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Re^2: On Interviewing and Interview Questions

by DrHyde (Prior)
on Aug 26, 2005 at 08:40 UTC ( #486825=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: On Interviewing and Interview Questions
in thread On Interviewing and Interview Questions

but when faced with a paper'n'pen couldn't produce anything coherent

You don't use paper and pen to program in real life, so asking people to do so in an interview is not very useful. We test peoples' technical aptitude by first giving them a little programming task. It's the same task for everyone, they have an hour and a half to get as much done as possible, and we don't expect people to complete it. They have access to the interweb and all the online docs.

Then we go through their code with them, and talk about other relevant stuff.

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Re^3: On Interviewing and Interview Questions
by spurperl (Priest) on Aug 26, 2005 at 13:58 UTC
    When I'm faced with an unfamiliar computer, with an unfamiliar text / code editor, unfamiliarly configured, it's not too comforting. At least pen an paper are common for everyone :-)
      If you can't log into a random system and edit a file using whatever editor is on that system in order to fix a crashbug at 3am on a Saturday, you don't have enough moxie to work on my team. That's just a fact of life.

      My criteria for good software:
      1. Does it work?
      2. Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?
        If you fix bugs by hacking code on live production machines, I don't want to work on your team.

        Yeah, especially if the only editor you can find on the system is "ed". Or whatever ancient VMS systems have by default. Or, you said a random system, what if it's all in Czech? I wonder how much use will the documentation be to you then. Or, still remember you said random, what if it's all in cyrilic? Everything in Russian. Still cool? Japanese? Chinese?

        Random means a much wider list of posibilities than "any version of Linux in English".

        XML sucks. Badly. SOAP on the other hand is the most powerfull vacuum pump ever invented.

      We provide people with a Unix-like machine. If they can't use that, then they are not qualified. We let people use whatever reasonable editor they like. If they aren't at least minimally competent with vi(m), emacs or pico/nano, then I don't want to know. They also have perl pre-installed and a working interwebnet connection. Anyone who finds that too unfamiliar is interviewing for the wrong job.
        Emacs may be my preferred editor, but my .emacs is not your .emacs .

        That is the strength, as well as the weakness, of Emacs.


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