So unless you don't read any of the "big" .NET bloggers (like Scott Hanselman's Blog or Podcast, Phil Haack, Jeff Attwood, etc) then you're likely familiar with the "FizzBuzz" problem described in those various posts. In case you missed it, the idea of FizzBuzz is a super simple coding exercise which can be completed during the course of an interview to prove that the candidate can at least write a program. FizzBuzz in particular is an example of that as follows:
Write a program that prints the numbers 1 to 100. But for multiples of three print "Fizz" instead of the number and for multiples of five print "Buzz". For numbers which are multiples of both three and five print "FizzBuzz".
It's simple, elegant, and proves that the candidate can at least write simple code. As many people have pointed out, it will not highlight great developers, but it will knock out bad ones.
My question to the assembled audience here is, what is a good FizzBuzz problem for BizTalk? Obviously asking you to write a custom Adapter or Pipeline component is just right out. They are to complex to be accomplished during the time of an interview. But what is a fair example of this type of problem for BizTalk?
How about sometime like this:
Write, deploy and start a BizTalk solution which will accept an XML file containing a root node named "Root" and a potentially unlimited number of child nodes of the root called "Data" from the path "C:\Test\In" and will output the same structure with to "C:\Test\Out" with the value of every "Data" node multiplied times 100.
The problem here is there isn't such a thing as the "5 minute" BizTalk Solution. I think I could do this solution in 5 minutes, but I wrote the thing. What do you think? Is this unreasonable to expect during an interview? Again, the point is not to prove you know BizTalk Server inside out and backwards, it's to prove that you don't know it at all through failure. Thoughts?