Okay, finally commenting here after about a dozen people have shared this with me.
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
9218

With all due respect to an expert in the field, I think you’re glossing over something important.

Your book exists and is very popular because passing a whiteboard interview is a different skill than programming. It’s not a book on how to be a good programmer and trust whiteboard interviews to uncover that fact — it’s specifically for people who are already good programmers and want to do well on whiteboard interviews conducted by the companies that are supposed to be best at conducting them. The post author shouldn’t have taken a shot at it by name, but I don’t think you can get around the fact that your book is strong evidence for the existence of the disconnect he’s criticizing.

Of course you know that disconnect is there, you wrote a book about it. That’s why I think you’re glossing over your real disagreement with him by burying it near the end of your comment: You think that disconnect is OK because it’s more important for interviews to be hard than to be topical. You don’t care if the interview questions aren’t relevant to programming — you believe in some other attribute that’s more relevant to the job and is evidenced by picking up difficult technical skills as needed.

The blog post implies that belief is mistaken and comes from over-hyping the importance and uniqueness of the job. I’d like to read your response to that. There are certainly smart people who share your belief (as well as other smart people who don’t).

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