Appalling Farrago

A blog about stuff

Happy New Year! Coding Challenge

14 Jan 2014

Happy New Year everyone! It looks to be an exciting year for me. Me and my wife are looking at relocating away from Arizona but haven’t yet decided where. This means new jobs, new city, new everything.

A friend of mine recently put me in touch with a recruiter looking for a rails developer. I wasn’t really interested in the role but I thought it would be good to test the waters, get some real feedback on what the job market is like.

Anyway, a 1 hour telephone interview and we’re on to a few programming challenges. These were awesome as it let me build something quick, from scratch, to show exactly how I code today. We organized for Saturday morning and I awaited the email containing my first challenge.

I’ve posted the question and my solution here on github. The basic premise was we had to help a crime lab identify squiremies within strings representing chromosomes. The chromosome strings are made up of the characters ‘A’, ‘T’, ‘C’, and ‘G’. The Squiremy structure follows some logical rules. This was fun as it didn’t take me long to work out what the question was asking and start working towards a solution. This solution took me about 2 hours.

Then came the second challenge. This took me a lot longer to determine what was being asked. In the end there wasn’t so much code to write and it was more an exercise in maths I had long forgotten. You can find the question and my solution here again on github. This took me 2 and a half hours and I wasn’t nearly as pleased with what I’d written.

I hope this helps anyone about to plunge head first into job searching and not sure what to expect.

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