Opening example — I had 3M of fixation on tibrv^JMS. Just look at my blogposts. I go beyond interview topics. This fixation hopefully shines through on interviews.
Ken Li (Citi-muni) was probably a sharp observer of my personality and once said “If you are interested in software development then you will have a long career till retirement … no need to worry. A lot of developers lack that interest.”
Very few candidates had more than 3M personal spare time engaged in any tech topic.. Something like a deep dive. (Even fewer can sustain 12M focus.) Consider XR’s interest in machine learning. Consider grandpa.
Apparently, many interviewers are personally interested in these same details (the whys/hows/whats) so they seek out like-minded enthusiasts. This is one hypothetical explanation why those crazy theoretical QQ questions come up so often.
Other examples of personal fixation that (hopefully) shine through
- sockets — blocking operations …; unplugged
- clustered index
- timer hardware interrupts
- userland vs kernel mode
- nested classes across languages
- compiler rules on overriding
Now, many of the weeks spent has low ROTI but I was not fixated on ROTI since my earliest engaging studies in 1998 — first deep dive in unix + C programming + perl. As it turned out
- unix and linux became dominant on server side and enhanced my career
- perl became m entry point into programming career
- C domain was hopeless, but with c++ I was able to capitalize on it
Still, many of my engaging studies had low ROTI, but what if I didn’t capture my interest? I think I would end up wasting my spare energy!