Category Archives: Software design - Page 2

(Русский) Неделя оптимизатора

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(Русский) История языков программирования

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(Русский) Сипласпласное

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(Русский) Шок и трепет

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(Русский) Теория и практика макаронолитейного дела

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Would you mind getting real or why online С++ tests suck

Dear Madam/Sir,

I appreciate you going into the trouble actually visiting this page.  This post represents this blog owner’s point of view on so-called “Online C++ tests” that are used by recruitment agents to select candidates and explains why its author does not take any of these tests anymore. The sole purpose of the post is to be referred to when he is asked to sit one of these to save him the time explaining his position on this issue over and over again. By writing this post, the author did not intend to insult anyone nor pay revenge of any kind to anyone.

Almost every good software developer can find themselves discussing a new exciting career™ opportunity with the potential employer or their agent. Nine from ten, the candidate will be asked to sit a test. A very easy one, should not be too much trouble, person of such experience will not have any problems completing it in no time, they are told. And this is what is terribly wrong about it. You will have problems. No matter how good you are.

I agree that some initial screening may be required. For example, company needs a junior software developer and they need to be sure that candidates understand basic concepts of certain programming language. In this case test will help. It simply must be well prepared, 100% accurate, 100% correct, 100% meaningful and also short, if not too much trouble. The problem is that most of the tests out there don’t have any of this characteristics. The bigger problem is that they are usually put together by those who have never worked in the software development. And the killer problem is that these tests are filled with inconsistencies, discrepancies or simply full of errors (I wanted to use more colorful language here, but this post is going to be a part of my CV, so I better don’t).

About a year ago I was asked to sit an online C++ test.  I had no objections then. I also was interested in the position. The first question was quite obvious. The second had 4 answers and three of them were correct, but according to the question, only one of them was supposed to be correct. I lost all the interest momentarily. I wanted to stop it right then, but I decided to continue. I don’t regret. At least, now I have the proof how bad these tests are . That’s what question number 4 was:

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(Русский) Рабоче-крестьянские зарисовки

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(Русский) Историческое

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(Русский) Оптимизированные грабли

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(Русский) Паттерн “observer” на tr1::function или почти настоящие делегаты

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