Ungooglable interview questions (was: Re: New perl features?)

Sam Kington sam at illuminated.co.uk
Sun Mar 17 19:01:32 GMT 2013

On 17 Mar 2013, at 09:24, Abigail <abigail at abigail.be> wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 01:54:37AM +0000, Sam Kington wrote:
>> At $WORK we ask new hires, over IRC (because everyone potentially works remotely), a variant of chromatic's http://modernperlbooks.com/mt/2011/01/how-to-identify-a-good-perl-programmer.html
>> So far, when we've put people through the test (some people have been omitted because they obviously had a clue), nobody has managed to identify * as a sigil.
> Have you hired any of the people any of those people? If so, does this 
> question have any value? Does it really matter when someone during an
> interview can remember that * can be used as a sigil?

As I said, we haven't made obviously clueful people go through this test, and those are the people I'd expect to remember "ahah, yes, there's * as well". But the rest of the question is potentially useful for identifying how comfortable with the language people are, and leads nicely into questions about hash slices. It's a decent shibboleth, in other words.

> But loooking at chromatics list, does it actually work? Does it identify
> good Perl propgrammers? I guess it can be used to weed out people claiming
> to know Perl very well, but don't, but someone who can answer all the
> questions may still not be able to code his/her way out of a wet paper bag.

It's a good quick, basic, test of how good at the language people are - in half an hour to an hour you can get some general idea of where someone falls on the scale of ignoramus -> junior developer -> potential senior developer. I'd still want to see someone's code, and have them talk about past projects and how they went around solving problems, to get an idea of how the person's brain works, especially if hiring for a senior position.

Website: http://www.illuminated.co.uk/

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