Brainbench perl test?

Mr I cub4ucme at
Tue Sep 4 13:03:22 BST 2012

Really not one to make comment but this one pulled on my goatee

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 9:50 PM, Simon Wistow <simon at> wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 08:41:14PM +0200, Joel Bernstein said:
> > It's a red flag of lack of clue if a prospective employer tries to use
> > this to weed out candidates.
> I've literally had people who were "Senior" programmers (whatever that
> means) who, when given the instructions "Given that fib(n) is equal to
> fib(n-1) + fib(n-2) write a fib function in any language" didn't even
> get to the
>   sub fib {
>     my $n = shift;
>     return fib($n-1)+fib($n-2);
>   }
> let alone dealing with base cases or turning it into an iterative method
> or memoizing or ...
IMHO this is a typical example of an awful question!

It requires additional knowledge of the problem domain NOT asked by the
interviewer.Your assumption is that the candidiate knows:

a) the fibonacci sequence
b) mathematically how to calculate (included recurrence)

It's such a flawed question.

You're not testing the candidates knowledge of maths you're testing their
knowledge of programming.
The question does not allow you to assess whether the candidate is freezing
due to their lack of knowledge in mathematics or in programming.

It's equivalent to asking you to write a function ved(n, m) that implements
the 16 sutras* and uses them to return the result. A task that maybe easily
done by many an Indian programmer yet many in this group would struggle

A "good" question should reference a closed problem domain with a clearly
defined task (e.g. create a maze in a 6 by 6 grid, sort a pack of single
faced cards, etc). That way you can assess the candidates reasoning,
approach and coding (hopefully).

My $0.02 cents


* vedic mathematics

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