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Re: Meditations on the Nature of Code Exams

by indigo (Scribe)
on Mar 21, 2001 at 02:22 UTC ( #65859=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Meditations on the Nature of Code Exams

It depends whether the question on the language or on the programming.

In college, I encountered both kinds of questions, sometimes on the same test. And when I conduct interviews, I ask both kinds of questions.

Language questions tend to be short, and rarely represent complete programs, and I expect near perfect syntax. Cool language tricks earn bonus points. Some of the Perl questions I might ask are:
  • Print out the keys of the third hash in array @a.
  • Deduplicate the elements in array @a.
Programming questions tend to be more involved, and can be often answered using pseudocode. Language tricks are dangerous, as they can mask your knowledge. If I ask you to implement an efficient sort routine, and your only response is some library call, you aren't going to score any points with me.

Bottom line, a test is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the subject matter...correctness is secondary. Make sure you know what is being asked, and what the expectations are.
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