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It sort of makes sense. If someone knows a language well, they shouldn't have much trouble writing it syntactically correctly on a whiteboard. Especially in languages which have simpler syntax, like Ruby vs eg Scala.

That's far less true if you use several languages on a regular basis. .size .length .count, which one is used in _? Does it use () after it?

Interviews are often based more on what the interviewer knows than the project / resume.

Now what happens when someone asks about a language that you have not used in 3 years? Well it gets fuzzy. Ramping back up on an old language might take a few hours, but that’s meaningless in terms of a job.

In his "Programming pearls" book, John Bentley stated that he always first writes non-trivial algorithms in pseudocode, and only then transforms them to the destination language.

The point is, it's much easier to focus on the idea of the algorithm when writing it down in pseudocode, without having to worry about c / c++ details that obfuscate the idea.

I think this is less of an issue when you code in Python, where the code is already somewhat pseudocode-ish.

I wouldn't call Ruby's syntax simple. Elegant, yes, but not simple. I'd consider myself a pretty seasoned rubyist, but my IDE catches syntax errors for me all the time.

Agreed. I know Python well and Perl and Java before that. Ruby code still looks unusual to me.

Except when you're used to working in an IDE that generates a lot of the syntactic cruft automatically.

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