No one knows everything about anything and if you work hard enough, you can figure out what they don’t know.
For this reason, programming tests in Interviews are a lost cause because what they focus on is the application of memory and not methodical approach to solving something you don’t know.
When someone doesn’t know the answer, I want to know what they are going to do to look it up;
- Google it.
- Podcast it.
- StackOverflow it.
- MSDN it.
- Slack it.
- Reach out a peer.
- Call a friend.
All of these pieces are methods to solving problems that are constantly being refined.
Just the other day I was using a collection I had been using for years and was looking up how best to implement and instantiate with a base set of items as a static variable (having never done it). If this was a test, it would have been a fail for me, but I figured it out and made the code sing.
Unless your developers are in a room with no windows and internet, stop testing their memory and start testing their application to problem solving.