Comment On More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

More Limitin' (from Andrew Warren-Love) Even though his resume wasn't beaming as much as some of the others we received, we invited a man down to interview for either of two positions. One in the IT Department and one in the Software Group of the Engineering Department. Once he arrived, he was given a tour of the important parts of the company to encourage interest related to our company or our products just like everyone else we interview. By this point, 90% of candidates will ask questions on their own, and the rest will ask questions when prompted. [expand full text]
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Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 13:20 • by HockeyMonkey (unregistered)
Shoot - SCORE!!!

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 13:29 • by fennec
Allow me to modify Gresham's Law. Where hiring managers can't tell the difference, bad programmers drive out the good.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 13:29 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
Why is Omar being upset with obviose perfect candidate for job?

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 13:35 • by Nagesh
Outsoursing company story sound fishie to me.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 13:36 • by Yaos
If I were hiring and training my replacement I would most certainly go after the person that is least capable of being my replacement.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 13:42 • by Anketam
367536 in reply to 367535
Yaos:
If I were hiring and training my replacement I would most certainly go after the person that is least capable of being my replacement.
In that case it looks like you would have gotten the perfect replacement on the first try.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 13:46 • by frits
Andrew must not have ever met any Southerners before. I think the candidate sounded very enthusiatic given the context.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 13:47 • by mjk340 (unregistered)
TRWTF is an ORA-1555 error

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 13:57 • by Mcoder
Hey, I've never met an android. Except for repeating memorized sentences, what was he like? Could you tell any other difference from a human? Did he display emotions?

By the way, TRWTF is Oracle. The company. Or worse yet, its clients.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:00 • by trtrwtf
So, to help them find the right candidates, they'd ask me what kind of problems I'd deal with on, which these systems, and I say something like "..."


Waitaminnit, something fishy here. Even Alex can't screw up the English language that bad.


Nagesh, are you writing for Alex now?

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:04 • by Nabhi Singh (unregistered)
Whatever happened to TopCod3r I miss him

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:06 • by Troll Script Writer (unregistered)
367546 in reply to 367533
NageshScript:
Why is Omar being upset with obviose perfect candidate for job?


Ooops! Sorry about that, folks. I think I forgot to re-enable the subtlety module. NageshScript has been writing for Dane Cook recently.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:07 • by ping floyd (unregistered)
Well, to be honest, HTML really is more limiting that Java or C.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:10 • by mz001 (unregistered)
367548 in reply to 367535
The one time that happened to me the company had already taken care of that prior to the interview stage. IIRC within a year of that their gross value went from 14 million to 3.5 million.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:11 • by clcto (unregistered)
5 weights in 3 weighings? That doesn't require any level of brain power. Isn't the question 8 in 2 weighings?

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:12 • by PedanticCurmudgeon
367550 in reply to 367545
Nabhi Singh:
Whatever happened to TopCod3r I miss him
How do you know he's not posting as one of the myriad troll sock-puppets we seem to have here?

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:14 • by My Name Is Missing (unregistered)
IF YOU HAVE A BOX WITH THREE LIGHTBULBS... I'd answer "I 'd have something smarter than you"

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:15 • by GreyWolf
>"That isn't Systems Integration."<

I happen to agree. SI ought to include non-PC hardware (such as cash registers, weighing machines, bar-code readers), training employees, connecting to existing company finance, sales, and logistics processes, roll-out planning, help-desk setup, on top of a new application and a new DB. Otherwise it's too easy - there's not much of a challenge in that syllabus.

And what's with the Networking modules being about Residential? Where's the scale issues that apply in the business environment?

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:22 • by Mmm, racism (unregistered)
LOL, it's funny because he has an accent!

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:25 • by VeryBestDeveloperNumber1 (unregistered)
367554 in reply to 367553
Mmm, racism:
LOL, it's funny because he has an accent!


Racism, huh? I don't think I saw any mention of the interviewee's race. But yes, it's funny because he has an accent.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:27 • by Lucent (unregistered)
367555 in reply to 367554
VeryBestDeveloperNumber1:
Mmm, racism:
LOL, it's funny because he has an accent!
Racism, huh? I don't think I saw any mention of the interviewee's race. But yes, it's funny because he has an accent.
No it's definitely racist because that's the way black people talk!

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:32 • by Jellineck (unregistered)
367556 in reply to 367555
Lucent:
VeryBestDeveloperNumber1:
Mmm, racism:
LOL, it's funny because he has an accent!
Racism, huh? I don't think I saw any mention of the interviewee's race. But yes, it's funny because he has an accent.
No it's definitely racist because that's the way black people talk!


I'm not sure he is black. He said "jarva", not purkles.

Captcha: acsi - how black people say ASCII.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:35 • by Cujo DeSockpuppet
I'd once gotten a job request from a recruiter with the position specifications lifted right off my resume word for word. I'd worked there previously and someone found my resume on Dice and sent it to the recruiter for a job spec. I think they went through 3 different people in less than 6 months. The best part of that was my new job got one of the rejects. He left off his brief stay at my former job where he spent most of his time chatting on the phone and decided to substitute some other company. I'd even met him over lunch with my former cow-orkers[1] a few months back.

I wouldn't have recognized his name had he not put down 19 years of SQL server experience (this was 2007), 20 years of Oracle experience as well as DB2 and IMS experience.

His resume was about 20 pages, nothing in the last 10 years over 3 months. Since this was a work-at-home position, I might have gotten some work out of him as long as he didn't have unlimited calling but I wasn't interested in finding out.

[1] Deliberate misspelling for the SpellingNazis(tm).

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:38 • by wonk (unregistered)
He tried the cortical stimulators, but there was no response....

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:45 • by Richard (unregistered)
367559 in reply to 367549
clcto:
5 weights in 3 weighings? That doesn't require any level of brain power. Isn't the question 8 in 2 weighings?


The general solution for N weights is CEIL(N / 3) weighings, so 5 weights would need 2 weighings, and 8 would need 3.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:53 • by Bryan the K (unregistered)
367561 in reply to 367550
PedanticCurmudgeon:
Nabhi Singh:
Whatever happened to TopCod3r I miss him
How do you know he's not posting as one of the myriad troll sock-puppets we seem to have here?


Because the level of troll has gone downhill so much since he/she went missing. Used to love watching Topc0d3r say something really dumb to bait everyone.

Nagesh is the closest thing we have now, but that's not even really close.

CAPTCHA: capio - I had to capio the audience with stories of yore.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:53 • by AdamJS (unregistered)
I'm assuming I'm misinterpreting the question, but if you have five weights wherein 4 are the same and 1 is different, but they are visually identical, then how can you possibly detect the different one (for sure, under all 5 possible cases of which one is different) without at least weighing all five at least once?

Or does it mean comparative weightings i.e. using a scale (thus checking two weights at once)?

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 14:54 • by D-Coder
367563 in reply to 367561
Bryan the K:
PedanticCurmudgeon:
Nabhi Singh:
Whatever happened to TopCod3r I miss him
How do you know he's not posting as one of the myriad troll sock-puppets we seem to have here?


Because the level of troll has gone downhill so much since he/she went missing. Used to love watching Topc0d3r say something really dumb to bait everyone.

Nagesh is the closest thing we have now, but that's not even really close.
Outsourcing.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 15:02 • by N00bie McN00berson (unregistered)
367564 in reply to 367561
Bryan the K:
PedanticCurmudgeon:
Nabhi Singh:
Whatever happened to TopCod3r I miss him
How do you know he's not posting as one of the myriad troll sock-puppets we seem to have here?


Because the level of troll has gone downhill so much since he/she went missing. Used to love watching Topc0d3r say something really dumb to bait everyone.

Nagesh is the closest thing we have now, but that's not even really close.

CAPTCHA: capio - I had to capio the audience with stories of yore.
Fascinating! What other super-cool hobbies do you have?

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 15:06 • by nonpartisan
Omar Haikal:
The candidate started telling me exactly every single word I told the outsourcing folks. Oddly enough, he even used the same database name at one point (P008A). I then asked him what he would do if a user reports an ORA 1555 error?

Except it wasn't the same database:
Omar Haikal:
So, to help them find the right candidates, they'd ask me what kind of problems I'd deal with on, which these systems, and I say something like "On this database, I once got a request to kill the session DMA session as it did not complete execution before recycle time, and caused problems on the website for the P001a database."

He doesn't even know what database he's using! No wonder he got outsourced!

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 15:10 • by Anonymous Coward (unregistered)
367566 in reply to 367559
Richard:
clcto:
5 weights in 3 weighings? That doesn't require any level of brain power. Isn't the question 8 in 2 weighings?


The general solution for N weights is CEIL(N / 3) weighings, so 5 weights would need 2 weighings, and 8 would need 3.

No, you definitely need three weighings in order to pick from five objects. Keep in mind you don't know whether the anomalous object is heavier or lighter than the others, only that it is different.

AdamJS: Assume you are using a balance for comparative measurements.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 15:11 • by inori (unregistered)
367567 in reply to 367549
It's possible to sort out 12 weights within 3 weighings. You can also decide whether the odd weight out is heavy or light within those three. (It's usually called the 12 coins problem, for googling.)

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 15:14 • by PedanticCurmudgeon
367568 in reply to 367561
Bryan the K:
PedanticCurmudgeon:
Nabhi Singh:
Whatever happened to TopCod3r I miss him
How do you know he's not posting as one of the myriad troll sock-puppets we seem to have here?


Because the level of troll has gone downhill so much since he/she went missing. Used to love watching Topc0d3r say something really dumb to bait everyone.

Nagesh is the closest thing we have now, but that's not even really close.

CAPTCHA: capio - I had to capio the audience with stories of yore.
What about geoffrey? He had some pretty good trolls last week, definitely better than any from any of the Nageshes.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 15:16 • by Steve H. (unregistered)
367569 in reply to 367562
It can be done in 4 measurements without any assumptions, and 3 if you know whether the odd one out is heavier or lighter.

It can also be done with 3 if a comparative scale is used.

Bah! I'm dead!

2011-11-22 15:20 • by Archimedes (unregistered)
Amateurs! With the proper device, you only need to make one measurement.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 15:23 • by Puzzles (unregistered)
367571 in reply to 367549
Whenever I see someone bring up that lightbulb puzzle, I feel compelled to point out that the puzzle itself is fundamentally broken.

The normal assumption in a puzzle is that all the components are ideal, because the story is really just window-dressing on an ABSTRACT puzzle. If something is in an opaque box, you can't peek through a crack. If something has an on/off switch, you can't hold it in some middle position that makes intermittent contact. If you don't make those kinds of assumptions, these puzzles generally have a huge number of possible solutions, most of which are uninteresting and rely on circumstances not specified in the problem statement.

The accepted solution of the lightbulb puzzle is to check the temperature of the bulbs. But that relies on an arbitrary non-ideal assumption (non-negligible waste heat) that isn't stated in the problem, so that's no more legitimate an answer than "I peek through a crack in the box" or "I trace the wires to see what's connected to what". It's arguably not even a REASONABLE assumption these days--what if the lights are LEDs?

Lateral thinking puzzles don't generally belong in interviews, but that particular puzzle doesn't even belong in a game of puzzles. If you got the "correct" answer without being told, that actually means you're WORSE at these puzzles than many of the people who didn't get it, because under the normal implicit rules, it doesn't have a solution.

clcto:
5 weights in 3 weighings? That doesn't require any level of brain power. Isn't the question 8 in 2 weighings?

I imagine that puzzle has many permutations depending on the exact nature of the measurement tool you use and whether you are told in advance that the different weight is lighter or heavier or only that it is "different".

8 is likely a popular number because it is a power of 2, and therefore adds an extra red herring to the puzzle.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 15:26 • by Nagesh == Satan's smegma (unregistered)
367573 in reply to 367533
Nagesh:
...some unfunny trolling nonsense...


Oh, so you haven't died in a fire yet. Well, there's always tomorrow.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 15:29 • by geoffrey (unregistered)
367574 in reply to 367571
Puzzles:
Whenever I see someone bring up that lightbulb puzzle, I feel compelled to point out that the puzzle itself is fundamentally broken.

The normal assumption in a puzzle is that all the components are ideal, because the story is really just window-dressing on an ABSTRACT puzzle. If something is in an opaque box, you can't peek through a crack. If something has an on/off switch, you can't hold it in some middle position that makes intermittent contact. If you don't make those kinds of assumptions, these puzzles generally have a huge number of possible solutions, most of which are uninteresting and rely on circumstances not specified in the problem statement.

The accepted solution of the lightbulb puzzle is to check the temperature of the bulbs. But that relies on an arbitrary non-ideal assumption (non-negligible waste heat) that isn't stated in the problem, so that's no more legitimate an answer than "I peek through a crack in the box" or "I trace the wires to see what's connected to what". It's arguably not even a REASONABLE assumption these days--what if the lights are LEDs?

Lateral thinking puzzles don't generally belong in interviews, but that particular puzzle doesn't even belong in a game of puzzles. If you got the "correct" answer without being told, that actually means you're WORSE at these puzzles than many of the people who didn't get it, because under the normal implicit rules, it doesn't have a solution.

clcto:
5 weights in 3 weighings? That doesn't require any level of brain power. Isn't the question 8 in 2 weighings?

I imagine that puzzle has many permutations depending on the exact nature of the measurement tool you use and whether you are told in advance that the different weight is lighter or heavier or only that it is "different".

8 is likely a popular number because it is a power of 2, and therefore adds an extra red herring to the puzzle.


The point of the light bulb puzzle is that it is best to go down the path of least resistance first. Maybe the bulbs do not put out heat, but given that most do, it is an option with a high probability of success.

I'm more interested in someone who will troubleshoot through experimentation and observation, and who will not be more interested in the elegance or cleverness of the solution than in solving the problem at hand.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 16:00 • by chic (unregistered)
367582 in reply to 367540
mjk340:
TRWTF is an ORA-1555 error

TRWTF is asking about an error number in an interview. Although perhaps common enough, I don't think it is reasonable to expect people to know numbers that correspond to errors. Surely asking "What does a 'snapshot too old' error mean, and how would you go about fixing it?" would be more appropriate.

I hate dickheads who think it's important to know what error numbers correspond to what error off the top of your head - there is no reason to know which number a particular error is, there is very much reason to understand what a particular error is (and Oracle provides functionality to see the actual error message to this end).

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 16:01 • by flighart (unregistered)
367583 in reply to 367548
mz001:
The one time that happened to me the company had already taken care of that prior to the interview stage. IIRC within a year of that their gross value went from 14 million to 3.5 million.
Coincidentally, the GFC happened at about the same time....

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 16:04 • by Nagesh number 7 (unregistered)
367584 in reply to 367549
clcto:
5 weights in 3 weighings? That doesn't require any level of brain power. Isn't the question 8 in 2 weighings?

Pick any 6 and weigh 3 vs 3
if one side heaver, pick two of them to find if one of them heavier else leftover
else weigh other 2 - 1 vs 1

Would also work for 9....

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 16:04 • by PedanticCurmudgeon
367585 in reply to 367574
geoffrey:
The point of the light bulb puzzle is that it is best to go down the path of least resistance first. Maybe the bulbs do not put out heat, but given that most do, it is an option with a high probability of success.

I'm more interested in someone who will troubleshoot through experimentation and observation, and who will not be more interested in the elegance or cleverness of the solution than in solving the problem at hand.
This is what I'm talking about, people. You can't seriously tell me that this troll isn't up to TopCod3r's level.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 16:05 • by VeryBestDeveloperNumber1 (unregistered)
367586 in reply to 367582
chic:
mjk340:
TRWTF is an ORA-1555 error

I hate dickheads who think it's important to know what error numbers correspond to what error off the top of your head - there is no reason to know which number a particular error is, there is very much reason to understand what a particular error is (and Oracle provides functionality to see the actual error message to this end).


You obviously haven't dealt with Oracle before. Work with anything more than a toy database, and you'll learn to hate certain numbers with a passion. They will haunt your dreams and possess your soul.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 16:05 • by Nagesh number 7 (unregistered)
367587 in reply to 367584
Nagesh number 7:
clcto:
5 weights in 3 weighings? That doesn't require any level of brain power. Isn't the question 8 in 2 weighings?

