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Re: To be a good driver do you have to be a great mechanic

 
 
James Kanze
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      04-30-2013
On Monday, 6 January 2003 19:45:48 UTC, Stuart Golodetz wrote:
> "Alex C.P" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> > I am not that much exp.My knowledge of c++ is average.I am a very good
> > programmer.Before I landed a job I attended various interviews.Well
> > what striked me as stipid is that every one was asking me c++ as if I
> > have designed the language and the compiler.People are concentrating
> > on becoming experts in a lang.Not many are thinking about new
> > ideas.Language was meant as a tool to communicate ideas right.So to be
> > a good driver do you really have to be a great mechanic.


> A quick masterclass in logic:


> Need to write good C++ programs => Need to be knowledgeable about C++ =>
> "Average" knowledge won't cut it


It depends on what the average is. Judging from the people I've
worked with, the "average" is sufficient to write most C++.
Most people won't need to know all of the subtle details, but
almost all do know it well enough to effectively use it. The
"average" among them is thus pretty high. If I throw in some of
the candidates that I've interviewed, however... Someone who
doesn't know what a destructor is, or has never heard of the
keyword virtual, doesn't know enough C++ to get the job done.
Hopefully, such people are decidedly below average, but who
knows.

The OP makes the claim that his knowledge is "average", but he
doesn't say what he means by that. The "average" over the
general population is probably not sufficient for much; the
"average" over the active members of the standards committee is
considerably more than what is normally required. And he
doesn't give us any examples of the questions that are bothering
him, so we have no idea whether his complaint is justified or
not. Most programmers don't have to be an expert; domain
knowledge is often more important than C++ knowledge. But all
programmers do need to know some of the basics: when you need
a user defined copy constructor and assignment operator, how to
effectively do clean-up in case of exceptions (RAII, but they
don't necessarily have to know the name), how to disable copy
and assignment (and why), name hiding issues... Unless it is
for something like kernel work in the OS, I'd also expect him to
be familiar with the basic concepts of C++ iterators, to have
used `std::vector`, and to know the basics of IOstream.

> If you're going to be writing in C++, any decent company will expect you to
> know a reasonable amount about the language, which means you need to
> concentrate on trying to become an expert in it if you want to get a
> specifically C++ job.


Again, depending on your definition of "expert". Anything you
require of all C++ programmers is, by definition, not "expert",
but just normal competence.

> Besides, you could be the greatest Fortran programmer
> the world has ever seen, is seeing, or will see in years to come, but if you
> don't know what a copy constructor is (for example), why the hell would
> anyone want to work with you on a C++ project?


There are cases... *IF* the candidate has exceptional knowledge
in other areas, and is reasonably intelligent and willing to
learn, it may be worth hiring and training him, if you can't get
the same level of knowledge elsewhere. It's probably an
exceptional case, but it does occur.

--
James
 
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Ian Collins
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      04-30-2013
James Kanze wrote:
> On Monday, 6 January 2003 19:45:48 UTC, Stuart Golodetz wrote:
>
>> Besides, you could be the greatest Fortran programmer
>> the world has ever seen, is seeing, or will see in years to come, but if you
>> don't know what a copy constructor is (for example), why the hell would
>> anyone want to work with you on a C++ project?

>
> There are cases... *IF* the candidate has exceptional knowledge
> in other areas, and is reasonably intelligent and willing to
> learn, it may be worth hiring and training him, if you can't get
> the same level of knowledge elsewhere. It's probably an
> exceptional case, but it does occur.


I agree with James here.

If I were building an application in an area where I have little or no
domain knowledge, a non-programmer domain expert would be a more useful
pair than a super C++ programmer with who also lacks domain knowledge.

--
Ian Collins
 
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