Legit gripe or developer snobbery?

I've been writing about developer snobbery for years on this blog. Would it include this?


It's very borderline. I agree there are a lot of useless people out there. I've interviewed them.

However, you need to be careful about how you conduct this stuff. The truth is that I have no idea what the mod function is in C#/.NET, because in real life I would never use it. That's not to say I couldn't look it up though. Many of the most brilliant code monkeys I know didn't study computer science at all. They may not know design patterns by name, but they'll code your punk-ass under the table with clean and elegant code.

The truth is, if you drilled me on OOP glossary words in an interview trying to stump me, I wouldn't want to work for you. I have readily available code to download online. Read that and then tell me if I don't know what I'm doing.


  • I couldn't agree more. I just recently added a blog entry on how the Transcender tests are absolute rubbish for trying to determine the skills a developer has. 30% of the test was on DataSets. WTF. I use DataSets about once in every project.

    I also don't think the ability to snap off the definition of polymorphism means you can code anything worthwhile.

  • Oddly enough, my interview for the current job, they liked my answer that I don't know much of anything about DataSets because I use container objects and generics to manipulate data.

  • I agree that there are a lot of developers out there who don't know how to write an if statement to save their lives. On the other hand, it depends what you're looking for. At my company we a lot of work with datasets. We used to be a complete oracle shop with forms and reports, and have now started working with .net, however, most of our code is in packages and procedure. We don't need any developers who have no idea about what a dataset is or have no clue how to write objects on the database. That's development too! I don't see how you can be a developer without knowing what the big picture is. Answering that you don't know anything about datasets because you use container objects and generics sounds impressive, it also sounds like you have no interest in expanding your horizons and learn what happens to your data.

  • No, that's me saying that DataSets are cumbersome and expensive objects in .NET. Ever try to serialize one across a Web service? They're huge! DataSets are a one-size-fits-all solution that is mediocre because it tries to be too many things.

  • Yes Jeff, that is exactly what I told them. DataSets, while improved in .NET 2.0, are expensive containers that developers over-use all the time.

    I'd much stick with throwing around Objects/Object Collections accross my tiers.

  • I cannot believe that self-proclaimed senior .NET devs would not even know about the modulo function.

    Granted, some may not know the exact operator off the top of their head but should at least be able to write psuedo code with modulo in it.

    Also - senior devs (8-10+ years experience) who say they haven't used recursion? I do find that hard to believe.

    Call it what you want. I've interviewed them too.

  • I don't think the test is about the modulo function. It's about solving a challenge. I'm confident that you could write a simple function which checked if a number is evenly divisible by 3, right?

  • Jon - well ofcourse, but wouldn't you assume experienced developers would at least be aware of what the modulo function does!?!

  • coding is one of the most complex part of programming. you need to devote yourself, like you need to be connected emotionally otherwise you'll fukk everything up. my advice is to take your time and be yourself and dance with the code. LOL

  • //There are two types of programmers:

    enum ProgrammerTypes
    ExamPassers = 1,
    SuccessfulExperienced = 2,
    Both = (ExamPassers | SuccessfulExperienced)

    //The only one that really matters is the second bit.

  • I've worked in companies that have hired total duds, you're playing with fire if you don't ask these kinda questions.

    You've never used to mod operator in C# (or any related language)? We were just talking about this the other day at work...sure you can almost always find a different solution, but never a rarely a better one. That's like saying you never used the multiple operator 'cuz you only bothered to understand the addition operator.

  • I know what it is, I just never realized it was "%" in C#. I've never had to use it, even once. Why is that so surprising?

  • For first job out of college I got grilled with SQL/PHP questions. I had a couple friends apply and did not know any answer and still got the job. The only difference between answering the questions correctly and not is the pay...I guess the price was $10,000 more for correct answers. Where do they calculate this crap...

  • I've used the mod operator a couple times ( 2 or 3), I've been using C# and .Net full time for the last 4 years.

    I really don't find that it comes up very often, even though I read the C# spec when it was publiched, I still needed to look up the operator the first time I was going to use it.

  • Actually... the question was not about the mod operator - it was about printing Fizz or Buzz (or FizzBuzz) at the appropriate time. You do not need to know about the mod operator to do this -- it is just most obvious approach. FizzBuff is designed to test if you can think rather than if you know a fact.

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