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Doug Schwartz
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Everybody chill. Sure there are incompetent job candidates. There are also incompetent co-workers, incompetent bosses, and so on down the line. I have a degree in CS and have worked almost exclusively as a contract programmer/writer since uni daze (typo is intentional due to my horrid habit of being a smarta$$). Since I have had maybe 30 job interviews over the past 20-odd years, I can spew answers to a myriad of goofy interview questions, such as these from the top of my head: * Wwhy are manhole covers round? Because manholes are round). * How do you represent all the days of the month with two dice? Use 6 as 9. And on and on. I love coding stuff. I occassionally blow the syntax, especially a C++ gig if I haven't had one for a couple of years. I manage to always keep up-to-date by writing little "fun" programs at least monthly. I'll be reading something like this page and try my own FizzBuzz solution (I typically use Visual Studio/C# as I used to code in Java and invariably get the case wrong for stuff like console.writeline().). Took my maybe two minutes. I think some folks forget what a degree in CS signifies. It means you have suffered through writing your own QuickSort, double-linked lists, b-trees, etc. You do this so that when you are in the real world you never do it again. No one does. That's what libraries are for. However, you should be able to at least describe the algorithm and give a cogent reason why you might use a bubble sort instead of a Quicksort (small data set anyone?). Does that make me a good developer? I don't know. In my only real dev gig I had one close colleague who was good dev and another who was awful. She invariably checked in code that DID NOT BUILD!!! If she wasn't so nice (and cute, the truth comes out), I would have strangled her. doug (back to work writing the docs for our C++ library, including samples, a VS wizard, and tutorial)
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
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Feb 26, 2010