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Re^2: Stop with the interview questions already

by ssandv (Hermit)
on Aug 31, 2009 at 01:23 UTC ( #792257=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

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

A couple things (and some of them I probably could have been clearer on in the first place): I'm not saying outsourcing is a crime--in fact, I'm one of the first people to come down on people who think they have some right to stop learning new stuff and still stay employable. As long as there are gaps in the standard of living among technologically advanced nations, there will be outsourcing. I'm also not saying that I don't understand why, when there's clearly a list of "likely interview questions", people would come here trying to get them answered. I certainly think this particular problem has more to do with bad management practice than anything else.

What I'm trying to say is--that's a lousy way to learn Perl; the questioners have in several cases come back with ridiculously similar questions, which suggest strongly they ignored every pointer to the documentation, and/or are shotgunning straight off the list without realizing the same documentation they were pointed to for their last question would answer this one too; it frustrates the people trying to give help, which makes it less likely they'll get good answers when they have good questions; and it tends to crowd the Newest Nodes and Recently Active Threads with stuff that's got no meat.

I found the stuff you said about the language barrier pretty interesting. I don't think it explains some of the behavior, though. It *really* feels like there are people who are unhappy if they don't get handed an answer that they can use verbatim to answer the question. I submit that people who think that way will never be good programmers--and to the extent that they're employed as Perl programmers, that *is* bad for all of us. I certainly recognize that it's possible for sensible people to disagree on this point, but that's the conclusion I've come to.

I don't think this post would hurt your reputation at the site, whoever you are.

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Re^3: Stop with the interview questions already
by tmharish (Friar) on Aug 31, 2009 at 05:33 UTC
    I think the question of answering certain kinds of questions is not what is really at the heart of this discussion, instead I think its the reference to those from a certain part of the world.

    I myself am from India and whats more I live in Bangalore. I get onto Perl monks looking for interesting bits of code and discussions and repeatedly come across posts such as this one - Its not a pleasant experience to say the least.

    Regarding those who do outsourced jobs, it must be noted that these people work 10 hours a day 6 days a week. Some of the "big" outsourcing companies, which are sought-after, pay - what is considered a really good salary - of about Rs 25,000 per month. About 514$.

    If one does the math you will notice that that comes down to about 2$ an hour. I should also add that people need 16 years of educations (equivalent to an American UG?) to get such jobs.

    Most of us are not proud of this. Those, unfortunate enough to be forced to do such jobs are not really proud of it either.

    In addition to this a lot of those who get these jobs are first generation learners - whose parents have never been able to read. They do the first 12 years of their education in their naitive language and are then forced to go through the subsequent 4 years in English - The presure of doing this after ones parents have put in all their money into their education often leads to suicides.

    Now - with this in mind - do you think that all of these people are capable of RTFM? Some of them are rude, some of the questions are not the best, some of the questions are asked for potentially unethical reasons - but such posts regularly end up in the worst nodes after the OP being told that he/she is an idiot.

    Thats fine. But does a whole section of the world have to get thrashed for this? Maybe not.

    I am with you on the question of answering interview / homework questions. I myself go through tons of CVs and have a whole bunch of people take tests and often find answers that are not original. I take, on an average, about a hundred tests a month. I find it nearly impossible to come up with that many new questions. Maybe thats a shortcoming but I find that most people who dont know their stuff but have copied it off someplace can easily identified in subsequent interview rounds.

    Basically - the concern regarding interview/homework questions is shared. If the place of origin can be left out - that will be greatly appreciated.

      Well done for speaking up!++

      Frankly, I'm sad and disappointed that this thread exists. More so that the bigotaratii fell over themselves to leap on the bandwagon. Whether you categorise it under rascism, xenophobia, nepotism or protectionism. tarring any group of people on the basis of the actions of one or a few, is blind discrimination. When the group is defined as "that part of the world" and encompasses 1/6th or 1/5th or 1/4th of the population of the planet, it goes beyond simple short-sightedness.