Pick any 6 and weigh 3 vs 3
if one side heaver, pick two of them to find if one of them heavier else leftover
else weigh other 2 - 1 vs 1

Would also work for 9....
this works only if you know specifically that wrong weight is heaver or lighter. If we only told that it is diffrent we must do more weighs

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 16:07 • by Professor Q (unregistered)
367588 in reply to 367552
GreyWolf:
>"That isn't Systems Integration."<

I happen to agree. SI ought to include non-PC hardware (such as cash registers, weighing machines, bar-code readers), training employees, connecting to existing company finance, sales, and logistics processes, roll-out planning, help-desk setup, on top of a new application and a new DB. Otherwise it's too easy - there's not much of a challenge in that syllabus.

And what's with the Networking modules being about Residential? Where's the scale issues that apply in the business environment?
I'll assume (I don;'t know why) that you're not a troll

What SI is and isn't in real life is irrelevant (in the context). The candidate was relating to the interviewer a course he studied called Systems Integration. Whether that course actually taught Systems Integration as advertised is totally irrelevant, and the interviewer is merely being a knob-jockey by challenging the candidate.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 16:10 • by arrtn (unregistered)
367589 in reply to 367561
Bryan the K:
PedanticCurmudgeon:
Nabhi Singh:
Whatever happened to TopCod3r I miss him
How do you know he's not posting as one of the myriad troll sock-puppets we seem to have here?


Because the level of troll has gone downhill so much since he/she went missing. Used to love watching Topc0d3r say something really dumb to bait everyone.

Nagesh is the closest thing we have now, but that's not even really close.

CAPTCHA: capio - I had to capio the audience with stories of yore.
Wot about Geoffery?

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 16:12 • by airdrik (unregistered)
367590 in reply to 367574
geoffrey:
Puzzles:
Whenever I see someone bring up that lightbulb puzzle, I feel compelled to point out that the puzzle itself is fundamentally broken.
...


The point of the light bulb puzzle is that it is best to go down the path of least resistance first. Maybe the bulbs do not put out heat, but given that most do, it is an option with a high probability of success.

I'm more interested in someone who will troubleshoot through experimentation and observation, and who will not be more interested in the elegance or cleverness of the solution than in solving the problem at hand.


It is still a fundamentally broken puzzle - it relies on assumptions about particular light bulbs (yes the most common type, but alternatives are readily available and that common type is approaching a rapid decline). While most candidates will have had some experience with a heated bulb (who hasn't changed a light bulb just after turning it off, or tried while it was still on), slim few are going to make the required leap to the assumption made by the puzzle to make it solvable.

There are plenty of other puzzles which don't have some catch to them from which the puzzle draws assumptions and requires familiarity with the catch to solve.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 16:21 • by Herby (unregistered)
Puzzles...
One time when I was in an airport lounge, I noticed a math teacher giving quizzes to his group of students. Being the helpful type, I answered them before he could get the whole puzzle out. It felt real good for me (a bystander) and you could see the math teacher fuming that I knew the answers.
The two puzzles were:
You have a bunch of socks in a drawer, (usually 10 black, and 10 brown), how many socks does it take to get a proper pair to wear. Answer: 3.
A tree is dropping leaves as the season progresses. Each day it drops twice as many as the day before. Assuming that it always drops the maximum numbe, on which day do most of the leaves drop. Answer: last day.

I was smiling as I went to the plane.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 16:24 • by boog
"If you have a set of five weights that are identical except for one, how can you find the one in only 3 measures?"
Maybe if we didn't waste all this time chit-chatting about useless brain-teasers, we'd have time for 4 measures.

Re: More Limitin', Wrong Major, and Parallel Universe Replacement

2011-11-22 16:25 • by PedanticCurmudgeon
367593 in reply to 367591
Herby:
Puzzles...
One time when I was in an airport lounge, I noticed a math teacher giving quizzes to his group of students. Being the helpful type, I answered them before he could get the whole puzzle out. It felt real good for me (a bystander) and you could see the math teacher fuming that I knew the answers.
The two puzzles were:
You have a bunch of socks in a drawer, (usually 10 black, and 10 brown), how many socks does it take to get a proper pair to wear. Answer: 3.
A tree is dropping leaves as the season progresses. Each day it drops twice as many as the day before. Assuming that it always drops the maximum numbe, on which day do most of the leaves drop. Answer: last day.

I was smiling as I went to the plane.
And here, folks, we have an excellent example of an IRL troll.
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