Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Weeding Out Bad Programmers

I saw Limas today in class and so he and Colt signed my football! I didn't do it for money though; it's way more valuable than money to me. Now just to get a case for it. Anyway, I have my hardest interview of the season tomorrow morning: Amazon.com. Actually, it's two interviews, so I'll be in their hands for 90 minutes straight. So I figured that this would be an opportune time to talk about this post from Coding Horror about how easy it is to weed out people who can't program. I had no idea how common it was for college graduates to not be able to write simple programs, and I just don't get it. The program at UT is so rigorous that I can't imagine not being able to solve the FizzBuzz problem he posed in more than 3 minutes flat if you know anything at all about programming. So what are other schools teaching their kids? Maybe they're following the paradigm of teaching just languages and falling flat? Or maybe it's too much theory? In any case, I definitely think less of companies that don't ask me a technical question. I don't mean trivia, I mean an actual programming problem, which is why I'm hesitant about Deutsche Bank after my work at TI wasn't in the direction of my career, but was really impressed by my Xythos interviewer. So much so that I'd be ecstatic to get an offer from them, especially since they're in San Francisco. The pressure is mounting on me though as decision time nears, but now I'm really off topic. Oh well, you get the picture: there seems to be a sort of crisis among how universities are educating their CS majors. Granted, this is all anecdotal evidence, but this kind of stuff wouldn't hold well on the Internet with some credibility with the Digg watchdogs out there.

How freaking awesome is that ring?! You know what's engraved on it? That's right, binary. I'm not a fan of the binary clock or any of that stuff, but this ring is pretty damn cool to me. Plus, it's made out of recycled materials (though I guess it may be weird paying nearly $1000 for a recycled product).

Microsoft gets a lot of crap for making bad software, and so I love pointing out when they put out good software. There's a neat, free product called Calculator Plus that you can get here to do more than the built-in calculator can do, including some useful conversions. The catch? You need Windows Genuine Advantage. But take heart, they've decided to add another option in the middle of being a pirate and not where you fail some of their tests but not all of them. While I realize the need for this thing, I still think it's too intrusive and will frighten the average consumer.

Not a whole lot to get excited about in movie news. Alfred Gough claims that the third Mummy movie will not take place in Egypt but they're trying to bring back Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. It sounds like this movie may take place too much in the future for their respective ages to make sense in context, but details are still unclear.

The details of the soundtrack for Grind House are now out, but it's pretty random stuff, per normal for a Tarantino flick. I always love his soundtracks so I'm looking forward to checking out this one.

Yahoo Movies has some clips from Zodiac in anticipation of its release, and I really hope they didn't screw this one up because it just seems like it'd make for a great movie.

Now for the Tuesday Twosome:

Do you wish you would spend less or more time:

1. Watching TV and why?
More, because I'm behind on my stories! Still, no regrets.
2. On your computer and why?
Less, because it keeps distracting me from my work.
3. With your family and why?
More, because it sucks when I realize how long it's been since I've seen them.
4. Dedicated to your career and why?
Less, because it's conflicted with some other interests in my life. But again, no regrets as such.
5. Concentrating on yourself and why?
More, because maybe I wouldn't clutter anymore if I did.

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