Toby DiPasquale on 11 Feb 2009 04:26:18 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] OT (but not really): Tough Interview questions

On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 12:37 AM, Mag Gam <> wrote:
> Since the economy has crippled, I am certain Tech people have been
> feeling the crunch since most of us are considered costs rather than
> an assets. For those who have been looking for positions, I am curious
> what are some tough technical questions you were stumped at and for
> what position.
> For instance, I had a client as me over the telephone:
> What is ELF and how does it differ from other formats?  -- Unix related position

Executable and Linking Format. Designed for the "next-gen" UNIX
executables which allow shared libraries and dynamically loading code
(a.out format did not allow for that). Other formats of this nature
are PE (Windows), DWARF (embedded stuff, iPhone) or Mach-O "fat" (Mac
OS X) binary formats.

Having said all that, this is a spectacularly dumb question to ask.

> What is kept in a journal of a journalized file system? -- Unix related position

Dumb. This question has tons of levels and most people can't even tell
you the first. Guess what, though? They all use and administer
computers just fine without knowing it.

> What is a poll and select? -- UNIX related position

This is the only kind of useful question that was asked. It is pretty
good to know the difference between the two.

> I consider these fairly tough questions -- what do you think?

I consider these to be pretty stupid questions. I know what ELF is
because I was curious. I was a Linux kernel engineer for years and
even *then* I didn't have to know that. I wouldn't want to work at a
place that had such little clue that was asking these kinds of
questions of its candidates.

Toby DiPasquale
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