If Carpenters Were Hired Like Programmers
The following joke perfectly illustrates what developers have to go through every time when they’re interviewed for the next gig.
Interviewer: So, you’re a carpenter, are you?
Carpenter: That’s right, that’s what I do.
Interviewer: How long have you been doing it?
Carpenter: Ten years.
Interviewer: Great, that’s good. Now, I have a few technical questions to ask you to see if you’re a fit for our team. OK?
Carpenter: Sure, that’d be fine.
Interviewer: First of all, we’re working in a subdivision building a lot of brown houses. Have you built a lot of brown houses before?
Carpenter: Well, I’m a carpenter, so I build houses, and people pretty much paint them the way they want.
Interviewer: Yes, I understand that, but can you give me an idea of how much experience you have with brown? Roughly.
Carpenter: Gosh, I really don’t know. Once they’re built I don’t care what color they get painted. Maybe six months?
Interviewer: Six months? Well, we were looking for someone with a lot more brown experience, but let me ask you some more questions.
Carpenter: Well, OK, but paint is paint, you know.
Interviewer: Yes, well. What about walnut?
Carpenter: What about it?
Interviewer: Have you worked much with walnut?
Carpenter: Sure, walnut, pine, oak, mahogony — you name it.
Interviewer: But how many years of walnut do you have?
Carpenter: Gosh, I really don’t know — was I supposed to be counting the walnut?
Interviewer: Well, estimate for me.
Carpenter: OK, I’d say I have a year and a half of walnut.
Interviewer: Would you say you’re an entry level walnut guy or a walnut guru?
Carpenter: A walnut guru? What’s a walnut guru? Sure, I’ve used walnut.
Interviewer: But you’re not a walnut guru?
Carpenter: Well, I’m a carpenter, so I’ve worked with all kinds of wood, you know, and there are some differences, but I think if you’re a good carpenter …
Interviewer: Yes, yes, but we’re using Walnut, is that OK?
Carpenter: Walnut is fine! Whatever you want. I’m a carpenter.
Interviewer: What about black walnut?
Carpenter: What about it?
Interviewer: Well we’ve had some walnut carpenters in here, but come to find out they weren’t black walnut carpenters. Do you have black walnut experience?
Carpenter: Sure, a little. It’d be good to have more for my resume, I suppose.
Interviewer: OK. Hang on let me check off the box…
Carpenter: Go right ahead.
Interviewer: OK, one more thing for today. We’re using Rock 5.1 to bang nails with. Have you used Rock 5.1?
Carpenter: [Turning white…] Well, I know a lot of carpenters are starting to use rocks to bang nails with since Craftsman bought a quarry, but you know, to be honest, I’ve had more luck with my nailgun. Or a hammer, for that matter. I find I hit my fingers too much with the rock, and my other hand hurts because the rock is so big.
Interviewer: But other companies are using rocks. Are you saying rocks don’t work?
Carpenter: No, I’m not saying rocks don’t work, exactly, it’s just that I think nail guns work better.
Interviewer: Well, our architects have all started using rocks, and they like it.
Carpenter: Well, sure they do, but I bang nails all day, and — well, look, I need the work, so I’m definitely willing to use rocks if you want. I try to keep an open mind.
Interviewer: OK, well we have a few other candidates we’re looking at, so we’ll let you know.
Carpenter: Well, thanks for your time. I enjoyed meeting you.
Carpenter: Hello. Remember me, I’m the carpenter you interviewed for the black walnut job. Just wanted to touch base to see if you’ve made a decision.
Interviewer: Actually, we have. We liked your experience overall, but we decided to go with someone who has done a lot of work with brown.
Carpenter: Really, is that it? So I lost the job because I didn’t have enough brown?
Interviewer: Well, it was partly that, but partly we got the other fellow a lot cheaper.
Carpenter: Really — how much experience does he have?
Interviewer: Well, he’s not really a carpenter, he’s a car salesman — but he’s sold a lot of brown cars and he’s worked with walnut interiors.