On Tuesdays I cover topics related to getting job in the tech industry, and today I’ll be discussing strategies for interviewing for an enterprise software job.
If you’re a developer and have worked with startups or freelance clients you’ll find that the world of enterprise software jobs is quite different, in both good and challenging ways.
Some of the pros to working in the enterprise software industry is that large organizations typically are stable, have systems in place for development, and allow you to specialize on a specific piece of functionality instead of having to cover the full range of software features.
Some of the challenges that are unique to enterprise development are that there is typically quite a bit of red tape for developers, if you’re used to being able to grab any code library and stick it in your application you’ll find that enterprises are pretty picky about what outside libraries you bring in. For example, I was just talking with a enterprise software developer a few days ago who expressed how frustrating it was that it took two months for his company to give him permission to use the jQuery library, which is one of the most commonly used user interface libraries in the application space.
So what types of questions should be prepared for when applying for an enterprise software job?
- Questions about how well you work with formal processes. Depending on the company’s level of formality you’ll most likely need to explain how you have worked with different project management processes such as Scrum, Extreme Programming, and processes such as that.
- At large enterprises software bugs can cause millions of dollars in damages, so the testing systems are typically quite thorough. With that in mind make sure that you are prepared to answer questions related to unit testing and behavior driven development.
- Considering that we’re living in a Microsoft based enterprise world, having a solid knowledge of how well you understand ways to integrate with Windows servers, ActiveDirectory, and tools such as SharePoint will be very important. I’ve personally been asked how I would integrate ActiveDirectory single sign on into a Ruby on Rails application, along with how to run Rails on a Windows server during various interviews. And if you know the Rails development system you’ll know that these are not standard requirements at all.
Hopefully these four areas of questions will help you prepare and feel confident about applying for an enterprise software job, and good luck with the interview!
Enterprise Software Job Additional Resources: