• LCrawford (unregistered)

    Rumor has it that Dudley's company is still trying to hire their frist Coder for the team.

  • (nodebb)

    I think I'd have started with a few questions about the type of traversal, or maybe confused dear Dudley with a level-order traversal...

    Or perhaps pointed out that "coding" is the least important (but most visible) activity that programmers / developers / software engineers ever do, below even "drinking coffee" or "eating pizza".

  • Sole Purpose Of Visit (unregistered)

    Somehow this reminds me of a cross between the Monty Python Argument Sketch and the Abbot and Costello "Who's On First?"

    The sad thing is, you could "pass" a test like this simply by typing "traverse binary tree in java" into your browser and reading out the results.

  • DQ (unregistered)

    I don't think they need developers. Each time they need a new function, they do a new interview and type whatever the interviewed person says.

  • D J Hemming (unregistered)

    "Don't you mean 'parenthesis, Node n, close parenthesis, open curly bracket? This is a coding challenge."

    "I'm happy to demonstrate that I know how to traverse a tree but I'm not going to say out loud every piece of punctuation, that would be ridiculous and absurd. "

    If Dudley isn't happy with that, no amount of money is worth working with Dudley.

  • 🤷 (unregistered)

    If Dudley isn't happy with that, no amount of money is worth working with Dudley.

    Exactly this. In any of those "whiteboard coding challenges" I couldn't care less if the interviewee uses correct syntax 100% of the time. It's called pseudo code for a reason.

  • James Davidson (unregistered)

    The companies interviewing like this should not remain anonymous. Developers should know which companies to avoid.

  • (nodebb) in reply to 🤷

    It's called pseudo code for a reason.

    That's true, but dear Dudley asked for code, not pseudocode.

  • MiserableOldGit (unregistered)

    Dumb interviews like this should be counted as early warning and fully encouraged.

    If only I'd walked away from things like this laughing and not accepted the offer thinking "well that was funny, wonder what the rest of the team is like?"

  • Carl Witthoft (google)

    I think it'd be appropriate to respond by reading off the ASCII code numbers for every character in the code, and let Dudley Do-Wrong there deal with that.

  • The Incredible Holk (unregistered) in reply to DQ

    No typing necessary. Only a good speech recognition system.

  • 🤷 (unregistered) in reply to Steve_The_Cynic

    That's true, but dear Dudley asked for code, not pseudocode.

    But he never specified the language. Igor should've pulled up a ArnoldC doc and start coding like

    	IT'S SHOWTIME
    	HEY CHRISTMAS TREE myTree
    	YOU SET US UP @I LIED
    	DO IT NOW traverseTree
            TALK TO THE HAND result
    	YOU HAVE BEEN TERMINATED
    
    	LISTEN TO ME VERY CAREFULLY traverseTree
    	I NEED YOUR CLOTHES YOUR BOOTS AND YOUR MOTORCYCLE tree
    	GIVE THESE PEOPLE AIR
            //DoStuff
    	I'LL BE BACK traverseTree
    	HASTA LA VISTA, BABY
    

    Too bad the only variable type in ArnoldC is a 16bit signed integer.

  • 🤷 (unregistered) in reply to 🤷

    Oops. Return variable of "traverseTree" should be "tree". So the second to last line should read

    I'LL BE BACK tree
    
  • my name is missing (unregistered)

    This is a perfect use case for BrainF*ck.

  • (nodebb) in reply to my name is missing

    Or Whitespace.

    Space, tab, tab, return, space...

  • Sole Purpose Of Visit (unregistered) in reply to my name is missing

    If you can dictate the BrainF*ck version of graph traversal over the phone, I'm going to hire you, no questions asked.

    (Of course, I'm going to insist that you work on our PHP product.)

  • Court Cam (unregistered)

    If I could reach through the phone, ... I would strangle you to death right now.

  • (nodebb)

    Seriously, even the question is ridiculous. What senior principle engineer spends their days writing code to traverse a tree? The last time they actually did that was probably years ago back in college when they first learned the topic. This is the sort of question that junior engineers are going to be able to answer easier than senior engineers since the junior engineers were more recently in college.

  • Tony (unregistered)

    It's probably just a clever student trying to pass an exam in programming

  • Randal L. Schwartz (google) in reply to D J Hemming

    "I'm happy to demonstrate that I know how to traverse a tree but I'm not going to say out loud every piece of punctuation, that would be ridiculous and absurd. "

    Maybe he could hire Victor Borge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf_TDuhk3No

  • bunnydogwalking (unregistered)

    I'll take the other side here. No, it's not too much to ask of a proper developer to think in syntactically-correct code. It's just not that difficult of a task, and there is no good excuse for struggling with it other than incompetence. All we have learned here is that when asked to write out ("I don't have a whiteboard here"! grab a piece of paper, you smart...something or other) a simple piece of code in a language of their choice, our protagonist refused to take the request seriously, could not deliver, and decided to complain about it on the internet. For shame.

  • Duston (unregistered) in reply to Carl Witthoft

    I'd go with EBCDIC instead. "You wanted ASCII? You should have specified ASCII in your question."

  • Officer Johnny Holzkopf (unregistered)

    Okay Eyegor... erm Igor... I want you to see me as a whiteboard... and today's coding will involve... RPG. You know what RPG is, right? It's industry standard. So... how do you write a "Hello World" app in RPG? You can omit the enclosing JCL. Now begin.

  • Simon (unregistered) in reply to Steve_The_Cynic

    Or perhaps pointed out that "coding" is the least important (but most visible) activity that programmers / developers / software engineers ever do Amen to that! It is also the least risky part of the job.

  • (nodebb)

    I love how this works in reverse, have you ever been there?

    Coding over the phone is golden but what about those companies with their lips shout as their "competitive advantage" can apparently "leak out" in a 10 minute discussion?

    Very interesting psychological phenomena.

  • mushroom farm (unregistered) in reply to bunnydogwalking

    Now I know where companies like that get their staff. Fascinating!

  • Duke of New York (unregistered)

    Ah yes, I remember giving this interview when I worked for a company that had burned me out beyond caring.

  • Some Ed (unregistered)

    That's the sort of question I tended to avoid when I was interviewing for a job by asking enough questions.

    What kind of tree is this? Is it a binary tree, or can there be more branches? Does it have reverse links back to the top of the tree? Are any nodes in the tree connected to multiple points "above" or "beside" them? Am I doing a recursive traversal or iterative? What am I doing at each node? Can the tree shift while I'm traversing it, or can I assume it's all static for the duration of the traversal?

    I think I had a few more questions on the list, but most of the time they didn't let me get that far before deciding that I clearly knew enough about tree traversal to not actually make me go through the rest of the exercise. At least, officially. It's possible that they really decided I was an annoying git they didn't want to work with, as all of these companies declined to offer me a position, asserting that I was overqualified.

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