Comment On It Depends & Too Good To Be True

It Depends (from David) [expand full text]
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It depends on...

2008-08-26 11:21 • by Brian (unregistered)
It depends on whether you want the job or not.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:23 • by A. Bear (unregistered)
Personally, I was a bit confused over 1 not being a prime number. I am not a mathematician, so I went looking. A minute of searching and I found this:
The number 1 is a special case which is considered neither prime nor composite (Wells 1986, p. 31). Although the number 1 used to be considered a prime (Goldbach 1742; Lehmer 1909; Lehmer 1914; Hardy and Wright 1979, p. 11; Gardner 1984, pp. 86-87; Sloane and Plouffe 1995, p. 33; Hardy 1999, p. 46), it requires special treatment in so many definitions and applications involving primes greater than or equal to 2 that it is usually placed into a class of its own. A good reason not to call 1 a prime number is that if 1 were prime, then the statement of the fundamental theorem of arithmetic would have to be modified since "in exactly one way" would be false because any n=n·1. In other words, unique factorization into a product of primes would fail if the primes included 1. A slightly less illuminating but mathematically correct reason is noted by Tietze (1965, p. 2), who states "Why is the number 1 made an exception? This is a problem that schoolboys often argue about, but since it is a question of definition, it is not arguable." As more simply noted by Derbyshire (2004, p. 33), "2 pays its way [as a prime] on balance; 1 doesn't."
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/PrimeNumber.html

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:25 • by Outlaw Programmer
Marty McFly:
I hope this does not affect my possible future employment with ------- in the past.


Their problem was they weren't thinking fourth-dimensionally!

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:31 • by Top Cod3r (unregistered)
That test reminds me of the test that I personally designed for our department. I purposely tried to make it complex so we could weed out developers who think they know everything but don't. I like to start off with simple questions like the proper use of On Error Resume Next, and the importance of naming your variables with a prefix that tells you what type it is. Then I move on to more complex questions about theory, such as choosing between different application designs, 2-tier, 3-tier, 4-tier and 5-tier (with and without a facade). I then ask them other theory questions, such as "Name 3 disadvantages of the MVC design pattern".

The last couple years, we have had problems with new developers questioning the code and methodology we use, so I decided to add some real-life questions with some actual code examples from our apps to make sure that they are willing to learn from my code and not think that they know it all.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:35 • by gabba
So David passed up an opportunity with a promising startup because of this nerdy pedantic prime number disagreement? They're better off without him.

And Greg passed up an enterprising candidate who finds unconventional ways to solve difficult problems? Nice.

Lots of WTFs here, but not in the ways the authors intended.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:39 • by Moitah (unregistered)
214074 in reply to 214073
gabba:
So David passed up an opportunity with a promising startup because of this nerdy pedantic prime number disagreement? They're better off without him.

And Greg passed up an enterprising candidate who finds unconventional ways to solve difficult problems? Nice.

Lots of WTFs here, but not in the ways the authors intended.


I agree with you. Today's WTFs aren't that great.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:40 • by Vroomfundel (unregistered)
214075 in reply to 214071
Top Cod3r:
the importance of naming your variables with a prefix that tells you what type it is


WTF? Why don't you ask why Jesus is so much cooler than Buddha?

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:45 • by John (unregistered)
"Lots of WTFs here, but not in the ways the authors intended. "

Got to agree with you. The Prime Number [WTF] doesn't mention what type of company the startup was. Quite possibly the CEO was the kind of person that knows Primes inside-out.

For those that think their knowledge of maths is excellent (myself included), have a look at this: http://xkcd.com/179/
My reaction was the exact same, and had to go to quickmath.com the verify it.

btw. What's with people saying what the captchas were?

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:46 • by Top Cod3r (unregistered)
214077 in reply to 214075
Vroomfundel:
Top Cod3r:
the importance of naming your variables with a prefix that tells you what type it is


WTF? Why don't you ask why Jesus is so much cooler than Buddha?


Because we aren't allowed to ask questions like that when hiring people. Someday if you interview candidates, your HR person will tell you what kinds of questions are not allowed to ask.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:46 • by wtf (unregistered)
214078 in reply to 214071
Surely you're joking...

But seriously, what 3 disadvantages to MVC do you have in mind?

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:48 • by Eric (unregistered)
214079 in reply to 214073
gabba:
And Greg passed up an enterprising candidate who finds unconventional ways to solve difficult problems? Nice.

Lots of WTFs here, but not in the ways the authors intended.


