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Thread: Math People - Help!

  1. #46
    Colin McGuigan Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!

    Brian Patrick <bpatrick100@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:3a439087$1@news.devx.com...
    >
    > >You know if I was applying for this job to write this >application off

    the
    > >street I may not have been hired. But since I already work >here and

    they
    > >KNOW ME. Plus I have proven myself to be very quick and >resourceful

    they
    > >gave me the project. Sure I would be disappointed, but who >wouldn't be.

    >
    > This is my point exactly. They know you and your abilities. It's just

    sad
    > that a potential employer may never know you or your abilites due to the
    > fact that you couldn't solve an algebra problem.


    I don't know about you, but most of the people I interview come from
    headhunters.

    Headhunters typically get 20-25% of someone's yearly salary as their
    commission. If we hire you for $80,000 / yr, and you came through a
    headhunter, that's _another_ $16,000 - $20,000 we have to pay, assuming you
    stay longer than a month.

    and a month is not really long enough to _really_ get to know a person.
    I've seen someone last six months before it became _painfully_ obvious that
    they didn't really, in the end, know what they were doing.

    I'd wager many companies are in the same boat. So they take the drastic
    approach that they would rather be safe than sorry - they would rather miss
    out on an applicant because he didn't have X, rather than hire him, give
    thousands of dollars to the headhunter, and find out three months later that
    X is required to do the current job.

    --
    Colin McGuigan




  2. #47
    Colin McGuigan Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!

    Duane Snelling <dsnelling@msc.ca> wrote in message
    news:3a4393d4$1@news.devx.com...
    >
    > Colin,
    >
    > >So here's the question. Would you, if you were an employer, hire someone
    > >who was an _excellent_ programmer, knew all the tricks, etc, etc, but had
    > >poor English and grammar skills? I'd have to say that I don't think I
    > >would.
    > >

    >
    > I disagree with that. Sure in some positions it may require good

    communication
    > skills, but not all. Don't forget there are alot of off shore people who
    > are amazing programmers but can't speak or write english very well. But
    > to deny their skills as programmers would be silly.


    In my post, I didn't deny their skill; I even said, assume they have
    _excellent_ skills. I asked if you would hire them. I said I probably
    wouldn't. Would you?

    --
    Colin McGuigan




  3. #48
    Colin McGuigan Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!

    Brian Patrick <bpatrick100@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:3a4394f3$1@news.devx.com...

    > I do know (first hand) that it is very hard to find *GOOD* programmers.
    > I've had to hire people in the past and it is not easy. This industry is
    > saturated with many below average skilled programmers. So right now, I'd
    > go with the person who could do the job. Bottom Line !


    I can really only speak from my perspective: Yes, the industry is saturated,
    and it's hard to find good people. BUt in my case, the projects that I'm
    working on are _huge_. Dozens (if not hundreds) of classes, dozens of
    forms, dozens of usercontrols, and dealing with financial principles most
    people don't have the first clue about.

    In short, training a new programmer takes upwards of 3 - 6 months before
    they are really 'comfortable' with the system. In this case, we've found it
    better to wait for people who meet our qualifications, rather than take the
    best of the current applicant bunch.

    > I've worked with Medical Billing, Sales Forecasting, Reporting, etc.

    Standard
    > business applications used by Ford Motor Company, American Express, etc.


    You've never had to do equations with sales forecasting? I've found it to
    be a real PITA in that area, myself.

    --
    Colin McGuigan




  4. #49
    Lenny Toulson Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!

    As long as we're clarifying points, let's be clear that my earlier comment
    about data controls in no way suggested that was all you were capable of.

    But, if the shoe fits...

    Just how much experience do you have in the real world of software
    development? You keep evading that question.

    --
    Lenny
    __________


    "Matt Markus" <matt_markus@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:3a439002@news.devx.com...
    I can, however, code very well for someone with my length of experience in
    the
    field (this I can prove). And I don't mean dropping data controls on forms
    (I hate those), which another overly presumtious person equated by abilities
    to.



  5. #50
    Brian Patrick Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!


    >You've never had to do equations with sales forecasting? I've >found it

    to
    >be a real PITA in that area, myself.


    There was plenty of math involved when writing that type of software, but
    I never found it to involve algebra. Maybe it did, but I attacked differently,
    I don' know...


    "Colin McGuigan" <colin@chicor.com> wrote:
    >Brian Patrick <bpatrick100@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    >news:3a4394f3$1@news.devx.com...
    >
    >> I do know (first hand) that it is very hard to find *GOOD* programmers.
    >> I've had to hire people in the past and it is not easy. This industry

    is
    >> saturated with many below average skilled programmers. So right now,

    I'd
    >> go with the person who could do the job. Bottom Line !

    >
    >I can really only speak from my perspective: Yes, the industry is saturated,
    >and it's hard to find good people. BUt in my case, the projects that I'm
    >working on are _huge_. Dozens (if not hundreds) of classes, dozens of
    >forms, dozens of usercontrols, and dealing with financial principles most
    >people don't have the first clue about.
    >
    >In short, training a new programmer takes upwards of 3 - 6 months before
    >they are really 'comfortable' with the system. In this case, we've found

    it
    >better to wait for people who meet our qualifications, rather than take

    the
    >best of the current applicant bunch.
    >
    >> I've worked with Medical Billing, Sales Forecasting, Reporting, etc.

    >Standard
    >> business applications used by Ford Motor Company, American Express, etc.

    >
    >You've never had to do equations with sales forecasting? I've found it

    to
    >be a real PITA in that area, myself.
    >
    >--
    >Colin McGuigan
    >
    >
    >



  6. #51
    Arthur Wood Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!


    To all who have jumped in to this,
    Clearly a sore nerve has been touched by the original question, to stir
    up so much activity. I find that simple fact to be amazing.

    And to Matt, maybe there is a grain of truth in all of these comments. No
    on means to sound as if they are attacking you, but there are some serious
    points that have been raised in thie discussion, and you may want to give
    the whole thing some careful consideration.

    Arthur Wood

    Garrett Fitzgerald <gfitzger@nyx.net> wrote:
    >In article <3a426630$1@news.devx.com>, matt_markus@hotmail.com says...
    >> But it *was* asked in an
    >> interview for a VB Programmer position. Do you, or anyone here, think

    that's
    >> a relevent, or even appropriate question for such an interview?

    >
    >Highly. If you can't do Algebra, how can you program properly?



  7. #52
    Wanda Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!


    Enough!!!!!

    Merry Christmas to all.

  8. #53
    D. Patrick Hoerter Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!

    Colin,

    Colin McGuigan <colin@chicor.com> wrote in message
    news:3a4382a8$1@news.devx.com...
    > Basic algebra is taught in the 8th grade. (Might be 9th, now). Would you
    > similarly say, "...that if I was not offered a VB/ASP software development
    > job because I have forgotten basic English and grammer..."?
    >


    Not to make a joke of this thread, but have you seen most 'programmers'
    code? A great deal of it would make a second grade grammar schoolmarm puke.

    Regards,
    D. Patrick Hoerter







  9. #54
    D. Patrick Hoerter Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!

    Brian,

    There is no way you created forecasting algorithms without algebra of
    some kind, whether you realized it at the time or not. You employ variables
    and equations, do you not? If the answer to that question is 'Yes', which I
    believe it is, then you employed algebra.

    For example, if I told you:
    Based upon a monthly average of sales, what would the annual volume be?
    Your company uses the following equation, very primitive, mind you ;-)

    AnnualSales = MonthlySales * 12
    or
    Y = M * 12

    Given a value of Y, you can solve for M by using M = Y / 12
    Given a value of M, you can solve for Y by using the equation in its
    original form.

    This is known as algebra, and you used it, I'm certain.

    Regards,
    D. Patrick Hoerter

    Brian Patrick <bpatrick100@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:3a439ce5$1@news.devx.com...
    >
    > >You've never had to do equations with sales forecasting? I've >found it

    > to
    > >be a real PITA in that area, myself.

    >
    > There was plenty of math involved when writing that type of software, but
    > I never found it to involve algebra. Maybe it did, but I attacked

    differently,
    > I don' know...
    >
    >





  10. #55
    D. Patrick Hoerter Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!

    Arthur,
    > Sure, this would get the right answer, and to some it would appear to be
    > "elegant" code. But IT WQOULD BE EXTRODINARILY INEFFICIENT code. By

    knowing
    > the necessary lagebra, more often than not, you will be capable of

    wiriting
    > not only elegant code, but efficient code as well. Without the Algebra

    (obviously
    > not required) your code may be very elegant, but I doubt if will ever be
    > very efficient.
    >
    > Just my humble opinion.
    >


    Right, but I'm certain that if you had to write algorithms in that brute
    force fashion, you would be shown the door with extreme swiftness.

    Regards,
    D. Patrick Hoerter








  11. #56
    D. Patrick Hoerter Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!

    Colin,

    Colin McGuigan <colin@chicor.com> wrote in message
    news:3a438688$1@news.devx.com...
    > Matt Markus <matt_markus@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:3a4379c5$1@news.devx.com...
    > > OF COURSE IT WAS!!!!! I certainly wasn't to test my VB skills!!!!!!

    >
    > In programming, VB skills are...well, they're not what I look for.


    Right on. I believe that the ability to understand and evaluate problems is
    the most important skill of all. Who gives a crap what language you use
    (unless it's FoxPro :=P)

    > 'Making a lot of money' != 'Good programmer'


    LOL. Too true. Witness the glut of 'high-powered' "consultants" that can't
    code their *** out of a wet paper bag. Pathetic.

    > > God, you sound like completely narrow-minded fool by making such

    > statements.
    > > <****>

    >
    > Ironic.


    <g>

    Regards,
    D. Patrick Hoerter





  12. #57
    D. Patrick Hoerter Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!


