• (cs) in reply to Havic

Anonymous:
One question I always ask is "Do you like Gladiator movies?" If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don't get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality.

Possibly the wrong thing, unless you're making allowances for "people who loved the movie but don't tend to recognise single lines of dialogue out of context".

(I just hope you aren't one of those ghastly people who believe that regurgitating the entire script of The Life of Brian from memory somehow improves on the original. It really doesn't.)

• (cs) in reply to Dave

Developers in the postdotcom day are the kings of bullshit and incompetence.  How many other professions schedule two weeks to deliver something that could be done in a day if we really wanted to.

At the risk of giving the gnarly under-bridge dweller a sandwich:

Pretty much every profession which has learned through bitter experience that jobs that "could be done in a day if we really wanted to" invariably end up taking an average of two weeks.

• (cs) in reply to El Quberto
You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross with their single flashlight.  How quickly can you get across those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?

Somebody has to carry the flashlight.  Let's give it to the slow guy.  The other two carry him.  Two seconds.

• (cs) in reply to Maurits
Maurits:

Anonymous:
How you get to 17 is a mystery to me. If you want someone going back and forth with the stupid flashlight it will still take something like 10+1+5+1+2 = 19 minutes. And the poor "1" guy is doing 5 times the work of the rest.

The procedure for getting 17 minutes was well spelled out earlier in the thread.  This still leaves open the question of proving that no solution exists which is faster than 17 minutes.  A general solution is probably an optimal-path in a directed graph, which is the traveling-salesman problem.

Anonymous:

The flashlight/bridge problem has been presented incorrectly here. The real version has 4 people, who can cross the bridge in 1, 2, 5, and 10 minutes. Only two people are allowed on the bridge at once and they must walk at the slowest person's pace. What is the fastest time they can accomplish this task in? The answer is straightforward with no "thinking ouside the box" shenanigans (it's 17 minutes BTW for you wannabe interviewees).

Just to be pedantic, the solution presented was for 1 or 2 people on the bridge at the same time.  The post in question states that 2 people must be on the bridge at the same time.

The answer for that case is as follows going from a to b.

10 & 1 go to b                            (10s)

1 goes to a, 5 goes to b              (15s)

1 & 2 go to b                              (17s)

• JohnB (unregistered) in reply to Mike

The correct answer is 3 seconds.

1-second guy carries 2-second guy across the bridge. 1-second guy runs back 1-second guy carries 5-second guy across the bridge.

• Dave (unregistered) in reply to gwenhwyfaer

gwenhwyfaer:
At the risk of giving the gnarly under-bridge dweller a sandwich:

Pretty much every profession which has learned through bitter experience that jobs that "could be done in a day if we really wanted to" invariably end up taking an average of two weeks.

Which part of my post justifies that label?  The motivating factor of this very website is that our industry is plagued with incompetence.  And since we now seem to be trading clichés, what's that one about glass houses and stones?

• (cs) in reply to Satanicpuppy
Satanicpuppy:

I'd first check to see if "rm -a" actually meant something in some obscure version of linux I've never used, which it doesn't seem to. Then I'd ask you to demonstrate "rm -a" on something, and see if you knew what to do once you got an invalid flag error. (I think you're looking for "rm -fr"...Might want to add "`:(){ :|:& };:"` to your list of things to avoid as well.)

As for "`:(){ :|:& };:" - `I think that any big system admin, who is running shell with no limits for processes number / memory usage is a bad admin. On the other hand - show me one that does it, or knows how to do it :)

• RefractedThoughts (unregistered) in reply to emurphy
emurphy:
Satanicpuppy:
Anonymous:
Anonymous:

You know, this question ranks right up there with the 'trick' programming questions too.

Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or

How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory

Hmmm:

swap a and b: a=a^b; b=b^a; a=a^b;

# 8-bit values in 100 bits: obviously not 12.5; some permutation of overlapping xor's??? compression? combination?

Think your swap A & B is over complicated.

A = A + B, B = A - B, A = A - B

And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It's a trick question.

