Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Tue 29th Jul 2008 06:39 UTC, submitted by snydeq
General Development InfoWorld has put together a 20-question test of your programming knowledge. Questions range from 'What is the best way to preserve type safety in assembly language?' to 'Why are race conditions a problem in modern software development?' and they touch on your knowledge of the history of programming languages, how best to develop easily maintainable and secure code, and your game plan for overcoming a lack of energy drinks, Jolt Cola, and Mountain Dew at the local supermarket - in other words, your commitment to programming as a way of life. Editor's Note: Think of it as your midnight distraction (*cough* Grad Students) rather than news, you might actually enjoy it ;).
Order by: Score:
RE
by Kroc on Tue 29th Jul 2008 08:24 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Quite a fun test, very OSNews material ;)

I got 75, although could have got 100 if I had been more careful. I didn't know about Pascal history, I assumed Dr.Pepper was second-in-line, and "The Gang of Four" is news to me; otherwise, clearly I know too much useless information for my own good.

(Data-types in Assembly, lol; a byte is a byte is a byte my friend)

Reply Score: 5

RE
by judgen on Tue 29th Jul 2008 13:30 UTC in reply to "RE"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

85pts "you get bragging rights but probably wouldnt get hired", DANG! Hope my boss dosnt realize that.

Reply Score: 6

RE
by Clinton on Wed 30th Jul 2008 06:08 UTC in reply to "RE"
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

That was a fun test. I ended up with 90 points, so I am "Dangerously Overinformed". I wouldn't have thought it was nearly as fun if I hadn't known most of the answers already though. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Headline Skimmer? So what? Stupid article!
by Gorgak on Tue 29th Jul 2008 08:53 UTC
Gorgak
Member since:
2007-05-30

So I'm a headline skimmer at 60 pts. Stupid trick questions.

Wait, that excuse is already taken.

Oh, here's one: I haven't had my first coffee yet. (But I'm having it right now).

Reply Score: 3

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

So...what does it tell about the test if I got 75, and last time I've had (brief) encounter with programming was 5 years ago with some dead basic C? ;P

Reply Score: 1

lemoncookie Member since:
2006-03-01

ah, I had a better excuse
English is not my native language ;)

Reply Score: 2

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27


Oh, here's one: I haven't had my first coffee yet. (But I'm having it right now).


Why not a glass of Sunkist Orange instead? ;)

Reply Score: 4

Answer to Question 7 is idiotic
by Zenja on Tue 29th Jul 2008 09:39 UTC
Zenja
Member since:
2005-07-06

Question 7: What is the best way to write type-safe assembly language?

5 points
d. Devout prayer

Because assembly language does not recognize data types in the way that higher-level languages do, prayer may be your only hope.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Answer to Question 7 is idiotic
by Kroc on Tue 29th Jul 2008 09:55 UTC in reply to "Answer to Question 7 is idiotic"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

No it's not. All the other answers were wrong, so it could only be that one. It could have said "The cat sat on the mat" and it'd still be correct.

You cannot store a decimal point in assembly, there is no such thing - only 1s and 0s. If you put a Float into a memory location, you can interpret those 1s and 0s anyhow you want. You could read it back as an Int, or an ASCII value, or even execute it as a Mnemonic.

Some of the best C64 code (Demos and some of the better copy-protection schemes like Timex) used this kind of behaviour to write self-modifying code. There's many creative things you can do when you write assembly by hand, but it's a real minefield to work in.

Reply Score: 3

sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

If you don't know what kind of data is there in the memory location you are accessing and its binary representation in the architecture(s) you are using you shouldn't be using assembly at all, not even C.
However, the much maligned Systems Hungarian notation can be very useful when dealing with assembly code.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Answer to Question 7 is idiotic
by Clinton on Wed 30th Jul 2008 06:10 UTC in reply to "Answer to Question 7 is idiotic"
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

That was my favorite questions; although "devout prayer" would be the answer for pretty much any question about assembly.

Reply Score: 2

more like....
by trenchsol on Tue 29th Jul 2008 10:09 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

More like a test of general knowledge of programmers culture.

Reply Score: 4

RE: more like....
by Kroc on Tue 29th Jul 2008 10:27 UTC in reply to "more like...."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

You somehow expected more out of InfoWorld?
Only managers and wannabes read InfoWorld.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: more like....
by trenchsol on Wed 30th Jul 2008 16:16 UTC in reply to "RE: more like...."
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

To be honest, I don't expect much of IT journalism, generally. In fact, I lost fate in any kind of journalism long ago. I read those articles while I am having coffee, that's all.

DG

Reply Score: 2

Stupid InfoWorld editor
by pandronic on Tue 29th Jul 2008 11:47 UTC
pandronic
Member since:
2006-05-18

How can someone so ignorant be employed as an editor at InfoWorld?