    Colin McGuigan <colin@chicor.com> wrote in message
    news:3a4386f8@news.devx.com...
    > Nothing was required to solve the mother/daughter problem besides

    addition,
    > subtraction, multiplication, and division.


    Actually, a Turing machine was all you _really_ needed, wasn't it? LOL.

    Regards,
    D. Patrick Hoerter



  13. #58
    D. Patrick Hoerter Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!

    Brian,


    Brian Patrick <bpatrick100@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:3a438167$1@news.devx.com...
    >
    > Lenny I'm giving you the same response I gave to Ian.
    >
    > Consider this for a moment...
    >
    > I've been developing software for over 5 years and have MCSD

    certification.

    BFD.

    > I didn't go to college, so the only algebra I've been *taught* was around
    > 10 years ago in high school. I've learned all my programming skills

    through
    > on the job experience, books, magazines, newsgroups, vb and asp related

    web
    > sites, and pushing myself by coding on my personal time and learning new
    > things.


    You and 452,000,000 other developers. So what?

    >
    > I am a very accomplished programmer, and have received recognition from

    every
    > employer I've worked for. I require no supervision and can complete all
    > aspects of the software development life cycle on my own (Design, Data

    Modeling,
    > Coding, Testing, Implementation) I am confident that I can develop a

    solution
    > for any business need, and have proven that to myself and my employers

    time
    > and again.


    What is this, the one-liner on top of your resume?

    >
    > My current employer pays me $90,000/year


    So what. I know guys making 5 grand a week that can't code to save their
    ***. Salary proves nothing.

    >
    > I've *never* (in over 5 years) had any need to use an algebraic equation,
    > such as the one discussed here. I use adding, subtracting, multiplying,
    > dividing, exponents, and percentages on a regular basis.


    Hmm. Perhaps you need to review what algebra _really_ is, for Pete's sake.

    >
    > I can tell you (as well as many others) that if I was not offered a VB/ASP
    > software development job because I have forgotten basic algebra, the

    potential
    > employer would have made big mistake.
    >
    > How do you explain my success ?
    >


    Hard work, no doubt.

    > btw - I totally agree with you regarding the problem solving. That is one
    > of my greatest qualities as a programmer. IMO, programming *is* problem
    > solving, I solve problems everday. I still can't write that algebra

    equation,
    > though...
    >


    Then you couldn't write an algorithm to repeatedly solve similar problems
    with varying inputs.

    Interview over.

    Regards,
    D. Patrick Hoerter



  14. #59
    Richard Dalton . Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!


    "Brian Patrick" <bpatrick100@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >I do know (first hand) that it is very hard to find *GOOD* >programmers.

    I've had to hire people in the past and it is not >easy. This industry is
    saturated with many below average >skilled programmers. So right now, I'd
    go with the person who >could do the job. Bottom Line !


    I'm not sure if anyone else pointed this out, but..

    Brian, another bit of simple maths would tell you that the
    percentage of all programmers who are below average never
    changes. It's always 50%

    Or to put it another way, 50% of all programmers in the
    world are ABOVE AVERAGE.

    -Richard



  15. #60
    Richard Dalton . Guest

    Re: Math People - Help!


    "Matt Markus" <matt_markus@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >If the requirement was merely to provide the correct answer, I >could have

    done that through trail and error (i.e., tried >different numbers until one
    worked)

    This is what your interviewer was trying to determine.
    Are you the type of programmer who when faced with a problem
    will instinctively go for the Trial and Error approach, or
    will you try to systematically solve the problem.

    Even if you never did a day of algebra a good programmer could
    still come up with a systematic way of solving this problem.

    Also, if another candidate was able to solve this problem with
    algebra (or another non-trial and error approach), the odds are
    that he/she would be better at problem solving.

    Finally. it's a bit disingenuous to come onto a VB discussion
    group and post a question with a fairly tenuous link to VB,
    asking for HELP, and then insult the members of that group
    when almost all of them express a view opposite to the one
    you hoped to hear.

    If the person who interviewed you is reading this they'll be
    glad at the narrow escape. I would suggest you forget about
    Algebra. You've got people skills you need to acquire first.

    -Richard






    , but what I could *not* do is to come up with the equation that
    >would provide the correct answer. This requires algebra, no two ways about
    >it. Everyone I have spoken to agrees: nobody could do that without some
    >algebra. So I say to you: it's irrelevent because it's not testing your
    >problem solving skills in the context of software development, but rather,
    >in the context of algebra, which I have virtually no experience with. I

    can,
    >however, code very well for someone with my length of experience in the
    >field (this I can prove). And I don't mean dropping data controls on forms
    >(I hate those), which another overly presumtious person equated by abilities
    >to. I also wasn't talking about syntax either. It seems to me, to be both
    >relevent and indicative of someones skills, the most appropriate thing to

    do
    >is to ask them to write of function or small application that encapsulates
    >some good, real-world logic - not a friggin algerba question.
    >
    >
    >I hope my point is clearer.
    >
    >



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