To Go or not to Go

Eric Wald eswald at brainshell.org
Wed Feb 19 12:00:11 MST 2014


On Wed, Feb 19, Joshua Marsh wrote:
> Can someone explain to me the fascination with FizzBuzz? Is it a meme I'm
> missing out on? I've seen people ask this question and it's in most of the
> coding challenge web sites as well. Is it just to thin out the herd?

Yes, it's purely to thin out the herd.

In 2007, Imran Ghory described it as one of a class of questions to weed
out the 99% of entry-level programming applicants who can't solve it
within a few minutes.  From there, it got widely distributed by, among
others, Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror.

http://imranontech.com/2007/01/24/using-fizzbuzz-to-find-developers-who-grok-coding/
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/02/why-cant-programmers-program.html

Part of the fascination is that it's extremely easy but non-trivial.
Those of us with a programming mindset almost immediately code it in
our heads upon reading the description, and many can't help but type it
out just to double-check.

It's also simple enough to remember when trying to conduct an interview.
At this point, it not only tells you whether the candidate can do basic
programming, but whether they're already immersed in the community.

And yes, it's a simple exercise for checking out a new language.

- Eric


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