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This whole conversation is ridiculous, simply because everything really is relative. Glen Ford said it right, why should I give a flying crap if you can find the smallest common multiple of two integers if the job focuses on business rules and not on math? If one person knows .NET very well but has to write four lines of code for an algorithm, but the next guy knows C++ very well and uses a modulus operator for the same algorithm shortened to one line, but doesn't know .NET well, I'll take the first guy in a heartbeat. A job in any workplace requires a great deal of communications between team members. Rarely used math operators can be learned with a 30-second lesson; experience with all of the tools that are used in the workplace takes a significantly greater amount of dedication. Mikeash: "Do you really want to present yourself as someone who can only handle problems you've already solved in the past?" If those problems are applicable to the job, absolutely. It's called experience!! If you have the greatest handle on programming in the world but you have no real-world experience, you're pretty darn worthless. It took me years to get past the hurdles of understanding SDLC, practical patterns on each tier, and team workflows and processes, such that I earned the role of "Sr. Developer". I suck at math, but I can run circles around the know-it-all who sits around quoting algorithms all day and am able to stay productive, producing bug-free code, because with experience I have learned a strong grasp of the big picture. That's not something 15 minutes can measure. You can take your 15-minute algorithmic test and shove it.
Toggle Commented Mar 13, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
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Mar 13, 2010