Brainbench perl test?

Gordon Banner tech at
Wed Sep 5 21:51:27 BST 2012

On 05/09/2012 17:35, Abigail wrote:
> No. Well, it filters out the wannabees. It doesn't recognize the 
> serious coder. If, given the Fibonacci sequence, or a similar 
> recursive formula, and your first instinct is to solve it with 
> recursion or iteration, you aren't serious. Your first instinct should 
> be "Is there a generating function I can use?". Abigail 

I used to do a lot of interviews with brand new graduates, and quite 
often asked the CompSci ones to write me a factorial function (though 
Fibonacci would have done just as well).  I don't recall any cases where 
knowledge of the maths was a problem; and the simple implementation was 
not intended as a filter, it just got them into the programming mindset.

Of course, almost all of them would use recursion, and my real interest 
was in the follow-on discussion "why did you do it that way?", and how 
long it took them to twig that while factorials are a good illustration 
of recursion, recursion isn't necessarily a good implementation of 

However, if interviewing, say, an engineer or physicist with self-taught 
practical knowledge of programming, you usually wouldn't get the same 
reflex response, and I'd probably not bother with that question...


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