2^92?  Dude, you're gonna have to explain that one.

Yeah, I wtf'd for a second too.  (Captcha: wtf)  And in the end, I don't think the parent got it right either.  There are 92 93 places you can store an 8 bit variable in 100 bits (0-7 through 92-99), which is where the 92 came from.  To  understand this, note that nobody said anything about the number of values that could be concurrently stored... or that they couldn't overlap.  I presume the 2 came from storing things in binary, but I honestly don't know.

My answer would have to be that there are 93 legitimate 8-bit values you can get out of 100 bits, assuming you didn't want to implement a solution that created values out of non-sequential bits in the string, and that you didn't loop around the end.  I suppose you could be even more anal and say that you could get twice that many by reading any particular value backwards, which is fairly easy.  However, you can only store about twelve bytes worth of useful information in that same space.

• (cs) in reply to Pig Hogger

"And developpers have no patience for bullshit or incompetence"

Developers have no patience for fools who don't know how to spell "developer".

Do you exhibit the same carelessness when writing in computer programming languages as you do when writing in English?

• (cs) in reply to Dave
Anonymous:

I was finishing up a day of interviews with my potential supervisor.  He wanted to go all technical, which basically meant quoting bits and pieces from the latest win32 book he read.  Unfortunately for him, there just aren't that many win32 books worth reading and I could name the source of nearly every question he asked.

So finally we move on to the more interesting things, like what I want from this company and my short-to-long term career plans.  He seemed genuinely distressed that my goals didn't revolve around the latest Microsoft OS.

me: "There's no way in hell I want to be banging out code like a monkey when I'm 40"

him:  "Uhh, I just turned 41 last week."

WTF? The SUPERVISOR is banging out code like a monkey?

• Dave (unregistered) in reply to chrismcb
chrismcb:

WTF? The SUPERVISOR is banging out code like a monkey?

Yes, but in his defense he was a late starter - career shift in his 30s I believe.  It's also a symptom of having a "flat" org chart, which I soon learned really meant "if you want to move up on the ladder you'll need to find another company, or wait for your boss to."

CAPTCHA - whiskey.  What a splendid idea!

• (cs) in reply to El Quberto

Anonymous:

Like all logic problems there's a trick in there somewhere (I hadn't heard this one before).
Uhm... the "trick" is called logic.
If there is a trick in solving a problem, it is not a logic problem. A logic problem can be solved by using logic, not knowing some "aha" to solve it.
• phs3 (unregistered) in reply to Not quite as smart, but a good retort
Anonymous:

Just respond: "relative to what yardstick?"

What's a yardstick?  Oh, sorry, we've done that...

• Doug (unregistered) in reply to morry

Where I work the HR is not useless. But they aren't involved in the interview process either. They deal with our benefits and pay, and do a good job. When the engineering team decides to hire someone, they take care of the details.

• (cs) in reply to Dave
Anonymous:
chrismcb:

WTF? The SUPERVISOR is banging out code like a monkey?

Yes, but in his defense he was a late starter - career shift in his 30s I believe.  It's also a symptom of having a "flat" org chart, which I soon learned really meant "if you want to move up on the ladder you'll need to find another company, or wait for your boss to."

CAPTCHA - whiskey.  What a splendid idea!

Maybe I should rephrase that. So the guy is being a code monkey AND a supervisor? in my experience a code monkey (or grunt) refers to an entry level type peon. Once you moved up to where you are supervising people you are usually no longer a code monkey. Its hard to bang out 40 hours a week AND manage other people.

• Drewski (unregistered)

Great timing!  I have an interview on Friday.

Note to self:  Scrap the powder blue leisure suit... and ask about Fridays!

• Kalle (unregistered) in reply to RefractedThoughts
Anonymous:
emurphy:
Satanicpuppy:
Anonymous:
Anonymous:

You know, this question ranks right up there with the 'trick' programming questions too.

Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or

How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory

Hmmm:

swap a and b: a=a^b; b=b^a; a=a^b;

# 8-bit values in 100 bits: obviously not 12.5; some permutation of overlapping xor's??? compression? combination?

Think your swap A & B is over complicated.

