I went for an interview yesterday for an organisation in London. I seemed to pass the interview ok and then the technical test which was all about demonstrating how you would go about resolving an issue on a live site I also passed. So I thought I was on to a good thing.
Then I found I had to do another telephone interview with the Head of Development. This organisation seems to be a Microsoft shop and I have done some .Net and AD in my past so I was not concerned. Questions on DNS and LDAP were easily fielded, How to explain how a web page is built to a layperson was interesting but easy. Then came the killer question "Explain N-Tier Architecture" Not sure what it was (I was getting confused with N-Series servers which I had used 10 years ago) I demured stating I had not encountered the term (I had but not in anything relevant to work so had never looked it up) and said I did not know.
It seems this failure was the reason I failed to get the job.
I of course googled it afterwards and found it was a buzz-word for multi-tier architecture or multi layered architecture. Now I know the OSI model inside out and have built seperate applications and database servers for years but I have never heard it called n-tier, possibly because I have been working with SME's and Web Development and have avoided large corporate systems for some 10 years. I fail to see why lack of knowledge of this term makes me any less of a programmer than someone who does. I know how to do it its merely a synonymous term for a fairly common practice. Surely the practice is important not the term.
So searching Drupal.org I found very little mention of N-tier, Is it of any relevance at all? Was "Explain N-Tier" a fair question to a Drupal Developer?