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Is this really true ?

This is a discussion on Is this really true ? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Yarin That's a neat idea. However I feel the need to object. It's flawed for at least ...

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    That's a neat idea. However I feel the need to object. It's flawed for at least 2 reasons, it was never specified that the refrigerator has a "door" (and considering the lack of mentioned size is valid, I imagine this point would be, too), and more importantly, it also never specified that these actions occur in a sequence.
    So, the correct answers should be along the lines of:
    1) Place it in the refrigerator.
    2) Place it in the refrigerator.
    3) Place them both in the refrigerator.
    The point is that they were looking for a specific answer... it matters not if the answer was correct or not...

  2. #17
    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
    The point is that they were looking for a specific answer... it matters not if the answer was correct or not...
    I see. In that case, I'm surprised more people didn't get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwenting View Post
    seniors tend to take longer than juniors to write the same algorithm simply because they tend to get sidetracked by things like properly structuring code, beautifying their work, error handling, logging, etc. etc..
    I am too inclined to disagree with the author idea that a good answer should be given in under 2 minutes if one is a graduate programmer.

    Graduate programmers in fact may not be experienced programmers, to whom trivial problems require trivial solutions that became second nature from years of coding. I expect a graduate programmer to be exact, careful, attentive and... slow (within reason). In fact few things would please me more than an interviewee showing some attitude and frowning if I tried to rush him.

    Finally, as for PhD's forgetting basic stuff. In a lecture at a some university, Stroustrup was interrupted once or twice (can't quite recall) and told by a student to correct basic syntactical mistakes he had just made. Recently I couldn't remember the syntax to include a C code block on C++ and felt tremendously embarrassed a few months ago when interviewing a potential candidate for a C# position, he produced an answer to a question in hexadecimal that I couldn't tell if was right.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F.
    Stroustrup was interrupted once or twice (can't quite recall) and told by a student to correct basic syntactical mistakes he had just made. Recently I couldn't remember the syntax to include a C code block on C++ and felt tremendously embarrassed a few months ago when interviewing a potential candidate for a C# position, he produced an answer to a question in hexadecimal that I couldn't tell if was right.
    I think that is fine. Anyone who programs every day makes syntax and/or logic errors every day. Particular features like extern "C" are things that you can find out when needed especially when you have this vague memory that something like that exists. Stumbling when you have to mentally convert from one base to another is no shame if you can convert it on paper or write a program to perform the conversion.

    So, if you get a FizzBuzz question right, well and good. On the other hand, a syntax or logic error (or being remiss on error checking, for that matter) can provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate how you react to feedback on the correctness of your program, and show your debugging skills. If an interviewer does not take advantage of that, I would question if it were an interview or just a programming quiz session.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    I see. In that case, I'm surprised more people didn't get it.
    If memory serves that was pretty much the point of the article... out of all those people only 1 had the correct logical accumen to provide the answers they expected.

    Based on what they considered the right answer, I'm guessing they were looking for someone who could see a sequence of events in the most uncomplicated way possible... which, for a coder or technician is a very good job skill to have.

    In my experience over-simplification per your original answer is just as bad as over-complication per most of the answers they got.

    Not to say your answer is wrong mind you... it's not... It's just not the one they were looking for.

    (Of course, not being in on the creation of the test, I can only speculate about what they were actually thinking.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by manasij7479 View Post
    Why would someone successfully passing those have trouble with such trivial problems?
    Here's a bunch of reasons:
    1. You don't exactly have to pass with flying colours to graduate.
    2. Finding code that you can copy and paste from somewhere ,or an algorithm you can adapt from wikipedia, or someone you can pay to do the work for you, is all too easy. You can clearly scrape by without having to think much at all.
    3. "graduates" probably includes those that graduated and then got employed in a totally unrelated line of work and forgot half of what they learned.
    4. "majority" simply means greater than 50%. It might be 50.1%
    5. Interviews can be very stressful for some, turning an otherwise average level programmer into someone somewhat imcompetent.
    6. Believe it or not, an entire 3 or 4 year degree may not involve the student actually using the modulus operator even once in any of their programs.
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  7. #22
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    especially #5. After 10 years of using SQL every day at work I couldn't remember how to construct a simple DELETE statement in a job interview
    rags_to_riches likes this.

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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rags_to_riches View Post
    Yes...I've read that before and is very easy to see why...
    Our whole system can be effectively summarized by the following picture..
    Name:  x.jpg
Views: 125
Size:  69.0 KB
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  10. #25
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    When I interview graduates for a coding position I use the FizzBuzz test (in any language or just peusdo-code).

    Last time I did interviews not one applicant (out of the dozen I interviewed) got the code 100% correct.

    I had an applicant with a masters who could not even start (could not create a for loop).

    I hired the one who was very disapponted when I told him that he had got it wrong and asked me to show him where (his loop ran for 101 numbers not 100).
    I asked him to test the edge cases and he happily corrected the error himself.
    It proved to me that he cared about his code and wanted to get it right everytime (something that is very important in asset protection systems).
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
    We are looking for someone with keen logical skills who can "cut to the chase" when fixing problems.

    1) How do you put an elephant in your refrigerator?
    2) How do you put a giraffe in your refrigerator?
    3) How do you put an elephant and a giraffe in your refrigerator?
    Buy a box of animal crackers. Put it in the fridge.

    I'm not sure why you would want refrigerated animal crackers though.


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  12. #27
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    In response to the original post, that's astounding. I know a lot of students copy/paste but didn't know it was that bad. I mean, I'm pretty sure all of us here can write that program in under a minute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    In response to the original post, that's astounding. I know a lot of students copy/paste but didn't know it was that bad.
    I'd bet it's worse than most of us think it is...

    In my experience people will take any shortcut they can find, even knowing in advance that it will lead to a bad outcome.

    I don't recall the author but : "Given the opportunity to behave stupidly, most people will do exactly that."

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    Quote Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
    I don't recall the author but : "Given the opportunity to behave stupidly, most people will do exactly that."
    My addition to that: "... and will think that they are being very clever with it."
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    Quote Originally Posted by quzah View Post
    Buy a box of animal crackers. Put it in the fridge.

    I'm not sure why you would want refrigerated animal crackers though.


    Quzah.
    you have a point. the question does not explicitly state that it has to be a real, literal, living elephant

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