For the question about Hungarian Notation one of the possible answers was:

d. It was invented at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Hungary

For the thousand time Bucharest is not the capital of Hungary, Budapest is.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Stupid InfoWorld editor
by drTRS on Tue 29th Jul 2008 12:50 UTC in reply to "Stupid InfoWorld editor"
drTRS Member since:
2008-07-29

well, since there is a small chance that the Hungarian notation is coming from the Polytechnic Univ, Budapest they had to choose Bucharest to make it completely false answer... ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Stupid InfoWorld editor
by phoudoin on Tue 29th Jul 2008 14:34 UTC in reply to "Stupid InfoWorld editor"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

Where does he said it was Hungary's capital?
He doesn't.

And this university exists, is located in Bucharest, which is a hungarian city.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Stupid InfoWorld editor
by priit on Tue 29th Jul 2008 14:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Stupid InfoWorld editor"
priit Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, no, Bucharest is the capital city of Romania.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Stupid InfoWorld editor
by phoudoin on Wed 30th Jul 2008 17:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Stupid InfoWorld editor"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

I stand corrected.
Thanks.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Stupid InfoWorld editor
by alexandru_lz on Tue 29th Jul 2008 17:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Stupid InfoWorld editor"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

It's a good thing they don't have a geography quiz, the scores would be a lot lower...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Stupid InfoWorld editor
by makc on Wed 30th Jul 2008 09:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Stupid InfoWorld editor"
makc Member since:
2006-01-11

Where does he said it was Hungary's capital?
He doesn't.

1


And this university exists, is located in Bucharest, which is a hungarian city.

0

Reply Score: 1

RE: Stupid InfoWorld editor
by DrillSgt on Tue 29th Jul 2008 17:28 UTC in reply to "Stupid InfoWorld editor"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"How can someone so ignorant be employed as an editor at InfoWorld?

For the question about Hungarian Notation one of the possible answers was:

d. It was invented at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Hungary

For the thousand time Bucharest is not the capital of Hungary, Budapest is."


Wow...don't even know how to answer this one. When do you start as editor for InfoWorld??? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Stupid InfoWorld editor
by -oblio- on Tue 29th Jul 2008 19:11 UTC in reply to "Stupid InfoWorld editor"
-oblio- Member since:
2008-05-27

"For the thousand time Bucharest is not the capital of Hungary, Budapest is."

It's the other way round too. We have a lot of fun here in Bucharest/Romania when a singer/statesmen messes them up.

And for all you English lubbers, you mess them up because you make them sound alike. They're actually:
"Boo-dah-pehsht" and "Boo-coo-reh-shti", where that last "ti" is pronounced like "li" in Linux.

Edited 2008-07-29 19:12 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Stupid InfoWorld editor
by trenchsol on Wed 30th Jul 2008 16:34 UTC in reply to "Stupid InfoWorld editor"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

Somebody please tell me why is a comment made by Jabbotts modded down. Because it is not enough on the Party Line which is anti-Microsoft ? Man, what an attitude !

DG

Reply Score: 2

History, not programming
by deathshadow on Tue 29th Jul 2008 12:19 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Somehow I expected a test on PROGRAMMING, not a history quiz. The whole thing is akin to an auto repair class that spends six months on the life history of Nikolaus August Otto instead of talking about how engines work.

The only question worth a damn was the one where the best answer was commenting - and even that was semi-useless since throwing in commenting any old way can be WORSE than not having any.

See: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-clear-code/

Specifically: "Oh? We're done? Thanks for letting me know. That big right bracket and the infinite expanse of empty space beyond really didn't tip me off to that."

Edited 2008-07-29 12:23 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Is P equal to NP?
by James Townson on Tue 29th Jul 2008 12:36 UTC
James Townson
Member since:
2007-07-18

i like this one.

Reply Score: 3

dumbass test
by transputer_guy on Tue 29th Jul 2008 16:22 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

Well I got only 65 yet I spend most of my time developing in C/C++. I don't know or care for any of the modern trendy languages like Ruby and know almost nothing about SQL or Cobol. Clearly 1/3 of the questions have zero to do with anything. I suspect most older CS professors or even the mighty D.Knuth might fail this too if they are not hip to trivia nonsense.

Reply Score: 2

RE: dumbass test
by Chicken Blood on Tue 29th Jul 2008 16:29 UTC in reply to "dumbass test"
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

Watch how all the geeks on this thread will make antagonistic comments and excuses for not getting 100%. "It's a stupid quiz", "doesn't mean anything", "editor is retarded", etc. etc.

I got 65% and for what it's worth, I don't care. It affects my programming self-esteem, neither one way or the other. It's just a quiz people.

Reply Score: 4

RE: dumbass test
by acamfield on Tue 29th Jul 2008 18:59 UTC in reply to "dumbass test"
acamfield Member since:
2006-11-17

Tend to agree. Seems this "test" has more to do with this guy's vision of himself as a great wit than with technical expertise. Yeah, I got a 75 and it's been years since I programmed in C and decades since I programmed in Assembler, but many of the questions and answers are surrounded by ongoing "discussion" so his version of the correct answer may be in dispute.

Reply Score: 1

RE: dumbass test
by fretinator on Tue 29th Jul 2008 19:41 UTC in reply to "dumbass test"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think the test was meant to be taken very seriously - I mean the question about soft drinks?? So chuckle a little and increment you program counter!

Reply Score: 3

First question
by normanv on Tue 29th Jul 2008 17:56 UTC
normanv
Member since:
2008-07-29

I believe that both JavaScript and Java originate from Self programming language developed by Sun to some extent. So the answer for the first question is - questionable ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: First question
by fretinator on Tue 29th Jul 2008 18:34 UTC in reply to "First question"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

The key is that javascript is NOT a lite version of Java. This is probably one of the most ANNOYING misconceptions ever in the IT world. I don't know how many times I have heard hiring managers, developers - eople who should know better confuse the two. I cringe when I hear people say something like "yeah we need a Java developer to help with some of our web pages", when they really mean a Javascript developer. The languages share nothing except a "c-like" syntax (braces, semi-colons). Javascript really has far more in common with the functional languages.

So personally, I was glad to see that question. It really was a marketing decision to include the word "java" in javascript. However, it was a very poor decision. It created a lot of unnecessary confusion.

It actually reminds me of the word "Basic" in Visual Basic. While VB is actually a derivative of Basic, unfortunately the word "Basic" confuses many adminsitrative folks. They see the word and think that it must be easy. I have seen this played out such that non-programmers are hired as VB programmers, because, well, it's basic! How hard can it be? In fact, one job I interviewed actually called it "Visual Basics". I had to keep myself from laughing during the interview. In reality, enterprise applications of great complexity and depth can be created with VB (even before .NET). However there is a "pile" of VB guys out there that to a certain extent were created due to the word "basic" in the title.

Words are funny!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: First question
by renox on Tue 29th Jul 2008 20:37 UTC in reply to "RE: First question"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

The key is that javascript is NOT a lite version of Java.


*Sigh* you haven't read his post, he didn't say that..

What he said is that both Java and Javascript has some heavy link with Self a project made by Sun:
for Java it's not the language but the JVM's JIT compiler which benefited from Self research
and for Javascript it's because it is a prototype based language like Self.

So I was a bit annoyed by the incorrect "solution" IMHO..

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: First question
by johnnysaucepn on Tue 29th Jul 2008 22:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: First question"
johnnysaucepn Member since:
2006-08-22

Just because they have superficial similarities to a third project, doesn't mean those two are related in any way.

Reply Score: 1

Misleading answer
by Ladelburro on Tue 29th Jul 2008 18:20 UTC
Ladelburro
Member since:
2008-05-10

"Question 15: Is P equal to NP?

5 points
d. I don't know

This is one of the most important unsolved problems in computational science. If you actually did know the answer, you would be rich now."

This is just silly. The author confuses a factual question with the justfication of that answer. For example, if somone asks me "Is E=mc^2?" I can answer "Yes" altought I don't know how to justify it: the question is not "Do you know if E=mc^2?". A correct answer would be something in the line of "It hasn't been proved that..."

Reply Score: 1

It's called fluff ...
by MacTO on Tue 29th Jul 2008 20:22 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

... and it's supposed to be fun. Think of it as a sitcom for people who have never had sex.

As for an indicator of programming intelligence, yeah it sucks. I received a 70, but my main claim to programming fame is that I'm a brilliant developer of pseudo-random number generators. Need an encryption algorithm, I'll give you a program that generates a stream of pseudo-random numbers. And hey, noone can crack that. Not even the recipient with the key. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's called fluff ...
by sakeniwefu on Wed 30th Jul 2008 02:21 UTC in reply to "It's called fluff ..."
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

Well, who hasn't developed a compression algorithm that reduces the size of any file by 90% or more - with the only bug that he was then unable to retrieve the complete original files. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's called fluff ...
by Imp of the Perverse on Sat 2nd Aug 2008 22:01 UTC in reply to "It's called fluff ..."
Imp of the Perverse Member since:
2008-07-27

And hey, noone can crack that.


Peter Noone is widely acknowledged as a cryptography expert.

Reply Score: 1

Silly, but it should be.
by torbenm on Wed 30th Jul 2008 10:12 UTC
torbenm
Member since:
2007-04-23

Many of the questions (and answers) are a bit silly, but that is as it should be. No-one (outside a few clueless managers) honestly think that a five-minute online quiz can give you any indication of how good a programmer you are, so any attempt at making it seem serious would be a lie.

For the record, I scored 85. My wrong answers were the drink, the gang of four and Brian Kerningham. I'm not from the US, so I have had little exposure to Dr. Pepper and Sunkist Orange, and I don't do OO much, so I'm not aquantied with the gang of four. I really should have known about Brian, though.

Reply Score: 3

Lol.. Bucharest and Hungary
by vchira on Thu 31st Jul 2008 12:54 UTC
vchira
Member since:
2007-11-02

"It was invented at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Hungary "

LOLOL.. idiots.. Bucharest is in Romania.

Reply Score: 1

Headline skimmer ....
by Pr3st00 on Fri 1st Aug 2008 01:16 UTC
Pr3st00
Member since:
2005-12-02

Well.. I got 65 for a headline skimmer.. btw, I wish I knew what the f--k is a headline skimmer...

"Twisted pair is a type of network cable, not a data structure."

That one was pretty silly...

Reply Score: 1