So, you went to an interview and some random person said “its common knowledge” and similar.
This could mean two things:
- you have not really worked on what you were saying
- the interview partner was some kind of idiot
You went here. For that reason alone I believe you have worked on the projects what you said.
I don’t get what is "common knowledge"
You might do “mistakes”. You might “misuse” relational databases.
I am very honest to you now.
But first, please check my name, look up my blog. I was working on code since 1998. I am involved in the ASF. Sure, I am not an extraordinary developer like Fowler and similar, but I have 18 years of industry experience and worked in almost all roles I can imagine on software projects. And I wrote books.
You are impressed? Good. I might look like the guy who interviewed you.
Now here come my secrets:
- Today I looked up “mysql update subselect” in Google. While screensharing with a junior developer. I simply didn’t remember the syntax, but hey, there is google.
- I was the one who brought Solr to the project, but some other guy who started later now tells me everything I need to know about it. Honestly, when I am lost, I simply ask him. I gave up being an expert.
- Relational databases? NoSQL? Yeah man. I use it daily. What do I know about it? The things I use daily: select, update, delete. I always mix up update and delete. Good there is Google.
Now this guy said, something was common knowledge. I have worked with Materialized Views in Oracle before years. Nobody in the project knows what a View is, heck, a materialized one. Before 20 years, in the old project, it was common knowledge. But not today. Instead, the young lads tell me Python is good, and I never understood how I could install Python. I always end up with conflicting versions and I f****ng cannot read it. Python seems to be common knowledge, but aaaaaaaaaargh, I admit I DON’T LIKE PYTHON!!! And python doesn’t like me!
At least there is one thing I am good at: I can keep the team somehow organised. At least I believe I am good at it, because nobody complains (I hope).
Like Einstein already said: everything is relative.
Now as you know my secrets and that I am maybe the worst coder of all times, despite my CV looks so good: I tell you what common knowledge is. It is:
Now you know. That’s it.
I have recruited people too, and I can tell you I was always afraid before that meeting. I need to look competent, while the other person needs to look small and unexperienced. The reason? If you are dumb, you earn less money. And of course, I can reason why I need to earn more.
Also: i need to check all of your skills to the bone. If I, the recruiter, make a wrong decision, my company pays. I better make sure I don’t make mistakes. As the recruiter, I simply try to kill you.
I am lucky that I have learned something good in the past years. Really, I am a bit proud of it. I have left the path of “I am a better guy than you” and look at you as a person.
Instead of making my interview partners nervous and try to make their thinking fail, I support them. I want to find out what they can achieve, and not how they fail. I would like to know what my partners are as human persons. I mean, do you want to work with a guy you don’t like?
There are many, many different aspect in hiring the right person. I am surely not an expert. But This guy you describe looks like a person who simply wanted to put some force on you and end up like the winner. In this case, he won. Good for him. Maybe he is now in the 30 inch club. No idea. What he doesn’t know is if he missed a great candidate who suffered from excitement/pressure/whatever.
Now you ask for an advise. I cannot give a good one. I messed up a lot of interviews myself before I got my own way.
I tell you something which worked for me.
Stick to yourself.
You know what you did, you know what you know. As long as you continue to learn, work without ego, reflect everything, simply put: stay a good developer. Then you are on the right track.
If you really feel this person is right with his criticism, then put away your ego as well. Decide if he was right or not. If he wasn’t, ignore. If he was, fix your issues.
That is all.
With all the disappointments I had in the past years, with all my failures (I wrote about them on my blog too) - i simply tried as honest as I could.
I strongly believe you should get past this. There is no common knowledge. There is nobody who can judge your project as good as you can. Nobody has the claim to “understand relational databases” better than you, because everybody (!) uses it a little bit different.
To each his own mistakes.
To many words - I still hope it helps you. You mixed things up, thats ok. That’s you. Your people love you because it’s you. If somebody doesn’t get it, it’s their fault, not yours.
PS: post is not proofread - apologize for all spelling issues