UVSC BYU U of U etc was"Software Engineering (was Re: Java)

Michael Brailsford brailsmt at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 15 13:50:59 MST 2007

> For what it's worth, I have interviewed students from all four colleges 
> listed and each time I interview a BYU student or graduate, the 
> interviewee's primary concern tends to be "How much money are you going 
> to pay me."  I find students / graduates from the other colleges to be 
> much more of  the "I'm hungry and willing to work" demeanor.  That's 
> always a winner in my book and I suspect the books of other people too.  
> That isn't to say that being concerned with pay is a bad thing, for it 
> is not.  But it shouldn't be the primary concern that is communicated to 
> the company doing the hiring.  Someone is going to get hired and paid.

I love these stereotypes.  The first thing I ask in all my job interviews is "How much dough do I get?".  

I think the difference is that BYU's alumni placement program sucks.  At least it did for me, but then I again, I was mostly worried about the bank I would make.

In my opinion, employer's measure of candidates is incomplete.  I really love being asked to write code on whiteboards to reverse link lists, or add/delete nodes from a BST.  Those are all really important things that I will do everyday on the job after all.  They, and other trivial tests like them, are a perfect measure of my skills and knowledge.  At best, questions like those weed out people that shouldn't be there in the first place, but then what are phone interviews for?  The best interview I ever had I was asked what things I accomplished and what I would do different about them, and what I did right.  But I have only been interviewed in that style once for a programming position.  The vast majority of the interviews are about 10% HR stuff, and 90% tirivial technical problems that have little or no bearing on the actual duties of the position.

In conclusion, job searches are like a game of chess.  BYU did an absolutely terrible job teaching interviewing skills and job search techniques.  I learned them the hard way, until I came across a great guy that had been in HR for 30 years.  He showed me the ropes, something which BYU should have done for us years ago.


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