in reply to On Interviewing and Interview Questions

My favorite interview question:

"You've got a file on machine A and want to get it to machine B. Give me ten ways to do it."

You'd be surprised at how many people stall out at 3 or 5. It gives you a nice feel for both how their mind works and what they've been exposed to.

("Pigeons", for instance, would pretty much get you the job on the spot.)
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Re^2: On Interviewing and Interview Questions
by Anonymous Monk on Aug 29, 2005 at 13:31 UTC
    Pigeons are a lousy answer. It takes way too long to train them to memorize the file, and they usually make significant mistakes when asked to recite it back. :-)

    Seriously, you never said machine B was more than ten feet away, and if all it takes it ten transport mechanisms to count as ten distinct answers, then the question can be answered trivially. ("Send a floppy by car/bus/train/pigeon/horse/elephant/ etc")

    Here's my list:

    1. Retype it, using a hex editor if necessary.
    2. Put it on floppy/CD/zipdrive.
    3. Ethernet.
    4. Print the file, and scan it back using OCR. Use something like a uuencoding if necessary.
    5. Nullmodem cable across the serial/parallel port.
    6. Modem.
    7. Text to speech => tape recorder => voice recognition (like a modem, but more inefficient).
    8. Power down machine A, yank the hard drive with the file on it, re-install in drive B.
    9. Print bar codes & read back with a bar code reader.
    10. Hot-swap raid drives from A to B until the file is copied over. Keep replacing drives on A so that the system never goes down.

    How's that? Do I get the job?


      > How's that? Do I get the job?

      If I had a req, sure! :-)
      (The sad thing is that we've used 5 of those in our production environment.)