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The FizzBuzz Challenge

February 25, 2010

Apparently this is becoming the jumping off point for interviewing for developers:

I wrote that article in 2007, and I am stunned, but not entirely surprised, to hear that three years later “the vast majority” of so-called programmers who apply for a programming job interview are unable to write the smallest of programs. To be clear, hard is a relative term — we’re not talking about complicated, Google-style graduate computer science interview problems. This is extremely simple stuff we’re asking candidates to do. And they can’t. It’s the equivalent of attempting to hire a truck driver and finding out that 90 percent of the job applicants can’t find the gas pedal or the gear shift.

The “smallest of programs” referred to is the “fizz buzz” program – you are supposed to write a program that counts from 1 to 100, except for numbers divisible by three, which you replace with “fizz”, divisible by five, which you replace with “buzz” and numbers divisible by both three and five, which you replace with “fizzbuzz”.

It can be written a LOT of ways – I’ll post my favorite on the sidebar and explain why I like it later…

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