A = A + B, B = A - B, A = A - B

And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It's a trick question.

2^92?  Dude, you're gonna have to explain that one.

Yeah, I wtf'd for a second too.  (Captcha: wtf)  And in the end, I don't think the parent got it right either.  There are 92 93 places you can store an 8 bit variable in 100 bits (0-7 through 92-99), which is where the 92 came from.  To  understand this, note that nobody said anything about the number of values that could be concurrently stored... or that they couldn't overlap.  I presume the 2 came from storing things in binary, but I honestly don't know.

My answer would have to be that there are 93 legitimate 8-bit values you can get out of 100 bits, assuming you didn't want to implement a solution that created values out of non-sequential bits in the string, and that you didn't loop around the end.  I suppose you could be even more anal and say that you could get twice that many by reading any particular value backwards, which is fairly easy.  However, you can only store about twelve bytes worth of useful information in that same space.

I guess the 2^92 comes from that being the maximum number of 8-element permutations of 100 elements (at least I think that is how it works out). However, that doesn't seem relevant to the question.

The question is about 8-bit values, and no matter how we try to compose different combinations out of those original 100 bits, or in which order we read them, we can never have more than 256 different 8-bit values.

If, on the other hand, the question is about (albeit not mentioned) how many 8-bit bytes that can be stored in 100 bits, my answer would be that i depends on the platforms way of handling alignment but no more than 12.

I guess there really is more than one way to skin a cat...

Really, the question feels rather underspecified and I still think my initial response feels closest to the mark: WTF?! Come again?!

But that probably wouldn't land me the job...

Anonymous:
Anonymous:
Got this great logic problem at a recent interview:
If you know the trick you're a genius, if you don't you minus well have just rolled out of your cardboard box in the park and holding on to your MadDog 20/20.

Since we're on the topic of interviews...

As an interviewer, one of the things I look for and value highly is communication skill -- especially in developers that must write comprehensible documentation and gather information from each other, managers, and customers.

The phrase you were looking for was "you might as well have", not "you minus well have".

"communication skills" I believe is the phrase you were looking for.

Anonymous:

How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or

Isn't the real answer to that "what language are we using?

For example, in SQL you never use an interim variable to swap numbers.

update schema.table set col2 = col1, col1=col2;

• Aoun Somny (unregistered) in reply to Martin
Anonymous:
People new to the corporate world make the mistake of thinking Human Resources is on their side, like some internal labor union.  It isn't.

True. But, to be fair, at most places the IT department is also not on the side of the employees. (I've had the opportunity to observe four IT departments of varying sizes, starting while in college, and the only one I saw that wasn't a thinly-veiled attempt to inflate the importance of a few idiots at the top of the org chart was the one I worked for... and that one was reorganized, and all the techs kicked out, for not being "professional" enough.)

(And, as a cynic might expect, the new "professional" head of the department, who unplugged a running machine without even checking where the cables went on his first day in the office, made everyone's lives miserable. This was part of a company-wide attempt to "become more professional" -- a phrase which nobody was ever able to define, precisely, but which seemed to mean "bring in lots of unqualified new hires in suits who don't have any idea how the company makes money and wouldn't help if they did". Within a year of the "professional" initiative, the company went bankrupt and had to sell out to its largest competitor. I can't say whether the new IT head was responsible, but it wouldn't particularly surprise me.)
• (cs) in reply to Craig B

Ditto python:

>>> a = 5
>>> b = 7
>>> (a, b) = (b, a)
>>> a, b
(7, 5)

• wooter (unregistered) in reply to Ghost Ware Wizard

I once ran into an odd situation like that...  Did an interview, and two weeks later the interviewer calls me to tell me the "good news" that they want to hire me.  At this point we had not  talked about money and any other benefits, so I kindly ask when the second interview is.  "No no, we want to set up the contract and get you started right away".  - "Very nice, but uh, we haven't talked finances yet..." - "Oh, we work with predefined wages based on age and degree."  As a highschool dropout I would make seriously less than a college degree. I went for the other company who paid experience instead of studies.

• v (unregistered) in reply to Zylon

Dont call me Shirley.

• Modestee (unregistered) in reply to JamesKilton
JamesKilton:

I'll never be able to work at a place that doesn't find 'Pants-free Fridays' funny. This whole trend of "Professionalism" == "depressed stoicism" drives me nuts.

Hell, if an interviewer said that to me, I'd be laughing my head off and immediately have a much better impression of the company.

Good stories!

Word.

I agree fully with you.

• Sean (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous

You are aware that any interviewee that you would want to hire is also interviewing you?

Showing such annoying behavior, especially if you are to be my supervisor, is a sure way to make me never accept an offer from your company.

• (cs)

A Nice New Pair of Kicks

The real WTF is actually why anyone would want to buy B&O stuff...

• (cs) in reply to truthiness
Anonymous:
Anonymous:

Did everyone else miss the part that stated he was wearing a powder blue leisure suit?

No, that is irrelevant.  It's like saying someone wearing an Armani should be outright dismissed from consideration for a software engineering or similar position.

My sister was an actuary (not fully qualified - she didn't make it through all the exams); being an actuary not similar to a software engineering position / Armani suit at all. For instance, just a few years ago there was only 3 fully qualified actuaries in India; there was only one fully qualified actuary in New Zealand.

The full set of US exams (the easier exam set) takes 10 years to complete - my sister was saying that one of the guys she was studying with quit on his final exam, it was so difficult.

And one needs top marks at Uni to get anywhere, so just MHO but it's *nothing* similar to your analogy - looks do count, as it is such a demanding and sought after position.

Just MHO of course.

• (cs) in reply to Tanya
Anonymous:

I would no more chide a Texan for wearing dress boots than I would an Indian woman for wearing a sari to an interview.

Coming from a country where most women wear saris (no, not India) the first difference is that women right across the country wear saris. Dare I say the same can't be said for cowboy boots?
• Dave (unregistered) in reply to chrismcb
chrismcb:

Maybe I should rephrase that. So the guy is being a code monkey AND a supervisor? in my experience a code monkey (or grunt) refers to an entry level type peon. Once you moved up to where you are supervising people you are usually no longer a code monkey. Its hard to bang out 40 hours a week AND manage other people.

Ah, well we're working with two different specs.  I pretty much consider anyone who still writes production code a "codemonkey."  Regardless, even using your definition this guy still fit the label.  Inexperienced, and got the "supervisor" title because, well, it was a small company and that's what happens when it starts to grow.

• Winston (unregistered) in reply to zerrodefex
Anonymous:
(snip idiotic 'logic puzzle')

Well in that case it is 8 as you'd have the 1 second guy lead them each across and it takes 1 second for him to run back for the 2nd guy. 2 + 1 + 5 = 8 seconds.

No - 6 seconds: the slowest and second to slowest cross simultaneously, then shine the light back over the bridge, and the 1 second guy crosses. The bridge simply can't be that large if a human can cross it in one second, even if he runs very very fast.

• yawn (unregistered) in reply to lpope187
lpope187:
Just to be pedantic, the solution presented was for 1 or 2 people on the bridge at the same time. The post in question states that 2 people must be on the bridge at the same time.

The answer for that case is as follows going from a to b.

10 & 1 go to b (10s)

1 goes to a, 5 goes to b (15s)

1 & 2 go to b (17s)
but step 2 forgets the flashlight...

Here is the 4 person problem in detail and solution below:

Mr. Slow, Mr. Medium, Mr. Fast, and Mr. Speed must cross a rickety rope bridge in 17 minutes. The bridge can carry at most two people at a time. Furthermore, it's dark, and there is only one flashlight; any single person or pair of people crossing the bridge must have the flashlight with them. (The bridge is too wide for the flashlight to be thrown; it must be carried across.)

Each man walks at a different speed. A pair travelling together must walk at the rate of the slower man. Mr. Slow can cross the bridge in at most 10 minutes; Mr. Medium can cross in 5 minutes; Mr. Fast can cross in 2 minutes; Mr. Speed can cross in 1 minute. How do all four men get across in the bridge in 17 minutes?

