Academic paper on why programming is so intimidating

On occasion you meet a developer who seems like a solid programmer. They can have a reasonable conversation about programming.

But once it comes down to actually producing code they just don’t seem to be able to do it well.

That program will never reach the “Fizz Buzz, and will print out “Fizz” everywhere it should have said “Fizz Buzz” Indeed, such an abysmal level of coding skill is simply unbelievable… Frankly, i have never seen candidate so unskilled, but in France, is really math heavy and I suppose that’s a good filter. Ask: show me (on paper, but better on a whiteboard) how you would swap the values of two variables.

If they don’t *start* with creating a third variable, you can pretty much write that person off.

It doesn’t matter if their CV looks great or they talk a great talk.

If they can’t write code well you probably don’t want them on your team. So I set out to develop questions that can identify this kind of developer and came up with a class of questions I call “Fizz Buzz Questions” named after a game children often play (or are made to play) in schools in the UK.

And that’s definitely a step in the right direction. It took five minuts and a bit of my help just to create a new project, as much time to create the visual aspect of the window (drag and drop 2 textbox and a button! Actually I don’t think asking a “Fizz-Buzz” question is a good thing and I wouldn’t recommend on doing it.

This sort of question won’t identify great programmers, but it will identify the weak ones. NET” to create the simplest thing I could think of: an application that takes two number and displays the sum of them.

An example of a Fizz-Buzz question is the following: Write a program that prints the numbers from 1 to 100.

But for multiples of three print “Fizz” instead of the number and for the multiples of five print “Buzz”.

Compiler will do it’s optimizations and the result will be same in both cases but the person who will look into your code later will have to brain what’s that trick with add and sub for… This is one of the “super smart” bit tricks that fails mysteriously under some non-obvious or unanticipated conditions.

Proposing such a thing should disqualify an applicant right away.

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