Brainbench perl test?

Smylers Smylers at
Tue Sep 4 16:07:53 BST 2012

Piers Cawley writes:

> Tower of Hanoi is always a better example for solving with recursion
> than the fibobloodynacci sequence. If nothing else, the recursive
> solution isn't quite so immediately obvious from the problem, the
> terminating condition is obvious and an iterative solution isn't quite
> so hogwhimperingly more efficient.

Yes, that's much better.

What makes a good question depends to some extent on what you want the
person you hire to do. One way of considering this is to think about
existing (or previous) team members, and what distinguishes the better

It may be computer sciencey algorithm stuff and implementing things
efficiently. Or it may be being sufficiently comfortable with Cpan, and
gluing together other people's modules to get stuff done. Or carefully
dealing with edge cases in awkward-shaped real-world problems. Or
looking at a business spec and divining what is actually required here.
Or ...

Often these don't all come together, so I think it's worth putting some
effort into making interview exercises test the kind of thing which
makes people useful in your particular team, rather than skills which
mark out a good software engineer in the abstract.

That of course means that what some people may consider to be a poor
interview question is a most splendid question for a different vacancy.


New series of TV puzzle show 'Only Connect' (some questions by me)
Mondays at 20:30 on BBC4, or iPlayer:

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