Of course - it's obvious that they should have kept the candidate who took questionable shortcuts to make up for his lack of knowledge. That's exactly the kind of coder they'd love to have, I'm sure.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:49 • by Sam B (unregistered)
214080 in reply to 214071
Top Cod3r:
That test reminds me of the test that I personally designed for our department. I purposely tried to make it complex so we could weed out developers who think they know everything but don't.


Would it be too much to say that quite possibly you might suffer from said syndrome? The "Top Cod3r" moniker doesn't give you a really good defense either.

Top Cod3r:

I like to start off with simple questions like the proper use of On Error Resume Next, and the importance of naming your variables with a prefix that tells you what type it is.


Well, I assume since you talk about On Error Resume Next, you're talking about VB. While I can't ever think of a situation you'd use "OERN" in VB (after all, ignoring errors is not the way to solve the problem), I think "The Real WTF" is that you advocate Hungarian Notation... in Visual Basic.

Now, there's nothing wrong with Hungarian Notation; the problem is, Microsoft's systems department misinterpreted Simonyi's original intention for HN, and thereby created the convoluted form of "lpstrMyFirstName". Read more about it if you're interested.

In this day and age, with IDEs (especially with the VB IDE) helping the programmer find out what type a variable is, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should advocate Hungarian Notation, save for the continued maintenance of legacy code. Even Microsoft does not recommend it any longer ("Do not use Hungarian Notation").

Top Cod3r:

The last couple years, we have had problems with new developers questioning the code and methodology we use, so I decided to add some real-life questions with some actual code examples from our apps to make sure that they are willing to learn from my code and not think that they know it all.


Maybe you should be willing to learn from their code, too. Saying something like "we had problems with new developers questioning the code methodology we use" is pretty ridiculous, especially when you advocate Hungarian Notation and seem to believe you're an ubercoder. Because clearly, you think you know it all. I believe "think" is the key word, here.

If I found myself interviewing for your company, and found out you guys are using HN for Visual Basic, and on top of that the dev lead in the interview is being a complete douche know-it-all, I'd be out the door in a second. No thanks, buddy.

You're be driving a lot of the real programmers away. But I guess you'd want it that way; keep your bosses thinking you're the best!

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:49 • by panzi (unregistered)
214081 in reply to 214071
Top Cod3r:
On Error Resume Next


One of the "greatest" features of Visual Basic. "Just ignore all errors." *shudder*

Top Cod3r:
Name 3 disadvantages of the MVC design pattern.


I'm curious, what are disadvantages of the MVC design pattern? I can't think of any. It's not overly complex, it does not add a lot of overhead... what are the disadvantages?

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 11:50 • by Me (unregistered)
214082 in reply to 214077
Top Cod3r:
Vroomfundel:
Top Cod3r:
the importance of naming your variables with a prefix that tells you what type it is


WTF? Why don't you ask why Jesus is so much cooler than Buddha?


Because we aren't allowed to ask questions like that when hiring people. Someday if you interview candidates, your HR person will tell you what kinds of questions are not allowed to ask.


You don't get it, it went whoosh. He's saying that's not a fact, it's an opinion. Like assholes, everyone has one.

Saying "Our practice is to:" is one thing, but asking people to explain to YOU why YOUR practice is the greatest ever, well, it's almost like being God and needing everyone to pray and tell you that you are the God.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:05 • by SNF (unregistered)
214083 in reply to 214071
Top Cod3r:
That test reminds me of the test that I personally designed for our department.


Truly sir, you are a god among men.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:08 • by Code Dependent
Is it still possible to apply in the future?
Certainly! Apply as often as you wish.

Getting accepted, now... that'll be a bit different.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:09 • by Peter (unregistered)
214085 in reply to 214070
Outlaw Programmer:
Marty McFly:
I hope this does not affect my possible future employment with ------- in the past.


Their problem was they weren't thinking fourth-dimensionally!


Fourth-dimensionally, right, I always have a problem with that.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:11 • by Top Cod3r (unregistered)
I don't register my name because I know that internet bully programmers will find out my personally identifiable information and heckle my bosses about how I advocate archaic standards.

All of you are right. I'm a douche.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:15 • by Vroomfundel (unregistered)
214087 in reply to 214083
Muahaha, I'm beginning to like the way Top Cod3r is becoming the laughing stock of the day.

Frist, in this sense!

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:15 • by zip (unregistered)
214088 in reply to 214071
Top Cod3r:
I like to start off with simple questions like the proper use of On Error Resume Next, and the importance of naming your variables with a prefix that tells you what type it is.


