The Best CS Graduates Can Even Write "Hello World"
I've just been reading some fascinating articles. This guy writes a post of which I would describe about the first third as fascinating, correct, vital insight for its target audience (young developers). The rest of the post is interesting too. He mentions some interesting information, such as the allegation lots of programmer job applicants can't actually program. Is it true? Let me tell you a story:
I started my career in 2004 in a graduate job at one of Australia's largest IT outsourcers. It was a great place to work. In the interview (aimed, obviously, at people soon to graduate a computer science degree) they asked me "What is your favourite language?"
I said "C".
They handed me a sheet of paper and said "Can you write 'Hello World' in C?"
I got a little shock. Oooh, code! So I proceeded to write it. As it was the simplest possible programming assignment I tried hard to get the #import statements right since, hey, there's not much more in the program.
"Umm, I'm not 100% sure on this but it's something like this" I commented as I wrote "#import stdio.h / #import string.h".
They said "Don't worry too much about that bit" and I went on to write the one line main procedure.
Apparently I passed the test or whatever because I was offered the job.
You might think that's not exactly a challenging test to put potential employees through, however I can tell you that whilst working there I found the employees to be of high callibre. Not that I want to be the judge of programming skill, they were all better than me anyway, but you're probably now thinking they weren't very competent there but the fact was actually the opposite.
Now a couple of years after that interview Chris, the technical guy that interviewed me, and I were having a chat and I joked around about the interview and the challenging programming question. "Oh", Chris said, "did we ask you that? That question was for the really good people."