World-writable memory on Samsung Android phones
Posted Dec 18, 2012 12:08 UTC (Tue) by khim
In reply to: World-writable memory on Samsung Android phones
Parent article: World-writable memory on Samsung Android phones
I don't know of any way to interview programmers which actually guarantees that you won't get a lemon, or even filters out most of the lemons.
This one phrase tells me that you have very small experience hiring candidates. Most candidates who come to the interview are totally, utterly incompetent. About 4 out of 5 if not 9 out of 10. If you'll just reject, say, ⅔ of candidates randomly — you'll filter out "most of the lemons".
The question is not hot how to "filter out lemons" but how to find out someone who'll be competent enough to rely on.
It is certainly true that writing code in interviews says almost nothing useful about the candidate other than that he's not a total incompetent.
Yup. But it weeds out incompetents quite nicely thus it's incredibly valuable litmus test. When candidate which supposedly worked with Java for five years is asked to "reverse words in a string without using additional memory"¹) and s/he tries to recall for the five minutes how to change letter in a string you know that said candidate is not someone you want on your team: either resume is a lie or s/he does not keep in mind even basic facts about the stuff s/he's working with every day.
Given that it also discriminates against some competent people, and that the set of people discriminated against includes me, I don't think I can approve.
And here you are doing the fundamental error. Interviewing is absolutely not about distinguishing good candidates from bad ones. It's not a big deal if some given approach will lead to rejection of 50% of good candidates if it'll guarantee that it'll reject 99% of bad candidates, too. It is much, much better to reject a good candidate than to accept a bad candidate.
Good candidate will find acceptable place to work anyway (or else he's not a good candidate but just someone who just thinks he's good), so there are no problem with rejection but if bad candidate is accepted… well we are observing the result, don't we?
¹) And yes, I know it's impossible to do in Java. That's what candidate with good knowledge of Java should say—and then we can discuss fine points of memory management in Java or we can just replace "string" with "array of chars".
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