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Month: March 2007

perhaps only computer science

Do yourself a favor – make 4 friends, and grab a copy of the board game “Clue.”

What is sold as merely a game of simple elimination is quite intense when you’re older. A bunch of us got together and played and we went Beautiful Mind on it – the effect only embiggened by the fact that you only get a little tiny piece of paper upon which to make notes.

I think it was Crystal who actually wrote down (somehow in such limited space) every supposition made, and who provided evidence.

Seriously – Clue, go pick yourself up a copy.

i was winning. a lot.

I am a HIGH ROLLER, woo!

img_6774.jpg

This was at the Google ski-trip with a mock casino (winner, apparently, won a trip. If I had known about that I would have taken my gambling much more seriously).

howie is a germaphobe

My mom went out to visit my brother, and saw a taping of “Deal or No Deal” that, apparently, went on for 5 hours. Here is what she had to say:

“ask billy about the deal or no deal taping.
i got a free mini candy bar.
billy was not so lucky.”

hash tables are as delicious as a pretty nice steak

So I used to have this trick question I’d ask near the end of an interview, if I thought people could handle it (eg: they would know, at least, that a hash table was a programming concept). I would simply ask, “How would you go about sorting a hash table?”

The correct answer is to be confused by the question, and ask something along the lines of “Do you mean sort the keys, or sort the values, or something else entirely?”

Based on some recent things happening, I think a better way would be:

“How would you access the fourth item of a hash table?”

It’s the same concept – that hashes are not ordered in any way – but it’s something that yields a better answer both if you do or do not know the answer. Simply put, “You can’t, that makes no sense, I don’t want to work here if you think that’s possible” if you know what a hash table is, or something stupid if you’ve used them and don’t understand them:

@keys = keys(%hash)
print $hash{$keys[3]} // zero indexed; I’m a computer programmer

Even better is you could say something like “are you sure that is right?” and then get this:

@keys = keys(%hash);
if (@keys > 3)
{
print $hash{$keys[3]}; // zero indexed; I’m a computer programmer
}
else
{
print “Define some more variables!”;
}

Which is even better.