Comment On We Need a Body

Although Brice hadn't been on the job for very long, he'd gotten pretty comfortable with leading technical interviews. He'd quickly compiled a stock set of questions that could weed out the hacks. Questions that immediately disqualify you for the position if you get them wrong: What is your first name? Name a .NET language. Questions that almost certainly disqualify you if you get them wrong: What datatype would you use to store a string of characters? Is it C sharp or C pound? [expand full text]
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Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:05 • by snoofle
181854 in reply to 181795
Tom JP:
glwtta:
If some tool expected me to write trivial SQL in an interview, I would walk out right there.

I'm there to be interviewed about my experience, not to do tricks on command.


You may not get a job, but at least you'll not have to suffer the indignity of saying/writing "SELECT * FROM ..."

I was once in an interview in front of someone who obviously couldn't write a SQL statement at gunpoint. The guy asks me to write down how to do some join. While I'm no DB person, it was pretty simple, so I just dictated it back to him. He said to please write it down. I looked at him with one eye and asked why. He said I need to have it written down so I can take it to someone who can see if you did it right. I asked him if I could speak to the person he was going to see. He said no. I thanked him for his time and said that I too, was too busy for this nonsense, and left.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:05 • by Andy Goth (unregistered)
181855 in reply to 181853
Andy Goth:
Isn't a television network devoted to paranormal activity, extra sensory perception in particular?
Damnit, make that "Isn't IT a television network". Bah, what little humor was in my joke has now fled.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:06 • by KattMan
181857 in reply to 181844
john:

i think we actually agree. i'm saying i wouldn't hire someone who thinks that it's all about syntax. i am not saying i wouldn't hire someone who wasn't expert at whatever language my project is using. the guy i interviewed knew the language i was looking for (yeah, it's java), but he saw it as just another syntax to throw his bad idea of software engineering around in, and his statement that he could program in pretty much any old language i had was indicative to me that he didn't understand some fundamentals of software development.


I still think you are off. Someone who said they could program in any language probably understands the fundamentals of programming far better; as long as the paradigm of those languages were similar (procedural as opposed to object oriented).
Although you may give a clue as to the real reason not to hire him, his bad idea of software engineering. As I stated before, if you are a poor developer, you will be a poor developer regardless of language chosen.
Even with all that said, some languages are more appropriate for some tasks than others. I wouldn't use FORTRAN for report generation, but I also wouldn't use VB for scientific number crunching.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:07 • by Zydeco (unregistered)
181859 in reply to 181624
I always thought it was C crosshatch

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:08 • by themagni
181860 in reply to 181851
Benanov:
themagni:
I'm a musician as well, so it was the first thing I thought of was the enharmonic equivalent. By the way, that guy who went on about the octaves and the B-flat thing was totally out to lunch. You could say that a Bb instrument playing in treble clef would play an Eb / D# to play C# major. There might be other instruments where the Bb thing would be true, but I'm not interested in spending my lunch looking it up.


Which guy was out to lunch? Me, speaking from a music-theory/composing perspective, or the guy I responded to?


Sorry about the delay. I was out having lunch.

The guy who I said was out to lunch before I went out to lunch was Josh, the guy who said that it was Bb and that C# was an octave above C. There were at least eight things wrong with his post, and it was only about 40 words long.

That post was bad, and I'm saying that as "the shenanigans guy".

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:09 • by Kasper (unregistered)
You can call it what you want, I will keep calling it C-havelåge.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:17 • by Harrow (unregistered)
181862 in reply to 181775
nat42:
What's in a name? That which we call code by any other name doth still compile; So C-Splatt should, Twere it said sharp, would still remain that bloody MS construction. Without that symbol: C-Splatt, doff thy name; And for that name, which seems so ill conceived, I call WTF!
A poem is never finished, only abandoned. -Paul Ambroise Valery

None too soon, in some cases...

-Harrow.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:18 • by KT (unregistered)
function createComment () {
var names = ["C sharp", "C pound", "C hash", "C octothorpe", "C tic-tac-toe", "C++++", "D flat", FILE_NOT_FOUND, "... Profit!"];
COMMENTS.post( "No, it's " + names[parseInt(Math.random()*names.length)] );
}
createComment();

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:20 • by Code Dependent
181864 in reply to 181854
snoofle:
I was once in an interview in front of someone who obviously couldn't write a SQL statement at gunpoint. The guy asks me to write down how to do some join. While I'm no DB person, it was pretty simple, so I just dictated it back to him. He said to please write it down. I looked at him with one eye and asked why. He said I need to have it written down so I can take it to someone who can see if you did it right. I asked him if I could speak to the person he was going to see. He said no. I thanked him for his time and said that I too, was too busy for this nonsense, and left.
When I first applied for my present position (going on eight years now), they did not ask me any technical questions or give me a test. I wondered about this, since the other three interviews I'd been to since Monster.coming my resume had all done so. I got hired, and in short order so did another guy based on the same tactic: "tell us your experience". He lasted two weeks, and was fired when he didn't understand why his VBScript code kept showing up as text in his web pages. (Hint: use a .asp extension rather than a .htm extension)

Next they hired a guy who was a total incompetent but could talk the obfuscospeak to managers. This time they were forced to keep him on for a full year so that it wouldn't look like they (management) were incompetent when it came to hiring. During that time his total accomplishment was to create a one-page web form which gathered user input and emailed it to a given destination. When they finally fired him I was given the task of "finishing" his project. It was such complete crap that I asked, and was given, permission to scrap it and start fresh. It took me about a day and a half to complete.

Yes indeed, hirers: interview based on tales of past exploits. Don't test your applicants. Don't ask for a practical demonstration of ability. God forbid that the pretenders should get up and walk out on you in a huff.


Addendum (2008-03-06 16:29):
This is for you, dude.

glwtta:
If some tool expected me to write trivial SQL in an interview, I would walk out right there.

I'm there to be interviewed about my experience, not to do tricks on command.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:31 • by A. Cube (unregistered)
181865 in reply to 181624
I'm betting on C-tic-tac-toe.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:39 • by StupidPeopleTrick (unregistered)
181866 in reply to 181624
Let me guess... the company was a state agency. Those guys will sometimes hire someone just to get them off of the street.

- SPT

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:43 • by DeLos
181868 in reply to 181822
Beernutts:
I bet he doesn't even know what ESPN stands for.

Sheesh.


Wow, I thought I knew it. Got "Entertainment, Sports, ... Network". Guess I have no idea.

Wikipedia says: Entertainment and Sports Programming Network

I think they have dropped the old acronym though and now ESPN stands for nothing.
http://www.espnmediazone.com/corp_info/

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:45 • by Jon (unregistered)
There's no precedent in English for inserting vowels other than schwas into the pronunciation of abbreviations. So, unless you want to pronounce SQL as "suckle," you should probably stick to spelling it out. (It's also fun to annoy people by calling it "squirrel.")

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:47 • by nzruss (unregistered)
181870 in reply to 181624
What, no option for "D Flat"?

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:49 • by desmo (unregistered)
181871 in reply to 181744
Actually, no. C sharp is 1/2 a tone higher than C, not 1/2 an octave. B is half a tone lower than C. C# == D flat.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:51 • by notJoeKing (unregistered)
181873 in reply to 181771
john:
"Programming is programming. As long as the person knows how to code, picking up new languages is pretty simple." = bullshit. i rejected someone last week for saying approximately the same thing. if you/he think you/he can become a useful java programmer when all you know is VB programming, you/he are crazed.


If that was me you had rejected, I would drop to my knees and thank God that you didn't hire me.

I know plenty of people that have years of experience in a specific language that couldn't program their way out of a paper sack. It all breaks down to 1s and 0s so what really matters is if a person can actually program... not be an idiot with 10 years experience who can't figure out the inverse of a condition so he puts no code in the if statement and all the code in the else... of uses an if-else statement to copy one boolean into another... both of which I've seen generated by programmers with 5+ years experience...

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:52 • by Josh (unregistered)
181874 in reply to 181624
C-Mesh. Sheesh, ain't nobody ever written any INTERCAL before?

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:56 • by JL (unregistered)
Clearly, it's C not-not-equal-to.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 16:59 • by VGR
181877 in reply to 181857
KattMan:
john:

i think we actually agree. i'm saying i wouldn't hire someone who thinks that it's all about syntax. i am not saying i wouldn't hire someone who wasn't expert at whatever language my project is using. the guy i interviewed knew the language i was looking for (yeah, it's java), but he saw it as just another syntax to throw his bad idea of software engineering around in, and his statement that he could program in pretty much any old language i had was indicative to me that he didn't understand some fundamentals of software development.


I still think you are off. Someone who said they could program in any language probably understands the fundamentals of programming far better; as long as the paradigm of those languages were similar (procedural as opposed to object oriented).
Although you may give a clue as to the real reason not to hire him, his bad idea of software engineering. As I stated before, if you are a poor developer, you will be a poor developer regardless of language chosen.
Even with all that said, some languages are more appropriate for some tasks than others. I wouldn't use FORTRAN for report generation, but I also wouldn't use VB for scientific number crunching.

I think john originally had a good point but used words that were a little too blanketing.

It is frequently the case that people take the same programming practices they used in Pascal in 1985 and try to apply them to an object-oriented language.

