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Bobbi Towers16:09:40

Well, this is enlightening. When interviewers say, "So do you have any questions?", I had always assumed that they are ready to end the conversation, and my response is usually something like, "Not at this time, but I look forward to learning more and if anything is unclear I won't hesitate to ask". Is it likely to be considered a red flag if you do not have any questions, or would prefer to defer them for a later time?


i save time for questions when interviewing others. no knock against the candidate if they don't have any. but sometimes thoughtful questions can help as well

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I would check the time to make sure they actually left you time for questions and then ask at least one. If I can't think of any, my fall back is to ask "What's the best part of working at this company/on this team? What's the worst part?" Not asking a question isn't an immediate red flag for me as an interviewer, but I think asking something shows you are interviewing me too, which is good.

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@porkostomus As a hiring manager, I do find it a bit concerning if a candidate has no questions -- sometimes it signals that the candidate has decided, based on the interview, that they're not interested, and sometimes it signals that the candidate is "just looking for a job" and not really very concerned about who employs them.

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I also think it's a bit of a red flag if a candidate doesn't have any questions.


When I was starting out I had typically no questions. In fact I wouldn’t even know what to ask, or was too timid to ask. Now I have tons of questions and have to filter them and pick the best ones. I don’t expect too many questions from someone who is on their first or second or so job or maybe that person is nervous or timid like I was. And I feel the best case is to just have a close to natural conversation. But maybe that’s me idk.


oh yeah, I’m like that too. Especially with “perfect” answers, they always come back to me just a bit delayed 😄


I was a lot like @denis.baudinot. I would often come up with a lot of questions on my way home after the interview.


A good thing to do is to ask in advance if they can help or get hints about the interview. Best case if they set clear expectations like “we’re interested in knowing X from you” etc. This is especially true for technical interviews.


@deleted-user showing that vulnerability openly is a good self defense I think


It can be liberating and make things more warm/natural


well it all depends I think. There are also people who then would get nervous too 😄


About five months ago I was a candidate looking for work. As a candidate I always prep questions ahead of time so I don't have to think of things on the spot. There have been times where all my questions were covered by the time I got to that point in the interview. In that case I let folks know what my questions were and summarize the answers. Repeating back a summary is a good way to let someone know you not only were listening but you heard them.

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that reminds me of a piece of advice my dad gave me (he also worked in software). After having a client meeting for a pitch/proposal he would get back very shortly after 1 or 2 days with a neat written summary of the meeting/notes in the sense of “Have I understood you correctly?“, for similar reasons as @danielglauser mentioned above.

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My dad worked in software too, over 30 years. High five to another 2nd generation developer. 🙂

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Do you also hear things like “ah we did that in the 80's/90's already, but it was called X then”


always cracks me up a bit


All. The. Time.

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So are we repeating the mistakes or successes of the past?



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As someone who is still a software developer after about 40 years, I resemble that remark!

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adopts Yorkshire accent "When I were a lad..."

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The counterpart to that ☝️ "My papa wired together analog adders ..."


Thinking about this it feels like we’re in a very special era. I mean many of us remember how it was before cell phones and when people got their first PCs and Macs, and some of us had to convince managers/clients that the Web is going to be a big thing in the 90's. Now these things are taken for granted in some hemispheres and >50% people in the world have Internet access. On one hand it feels like it is happening very fast, but at the same time we ought to to respect and reflect on what the pioneers and early adopters did. Cycles of repeating mistakes and re-inventing the wheel aren’t just phrases. Let’s learn from that together! 🙂


When I first started, 22 years ago cough, I worked with a colleague who started programming in 1962. that was very different, they didn't even have a monitor on their desk. Just a piece of paper and a pencil.

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My first programming at school was done by writing out code on paper, sending it off to the computer center who would type it in and run it, then send you back the print out of results about a week later. Algol 60. That was in the mid-'70s.


At university, if we wanted to backup our work, we put it on punch tape. When you read it back in, you often had to spend an hour fixing the read errors before you could run your program again.


And the "monitors" were green screen text only terminals connected to remote computers in a separate building.


(and I picked my university because it had the most modern computer facilities available at the time!)


> Thinking about this it feels like we’re in a very special era. I agree. IMHO, it's such a brand-new field, that • several of the field's pioneers are still around, • and we have first-person written and audio-visual histories (e.g. Dijkstra's papers, Internet RFCs, and lots of archival footage on Youtube) • and many of the OG computer systems are still operational (be they so in museums or emulators). My head explodes at the thought; we can still learn and remember directly, the OG people and artifacts.

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> My first programming at school was done by writing out code on paper I recommend this in the 21st century too :) Personally, the light-bulbs really lit up for me through solving all of Chapter 1 of SICP with pen and paper. I would type out the on-paper solution in the computer to see if I'd got it right. There's a lot to be said for slowing down and really engaging with the fundamentals as viscerally as possible.


Very interesting discussion 🙂 My Dad wasn't a software guy, but he did his MSc in Math at the same university I did CPSC in (at different times). He took some computing classes, though, Fortran as an example. So we got to compare a few professors that were there during both our times.