Wayback Wednesday: Maybe they weren’t looking for fast

It all seems so familiar.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

This pilot fish goes in for a job interview, and the hiring manager tells him, “I like to give everyone a little programming test. You should be able to complete it within 15 minutes. Are you OK taking a simple test?”

Sure, says fish.

Turns out it really is simple. Fish only takes about five minutes to produce a little two-line function with a Boolean return value.

Interviewer looks at fish’s solution and says, “This is correct. I would only point out you could make it even simpler by putting the expression right into the Return statement.” Sure enough, fish realizes, his little two-line function could really be a one-liner.

He doesn’t get the job.

A year or so goes by, and fish is once again headed for a job interview.

Something about the building seems oddly familiar. But it's not until he meets the interviewer that he realizes why: This is the same place — and the same job — that he interviewed for more than a year before.

The interviewer doesn’t seem to remember fish. The interview goes pretty much as before. The interviewer gives fish the same programming test.

“This time, I pounded out the one-line solution in 15 seconds flat,” says fish.

“The interviewer looked at my solution and said, ‘This is the correct solution — and that’s the fastest I've ever seen anybody do it!’

“And I still didn’t get the job.”

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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