This might be the best troll I've ever seen here.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:15 • by sadwings (unregistered)
214089 in reply to 214086
Top Cod3r:
All of you are right. I'm a douche.


No, you are the light and the way.

Satire should never be unmasked, no matter how confused it leaves the troglodytes.

conventioNever break character again.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:16 • by Sam B (unregistered)
214091 in reply to 214086
Top Cod3r:


All of you are right. I'm a douche.


Good for you! As they say, the road to recovery begins by first admitting you have a problem.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:16 • by sadwings (unregistered)
214092 in reply to 214089
8(

conventio was my captcha test

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:17 • by Benjamin (unregistered)
214093 in reply to 214071
Top Cod3r:
That test reminds me of the test that I personally designed for our department. I purposely tried to make it complex so we could weed out developers who think they know everything but don't.


So your test will tell you... which prospective programmers are good at taking tests about programming... and happen to think exactly like you.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:21 • by reminds me of that xkcd (unregistered)
214094 in reply to 214092
http://xkcd.com/179/

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:22 • by Save Me Jebus (unregistered)
214095 in reply to 214082
Me:
Top Cod3r:
Vroomfundel:
Top Cod3r:
the importance of naming your variables with a prefix that tells you what type it is


WTF? Why don't you ask why Jesus is so much cooler than Buddha?


Because we aren't allowed to ask questions like that when hiring people. Someday if you interview candidates, your HR person will tell you what kinds of questions are not allowed to ask.


You don't get it, it went whoosh. He's saying that's not a fact, it's an opinion. Like assholes, everyone has one.

Saying "Our practice is to:" is one thing, but asking people to explain to YOU why YOUR practice is the greatest ever, well, it's almost like being God and needing everyone to pray and tell you that you are the God.


Speaking of "whoosh" ...

For all you idiots attempting meaningful dissection of Top Cod3r's post, please go back and read a handful of the comments he's posted on other articles. I think you'll find a pretty strong pattern emerging: they're all tongue-in-cheek.

Yet he still manages to push someone's buttons; every single time.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:22 • by Chris (unregistered)
214096 in reply to 214071
Top Cod3r:
I like to start off with simple questions like the proper use of On Error Resume Next, and the importance of naming your variables with a prefix that tells you what type it is.


Or alternatively use a proper programming language where you always know the type and the proper use of "On Error Resume Next" is to never use it.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:22 • by Vroomfundel (unregistered)
214097 in reply to 214076
John:

For those that think their knowledge of maths is excellent (myself included), have a look at this: http://xkcd.com/179/
My reaction was the exact same, and had to go to quickmath.com the verify it.


Man, if you have to go to quickmath to verify this, then I seem to have a serious gap in my command of English - it's either "knowledge" or "excellent" that I have misunderstood all my life.

PS I might be hard on John if he is a high school student, but thinking twice - what will a high school student be doing here. Anyway, if we had a "go away if you are < 18" here on TDWTF i would be much more at ease.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:25 • by Bappi
214098 in reply to 214079
Eric:
gabba:
And Greg passed up an enterprising candidate who finds unconventional ways to solve difficult problems? Nice.

Lots of WTFs here, but not in the ways the authors intended.


Of course - it's obvious that they should have kept the candidate who took questionable shortcuts to make up for his lack of knowledge. That's exactly the kind of coder they'd love to have, I'm sure.

You're creating a test on the web, and you're assuming that the person applying is the same as the person taking the test. Or even that only one person was involved in taking the test. That's the first WTF.

You're looking for consultants, and you don't want to hire the ones that think outside the box. That's the second WTF.

Now, the guy originally lied about how many times he took the test: that's a good reason not to hire him.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:26 • by Alan (unregistered)
The test I got for my current job was web-based and one question was asking the output of a program. I really fretted over the answer to one question, and was worrying about it well after the interview was over.

Anyway I got the job, and a few months later came across the test database. Turns out that an error in the web code meant that the answer for that question wasnt saved.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:27 • by Sam B (unregistered)
214100 in reply to 214095
Save Me Jebus:

For all you idiots attempting meaningful dissection of Top Cod3r's post, please go back and read a handful of the comments he's posted on other articles. I think you'll find a pretty strong pattern emerging: they're all tongue-in-cheek.


There's a point where if your satire or sarcasm is so veiled as to be undetectable, consistently, then it's just plain trolling.

