|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
Re: Stop with the interview questions alreadyby talexb (Canon)
|on Aug 30, 2009 at 16:25 UTC||Need Help??|
The company I work for has a standard Perl question that they ask developers. And when they asked me this question, I quickly dashed off a solution, which fell apart as soon as they asked me to explain it (awkward). I dropped that approach and did it another way, and was able to prove or explain that it would work. Phew.
I imagine that this question has leaked out, and there may have been applicants who have written the perfect response based on that advance knowledge. I seriously doubt that advance knowledge helped them. Any further exploration into Perl knowledge would clearly have left them high and dry.
I don't believe that software development is in a place now where you can 'fake it till you make it' -- you have to be able to have decent chops and be able to hit the ground running. You have to eat, live and breathe software.
Aside: I interviewed with Microsoft back in 1987, and the first of two interviews went great -- while the interviewer and I were waiting for the elevator to go back to the lobby for the second meeting, we were discussing the intriguing challenge of scheduling elevators, and he asked me what analog to that scheduling there might in computer systems. Without really pausing to think, I said, 'the position of a disk drive's head'. Yup.
The second interviewer and I just didn't click, and that was the end of that.
Cheating on interview questions is going to be a waste of time for both the underqualified employee and for the frustrated employer who has to downgrade and/or terminate the employee. That's not a good outcome.
But to get back to the original interview question -- if you're a developer, you should be familiar enough with binary, octal, decimal and hex, and with numbers in general, that you can do all sorts of cool tricks with numbers.
1. Thanks to abell, I have finally fixed this pounds/kilograms mixup after two weeks. Can I blame dyslexia? I can? Sorry, my mistake.