I've interviewed two engineering candidates in the past month that claimed LabVIEW proficiency on their resumes. Never mind that neither capitalized LabVIEW properly. One had a college course involving LabVIEW and wrote a few VIs that included instrument communication, the other downloaded a driver and read a waveform from an oscilloscope. Maybe they've Acquired-Analyzed-Presented, but they've certainly not done anything like a full application, which would be required (IMO) to demonstrate proficiency. Am I crazy/arrogant? I think that I'm going to make the next ones show me their code.
What do you consider necessary to claim to be proficient? Certifications are nice.
I'm with you. I have seen college students claim they know LabVIEW and then I am spending weeks undoing the mess they made because they had no clue what they were doing.
Certifications do help a little. I tend to just scoff over the CLAD. That just means you know how to read LabVIEW. We have hired a couple of CLADs and they had little to no clue how to actually write a program. A CLD actually means something.
What I really want to implement here (and have actually seen with some companies) is give canidates a test as part of the interview. "Make me a program that reads from a serial port and logs the data to a text file" or something like that. That is when you will learn if they are proficient. And for many, I would not be looking to see if they actually know the best way to do it, but I am looking for the thought process they are going through. If they can think and come up with a process to get to the goal, that would usually be good enough for me.
I had to code some test algorithms during my interview for my current job. I also was placed in front of an oscilloscope and told to try to find out what the signal was (turned out it was a mix of two different frequencies which I was able to find out).
In all I was at my current employer for a total of 9 hours over two interviews.
They also made sure to test me on topics which were outside of my comfort zone to see how I could improvise. I must have done something right because I've been here nearly 3 years now.
Another company offered me a job based on little more than being familiar with my avatar on the forums. Seriously. I was flattered.
I was at a company where elegantly a candidate put LabVIEW experience on his resume. When he came in they asked him about it and his answer was that he used a program written with LabVIEW, that someone else wrote. In that case I have C experience because I use Windows.
One thing I've heard used as a quick test, is to ask someone to explain what reentrancy means in LabVIEW, and when it is used. It is a non-OO question, that show knowledge of LabVIEW beyond scratching the surface. From the sounds of it, the two you interviewed would not have a clear answer.
By the way I have heard of the scope test, and asking someone to code a simple DAQ program, during an interview.
One of the best interviews I had was a an Alliance Partner location (should I name names? - lets not for now) In the entranceway there was a wall of NI Certificates.
I was given a writen and practical exam. I though both were well thought out to determine proficientcy.
(How did I do You ask?) well, I corrected their answer key (Related to ignore errors inside property node) I Was told that I could use any resouce in the cube so I confirmed my recalection of the feature with the LabVIEW help file. The proctor shook his head when I admitted it saying he wished anyone had thought to do that before.
Then turned in a BD that would fit on a business card (Power ball generator) Apparently no other candidate had used Riffle.vi and thanked me for the comments that explained the methodology to them. They deemed me proficient. I wound up accepting a different offer though.
Another interview encluded writing a Pseudo LabVIEW BD on a Whiteboard while clarifying the requirements with the interview team. Interactive as all getout! I did take that gig and when I finished took the advice of the chief engineer and printed business cards on frige magnets
I remember stating on my CV that I was experienced in designing and implementing control and data acquisition systems via LabVIEW. It certainly wasn't my lead claim on it, and I was open during my interview that my experience was limited to single loop state machine type stuff. But if you're an isolated LabVIEW user who doesn't meet others in the industry, it's very easy to see the single VI application that you've written to do something smart, that works, as proof that you're proficient.
I got the job because first and foremost I'm a multi-disciplinary engineer. I showed the right approach to problems during my interview and was offered the role. They were happy to take me on because I was Mr Right, not Mr Right Now. I've since gone from the single-loop creature that I was to a CLD, and most likely sitting the CLA this summer if I can find the time for practice. I put a big chunk of that down to having a good, receptive CLA to work with.
Proficiency...well, if I were claiming proficiency, I'd expect to come armed with a portfolio of work. Understandably, I'll never be able to show anyone outside my employer what I work on now, but I'd expect to create demo applications that show some facet of my skills. Because I was interviewed as a mechanical engineer, that's what I brought to demonstrate - examples of the projects I'd worked on that I was allowed to share.
Edit - should probably mention, although I'm sure we're all aware, half-assed recruitment agents will often just search by keyword and forward matching CVs without checking what they contain!
If you are lucky to be able to program in LabVIEW and not have to do programming in any other language,
you are very lucky. Then maybe you will have the time to develop proficiency.
I have had more employers since 2000 then most people here.
Let's just say I would need both hands to count them.
I have been required to support LabVIEW, Visual Basic 6, VB.NET, ANSI C, and VBA and now possibly C#.