BUILDING PHILOSOPHY LIFESTYLE HABITS ADVICE CAREERS BUSINESS ENTERPRISE SELLING

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Why do a coding test on a white board?

"on a white board, no syntax errors, compilable"

Huh? You're worrying about whether or not what you write on a white board will compile? How do you know? Press a magic button to OCR what you've written, download it into some computer somewhere, and compile it? Sounds like you're interviewing at firms with technology I didn't know existed.

Your interviewers have you code on a white board so that they can evaluate "you", not your code. They want to see how you handle a problem, how you approach your work, how you think on your feet, how you deal with interaction, and how your intelligence and experience applies to their business. Anyone who worries about whether white board code actually compiles is missing the point. If they're more interested in perfect syntax than embracing you and your potential contribution, then you don't want to work for them anyway.

I think you're making this too hard on yourself. Memorize nothing. Just be yourself. Programming is like riding a bike. Once it's part of your DNA, you don't have to worry about it. Just relax, trust your inner programmer, and let this become a self-solving problem. Some jerks may reject you, but the right fit will come when someone sees who you really are.

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ED WEISSMAN

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