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Mike Clark
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Watch out with your phone interviews that you don't pull crap like asking experienced "practical" programmers idiot questions whose answers are to be found only within the pages of programming theory textbooks. I've been around the block with respect to programming, and in my COBOL days I was subject to one phone interview where the interviewer asked ridiculous technical questions that had little to do with programming, per se. My favorite was: "What is the difference between an implicit and an explicit scope-terminator?" I told him I hadn't the faintest idea what he was talking about. He then explained that the implicit scope terminator was the period at the end of a COBOL sentence and the explicit was like the END-IF at the end of an IF statement. I thought to myself, "Thanks for adding to my fund of knowledge, dude, but just what did you think you were proving with that question?" There were a large number of similar questions, which the interviewer seemed to be selecting from a book, and which I couldn't answer. Needless to say, I didn't get the in-person interview, and I later got the back-channel word that the interviewer had thought I didn't know how to program -- which surprised my back-channel source because she had watched me punch out tens of thousands of lines of working code over the course of a year-long contract.
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
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Feb 26, 2010