Programming Interviews Exposed

This book has the premise that job interviews for computer programmers often include a number of questions designed to test the applicant's abilities in creating algorithms, writing code and solving problems. To this end, the bulk of its 254 pages are filled with coding problems and lateral thinking puzzles of the type that aspirants might be confronted with during an interview.

At either end are two short chapters dealing with employment-specific topics such as how to talk to recruiters and prepare a resume, and what to wear to an interview. People who spend a lot of time programming computers may have difficulty in understanding the attitudes and expectations of managers and human resources departments, so it's useful to do a "business reality check" before dealing with them.

However, the puzzles that form most of the book may not necessarily represent the obstacles that will be encountered by an aspiring programmer in the real world. Recruiters tend to be of two types: those who know about the computer industry and those who don't. The former are more likely to ask about the applicant's practical experience, and perhaps offer a trial period of employment during which skills are assessed; the latter will probably concentrate more on resumes, qualifications and employment record. Recruiters who make decisions primarily on the basis of problem solving during the interview are not all that common.

Having said that, though, the puzzles themselves are entertaining and could well improve your problem-solving abilities. I'd read this book out of interest, but I wouldn't expect it to get me a job.

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Aldis Ozols

PC World
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