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Brainbench C++ test (OT?)

Hi,

This may be slightly OT, but is is to do with C++. I've been asked to
take a brainbench C++ test with a prospective contract opportunity.
Having been travelling for several months since my last job, I was a
little wary how my current knowledge would be. I also dislike these sort
of tests a lot because I have a poor medium term memory, and find I
forget stuff that I'm not using weekly. This unfortunately reflects
poorly when I do have to take this sort of test. It hasn't stopped me
being an excellent developer (not to sound too immodest), and I've
always been highly regarded at previous positions.

Anyway, I took a practice test today so I wouldn't go in to the test
completely in the dark, and also to get an idea if it was worth me just
forgoing it altogether. It was 40 questions, 3 minutes each, and I
scored decently, 78% (better than 78% of people it means) which is
probably better than I expected, but worse than where I should be if it
was fresh in my mind. I'm just wanting to know how similar the practice
test will be to the "real" one the company has asked me to do. Will the
questions be similar? I even read someone say some are reused. Has
anyone ever taken one of these tests?

Also, since it's a good idea for me to freshen up anyway, could anyone
recommend any good resources for this? Online is great, but a book that
I could read is also good. Obviously there is a lot of stuff out there.

Thanks
Jan 17 '08 #1
11 8906
* Tuno peremptorily fired off this memo:
I can recommend a few texts, available at your local bookstore:

"C++ in a Nutshell" by Ray Lischner, O'Reilly
"Effective C++" by Scott Meyers (Third Edition), this should be
mandatory reading for all C++ professionals
"More Effective C++" by Scott Meyers
Also Bjarne Stroustrop's book!

--
Future looks spotty. You will spill soup in late evening.
Jan 18 '08 #2
<snipAlso Bjarne Stroustrop's book! </snip>

Stroustrop's book is useful as a reference and for raising my monitor
a couple of inches, but is a bit too verbose and esoteric for daily
use by regular mortals.

It is however in my mandatory list, along with the Nicolai Josuttis
book, "The C++ Standard Library", one of the few fifty-buckers that's
actually worth it.

-ted
Jan 18 '08 #3

"Tuno" <te********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:3d**********************************@s8g2000p rg.googlegroups.com...
along with the Nicolai Josuttis
book, "The C++ Standard Library", one of the few fifty-buckers that's
actually worth it.
I'll second that.

- Dennis
Jan 18 '08 #4
Tuno wrote:
I am finding that there is NOT a lot of stuff out there, as far as
online C++ proficiency tests. (I did find a couple of bad ones!)

(I posted a query earlier today for tips on where to find one, but no
responses (yet).)

I can recommend a few texts, available at your local bookstore:

"C++ in a Nutshell" by Ray Lischner, O'Reilly
"Effective C++" by Scott Meyers (Third Edition), this should be
mandatory reading for all C++ professionals
"More Effective C++" by Scott Meyers

I have technical interviews next week and am having trouble finding
good material with which to test my C++ knowledge.
Thanks for the tips. I believe I used to own a copy of C++ in a Nutshell
a couple of years back but I must have lent it to someone.

I've browsed Effective C++ a number of times because a colleague had it
constantly sitting on his desk. Very good book and something I've often
thought of picking up for myself.

I still dislike these tests though, I feel some people are just more
natually adept at them than others. It also feels like burning my
bridges with a company if I do badly, whereas face to face interviews
I'm fine with. Still, they're part of the industry now for better or worse.
Jan 18 '08 #5
Linonut wrote:
* Tuno peremptorily fired off this memo:
>I can recommend a few texts, available at your local bookstore:

"C++ in a Nutshell" by Ray Lischner, O'Reilly
"Effective C++" by Scott Meyers (Third Edition), this should be
mandatory reading for all C++ professionals
"More Effective C++" by Scott Meyers

Also Bjarne Stroustrop's book!
The name is Bjarne Stroustrup and he is the creator of C++. His website:
http://www.research.att.com/~bs
He has written "The C++ Programming Language" book, the latest being 3rd
edition and special edition. The difference of the two currently is the
page cover only. It details C++ features thoroughly, and I think you
must have read this "cover to cover" before considering yourself a very
good programmer.

Jan 18 '08 #6
I am finding that there is NOT a lot of stuff out there, as far as
online C++ proficiency tests. (I did find a couple of bad ones!)

(I posted a query earlier today for tips on where to find one, but no
responses (yet).)

I can recommend a few texts, available at your local bookstore:

"C++ in a Nutshell" by Ray Lischner, O'Reilly
"Effective C++" by Scott Meyers (Third Edition), this should be
mandatory reading for all C++ professionals
"More Effective C++" by Scott Meyers

I have technical interviews next week and am having trouble finding
good material with which to test my C++ knowledge.

-ted
Jan 18 '08 #7
On Jan 17, 3:55 pm, Tuno <tedcwag...@gmail.comwrote:
<snipAlso Bjarne Stroustrop's book! </snip>

Stroustrop's book is useful as a reference and for raising my monitor
a couple of inches, but is a bit too verbose and esoteric for daily
use by regular mortals.
I agree: it's a reference book.
It is however in my mandatory list, along with the Nicolai Josuttis
book, "The C++ Standard Library",
That's an excellent day-to-day book.
one of the few fifty-buckers that's
actually worth it.
One of the most valuable C++ books for me has been Exceptional C++ by
Herb Sutter. I consider that one a must to read. Sutter's other books
are very good too, but Exceptional C++ has been a huge eye opener.

Ali
Jan 18 '08 #8
Mark (newsgroups):
This may be slightly OT, but is is to do with C++. I've been asked to
take a brainbench C++ test with a prospective contract opportunity.
Having been travelling for several months since my last job, I was a
little wary how my current knowledge would be.

I'd much prefer if the examiner was sitting there beside me so I could:

1) Point out his errors
2) Make sure he understands what I'm doing rather than marking it wrong
because he doesn't understand my methods.

I had a programming exam there about a week ago, and while I didn't dumb-
down my coding, I put in explanations to explain to the examiner what I was
doing, for fear that they would mark it wrong because they erroneously
thought that I was doing something wrong. For instance, I had a function as
follows in one part:

void Func(SomeType param[2])

, but then I drew a big arrow to the function parameter saying "identical
to SomeType *param". I did this so that the examiner wouldn't erroneously
think that I'm trying to pass an array by value. Unfortunately, we don't
get our scripts back unless we actually kick up a storm about getting a
undeserved bad mark.

--
Tomás Ó hÉilidhe
Jan 18 '08 #9
On Jan 18, 12:16*am, "Mark (newsgroups)" <marknewsgro...@yahoo.com>
wrote:
>
I still dislike these tests though, I feel some people are just more
natually adept at them than others. It also feels like burning my
bridges with a company if I do badly, whereas face to face interviews
I'm fine with. Still, they're part of the industry now for better or worse..
I share your disquiet about these tests. IMO the only way to correctly
gauge a candidate is via a face-to-face written test, where you can
see how they work things out, give guidance when needed, and generally
get a real personal feel for the candidate's competence. Automated
tests
do have their place, as up-front bozo filters and, I suppose, to
supplement the face-to-face, but the problem is that HR departments
see
them as a cheap way to seive candidates, which is misguided.

Perhaps the biggest problem with automated tests is that they tend to
be multiple choice, which is great for discovering whether a candidate
has in their brain some fact that they could look up in 30 seconds,
but
is a pitifully inadequate way of discovering whether they can actually
write code.

Jan 18 '08 #10
On Jan 17, 4:54 pm, "Mark (newsgroups)" <marknewsgro...@yahoo.com>
wrote:
Anyway, I took a practice test today so I wouldn't go in to the test
completely in the dark, and also to get an idea if it was worth me just
forgoing it altogether. It was 40 questions, 3 minutes each, and I
scored decently, 78% (better than 78% of people it means) which is
probably better than I expected, but worse than where I should be if it
was fresh in my mind. I'm just wanting to know how similar the practice
test will be to the "real" one the company has asked me to do. Will the
questions be similar? I even read someone say some are reused. Has
anyone ever taken one of these tests?
I've taken these tests a few times. There's a limited set of
questions available, so you'll probably see some repeats. My
experience has been that there will always be a few questions that a
good developer won't know, because they essentially test "what happens
when you do something stupid?" The only real use of a BB-style test
is to weed out completely worthless candidates, IMO. Most questions
can be answered with the help of a compiler on-hand, so anyone who
does worse than that either doesn't know or doesn't care. 78% is
definitely in the "this person is worth talking to in person" range.

Some other books to add to the list are Herb Sutter's "Exceptional C+
+" and "More Exceptional C++". After reading those books, I found I
was able to look through GCC's STL implementation and understand the
various tricks they were doing much better.

--
Tom
Jan 18 '08 #11
* Tuno peremptorily fired off this memo:
<snipAlso Bjarne Stroustrop's book! </snip>

Stroustrop's book is useful as a reference and for raising my monitor
a couple of inches, but is a bit too verbose and esoteric for daily
use by regular mortals.
Hmmm. I use Bjarne's book a lot while coding.

And it has some very interesting, and even humorous digressions about
programming (such as Section 24.2.4 Avoiding Programming).
It is however in my mandatory list, along with the Nicolai Josuttis
book, "The C++ Standard Library", one of the few fifty-buckers that's
actually worth it.
I'll have to look into that one. Thanks!

--
Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them
over the horizon.
-- K. A. Arsdall
Jan 18 '08 #12

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