Saturday, April 21, 2018

Being an interviewer: Sudoku solver

April 21, 2018


It is challenge for me to train myself to be an excellent interviewer. I noticed that I checked wechat and read my own blog while the peer worked on C++ code. The first 30 minutes the peer could not pass all test cases, I told her that I am not in the rush, let me review her code and find the bug together.

The problem is that I should give the peer hint every step she writes the code, and point out the bug in her process. But the peer was trained and advanced to ICPC national contest in Brazil, and she wrote the idea kind of new to me. I let myself skip the whole process, and then catch up last minute how the code works. Specially she got some help from a friend to play world contest of ICPC.

Mock interview

Here is C++ code. I learned a few things about C++ through mock interview. The peer told me that in C++ 1 means false.

I ended up talking to the peer one hour 40 minutes. She is preparing Microsoft onsite interview in May. I definitely learn a few things through her practice. I understand that ICPC contest is really good tool to help students to advance their problem solving skills in quick and efficient ways, specially before they start to work full time as a software programmer.

Highlights of code review:
1. line 6, k argument is not meaningful, it should say something like digit.
2. line 14, the peer mixed col/3 with row/3.
3. line 61, the peer told me the failed test has two 9 in the same column, so the call of fill should be checked and return false if the duplicate is found.

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