Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Preamble: not middlebrow dismissal, I really like what they're doing here and will pay attention to them going forward. This is just picking a nit that my hypersensitive self just can't resist:

"Fizz buzz style coding problems are less predictive of ability to do well in a programming interview"

I'm sure this is 100% true, but I thought the point of fizzbuzz-type problems were to weed out people who couldn't program at all? It's not to identify good programmers or even competent ones, it's to identify blatantly incompetent ones, which are surprisingly common even when hiring in SV.

I've never personally asked fizzbuzz when interviewing because my company's hiring process seems to do well enough to not require it. However, based on what I read here it's also very good for filtering out narcissistic divas (i.e., the occasional HN posters who pop a monocle when they get asked fizzbuzz: "how dare someone ask a dumb question that is beneath me?!? Needless to say, I walked out of the interview immediately! Harrumph!").

Maybe Triplebyte's article is using the term "fizzbuzz-type problem" to refer to any contrived programming problem, but in common usage fizzbuzz-type problems are bozo filters that serve no higher purpose than filtering out bozos.

It would be interesting to separate out the sensitivity (how often does the test give a positive result on good candidates?) from specificity (how often does the test give a negative result on bad candidates?) for each of these tests. I'd guess a fizz-buzz-style test has good sensitivity but terrible specificity.

Yeah, we're just using it to mean a asking a simple programming problem (of fizzbuzz difficulty).

But if you're not evaluating the ones who fail, then what's the point of it? you're just grading for style points?

What I take away from your article is that being able to solve a FizzBuzz-style problem isn't correlated with being able to do a more intensive programming task later, which surprised me. What I take away from your comments here is that among people who were able to solve a FizzBuzz-style problem, some variety of style point scoring isn't correlated with being able to do a more intensive programming task, which... okay, that's totally plausible, and much less surprising/interesting.

I just can't imagine any hiring process in which someone could fail fizzbuzz (or something of that level of difficulty) and still be considered a good fit for any sort of programming job. Failing fizzbuzz means someone can't program professionally, but passing it doesn't mean anything other than meeting the lowest possible standard. Likewise for anything of that same level of difficulty.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact