Posted by: leppie | November 19, 2008

Interview: Assessment tip

I did a paper-based C# assessment yesterday. The ‘test’ was not a very good test.

I got word today, I did not make the required ‘cutoff’.

The tip for the future:

If you are required to do any form of assessment, ask them to provide a complete solution for the assessment, as they would expect it to be.

Here is the assessment (well what I can remember):

Number of questions: 13
Number of C# questions: 1

The C# question: Explain LOCK in C#. I was tempted to say LOCK is not valid in C# (but I restrained)

1. What are the 3 tiers in 3 tier dev?
2. How is 3 layer dev different from 3 tier dev? (I had to think hard what that buzzword meant)
3. What are the 3 layers in 3 layer dev, and purpose?
4. What is MVC?
5. What technologies does AJAX use?
6. What is AJAX used for?
7. C# LOCK question.
8. Source control policy opinions (ito VSS and VS, multiple check outs, overnight check outs, undebugged checkins).
9. What is recursion?
10. What is FxCop?
11. What do you use for Code Analysis and Unit Testing in VS2005.
12. When to use Web services (give 2 answers).
13: Name 1 advantage and 1 disadvantage of XML.

IMO, waste of time, this is maybe a good test for a graduate/very junior programmer.

You can follow the discussion of the test in the Code Project Lounge.



  1. It is surprisingly difficult to code on paper. I think it is the most odd way to examine somebody. I can’t imagine a bricklayer being given a test to build a wall without a trowel. So why test an engineer to build a program without a computer? The worse ones are phone tests conducted by none programmers who don’t understand that the questions they are asking are ambiguous and that there consequently isn’t a single right answer.

  2. The question I was asked was “what is the largest number that can be represented by a 16 bit number”. My answer was 65,535 which she said was wrong that the correct answer was 65,536. I did try to explain about the zero thing but I didn’t get the job. It really annoyed me that somebody who hadn’t a clue what she was talking about nevertheless could put the kibosh on my application for no good reason. It ain’t fair I tells ya!

  3. @Jack: At least you get an idea what the company (and the crew’s capability) is like 🙂

  4. IronScheme implementer must take a paper based C# evaluation?


  5. IMO,

    Writing the url to your blog on the top of the paper and nothing else would have ensured you at least a second interview!

    Best of luck in the search.


    • Unfortunately, and I find this shocking, employers do not even ‘investigate’ their prospects….

      But this gives me an idea 🙂

  6. Who Wants to Be a Buzzwordnaire…

    1. Presentation, Logic and Data
    2. Three tier = three pysical layers (like = web pages/logic server/sql server), Three layer = three logical layers ( queries)
    3. The same????
    4. Most Voluptuous Codehead
    5. Javascript and XML
    6. Interactive web applications and some Google stuff
    7. Don’t even remember.
    8. I use Subversion and Cron Jobs to build overnight, thats all I know…
    9. When a function calls itself
    10. The FX Cop is somebody who arrest special effects villains
    11. I program in Visual Studio, I don’t use it for much else 😛
    12. THat’s a good question actually, I’d use it for communicating between physical locations without any extra configuration, new protocols and no firewall problems.
    13. It’s easy to edit if you want things done fast. But it has too much overhead if sent through the interwebs compared to some random proprietary format

    God, I hate the programming world. It used to be full of joy and fun… now it’s just about buzzwords and NEVER getting things done…

    So sad… =/

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