Brainbench perl test?

Simon Wistow simon at
Wed Sep 5 20:10:51 BST 2012

On Tue, Sep 04, 2012 at 01:03:22PM +0100, Mr I said:
> 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)

Except for the part where I don't assume that and I tell them exactly 
how to do it. The fact that it happens to be the fibonacci sequence is 
almost incidental.

What I'm looking for is 

- for them to spot that there's going to be base cases
- that they notice they'll be doing duplicate work 
- how they think about how to prevent doing duplicate work
- potential other solutions (i.e iteration)

In my defense I'm not a monster in interviews, lounging archly in the 
corner and occasionally sneering "Oh, you can't even do THAT? Where do 
you learn to program? Clown School?" and then spraying them with water.

I just want to see how people solve problems - if they get stuck I'll 
gently ask questions that point in the right direction. 

Just as an aside: one of my other favourite interview questions is "I 
got to a web page in a browser, what happens?" which is basically a 
Rorschach test.


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