So, either he's an idiot or a troll. *shrug*

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:28 • by mdkess (unregistered)
A mathematician, an engineer and a computer scientist are in a group interview where they are tasked with finding all of the odd prime numbers.

The mathematician starts and says "3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 11 is prime, ..."

The engineer says, "3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is a measurement error, 11 is prime, 13 is prime, ..."

Finally, the computer scientist says "1 is prime, 1 is prime, 1 is prime, 1 is prime, 1 is prime..."

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:30 • by G'Mo (unregistered)
214102 in reply to 214071
Top Cod3r:
That test reminds me of the test that I personally designed for our department. I purposely tried to make it complex so we could weed out developers who think they know everything but don't. I like to start off with simple questions like the proper use of On Error Resume Next, and the importance of naming your variables with a prefix that tells you what type it is. Then I move on to more complex questions about theory, such as choosing between different application designs, 2-tier, 3-tier, 4-tier and 5-tier (with and without a facade). I then ask them other theory questions, such as "Name 3 disadvantages of the MVC design pattern".

The last couple years, we have had problems with new developers questioning the code and methodology we use, so I decided to add some real-life questions with some actual code examples from our apps to make sure that they are willing to learn from my code and not think that they know it all.


I call troll.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:34 • by Ville (unregistered)
214103 in reply to 214096
Or alternatively use a proper programming language where you always know the type and the proper use of "On Error Resume Next" is to never use it.
So you refer to some language that doesn't have typed variables and doesn't support try catch style semantics?

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:34 • by Eam (unregistered)
214104 in reply to 214081
panzi:

I'm curious, what are disadvantages of the MVC design pattern? I can't think of any. It's not overly complex, it does not add a lot of overhead... what are the disadvantages?


It's a bit concerning that no one can think of *any* disadvantages to MVC. Don't get me wrong, I use MVC often, but it's not always appropriate.

It may not add much complexity, but it adds enough that it should not be used for small projects. Also, it pretty much always requires some duplication of business logic across the tiers (the alternative being lots of added complexity).

The trick to applying MVC is evaluating the current and potential future scale of your project, then balancing logic duplication with complexity.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:35 • by Nemo (unregistered)
Of course it depends -- 1 is prime when it's followed by a vowel.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:36 • by Gary Williams (unregistered)
214106 in reply to 214073
gabba:
So David passed up an opportunity with a promising startup because of this nerdy pedantic prime number disagreement? They're better off without him.

And Greg passed up an enterprising candidate who finds unconventional ways to solve difficult problems? Nice.

Lots of WTFs here, but not in the ways the authors intended.


Also a very keen candidate. I wonder how many people would take the test 140 times and say "Well, I learnt from that".

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:37 • by Eam (unregistered)
214108 in reply to 214100
Sam B:
Save Me Jebus:

For all you idiots attempting meaningful dissection of Top Cod3r's post, please go back and read a handful of the comments he's posted on other articles. I think you'll find a pretty strong pattern emerging: they're all tongue-in-cheek.


There's a point where if your satire or sarcasm is so veiled as to be undetectable, consistently, then it's just plain trolling.

So, either he's an idiot or a troll. *shrug*

What about the point where one fails to detect satire or sarcasm, consistently?

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:39 • by A Wizard a True Star (unregistered)
214109 in reply to 214080
Oh boy... just when I thought the Hungarian Notation holy war was over.

Sam B:
In this day and age, with IDEs (especially with the VB IDE) helping the programmer find out what type a variable is, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should advocate Hungarian Notation, save for the continued maintenance of legacy code.


Well, I can see a couple of important reasons to use Hungarian Notation, or least some variation of it.

In the VB.NET IDE you have to hover your mouse over a variable to figure out what type it is. Sometimes you can only see the type during run-time. Whereas, with some kind of variable naming convention, you can just read the code and know what the variable is supposed to be. I know it seems like a minor thing, but it really does make life a lot easier.

And god forbid you're stuck debugging code without an IDE, which happens more often than you'd think.


Sam B:
I think "The Real WTF" is that you advocate Hungarian Notation... in Visual Basic.


So, in which languages do you think Hungarian Notation would actually be useful?


Sam B:
Even Microsoft does not recommend it any longer ("Do not use Hungarian Notation").


Microsoft recommends a lot of things which are not exactly a) smart or b) the best way to increase productivity.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:40 • by Alan (unregistered)
214110 in reply to 214103
Ville:
So you refer to some language that doesn't have typed variables and doesn't support try catch style semantics?


