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Would like to spend time in a good mind blowing problem solving discussion

by Anonymous Monk
on Aug 14, 2010 at 12:56 UTC ( #855066=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
Anonymous Monk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Am in the preparation for an interview. I guess that there will definitely be around one hour to spend in discussing about a problem which the interviewer will present to me...

So what i would like to do is, prepare for such a thing right now. If i get such programming problems, i will start to discuss with my friends and get practiced with that.

Any programming problem is fine. It would be great that, if some interviewer can post what kind of programming problem you would be discussing with the interviewee.. Or any experts who can help me by posting such a question is also fine.

I dont want answers or general interview Q/A. I am in need of programming problems to discuss, dig into it .. discuss.. and continue .. Kind of forming algorithms.

I am a perl programmer, if the problem is related to that, and solvable in perl, it would be good. But anyway anything is fine, as they are very much interested in problem solving skills more than programming skill. Additional info, i am an advanced user in Linux ( but not sysadmin ).

Notes: 1. I know it is a very general question, so i taken enough care to explain as clearly as possible. If something is missing, kindly help me in finding out the right answer. 2. I understand a lot of experts gather here, so this is the very right place to ask this question.

Thanks a lot for everybody who helps in improving myself, by answering this question. ( i asked this in stackoverflow, and they guys closed before getting good answer.... expecting answer atleast here.. )

Comment on Would like to spend time in a good mind blowing problem solving discussion
Re: Would like to spend time in a good mind blowing problem solving discussion
by JavaFan (Canon) on Aug 14, 2010 at 13:27 UTC
    If I'm interviewing, I don't so much care for whether the candidates finds a solution to the problem at hand, I look how (s)he works. I often let the candidate work in front of a whiteboard, and ask him to motivate what he writes.

    The motivation is (for me) far more important than the actual code.

Re: Would like to spend time in a good mind blowing problem solving discussion
by zentara (Archbishop) on Aug 14, 2010 at 14:56 UTC
    If its a job interview, as opposed to a school test, it should be "open book". Ask to have your laptop full of your old test code snippets, review all the perldocs before going in, so you can quickly pull up the right perldoc. Don't forget the "perldoc -q somtopic" , like "perldoc -q file" which will search all the perlfaqs for entries with the topic in it...... a great source of answers.

    Also remember, if you are allowed live internet connection during the interview, search google and groups.google for all sorts of previously written code and answers.


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
    Old Perl Programmer Haiku
      If its a job interview, as opposed to a school test, it should be "open book".
      I have never had an interview that was open book, and was told the interview was over the one time I did ask. You've worked for superior shops than I have.
      if you are allowed live internet connection during the interview, search google and groups.google for all sorts of previously written code and answers.
      This never occurred to me to do during initial phone interviews. (I'm too old school; if I don't know it off the top of my head, I don't know it.) I'll try to do this in the future; thanks.
Re: Would like to spend time in a good mind blowing problem solving discussion
by Perlbotics (Abbot) on Aug 14, 2010 at 15:13 UTC
Re: Would like to spend time in a good mind blowing problem solving discussion
by murugu (Curate) on Aug 14, 2010 at 15:24 UTC
Re: Would like to spend time in a good mind blowing problem solving discussion
by Your Mother (Canon) on Aug 14, 2010 at 20:04 UTC

    I liked what JavaFan said. Something I like to hear is the care and concern a hacker is excercising while doing a problem on the whiteboard. You misused a built-in's syntax a little? So? That's 90 seconds with perldoc to solve. You wrote something without discussing why it might be better another way or needs to be written as XYZ to be unit-testable? Well, that can't be fixed without a LOT of coaching, wasted cycles, and bugs that could have been avoided/caught by a more conscientious but less technically skilled hacker.

    You're not just getting grilled for problem skills. You're introducing yourself and how you would fit in. Someone who is aware of and concerned for best practices, right tools, and even general community etiquette/idioms is, to me, a better catch than someone who has all the sort algorithms memorized.

    Not to say that is what your prospective employer is looking for. :)

Re: Would like to spend time in a good mind blowing problem solving discussion
by biohisham (Priest) on Aug 15, 2010 at 01:16 UTC
    Consider a simple screening, the FizzBuzz Test. I recently was presented this in an interview and later I found out that this is a powerful test !!. The interviewer wanted to see how Perlish my reply can get :p..

    Another thing, if this interview is Perl related, the interviewer might want to check how you approach CPAN/modules to address a programming situation by putting you in such a perspective.

    I found the FizzBuzz test absolutely hilarious and time-saving...

    Good luck ...



    Excellence is an Endeavor of Persistence. A Year-Old Monk :D .

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