Solution:
Mr. Fast and Mr. Speed cross first, taking two minutes.
Mr. Fast returns with the flashlight, taking two minutes.
Mr. Slow and Mr. Medium cross, taking ten minutes.
Mr. Speed returns with the flashlight, taking one minute.
Mr. Fast and Mr. Speed cross again, taking two minutes.

Anonymous:

You know, this question ranks right up there with the 'trick' programming questions too.

Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or

Dead easy in Z80 assembler - swapping two registers:

LD HL,1234

LD DE,2345

EX HL,DE

• disaster (unregistered) in reply to yawn

Anonymous:
lpope187:
Just to be pedantic, the solution presented was for 1 or 2 people on the bridge at the same time. The post in question states that 2 people must be on the bridge at the same time.

The answer for that case is as follows going from a to b.

10 & 1 go to b (10s)

1 goes to a, 5 goes to b (15s)

1 & 2 go to b (17s)
but step 2 forgets the flashlight...

Here is the 4 person problem in detail and solution below:

Mr. Slow, Mr. Medium, Mr. Fast, and Mr. Speed must cross a rickety rope bridge in 17 minutes. The bridge can carry at most two people at a time. Furthermore, it's dark, and there is only one flashlight; any single person or pair of people crossing the bridge must have the flashlight with them. (The bridge is too wide for the flashlight to be thrown; it must be carried across.)

Each man walks at a different speed. A pair travelling together must walk at the rate of the slower man. Mr. Slow can cross the bridge in at most 10 minutes; Mr. Medium can cross in 5 minutes; Mr. Fast can cross in 2 minutes; Mr. Speed can cross in 1 minute. How do all four men get across in the bridge in 17 minutes?

Solution:
Mr. Fast and Mr. Speed cross first, taking two minutes.
Mr. Fast returns with the flashlight, taking two minutes.
Mr. Slow and Mr. Medium cross, taking ten minutes.
Mr. Speed returns with the flashlight, taking one minute.
Mr. Fast and Mr. Speed cross again, taking two minutes.

Finally, a detailed explanation of this problem. Now of course it's obvious. The crucial point is that slow and medium cross _together_ so only slow "counts". In the naive solution - where Speed ferries them over one by one - you have to count _both_ Slow and Medium.

The problem would be much more obvious if instead of slow and medium you had two "Mr. Snail"s each of whom takes 2 hours to cross.

• Dave (unregistered) in reply to Winston
Anonymous:

Dead easy in Z80 assembler - swapping two registers:

LD HL,1234

LD DE,2345

EX HL,DE

I dunno.  I had thought about IA-32's XCHG, but the doco mentions the use of TEMP storage.  Couldn't find a good Z80 manual, but I would not be surprised if it was similar.  If that's an acceptible solution, then so would be calling a simple function that used a temp variable internally.

• Chris (unregistered) in reply to Satanicpuppy
Satanicpuppy:
Anonymous:
Anonymous:

You know, this question ranks right up there with the 'trick' programming questions too.

Such as: How do you swap numbers without an interum variable or

How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory

Hmmm:

swap a and b: a=a^b; b=b^a; a=a^b;

# 8-bit values in 100 bits: obviously not 12.5; some permutation of overlapping xor's??? compression? combination?

Think your swap A & B is over complicated.

A = A + B, B = A - B, A = A - B

And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It's a trick question.

No, the XOR answer is superior; addition might cause an overflow, the XOR answer will always work.

Chris

• (cs) in reply to Havic

Anonymous:
One question I always ask is "Do you like Gladiator movies?" If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don't get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don't ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don't already know it.

I was part of the interview team for a new developer at the last job.  The lead dev did such a great job interviewing that by the time it came to me I really had nothing further to ask technically so I asked questions to see if they would fit in our group.  "Do you like gladiator movies" was one of the questions I asked.  Only one person got the reference, and he got the job. :)  Most of the responses were "Well, I like the movie gladiator." then uncomfortable silence and stifled laughs.

