Terrible interview question: Swap variables without a temporary

“Clever programming tricks have no place in programming interviews. They usually involve a small amount of code and solve an innocent-sounding question like “find the loop in a linked list”. Often unfair constraints are added, such as “you may not use the language’s search functions”. They follow a general pattern of being highly specific and easily searchable. Yet they aren’t something that can be solved within an interview. These are research level questions that require random prior knowledge, lucky leaps of intuition, or a lot of interviewer prompting.”

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1 reply »

  1. Love this article. I recently went for an interview at a top Cape Town company, that did everything in their power to make me feel stupid. Throwing me pHD computer science questions. I left feeling stupid, and never landed the position.

    I then got a job that integrates with this company, and realized that they actually have no idea what they’re doing. When the integration failed over heavy load, THEY fell over due to bad code. Not my system.