Okay, so Grant’s article is not actually The Quiz that I used to give as a hiring manager before letting a job seeker waste my teams’ time with an interview, but it’s an interesting and simple little poser to weed out the database developers from the chaff.
We at the (since-run-out-of-money) startup adopted The Quiz technique as a more fair and scientifically defensible alternative to King’s X. (The developer that worked for me who wouldn’t even hire himself was called King because he didn’t like the way that anybody else pronounced his Chinese name. And maybe he was compensating for something? Just kidding, King!) The purpose of the Quiz was to sweep back the tide of unqualified applicants who threatened to drown us in 2000 and every year thereafter (until we ran out of money).
I’m glad that I’m not the only one who doesn’t object to the pre-interview-quiz technique. It’s obviously in use here @ Microsoft. Finals Day of the interview process is legendary (and quite often painful). I’m glad The Quiz lives on in spirit elsewhere, too. Grant’s article caught my attention because the final resolution of The T-SQL Quiz demonstrates a nice use of recursive CTEs*, and I’ve been pondering how to organize the list that I promised to Steve Jones of the “Top n Reasons a DBA Should Upgrade to SQL Server 2005.” Maybe I’ll get to that this week… right after I finish installing this cluster.
* Your daddy’s SQL Server 2000 can’t do that, Steve!!