[Tutor] Am I missing something obvious about "FizzBuzz"?

Marc Tompkins marc.tompkins at gmail.com
Sun Oct 1 17:39:39 EDT 2017

On Sun, Oct 1, 2017 at 12:48 PM, Alan Gauld via Tutor <tutor at python.org>

> But to address another issue raised by Mats:
> > Probably the best programming test there is look at code
> > that's already been developed,
> Very true and in an ideal world what you would do, but...
> It is what we did with the bug finding test. But, as alluded
> to by Steve, it's really hard to do this for anything
> significant in an interview, since you would need to be
> familiar with the system's framework and libraries since
> most code consists of calls to libraries.

First off, a confession: I'm an English major, not CS or IT.  But this
conversation reminded me of my interview for (what turned out to be) my
first-ever programming job.  I'd been working as BOFH (operating a
System/360) for a few months, and heard about a better job in an HP shop
closer to where I lived.  So I applied, and during the course of the
interview I discovered that it was a blended position: programming during
the day, operator in the evening.  I kept a poker face, and when I was
asked whether I'd written any COBOL I lied and said yes.  (I knew the name,
but had never seen a line of code - only BASIC and Pascal up to that time.)
My test was, fortunately for me, not a start-from-scratch FizzBuzz problem,
but debugging a report module that was on the department's "to-fix" list.
It took me about twenty-five minutes to find the problem (it was an
off-by-one bug, as I recall), most of which was taken up translating COBOL
to Pascal in my head...  I got the job, and went straight to the local
university bookstore and bought every book I could find on COBOL.  Good
times, good times...

More information about the Tutor mailing list