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Re^3: Stop with the interview questions already

by ELISHEVA (Prior)
on Aug 30, 2009 at 23:05 UTC ( #792240=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: Stop with the interview questions already
in thread Stop with the interview questions already

I'm not following your point here. Are you suggesting that someone has forfeit their right to learn something new N hours before an interview or test? If so, how many hours 12? 24? a week?

At my university, homework and even exams were designed to teach. The learning happened while we were working on the problem sets and exams, not "long before". We were in fact encouraged to discuss concepts, approaches and ideas with one another as we prepared our work.

Though I am not a professional teacher, I have spend countless hours successfully tutoring people that others told me had no chance. They were too dumb. Or didn't try enough on their own. Or it was too late. Or they were too much effort. In reality, they never believed in themselves or were intimidated by something that seemed easy to everyone else. When someone came along with the attitude - "you can learn", they flowered. So I don't believe in "deserve to fail". I do believe in "you will inevitably fail this time because there is too much to learn for now, but next time can be different and here is how we can make it so..."

If someone doesn't have enough knowledge to pass an interview coming up within hours, they aren't going to miraculously get it by reading a few answers at Perl Monks, especially if those answers focus on explaining the core concepts and language elements needed to solve the problem rather than hand out a solution to a particular problem on a platter. Most likely, that job opportunity will be lost to them. But helping them get the job isn't the point anyway.

Those of us who answer questions like these and care about learning, do so because we are thinking about the person's development as a whole. We want to communicate an excitement about Perl and programming and the kind of thinking needed to succeed in it. The job interview or test may be tomorrow, but the learning process will go on afterwards for many years if we can communicate and infect others with our enthusiasm.

How many of us in life start out doing something for the wrong reasons and end up getting hooked for the right reasons? Does it really matter that someone came to PM looking for a shortcut, if they get snookered into actually learning something because someone took their silly and overly narrow question seriously and looked behind it to find something useful to teach?

Best, beth


Comment on Re^3: Stop with the interview questions already
Re^4: Stop with the interview questions already
by merlyn (Sage) on Aug 30, 2009 at 23:09 UTC
    I'm not following your point here. Are you suggesting that someone has forfeit their right to learn something new N hours before an interview or test? If so, how many hours 12? 24? a week?
    Not at all. Please note, you replaced "after" with "before" and "homework" with 'test", and changed the question entirely.

    I object to anyone in the process of being tested trying to cheat to get a question answered here. They're being tested on how well they already know the answer, not how well they can crowdsource it.

    I object to anyone having been assigned homework to try to get fundamentals sorted out here. They've been told in class how to read the docs: they shouldn't need to have the docs explained to them again or the answers given to them so they can parrot the answers into the homework.

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

      I object to anyone in the process of being tested trying to cheat to get a question answered here. They're being tested on how well they already know the answer, not how well they can crowdsource it.

      I conduct interviews at my company by providing an internet connected computer along with some basic programming problems. I instruct the interviewee that she/he may "google" as needed. We don't expect people to memorize the manuals. Crowd sourcing is fair game if that produces workable results.

      I think this is a close analog to how programmers really work.

      -------------------------------------
      Nothing is too wonderful to be true
      -- Michael Faraday

        If your only skill is crowdsourcing, you are not a programmer

        ++

        I strongly agree. The ability of "googling" an answer to a difficult question is a valuable (and not at all obvious) skill

        Rule One: "Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man."

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