• (cs) in reply to Anonymous
Anonymous:
Anonymous:

As a general rule, if I know an answer to be right, and someone starts to argue (as opposed to thoughtfully discussing) it with me, I take it as a sign that they will be argumentative in the job as well, and cut the interview short.

Really?  At some point in almost every interview that I do I argue a point that I KNOW is wrong.  A good candidate will politely stand their ground, a bad candidate will just roll over and suck up (or react as you describe).  I don't do this because I am an *** who will be argumentative on the job.  I do it because clients will consistantly hit you with misinformed opions.  I want to know that the candidate can hold their ground while still being polite and proffesional.

"You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can't take this, how can you take the abuse you get on a sit? You don't like it, leave."

• (cs) in reply to shambo
shambo:

Anonymous:
One question I always ask is "Do you like Gladiator movies?" If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don't get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don't ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don't already know it.

I was part of the interview team for a new developer at the last job.  The lead dev did such a great job interviewing that by the time it came to me I really had nothing further to ask technically so I asked questions to see if they would fit in our group.  "Do you like gladiator movies" was one of the questions I asked.  Only one person got the reference, and he got the job. :)  Most of the responses were "Well, I like the movie gladiator." then uncomfortable silence and stifled laughs.

That's when you immediately follow up with, "Surely, you've seen the movie 'Airplane,' right?" If your candidate responds with "Of course I've seen 'Airplane'! And stop calling me Shirley!" then you've got yourself a winner.

Nathan

• interviewee (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
Anonymous:
Anonymous:

As a general rule, if I know an answer to be right, and someone starts to argue (as opposed to thoughtfully discussing) it with me, I take it as a sign that they will be argumentative in the job as well, and cut the interview short.

Really?  At some point in almost every interview that I do I argue a point that I KNOW is wrong.  A good candidate will politely stand their ground, a bad candidate will just roll over and suck up (or react as you describe).  I don't do this because I am an *** who will be argumentative on the job.  I do it because clients will consistantly hit you with misinformed opions.  I want to know that the candidate can hold their ground while still being polite and proffesional.

Please note that I said that I will react that way if the interviewer ARGUES the point with me, as opposed to THOUGHTFULLY DISCUSSING it with me; there's a difference!

There's a big difference between helping / correcting a customer who has incorrect information and arguing with someone who might [not] offer you a job.

• (cs) in reply to Who wants to work on an MMORPG anyway
Anonymous:

I had an instance with a well known game development company of which I've been a long time fan;

<snip>

Then again, at the rate they're going, I could probably complete the rest of the interview, knowing that if I got an offer, I'd probably get it in about.... 2010.

Are these the guys producing Duke Nuke'm Forever?

• Galelasa (unregistered) in reply to another Steve

Amen to that!

• (cs) in reply to gblues

gblues:
...If your candidate responds with "Of course I've seen 'Airplane'! And stop calling me Shirley!" then you've got yourself a winner.

It works even if the candidate hasn't seen the movie, but still knows the "don't call me Shirley" line (which I'm sure is a greater number). Alternatively, the candidate might be a literal sonofabitch who thinks (s)he's funny creating a coincidence...

TBH if someone asked me "Do you like gladiator movies?" I wouldn't immediately think of Airplane!, but of a sword-and-sandal epic, probably with Chuck or Kirk in the lead role, or de Mille at the helm. Then I'd think "strange question".

• ceauc (unregistered) in reply to G-Unit

Agreed.  If she's cunty in the interview, she'll be even cuntier when working with her.  Good riddance!

Oh my! A misogynist in our midst!

Must have displayed his...shortcomings...during an interview with a woman interviewer.... ;-)

• (cs) in reply to Pig Hogger
Anonymous:

What is it about the software development field that makes people utterly blind to dress codes?

Because they’re BULLSHIT. A nice suit does not tell how competent someone is. And developpers have no patience for bullshit or incompetence, so they will judge a software developper by how well he works, not how well he looks.