What - VBScript?

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:41 • by WhiskeyJack
My company advocates the practice of indicating the variable type in its name.

cFoo = class variable
pFoo = parameter variable
gFoo = global variable

foo = local variable

Why is this so bad? Sure, I could rely on the IDE to trace back and give me an icon or tooltip or some reminder of where the variable was defined, but if it's right there in the name...

Edit: oh, I see, we're talking about two different things.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:41 • by amischiefr
214112 in reply to 214102
Prime numbers:

1
1!!1
!!one!1!!!
11!!!eleventyone!!1!
1!11!!1one!!!

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:43 • by Sam B (unregistered)
214113 in reply to 214108
Eam:

What about the point where one fails to detect satire or sarcasm, consistently?


Well, this being the Internet, where it's already difficult to detect satire or sarcasm, one must make an "extra effort", as it were, to ensure that people get your point.

But notice I said "so veiled as to be undetectable". There's a difference between "difficult to detect" and "virtually undetectable". There was no indication that what "Top Cod3r" said was sarcastic or satiric. None whatsoever. There are plenty of idiots on the Internet, and some of them are probaby on this site. WTFs also happen on Daily WTF.

Also, I have not seen any of his other posts.

So based on my observations (and I suppose all the others who took "Top Cod3r"'s idiocy as true), I would say that he failed miserably at being satiric. Whether or not he did it purposely is what would determine whether or not he was a troll.

But quote honestly, who cares, right?

@Vroomfundel

2008-08-26 12:44 • by John (unregistered)
Granted, my use of excellent may have been^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^ was over the top, but being an Aero-Engineer, I would say that my math is pretty good, so personally I think you're being a tad harsh.

Admittedly, I haven't had to use de Moivre's theorem since having to do basic proofs in uni.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:47 • by Sam B (unregistered)
214115 in reply to 214109


So, in which languages do you think Hungarian Notation would actually be useful?


I'd be able to excuse its use in something like C or C++, where even Visual Studio fails in several areas to provide consistent Intellisense.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:49 • by mister (unregistered)
In one of the Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" books (I think the third) appears a riddle regarding prime numbers, and 1 is included in them. It surprised me, too.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 12:50 • by Global Warmer (unregistered)
214117 in reply to 214071
Top Cod3r:
That test reminds me of the test that I personally designed for our department. I purposely tried to make it complex so we could weed out developers who think they know everything but don't. I like to start off with simple questions like the proper use of On Error Resume Next, and the importance of naming your variables with a prefix that tells you what type it is. Then I move on to more complex questions about theory, such as choosing between different application designs, 2-tier, 3-tier, 4-tier and 5-tier (with and without a facade). I then ask them other theory questions, such as "Name 3 disadvantages of the MVC design pattern".

The last couple years, we have had problems with new developers questioning the code and methodology we use, so I decided to add some real-life questions with some actual code examples from our apps to make sure that they are willing to learn from my code and not think that they know it all.


Sounds to me like you are the one who thinks "he knows it all" and is unwilling to learn.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 13:03 • by wtfdude (unregistered)
I dont know how you people who say they been visiting this site "forever" don't know the Top Cod3r is a troll.
Seriously, look at all of his comments over the past year, and you can CLEARLY tell he is being very sarcastic or a complete troll.
You guys are TRWTF if you can't tell yet.

I guess Top Coder deserves a 10/10 for fooling so many of you idiots.

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 13:03 • by Chris (unregistered)
214119 in reply to 214081
We had bizarre failures in our java app and unit tests.

We had recently changed some behavior at the domain bean/DAO level and a senior developer was being proactive about verifying that the changes had been fully implemented. He put some assertions in to the business logic to ensure everything was sane.

The "hey, I'm a senior developer too!" developer was hitting that assertion and it was failing -- we had overlooked something. But Junior Birdman wouldn't let it keep him from finishing his task.

He commented it out. He didn't bother telling anyone that he was seeing the assertion tripped. We, of course, didn't notice it since the assertion had been removed from the common source code.

It was a very interesting meeting the next day!

Re: It Depends & Too Good To Be True

2008-08-26 13:05 • by SarcasmFTW (unregistered)
You kinda have to assume that the first interview is for a position requiring a fair amount of mathematical knowledge. Because unless I have really fallen out of touch, knowing off the top of your head how to calculate the nth prime is not something everyone is expected to know how to do.
Unless of course, they were expected the exhaustive search method, but if they were only expecting that, why even bother ask the question.
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