Sure, "programming is programming" ... for some values of the word "programming." Namely, the value which defines it as "the union of procedural programming, object-oriented programming, et al." The words themselves, "programming is programming," seem to frequently lead to people trying to apply obsolete and even harmful programming practices to modern languages and design.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:00 • by Mogri (unregistered)
181878 in reply to 181624
C tic-tac-toe, duh.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:03 • by kthxbai (unregistered)
LOL GUYS I CAME UP WITH A NEW ONE

IT'S C TIC TAC TOE

BET YOU HAVEN'T HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE LOL

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:08 • by themagni
181880 in reply to 181852
Code Dependent:
themagni:
NO YOURE ARE!
Did you mean to say, "Know your R? Or was it perhaps "Know your R's"?

No, wait, now I've got it. You wanted to tell us, "Know your arse." I'm sure you do.


It was in response to the comment about getting dumber by reading the thread, and it was the dumbest thing I could think of to say.

I'm not sure if you were trying to top me.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:10 • by Exodus (unregistered)
181882 in reply to 181624
C Spot Run!

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:24 • by Zylon
181884 in reply to 181873
notJoeKing:
an idiot with 10 years experience who can't figure out the inverse of a condition so he puts no code in the if statement and all the code in the else...

Be aware that some shop rules actually mandate coding conditionals exactly that. Something about code readability, maintainability, yadda yadda etc, I'd imagine.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:26 • by Anonymous (unregistered)
181885 in reply to 181624
None of the above. It's C Splat.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:34 • by mister (unregistered)
In the typewriting era, it was called C equal-backspace-verticalbar-backspace-verticalbar

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:35 • by It's C tic-tac-toe! (unregistered)
Please also be sending me the tic-tac-todes?

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:39 • by Gitsnik (unregistered)
181889 in reply to 181624
SnapShot:
So which is it, C Sharp, C pound, C hash, C number sign or C octothorp?


C-don't_use_this_if_you_want_to_live ;)

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:41 • by Konrad (unregistered)
Lack of skills aside, that is a very hard position to be in. I've been the technical expert where the person being interviewed didn't have anywhere near the technical skills needed, but was obviously desperate for a job.

Cold business interests meets being human and responding emotionally. I did the cold business thing and said no you can't hire this person. but it was not an easy thing to do, for me or my boss.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:46 • by notJoeKing (unregistered)
181892 in reply to 181884
Zylon:
notJoeKing:
an idiot with 10 years experience who can't figure out the inverse of a condition so he puts no code in the if statement and all the code in the else...

Be aware that some shop rules actually mandate coding conditionals exactly that. Something about code readability, maintainability, yadda yadda etc, I'd imagine.


Trust me, it wasn't that. When he wasn't busy sleeping on the job, he was writing for 1 to 4 loops with giant select cases in them with code only in case 2 and case 3. But hey, with all his "experience" in the language, he'd make a much better hire than anyone stupid enough to think Java is similar to VB.Net with different syntax, right?

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:50 • by mauve
I'm not sure I can tell any more whether people genuinely think the "C-tic-tac-toe" comments are witty or whether they are just sadistic griefers trying to damage my brain with their banality. Either way, this thread has more tossers than slashdot.

I was once rejected for a job specifically because I didn't already know MFC. They told me "You may be a programmer but you're not a software engineer."

They were right in that I wasn't a software engineer then, but they were wrong because they didn't know what a software engineer was, and thought that a software engineer is different from a programmer in that he knows more APIs or languages. That's not the distinction at all: a programmer is someone who can write programs in a language; a software engineer is someone who works not on a level of syntactic obstacles but a level of problem domains, efficiency and maintainability.

If you're interviewing a programmer, different languages could cause them problems. A software engineer should be productive in different language pretty quickly. As an interviewer your job is to work out where on that path your candidate is.

Pronunciation

2008-03-06 17:55 • by WTF (unregistered)
181894 in reply to 181624
SnapShot:
So which is it, C Sharp, C pound, C hash, C number sign or C octothorp?

I like Cash, personally.

Besides, I'm pretty sure Coctothorps aren't legal in this state.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:58 • by Franz Kafka (unregistered)
181895 in reply to 181818
Troy McClure:

A CFO pays an IT staff to understand what it is. Just like a developer shouldn't be expected to understand the discount cash flow model intimately, a CFO shouldn't be expected to understand the in's and out's of technology.

They are paid to make business decisions on what benefits the company. Because if it doesnt somehow have value to the company then its not worth doing.


If the CFO is working at the level where it matters what a SQL server is:
the CFO heard "SQL" as the word "sequel", and (fairly logically) thought that a "sequel server" was an additional server related to one the company already had, by analogy with a sequel to a novel or a film. If "SQL" had been spelled out instead of pronounced as "sequel", this blunder would not have occurred.


then he had damn well better know what a SQL server is. I'd expect this sort of thing in a smaller shop where the CFO is also the Director of IT - otherwise, it's the director's job to present things properly.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 17:58 • by ColinA (unregistered)
181896 in reply to 181627
Jim:
1 - If you have only ever really learned from books, you may be very proficient, but wouldn't know the difference between C-Sharp or C-Pound. Though, if he is claiming to have experience in C#, I'm sure his past job would have corrected him at some point.


I would actually consider this something of a litmus test for an interviewer. If they care so deeply about how I pronounce C# that they'll make it the deciding factor of an interview, they may very well be someone I don't want to work with (or for).

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 18:00 • by 28% Genius (unregistered)
181897 in reply to 181703
dabean:
God I hope "C tic-tac-toe" doesn't become a meme.


I think your comment made it reach critical mass.

So, who is going to tell it to Microsoft?

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 18:31 • by real_aardvark
181900 in reply to 181678
akatherder:
You rarely see anyone hired entirely out of pity.
It should happen more often.

I've had to deal with fifteen-man (and token woman) projects that include at least three or four entirely useless, and potentially dangerous, individuals. Deal with it. Push them into testing, push them into business analysis, push them into customer support ... hell, push them into high-level management, if you really need to embarrass the poor sods.

Corey sounds like he needs some help. (I've been on the other side of a custody case.) Give the poor guy a shot at it, and, if he doesn't work out, fire his sorry ass two weeks later.

Me, I thought that was what made America great. I seem to be behind the times, though.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 18:40 • by real_aardvark
181901 in reply to 181749
FredSaw:
Josh:
C Sharp is half an octave higher than C. B is a full octave higher than C.
Silly me, imagining that C is a full octave above C.
Actually, I'm still trying to get my head around the idea that B flat is half an octave below B.

Ya think we could get Josh interested in rhythm? I can see a whole new interpretation of Trout Mask Replica opening up here...

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 18:48 • by Meh (unregistered)
Good move for Brice. His boss is really smoking something. He and Corey would make a good couple.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 18:52 • by BA (unregistered)
It's spelled C-pound, but pronounced C-sharp (honestly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_Sharp_%28programming_language%29#Language_name)

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 18:55 • by Roman (unregistered)
181904 in reply to 181624
SnapShot:
So which is it, C Sharp, C pound, C hash, C number sign or C octothorp?


Ain't C a bitch?

Re: Pronunciation

2008-03-06 19:07 • by Hmmm (unregistered)
181906 in reply to 181894
WTF:
SnapShot:
So which is it, C Sharp, C pound, C hash, C number sign or C octothorp?

I like Cash, personally.

Besides, I'm pretty sure Coctothorps aren't legal in this state.


More wood to the fire:

What's SQL + C#?

SQL = Squirrel
C# = C Hash = Cash
SQL + C# = Squirrel with cash!

There - mystery solved. We have a lot of rich squirrels. Isn't perverted logic fun?




Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 19:26 • by Bill Ablehours (unregistered)
What kind of company was this? If they do contract work and bill by the hour, I can believe they would hire the most incompetent guy they could find, as long as they had one competent guy to complete the job.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 19:47 • by hash1978 (unregistered)
181911 in reply to 181624
C-tic-tac-toe!

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 19:48 • by hash1978 (unregistered)
181912 in reply to 181911
Oh frak, someone already said that :P

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 20:16 • by Moekandu (unregistered)
C curse

Because it's short for C#$%*&!

As for T-T-T...
"Interesting game. The only way to win is not to play."

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 20:23 • by Colm (unregistered)
181915 in reply to 181624
C Tic Tac Toe.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 20:37 • by KevinT (unregistered)
181916 in reply to 181624
It's C-Waffle.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 20:40 • by Jim (unregistered)
Java-- ??

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 21:02 • by ClaudeSuck.de (unregistered)
181918 in reply to 181686
eekee:
Okay, this isn't precisely relevant to this article, but I've got to say it some time. The very fact that # even could be described as a pound sign is a huge WTF to me! As far as I can tell, the only way it got that name was via ancient 7-bit ascii printers, which sometimes substituted the pound sign for the hash character. How it could have spread from that to such widespread usage, I don't know, unless perhaps it was an acceptable substitute for the true pound sign for a long time before that. Still seems a case of extreme carelessness on the part of a great many people for # to aquire the name "pound sign".


I always wondered who-TF invented c-pound. Not even Wiki mentions it under wrong names:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_Sharp_(programming_language)#Language_name

Good explanation though. Just some older guys with old habits first talked about c-pound, that's all.

Re: We Need a Body

2008-03-06 21:28 • by Not a .NET developer (unregistered)
181920 in reply to 181624
SnapShot:
So which is it, C Sharp, C pound, C hash, C number sign or C octothorp?


C shit.
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