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Ask Slashdot: Are Timed Coding Tests Valuable? 776

First time accepted submitter xkrebstarx writes "A buddy of mine recently applied to a large tech company. Before setting up a phone interview with him, the unnamed company issued a timed coding test to gauge his coding prowess. He was allotted 45 minutes to complete an undergraduate level coding assignment. I would like to ask the Slashdotters of the world if they find value in these speed-programming tests. Does coding quickly really indicate a better programmer? A better employee?"
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Ask Slashdot: Are Timed Coding Tests Valuable?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:25AM (#42544691)

    To find completed code for that assignment online.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:36AM (#42544771)

    wth is a fizzbuzz test?

  • by SurfMan ( 969573 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @09:39AM (#42544811)

    Funny how you misspelled "Gammar Nazi"

  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @10:10AM (#42545103) Journal

    I never believed the whole "95% of interviewees fail the FizzBuzz test" until I started interviewing candidates.

    Well, I've never interviewed job candidates and I have a hard job believing this. It's not that I think you're lying (I don't), it's that I've never seen it for myself and my brain has a very hard job accepting that someone who does programming for their livlihood could not solve this in their sleep.

    It doesn't matter that it's true, it's just really REALLY hard to imagine. And I don't WANT to believe it.

    Anyway, here's my entry.


    #Advance the number counter



    #Advance the Fizz counter

    #Clear the hold space

    #Divisibility by 3 /c/{

    #Divisibility by 5 /[05]$/{

    x /^$/g
    x /100/!bmainloop

    Silly slashdot. Why do you keep reformatting my code and why do you make me type junk here just to get my post accepted? Blah blah blah blah blah blah and you don't like too much repition wither this makes it very hard to paste code into the forum now please let this post in please pretty please with a cherry on top and sprinkles and is that even your bucket in the first place?

  • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @10:15AM (#42545149)

    You know... Every time fizzbuzz is explained somewhere, there are always 100 attempts to solve it right beneath...

    I think this is the first time I've ever seen the first response (or in fact, most of the responses) actually be correct!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 10, 2013 @10:20AM (#42545223)
    That's easy; I'm a fast typer!

    #include <stdio.h>
    int main()
    puts("1"); puts("2"); puts("fizz"); puts("4"); puts("buzz"); puts("fizz");
    puts("7"); puts("8"); puts("fizz"); puts("buzz"); puts("11"); puts("fizz");
    puts("13"); puts("14"); puts("fizzbuzz"); puts("16"); puts("17"); puts("fizz");
    puts("19"); puts("buzz"); puts("fizz"); puts("22"); puts("23"); puts("fizz");
    puts("buzz"); puts("26"); puts("fizz"); puts("28"); puts("29"); puts("fizzbuzz");
    puts("31"); puts("32"); puts("fizz"); puts("34"); puts("buzz"); puts("fizz");
    puts("37"); puts("38"); puts("fizz"); puts("buzz"); puts("41"); puts("fizz");
    puts("43"); puts("44"); puts("fizzbuzz"); puts("46"); puts("47"); puts("fizz");
    puts("49"); puts("buzz"); puts("fizz"); puts("52"); puts("53"); puts("fizz");
    puts("buzz"); puts("56"); puts("fizz"); puts("58"); puts("59"); puts("fizzbuzz");
    puts("61"); puts("62"); puts("fizz"); puts("64"); puts("buzz"); puts("fizz");
    puts("67"); puts("68"); puts("fizz"); puts("buzz"); puts("71"); puts("fizz");
    puts("73"); puts("74"); puts("fizzbuzz"); puts("76"); puts("77");
    puts("fizz"); puts("79"); puts("buzz"); puts("fizz"); puts("82"); puts("83");
    puts("fizz"); puts("buzz"); puts("86"); puts("fizz"); puts("88"); puts("89");
    puts("fizzbuzz"); puts("91"); puts("92"); puts("fizz"); puts("94");
    puts("buzz"); puts("fizz"); puts("97"); puts("98"); puts("fizz"); puts("buzz");
    return 0;

  • by hackula ( 2596247 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @10:36AM (#42545421)
    Nope, but you might try a Javascript programmer. I would be willing to be a Java programmer would implement this using the ReverseFactoryAbstractFactoryFactory pattern though. They might be able to get it to you in a year, but you would be obligated to sign a 5 year 200k/yr support contract.
  • by MrBandersnatch ( 544818 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @10:46AM (#42545565)

    It took me 6 because I spent 5 minutes trying to find an elegant solution to the problem - do all older programmers suffer from the problem of premature optimization? ;)

  • by narcc ( 412956 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @11:28AM (#42546101) Journal

    No, most older programmers suffer from "do it right" syndrome.

    I wrote two different solutions and selected the most readable. It took 8 minutes, but I had to chase some damn kids off my lawn.

  • by Anne Thwacks ( 531696 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @01:20PM (#42547687)
    elegant, easy to read, and maintainable

    You mean rewrite it in another language?

  • by cellocgw ( 617879 ) <cellocgw@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday January 10, 2013 @01:25PM (#42547731) Journal

    Anyway, I hired the girl that wrote this:

    sort -n

    Yeah but you were going to hire her anyway 'cause she was hot.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas