Amusing job “requirements”

Edit: Our CRM team says this job posting doesn’t belong to them

I got sent this recently from a Microsoft SDE position (Job ID: 124984)

….The candidate must have 4+ years of commercial development experience in following areas: .NET Framework, ASP.NET/ASP, Advanced Web Services, WSE, TSQL, C#, C++, SQL Server/database technologies, multithreading techniques, system software development (scalable and reliable), algorithms, and performance analysis….

I’m not sure who writes these “requirements”, but when I read this I assume that must have skills really mean “must have“. Let’s check history:

The .NET Framework 1.0 released in February 2002. That means by next month the most commercial .NET Framework/ASP.NET/C# experience you could have is three years. 4+ years commercial experience just put everyone out of that loop. Or how about WSE? WSE SP1 wasn’t released until March 2003.

So much for common sense. One of my other favorite job “requirements” was J2EE jobs that listed “three years experience using Enterprise Jelly Beans.” Luckily, I really shine in the jelly bean space.

Comments (16)

  1. Michal says:


    I was recently talking with a recruiter about a job which ‘required’ a 6 years of C# experience…

  2. Joris says:

    Of course, you will also find people who do "commercial development" with beta versions… (whatever commercial development may mean…)

  3. Dennis says:

    It’s an algorithms/insight test. The solution is to realize that they aren’t using Earth years. To translate your resume into their terms, divide the experience required by the age of the technology, and multiply your experience by the resulting ratio.

  4. Daniel Auger says:

    So what do you say to these recruiters? In your cover letter do you say: "I apologize that I am applying for this job without the 6 years of c# experience you require, but I feel that is an unrealistic requirement considering it’s only coming up on 4 years since release"? How do you go about that without being offensive?

  5. Paul says:

    If recruiter ask about 4+ years expericence in C# then I would tell that I have 8+ and very sharp expericence. I believe someone just typing the requirements without looking the reality. Recently, I came across requirements such as you should know C#, SQL server 2000, DB2, J2EE and java server pages, Websphere application server, Unix shell scripting, XML, Jboss. I mean come on. Someone does not realize how long it takes to understand just part of .net framework.

  6. Steve Hall says:

    When I interviewed several dozen H1B’s from Bangalore for multiple openings 7 years ago (in 1998), almost half of them claimed to have had 5+ years of Java and Java class library experience. (Hint: Java was born on May 23, 1995 at SunWorld…) On top of that, >90% of them were recent college graduates (only a few months in their first job or hadn’t had a job before), but they all claimed the 4 years of their college-life counted towards that 5 years of job experience. (Curiously, more than half of them also had Master degrees and tried to pawn off their Master Thesis project as a product of their "job". Rather disingenious… Not that I’m against showing off code written for a Masters: it’s just they all LIED about it being from a real job.)

    Now mind you, these jobs were for C++ OS/2 programmers. I would gladly had taken anyone who had only 1-2 years of C++ with Windows or OS/2, but they all insisted that their 5 years of Java was valuable…and wanted me to change the project’s technology choices just for them!

    Of course, I just happened to have a copy of the JDK 1.2 on my Windows machine, but none of them could even compile and run a simple app… (This is why I went through several dozen and recommended NONE of them be bired!)

    Then during the DotCom Boom, I interviewed several dozen times at startups (in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara) that wanted 5-7 years Java experience (in 1999!). There were even a few that wanted seasoned 7-10 year Java veterands. I told those recruiters that the only folks that would qualify would be the original Sun developers of Java.

    At 4 or 5 of the companies, THOSE were EXACTLY the kind of people they actually THOUGHT they were gonna get! Sure….I could just see James Gosling or Bob Weisblatt or other Green Team members working for half the pay and some worthless stock options at a startup, grinding out crappy webpage apps. Can we all say "Clueless!" and "Asking For Too Much!" real loud now please?!?!?!

    Thus, it doesn’t surprise me job requirements are once again out of whack with reality! (I’m sure there’s some idiots out there that think they can attract the likes of Anders Hejlsberg to write their webpage apps for them… THOSE are companies I definitely do NOT want to work for!)

  7. Daniel…I saw one once like that…and I decided to be passive-aggressively offensive about it:

    I was looking for a job in Boston 2002 (August/September) that wanted 5 years c# experience. I sent an email saying that C# had only been a final product for 6 months, that I had been using it since beta, which amounted to about a year and a half, and that if they really wanted someone with 5 years on c# they should contact Anders.

    I never got called for an interview…

  8. Don’t know about you guys, but I have 6 years C# experience.

    Of course, I was on the .NET team at one point.

  9. Steve Hall says:

    Simon: I’ll be interviewing again here in Sillycon Valley as my current job is winding down. Should I pass on your name and URL/email to all the nut-jobs that think people with 7-10 years C# experience grow on trees? Remember, YOU TOO can earn WINDFALL STOCK OPTIONS (in vaporware stock)! (Well, at least until the stock goes "underwater"…)

  10. Steve – <joke>Sure</joke>


    I’m much happier working on games at the moment though 🙂

  11. Adam Young says:

    Actually, I think it’s possible to have 4+ years of .net experience – beta1 was released Dec 2000, and my company decided to do a major development using it… so theoretically I have 4 years+ experience of .net… depending on your point of view.

  12. Hey Adam,

    The description says "commercial" development and legally you could not develop commercial software using Beta 1 as Microsoft did *not* provide a go-live license until Beta 2. Even at Beta 2, it was explicitly for Web applications and there was an approval process. But fine, I’ll grant you the 4+ years of .NET experience. There is still NO way* to have 4+ years of WSE (Web Services Enhancements) experience, which per the job listing, is a "requirement" you "must have."

    * Simon Cooke exception – As Simon pointed out, the exception to the .NET and WSE "must have" requirements is if you actually helped build the product.

  13. Earl Curder says:

    Hire Americans first. H1Bs are supposed to be a distant afterthought, a fill-in, not a way for shrewd mendacious amoral firms to steal income from American workers and communities. H1Bs are lying about their experience when their lips are moving. You find out when you see their code.

  14. Robert says:

    Hi Guys.  I am a recruiter.  When I started sfdfhg years ago my manger once told me, "If you cant take the time to research the product how can you sell it".  Todays recruiters and IT managers dont get the picture.  I do wish my peers would understand that but like so many perfessions, not always are the employees capable and interested to learn.  What a shame.

    Robert Richter