On Wed, 6 May 2009 21:19:00 +0000 (UTC)
Duncan <1i5t5.dun...@cox.net> wrote:
> There's a saying that the mark of an expert isn't that he knows 
> everything, but that he knows where to look to find it when he needs
> it.

Which is certainly a necessary skill.

> In the Gentoo development environment, what's so pressing that a few 
> hours' delay checking a reference to make sure something's done
> correctly is a problem?  If it's not a problem "on the job", why make
> it a problem "for the interview"?

The first problem is that people rarely put in the effort to do the
looking up if they can instead get away with a bad solution off the top
of their head. A good number of developers just go with the first hack
they can think of rather than putting in a bit more work to do things

The second is that if people can't think of certain things off the top
of their head, they're not going to think of them after detailed study.

If a question asks "what's wrong with this code?", you know there's
something wrong and you can spend time researching to find out what it
is. But people need to be able to recognise mistakes even when they're
not looking for them, and to know when something's wrong even if they
haven't been told to find the mistake -- being able to do this requires
having a good immediate knowledge of certain parts of the material.

Ciaran McCreesh

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