut
Freshers with a computer science background and have done programming should be able to handle questions like “In which scenario would you use Java as a language?” or “What are the negative aspects of C++ and Java?” with élan. They are expected to understand basic Java concepts and syntax.

For techies with two years experience it is important that they are conversant with enterprise and middle ware applications. The candidate has to learn on his own and googling is not a bad habit. According to Sruthi M, HR Executive at Triad Infotech, a candidate who displays knowledge gained through updating his skills in the area he functions and also areas not within his ambit packs quite a punch in the job market.

Expertise in J2EE technologies for enterprise applications and J2ME for mobile applications, design skills, and knowledge of design patterns are required for middle level talent. Exposure to open source technologies and certifications will be additionally advantageous. Queries here range from, “What kind of products you have developed or what type of customers you have dealt with?” to “How well you have applied the abilities of Java to the application you are trying to develop?”

“At Tavant Technologies, during selection of the Java candidates are given a problem and they have to code it in Java under time constraints. Those who come up with a good solution under pressure incorporating the fundamentals of Java have a higher chance to get recruited,” says Sandeep Dasgupta, Senior Engineering Manager, Tavant Technologies.

Technical recruiters don’t give importance to only certifications, at the fresher and middle level; whereas how the interviewee answers the questions is of prime importance. Real life practical application is more important than certification and it is considered as just a plus point in the portfolio of the candidate and not as a redeeming factor.

Sanjay Kumar Pandey, Group Project Manager, HCL Technologies reveals, “At HCL an online exam for Java interviewees has been introduced in July 2007 which moulds itself to the candidates capability based on their answers to the previous question in the questionnaire.”

Once on board at HCL, a three year experienced techie needs to qualify for the Java Architect Certification. Any one with a Sun platform background is expected to be well-versed with relevant Java certifications.

A techie with eight plus years of experience needs to be proficient in diverse projects. This includes technical design and thorough knowledge of design patterns; and exposure to at least one of the open source java technologies or frameworks like Struts, Spring and Hibernate. Being comfortable with technical documentation and exposure to some of the estimation techniques is advantageous.

Middle to senior level professionals are also tested for their performance with respect to hardware developments. Hence interviewees must be aware of programming challenges that arise as processors are going the multi-core way rapidly. Properties that need to be imbibed in the application (to understand how much memory or CPU is being used) to meet hardware benchmarks are critical. The key is how to thread applications to take advantage of multi-core.

Senior level techies who have dealt with multiple levels of problems are more sought after in the job market than those who have multiple projects on their resume. The moot point is how can they use technology to solve problems? The design abilities, architecting abilities, and the ability to put together the applications are vital to wring out solutions. Also gauged from the resource is the interest in non-functional angles like how will the application perform, how many users would benefit from the application, and what the user experience will be like.

“The technical capability of a candidate as well as his ability to learn and implement new technologies in a short period of time is critical,” emphasizes Salil Mehendale, Head – Recruitment, Global Services Delivery, LogicaCMG. And this sought-after quality can be measured quite accurately when recruiters handle candidates at interviews.
So go ahead. Face the interview. Happy brewing your career coffee and the Java coffee hamper can be yours!

.NET or Java?
Sandeep Dasgupta, Senior Engineering Manager, Tavant Technologies speaks:
“Java or .NET?” is the chorus of those coming out of technical schools. It would be better to understand the inherent weaknesses of each too.

I believe to a certain extent that .NET development is slightly faster than that of Java in most cases. The real time situation where applications have to be delivered to the customer in tight deadlines could mean preferring .NET over Java. However, there are many other situations where Java would be the language of choice.

Today youngsters are swayed by published articles and marketing material that up the ante for Java than .NET or vice versa. However, to put succinctly, traditionally Java is useful for web based applications and .NET for desktop based applications. The boundaries are now getting blurred between Java and .NET. One can use .NET to write very good web based applications and AJAX applications can be written in Java that look almost like a desk top application. Hence the smart move for candidates wanting to master either Java or .NET would be to know which organization they are keen to work in and what language that organization is developing applications in. This is also a pointer on how industry driven decisions are to be made.