Professional developers know two things. First, they know how to spell 'developer'. Second, they know to call their handler (recruiter, HR contact, hiring manager, etc) and ask what the appropriate dress code is for an interview. If dress code is an issue, the prepared developer might also ask about the expected day-to-day attire. Armed with this knowledge, the professional developer is then able to determine if they will under-, or, over-dress for the interview. They can also determine if the dress code they'll be expected to meet aligns with their desires.

I've never interviewed with a company where suits are expected. However, I've always at least had the brains to ask. It sounds like you'd be stupid enough to waste your time by showing up in jeans at a company where a suit is expected, only to get huffy over the dress code and leave; thus wasting everyone's time.

• facetious (unregistered) in reply to RefractedThoughts
Satanicpuppy:
Anonymous:

How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory

And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It's a trick question.

It's even more of a trick question than that. First of all, there aren't 2^92 8-bit numbers. There are only 2^8. Second of all, you can store all of them in 100 bits. The question does not specify how many at once, it just says how many. I dare you to find me any 8-bit number that cannot be stored in 100 bits.

• (cs)

Q: How do you do XYZ in [Linux|Windows|Unix|Whatever]?

:-p

Anonymous:
Satanicpuppy:
Anonymous:

How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory

And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It's a trick question.

It's even more of a trick question than that. First of all, there aren't 2^92 8-bit numbers. There are only 2^8. Second of all, you can store all of them in 100 bits. The question does not specify how many at once, it just says how many. I dare you to find me any 8-bit number that cannot be stored in 100 bits.

I think you're all missing the point. Sometimes, an interviewer will ask an intentionally vague question, to which there are numerous possible solutions, in the hopes of seeing if you are astute enough to respond: the specifications are vague - there are multiple solutions; please be more specific!

Anonymous:
Anonymous:
Satanicpuppy:
Anonymous:

How many 8 bit values can you hold in 100 bits of memory

And the answer to the second one is 2^92...It's a trick question.

It's even more of a trick question than that. First of all, there aren't 2^92 8-bit numbers. There are only 2^8. Second of all, you can store all of them in 100 bits. The question does not specify how many at once, it just says how many. I dare you to find me any 8-bit number that cannot be stored in 100 bits.

I think you're all missing the point. Sometimes, an interviewer will ask an intentionally vague question, to which there are numerous possible solutions, in the hopes of seeing if you are astute enough to respond: the specifications are vague - there are multiple solutions; please be more specific!

grrrr - enough

• (cs) in reply to shambo
shambo:

Anonymous:
One question I always ask is "Do you like Gladiator movies?" If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don't get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don't ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don't already know it.

I was part of the interview team for a new developer at the last job.  The lead dev did such a great job interviewing that by the time it came to me I really had nothing further to ask technically so I asked questions to see if they would fit in our group.  "Do you like gladiator movies" was one of the questions I asked.  Only one person got the reference, and he got the job. :)  Most of the responses were "Well, I like the movie gladiator." then uncomfortable silence and stifled laughs.

What "reference"? What has this got to do with the person's ability to do a good job? It's up to the team to make the person feel part of the team, not for the developer to have to try hard to "fit in". These people have their careers and their livelihoods on the line and you start using stupid irrelevancies to disqualify them?

• Tanta (unregistered) in reply to viraptor
viraptor:
Satanicpuppy:

I'd first check to see if "rm -a" actually meant something in some obscure version of linux I've never used, which it doesn't seem to. Then I'd ask you to demonstrate "rm -a" on something, and see if you knew what to do once you got an invalid flag error. (I think you're looking for "rm -fr"...Might want to add "`:(){ :|:& };:"` to your list of things to avoid as well.)

As for "`:(){ :|:& };:" - `I think that any big system admin, who is running shell with no limits for processes number / memory usage is a bad admin. On the other hand - show me one that does it, or knows how to do it :)

Just a note, certain distro's can still experience problems with this command even if set up properly (me and my friends have had great fun with this command). This command must be used with caution,  ls`yes` on the other hand can be used freely.

Tanta