      To quote me from my home node:

      Whenever we make a judgement about someone on the basis of 'that is typical of "them"', where 'them' is some non-specific group of people to which you have subscribed the individual without knowing their individual circumstances--and we all do this to some greater or lesser degree, including me--we are acting upon, and perpetuating prejudice. And whilst each act by each individual is small; collectively, they can have a significant affect upon the recipients of our lack of thought and care.

      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

        Define "a few"!

        Prejudice, if not taken to extremes, is healthy. Prejudice, is just a bad name for the generalization of experience. You've met a few sharp knifes, so you learn to handle knifes with care. Even those you do not know. Even those that might be so blunt that you could not cut yourself no matter how much you tried. But what's "knifes are sharp" if not prejudice? Handling knifes with care is no worse neither better than making sure I have my wallet safe when a bunch of gipsy kids get on the tram/bus. Except that no one is gonna scream BS about racism when it comes to knifes. No one has made a nice living for him/her-self from "protecting" knifes.

        You should be ready to change what/how you think about something/someone once you get more information about that individual, but banning "prejudice" is silly. And dangerous. Let's aim for moderation, not for absolute $whatever.

        Enoch was right!
        Enjoy the last years of Rome.

      Most of us are not proud of this. Those, unfortunate enough to be forced to do such jobs are not really proud of it either.


      Thats fine. But does a whole section of the world have to get thrashed for this? Maybe not.

      Dear tmharish,

      the source of these kind of stereotypes is mostly fear and envy.

      IT folk always belonged to a privileged cast who got constantly raising salaries for practicing their favorite hobby. And now they are the first to experience the pressure of globalization, since the internet annihilates any of the old political and economic frontiers.

      Maybe it helps you to look into the economic history of Germany or Japan, both started as agricultural countries selling bad copys of western goods for dumping prizes.

      In the 1960s a Japanese camera was a synonym for a toy, and look where they are now. And the "Made in xxx" inscriptions were invented at the second half of the 19th century to protect the British market from much too cheap German copies of British products. Britain was the highest industrialized country, Germany nearly purely agricultural.

      Needless to say how these countries were ridiculed, when people started to notice their growing economy.

      I still remember how a French prime minister in the 1990s compared Japanese with ants ...

      Or just think of how Europeans just started to ridicule "uncultivated" US-Americans when they came after the wars as far too rich tourists. Ridiculing is just a protective psychological mechanism.

      Also needless to say that all these countries were seen mostly positive abroad, as long as they had no economic success.

      Cheap and hard work is the natural resource of "underdeveloped" countries, it always was ... just look into history to see how some countries succeeded to "develop" themselves...

      Be proud of it!

      Cheers Rolf

      PS: Hope you understood me well, your English is for sure better than mine... :-)

        Hey LanX,

        Really appreciate that post.

        Puts a couple of things in new light.

        Thank you!

        the source of these kind of stereotypes is mostly fear and envy.
        It couldn't possibly be because regular Perlmonks users think that curt, demanding questions which are answered in several ways in perldoc are inappropriate? It's that we are afraid and envious of the rude questioners? I hesitate to ask what we are supposed to be afraid of and envious of, but it might provide a laugh.

      Thanks for a thoughtful and informative response. There are some things I clearly don't understand about the interview process over there. I guess it's difficult for me to believe there's not a better way to do it, or at least some way that wouldn't generate a "answer bank" as an artifact.

      And, let's face it. It's not good for anybody when people start to make comments in the CB when certain questions get posted like "they must be hiring in Bangalore." That's as close to an exact quote as I can remember (because I don't keep a CB archive) from someone I would consider to be a relatively mild monk who frequents the CB (not me, I never claimed to be mild). When these problems are highly coupled with linguistic cues that make it obvious the OP is in India, it's likely to lead to bad results down the road on both sides.

      Sure, outsourcing is a politically touchy subject, on both sides, and there's obviously going to be people with an axe to grind on the subject. I'm not one of them. But I do take it fairly personally when people treat a community of volunteers as a consumable resource, and that's what these people give every appearance of doing. I can't imagine that's acceptable behavior in any culture. Even if it is, I feel no qualms about condemning it, as I've never been, nor claimed to be, a cultural relativist.

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