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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Programming Interviews Exposed
Author:
John Mongan&Noah Suojanen
ISBN:
0 471 38356 2
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
254pp
Price:
£16-50
Reviewer:
Francis Glassborow
Subject:
technology; management
Appeared in:
12-5
There are a number of books on the market that purport to offer you assistance with job interviews. Frankly, most of them will only make money for their authors because of the horrific standards of the IT industry. Too many aspiring programmers know too little about programming and have no understanding about how to look for a job.

In general, this will not apply to ACCU members because they recognise ignorance and take positive steps to correct it.

This book is far above most, if not all, of its competitors because it addresses a number of important and specific issues.

Chapter one addresses issues of the job application process. This covers most non-technical points simply, clearly and sensibly.

There is an appendix that covers preparing and writing resumes (CV's this side of the Atlantic). If you write a reasonable resume you should get as far as an interview. As long as you avoid the more stupid actions (like turning up to an interview at a conservative bank wearing a Hawaiian shirt and cut back jeans) you should manage to be judged on your technical competence and ability to work within the company framework. The later is an issue that is largely outside your control. If you are a devotee of extreme programming, you are wasting your time seeking a job in an organisation that believes that working weekends is normal.

The problem is how to show your technical competence within the framework of the kind of questions that can be asked within an interview setting. This is where this book shines because the authors take up the whole of the rest of this book addressing this problem. The specific examples maybe helpful. The general approach and helpful 'lessons' that are just what many less articulate and interview aware programmers can learn from.

If you are struggling with job interviews (for programming) or are about to start searching for your first job, buying and reading this book could prove to be one of the best investments you ever make. It will not get you a job, but it will help you prepare for the process better.