Crazy Idea

interviewing techniques for java web developer
June 11, 2007, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

These days, an enterprise developer works on multiple source files

a) xml/XSL

b) java/C#

c) SQL


e) javascript(ECMAscript)

f) CSS

The xml itself can/will contain different grammars depending upon the payload (config, build, content, rules, etc). So, when someone interviews for a position, it is nice to give them a lot of code (say an eclipse/netbeans/idea project) and ask them to add a new feature to the code.

It’s NOT only important to know that the developer understands how to read existing code (like say quicksort/bubblesort/stringReverse) BUT also, how to add new code to existing code( If a person can cross that chasm, then such a person can go to the next stage of interviewing.

It’s important to let the interviewee(candidate) do this for all the artifacts that they are expected to create/USE(java/xml, SQL etc). It’s also good to have some sample code available for them so that they can do copy/paste. This is so that the candidate does not fail just on syntax.

If, as Joel says, it takes smarts + “getting things done” attitude to succeed at his company, the above exercise should take care of “GETTING THINGS DONE”. I guess the puzzles and related questions go a long way at testing a person’s smarts ?

Comments ?



Is anybody in production using Java 6
June 9, 2007, 1:10 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

hi All,

I was talking to someone who’s going to put into production a critical java/j2ee app beginning of next year. They are insisting on using Java 1.5 : I mentioned that Java 6 could give out of the box performance and monitoring improvements over Java 1.5. Also mentioned that my experience porting and production support of a java 1.4 app to java 1.5 was very pleasant. But they try to be conservative and try to be 1 version behind, just in case!!

So, do you know of any big important apps/companies that are in production today with Java 6 ? How did Java 6 far compared to Java 5 ?


Netbeans ISA http proxy server client module
May 4, 2007, 11:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

HI LazyWeb

I downloaded the latest netbeans 6.0 M9 today. Took a lot of time — must be a popular download what with javascript and ruby support built into the IDE.

I noticed that netbeans has a decent MS ISA http proxy server client — I’ve tested various other tools and they cannot work well with MS ISA server.

It would be nice to extract the ISA Server client from netbeans and make it a library that other java developers can use .

jEdit can surely use it. I’ve had trouble getting across ISA server from jEdit. Thanks to fiddler proxy server, I was able to download some plugins on jedit but that was a very slow process.

Hopefully, when I get some time, I will try to get into the netbeans dev list and ask someone to point me to the right location so that I can create a library — assuming that it is OSS.

Eclipse also has a decent proxy client (mostly because I think they use IE to go around the ISA proxy server)

The ruby world has a plugin(gem) that is supposed to do it : rubysspi but I was NOT able to get it working so far.  I can’t get wget/curl to work with the ISA Server. It would be nice if I could have a highly performing local proxy server which can talk to ISA proxy server. That way, all my tools don’t need to point to ISA server but just the local proxy server(which can be seeded with the credentials).

Any hints ?

how to (politely) stop a find process after the 1st match
April 26, 2007, 12:26 am
Filed under: howto


I’m on windows(cygwin); Every now and then, I run a “find” task which finds the file and then continues searching for a lot more time . I’d like it to abort after the 1st match.

eg : find . -type f – iname “foo.txt” -exec xemacs.bat {} ;

Is there a way to tell find that “hey, after you find the 1st match(a file), do the exec piece and then quit the find part of it ?

I know that I could create a .bat file that finds who its parent process is and terminates it. But is there a more nicer way ? 🙂

Thanks for any hints.

Java 6(Mustang) upgrade path hurdles ?
December 21, 2006, 6:38 pm
Filed under: howto

I changed my default java to java 6(from java 5), and what do I find : My build is broken! Why ?

javac complains
1) xxxxStatement is not abstract and does not override abstract method isPoolable() in java.sql.Statement
2) xxxxxxStatement is not abstract and does not override abstract method setNClob(int, in java.sql.PreparedStatement

Sun’s new jdbc 4.0 introduces new methods to Statment, PreparedStatement among others.

So, a lot of projects having their own ConnectionPools and connection leakage detectors will have problems with the new JDK. Not sure if sun thought about it ? When we upgraded from java 1.4.2 to java 1.5, we had to fix a bunch of code to get it working in the new compiler but java 6 was advertised as no hassle upgrade!

What happens when we run pre-built java(say java 1.4.2 or java 1.5) programs using JDK 6 ?

gmail bug ?
November 15, 2006, 6:09 am
Filed under: howto

I wanted to created (yet) another gmail account

So, I went to my usual account and sent an invite to my yahoo account. At yahoo mail, I clicked on the link in the invite email. This brought me to another tab (in firefox) and I entered my details and submitted the form. I was taken to the gmail welcome page.

Then I clicked on the “Ready : take me to my inbox” and when I clicked on that, i was taken to my original gmail account (from which I had sent the invite to the yahoo account) rather than the new gmail account!

Not sure if this is a security bug — if anyone from gmail(cedric, josh, …) is interested, I can give more details.

August 25, 2006, 9:46 am
Filed under: howto
ZOHO writer. cool app

wow, it’s good to know that this will let me edit multiple documents at the same time.

it’s free and pretty decent. But……., can it let me import WORD docs ?