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DavidC, you have got to be kidding! "If I apply to be a lawyer do I have to argue a case to get the job?" Yes. You need to study for years, complete a degree, study more, pass an exam in the area you want to practice, and then assist on cases and then - if you're looking for a job as a trial lawyer - you'll need to have argued and won cases on your own. "For a doctor to join a hospital, do i need to operate on a patient while someone watches me do it?" Hell yes. It's known as residency. You go through pre-med, then get your medical degree, then you work under supervision for years, then if you survive all that you can get a job at a hospital. "So why is there such a preoccupiation with programmers 'proving they can program' in an interview?" Because you're applying for a job as a *programmer*. For a lawyer or a doctor, their history is fully documented. For a programmer, you have to show you can actually program. This is not elitism. It's demonstrating that you have some grasp the basic skills of your profession. If you can program, this is not exactly an onerous requirement. If you can't program, go away and stop wasting my time. Ryan Frisch - "Unfortunately this is all too typical in the IT community. If egg heads could step back and look at business problems you would realize that being a good programmer is adaptability, business acumen and unless you are working for the Google's of the world the ability to sling some code to automate an otherwise expensive process." "Egg heads"?! Asking a putative programmer to show that they can program, and we are eggheads? I'm sorry, but being a good programmer means you are able to *program*. If you can't program, then adaptability and business acumen might make you a great real-estate agent, but you're useless to me.
Toggle Commented Mar 13, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
Would you expect a senior software engineer how to implement a specific algorithm in language x? Yes. Hell yes. Never mind senior software engineer, I'd expect that of a junior programmer. I wouldn't expect someone to implement a flawless C++ quicksort on the spot, but I'd certainly expect them to be able to sketch out a decent sort algorithm (any of quick, heap, shell or merge sort), and know that it's better than bubble sort and why. I don't expect programmers to be writing their own sort routines very often - if they're doing that, there's something wrong - but I do expect them to know how sorting works and what the costs are, that there are different ways to sort data, that the different algorithms have different costs and characteristics. If you can't do that, you're the problem. If you don't think it's necessary, you're even more the problem.
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
All those people whining about the questions being irrelevant to your profession - you are the problem! For the sake of humanity, please go into some field that better fits your interests and capabilities, like taxidermy or landscape architecture.
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
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Feb 25, 2010