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Discussion on: Terrible interview question: Swap variables without a temporary

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weswedding profile image
Weston Wedding

Why did you take this into such a personal direction?

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lazarljubenovic profile image
Lazar Ljubenović

Because it's a first-person blog post which expresses one's beliefs and opinions. It's personal by definition. You cannot talk about something being a “terrible interview question” without taking into personal direction.

It's a terrible thing to promote dumbing down job interview questions just because you think they are too difficult or useless. It does no good to anybody:

  • inexperienced people will believe they are already good enough for the position and won't improve,
  • experienced people become indistinguishable from people with less knowledge/experience,
  • employers are hiring people who won't be able to do the tasks properly, resulting in badly written software.

It's absolutely narcissistic to blame the interviewer for giving you a question you didn't like. The whole point of the interview is for the employer to see if you're qualified for the job, and for you to see if you'd like to work for them.

If the interview process is terrible from your perspective, you can given them feedback about it and tell them you're not interested in the position. Guess what, chances are they aren't interested in you either -- great! Two adults met and decided that the business relationship isn't gonna work. Time to move on.

But apparently the author feels the need to go on some sort of a crusade to show the world how interviews are demons for asking the variable-swap algorithms.

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weswedding profile image
Weston Wedding

This isn't an arena where you need to destroy your enemies, though. Calm down.

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lazarljubenovic profile image
Lazar Ljubenović

You must be replying to a wrong person or something?

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ssimontis profile image
Scott Simontis

I believe he was referring to the general overtone of your post, which came across as dismissive of the author and made statements that were demeaning to the author and came across more as a personal attack than an attempt to have a constructive conversation.

Our code of conduct is very clear about treating each other with respect, creating a welcoming environment, and maintaining a safe environment where all feel welcome to participate and share their experiences. Interviewing is a very stressful process and I think there are a lot of developers who find no correlation between interview performance and suitability for the job. Companies can end up losing awesome candidates who have lives outside of programming or end up with a team that would be great at ISO C++ trivia night but can't write maintainable code. It gives an advantage to people who had the opportunity to go to overpriced colleges and learn these things that others can only dream of.

It's totally fine to disagree with opinions, but please make an effort to do so without personally attacking or degrading the author or anyone else in the community. If you have questions about the code of conduct, please feel free to reach out to myself or any of the other community moderators, or our awesome staff.

For the record, the only time I have ever had to use this was when working in embedded software and doing micro-optimizations for 8-bit architectures. 8-bit is always going to have a place in the world, but most development is switching over to 32-bit mcus and bid twiddling is not a critical skill for firmware engineers anymore because compilers have stepped their game up.

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lazarljubenovic profile image
Lazar Ljubenović

Your code of conduct creates an echo-chamber, not a "safe environment". The environment is already perfectly safe (unless your PC/laptop is close to water -- then it might explode, and could severely injure you).

If words written in a comment section are "personal attacks" in your mind, you might want to log off for a while and meditate or something. It doesn't seem healthy to be that upset just because someone write a public comment on a public post your wrote on a platform where the whole point is to comment and exchange opinions -- positive or negative.

My post was not about the author; it was about the contents of the post, and any mention of the author was in the context of what was written. I've never peeked into their personal life or information irrelevant to the post they've written. And I don't just disagree with the post, I find it stupid. Yes, that word exists, whether you like it not when someone uses it for things you created. I explained my reasoning why I feel that way.

If I'm not allowed to express that I deem an opinion stupid, with a good explanation and reasoning, why am I allowed to say that it's inspiring/smart/amazing/awesome without an explanation? How does that contribute to the discussion? It doesn't. It's an echo-chamber where everyone gets a pat on the head. "It's awesome!" and "It sucks!" are equally pointless comments.

My comment expressed my opinion of the original blog post in a constructive way. That's never bad for discussion. If you believe that constructive criticism/discussion (even when very negative) is not appropriate for your platform, then you can remove those comments and censor speech just because you don't like it -- it's not like you'd be the first platform to do that.

If you need an explanation of anything concrete in my original comment, feel free to ask. Also, please point out precise sentences where I "attacked" the author. Because you you're accusing me of attacking another person without any evidence. And isn't that unsafe environment as well? If everyone can just point a finger and yell "that's disrespectful!", that quickly creates a mess, right?

PS. Could you say that this post is "unsafe environment" for me, since it insults me with its ideas? I'm just trying to figure out how do you make a decision on what's "unsafe", because it really seems like an arbitrary excuse because you feel like it.

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ssimontis profile image
Scott Simontis

It didn't upset me, I'm just a moderator here and I try to enforce the code of conduct because I was asked to and I care a lot about this site. You are free to disagree with anything you want and to have any opinion about it, but you can also choose to communicate that productively without writing it in a way which could be perceived as attacking the writer. It just came across to myself and apparently a few other people as a little too intense.

If you have a problem with the code of conduct, take it up with the staff. I don't get paid to do this, I have no vested interest in this site, I just try and enforce things as I come across them or that the system flags asking for moderator review.