SPUG: Programming questions at an interview

Marion Scott Warner warner at oz.net
Thu Nov 15 21:45:15 CST 2001

On the occasions that I have been the Interviewer I have tended to stick
with very basic programming questions, and in the language that the
person is most familiar with. I remember when I was interviewed
at Microsoft a number of years ago and the interviewer asked me to write
quicksort in 'C' using typedefs.
Well, I had been out of school long enough that I could not remember the
algorithm for quick sort and the interview was all down hill from there.

By the way the "Cobalt Group" is hiring. I  interviewed with them
yesterday and was able to answer about 2/3s of their Perl related
questions. Quite honestly it had a lot to do with the context in which I
last used Perl, DBD/DBI in CGI scripts to several databases. So the bulk
of the work  really ended up being SQL statements. The question I really
blew it on was with regular expressions, since in the context of what I
was last doing I  really had no occasion to use that part of PERL. Since
the regular expression syntax in PERL is not the same as the Unix shell
, I always end up getting  confused about the syntax and end up looking
it up in the 'Little Black Book'(plug for my favorite PERL quick
reference). Oh Well, I guess I will not be working at Cobalt, and it
actually sounded like a  very interesting position.

When interviewing someone, what I want to determine is whether that
person is capable and hard working.
If someone already knows a couple of languages, I assume they can pick
up a new one in short order.
Just my 2 cents.

Scott W.

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