Wednesday, September 17, 2014

10 Questions To Make Programming Interviews Less Expensive

Conducting Interview is not cheap and costs both time and money to a company. It take a lot of time to find the right candidate for a job from 100s resume you receive from consultants and agents. They will always tell you that this guy is a Java Guru, this one is SQL Expert and next one is the full stack developer you are looking for. If you have trust them blindly and invite all of them for face-to-face interview, you are going to be disappointed. One of the first thing you should do is to filter candidates who claims to have certain skills e.g. SQL but doesn't have them, the faster you can weed out those candidates the cheaper will be the hiring process. A phone screening interview is just for that purpose, it doesn't cost you much and also suitable for candidate, as they don't have to take off and come down to your office. It's flexible for both the parties. When I phone interview someone, I spent fist few minutes to listen them and then I go for my list of weed out programming question to see if candidate is good enough to spend another 30 to 40 minutes. They have saved a lot of time, where I found out that candidate having words like "Strong knowledge of Java", "Exceptional in SQL" and "Programming gurus" fail to answer these simple questions. If you are a candidate and gone through couple of interviews, you might have noticed that almost all interviewers make up their minds in the first 10 minutes. The rest of the interview gives them reasons supporting said decision, but not all is lost. If you ever feel that you have messed up with your chance, try coming of some really good answers on rest of questions, if you can impress interviewer to an extent that encourage you to go deep, you may be able to change his initial decision. To get some feedback and improve upon my method, I have decided to share my list of weed out programming questions (don't bother about sharing questions, I have many similar questions on my secret question bank and you can create them easily as well). I have chosen one or two question from common programming skill set e.g. Java, SQL, XML, Programming, Coding, OOPS, Multi-threading and UNIX. I am looking forward to know what you guys do, what do you ask to check same skill set before calling candidates for face to face interviews. Comment if you agree or disagree.

Monday, September 15, 2014

6 Books to Learn and Master Programming and Coding - Must Read

Coding is an integral part of programming and we all somehow learn coding by following examples here and there. What is more difficult is to write good code. You can easily find programmers in Java, C++, Ruby or Python, but finding programmers, who are also good coder is very difficult. Some universities has good curriculum and practical classes to teach coding better than others, but most of these great codes are self-taught. Point is self learning is VERY important in field of Programming and Coding, you just cannot rely on your college and university to make you an expert programmer, you have to make that extra effort to distinguish yourself from the group. What could be best by learning coding and wisdom of programming form those who have gone through the same path. Uncle Bob is big advocate of clean coding and object oriented design, and as much I have learn about coding and programming from his series of books, I have not learned anywhere. Martin Fowler is another great name in software design, development and testing, and his book on Refactoring is must read for any serious programmer. Recently I come across an infographic about 10 Books That Make You Expert in Programming. Though I don't agree with all the books they have there, I definitely agree with the top 6 and the last book, which is an all time classic on design patterns. I thought to share that with you guys, If you are more inclined to web programming you will also find rest of the books more valuable, but If you are server side Java programmer, you will definitely find top 5 worth reading.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

3 Examples of Parsing HTML File in Java using Jsoup

HTML is core of web, all the page you see in internet are HTML, whether they are dynamically generated by JavaScript, JSP, PHP, ASP or any other web technology. Your browser actually parse HTML and render it for you. But what would you do,  if you need to parse an HTML document and find some elements,  tags, attributes or check if a particular element exists or not from Java program. If you have been in Java programming for some years, I am sure you have done some XML parsing work using parsers like DOM and SAX, but there is also good chance that you have not done any HTML parsing work. Ironically, there are few instances when you need to parse HTML document from core Java application, which doesn't include Servlet and other Java web technologies. To make the matter worse, there is no HTTP or HTML library in core JDK as well; or at least I am not aware of that. That's why when it comes to parse a HTML file, many Java programmers had to look at Google to find out how to get value of an HTML tag in Java. When I needed that I was sure that there would be an open source library which will does it for me, but didn't know that it was as wonderful and feature rich as JSoup. It not only provides support to read and parse HTML document but also allows you to extract any element form HTML file, their attribute, their CSS class in JQuery style and also allows you to modify them. You can probably do anything with HTML document using Jsoup. In this article, we will parse and HTML file and find out value of title and heading tags. We will also see example of downloading and parsing HTML from file as well as any URL or internet by parsing Google's home page in Java.