Doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
I had an interview for the project. It seemed to be some guy had read a book on methodology, and thus preferred experts in the relevant technology, rather than experts at delivering. It was similar to another project I rescued, where there were loads of kids that knew unbelievable amounts about vb6, but had never done a day's big system building.
The whole concept of thinking seems to be sadly lacking these days. Everyone walks around like it's there's some silver bullet. I'm not saying the Gang of Four are stupid because they're rich, but everyone who needs to follow them is. How many people have ever successfully used a Singleton (currently the interviewer's design pattern of choice?) It's just a way of bypassing global variable architectures.
I had another interview a few weeks back, and this guy who was described as a technical architect, seemed to think you should "Do" something to developers who didn't report exceptions back to the user in every case. I said "What happens when the exception is part of the logic? (Such as in trying to open a file read exclusively?)" he then said "Well 99% of cases aren't like that." and I thought ok? Everything asynchronous, everything run redundant or high availability, almost all windows services, most device drivers, and everything with a handshake have non reported fails as normal business behaviour. Unsurprisingly this guy too is directing traffic on government projects.
The final bone of contention is this obsession amongst ordinary project managers about UML. What use is a UML description of boiling the tea, when it's opening the front door you want to achieve? It still comes down to cleverness. You can't mechanise design. It's creative. It's like it's described in Prince 2 somewhere that you've got to have expert coders, expert business analysts (who aren't IT literate,) and expert project managers (who aren't IT literate.) I've not really understood why people prefer business analysts who can't design, or code, or project managers who've never written anything.
I've given up interviewing for technical knowledge, I just ask for all the CVs, to just bypass HR, because they don't have a clue, they think you can train IT staff just like you can train a cleaner, or a plumber.
I bypass IT recruitment using the same technique because all they end up doing is forwarding the CVs that
a. Have the most buzzwords
b. Sound most convincing in the two minute conversation. (I had the following conversation yesterday with an Agent. Her: "It doesn't say you've used ASP.Net recently." Me: "My last contract... IIS, web dev, c#." Her: Where's the ASP.Net in that?" Me: (silently) "Oh god!!!!!"
c. Sum up how many years you've done something, like it's some measure of talent. (I often say these days I've got 11 years of VS 2005. etc.)
Then I just do a combination of Napoleon's theorem, "I don't care if he's good, is he lucky?" i.e. have the projects he's worked on, worked, and testing wise I just exclusively IQ test these days. I reckon 125 is about the minimum anyone needs to be allowed to work on an IT system.
What do you think Baldrick?
I think he looks like a bird who swallowed a plate milord.
No. That's what I think, thinking is so important. What do you think?
I think thinking is so important milord.