So I was doing some interviews with my boss for a Software Engineering position, and my boss asked the candidate "If we select you as the candidate we wish to move forward with, are you able to provide a reference from your current manager?".
The other programmer in the room and I thought this was a very strange request, neither of us had ever been asked that in an interview, and we both said we'd be unwilling to do that in an interview. My boss on the other hand, said they had always been asked for that, and would never hire a candidate without a reference from their current manager. However, my boss has never interviewed as a software developer.
My question: Is that a normal requirement in interviews? Is it normal for software developers? Or is it only a standard question for management positions?
Note: My boss did reconsider as the other programmer and I strongly recommended against asking any other candidates this question. I'm just curious if this was normal or not.