Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Interview Acronym Quiz

Here's an idea for your next technical interview - the acronym quiz! Have you ever thought of all the acronyms you've picked up over the course of your career? My first job out of school was as a programmer for a defense contracting company, where I was given an acronym reference book for our domain. I remember someone mentioning an acronym depth competition they had, where the winner was a an acronym 5 levels deep. (e.g. An example of an acronym 2 levels deep is SSA - SCUBA Schools International. 5 levels may have been an exaggeration, but 2 and 3 levels were common, and it was a ton of otherwise useless insider information.

But I digress. This post was about the half-joking idea of adding an acronym quiz section to a technical interview. Of course this has limited value, but it seems useful to answer if you need to go more in depth on a given topic or interview. For example, quickly answer what each acronym means:
  1. SOA
  2. XAML
  3. JAXB
  4. BFF
If your technical candidate didn't get #1, red flag. If they are supposed to know .NET and didn't get #2, red flag. Ditto in the java world for #3. Answer them all, and you just might up end being #4! :)

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