Programmer Aptitude Test

Genesis of Dr. StrangeJob – Part IV

I was all but hired for a position in information technology at a major federal corporation. As the last interviewee standing, I was invited to visit corporate headquarters for a final set of interviews and to complete the standard barrage of corporate tests. They were very thorough in the 80’s and one of the major tests for the position was the all-important programmer aptitude test. The final job offer hinged on interviews with senior corporate staff and the score achieved on the aptitude test.

Programmer aptitude tests are designed to test logic, comprehension, and programming skills. They are precisely timed and designed not to be completed within the allotted timeframe unless you are some sort of a genius. My test was scored by the HR department immediately upon completion and prior to interviews with senior staff.

Apparently, my results caused a bit of a stir because my scores were the highest scores received by an applicant. They must have thought they had a programming guru within their grasp and became enthusiastic in insuring I accepted the position. I didn’t have the heart to tell them the truth behind my amazing test results – at least not until now.

What they didn’t know was that my systems analysis instructor had provided me with a few sample programmer aptitude tests and strongly suggested I review them prior to the interview. The interview was in another province and I took an 8 hour train ride to corporate headquarters. This provided ample opportunity to review the sample aptitude tests, but I only managed to review one of them. It actually took me the better part of the trip to complete that one. Turns out that was the very test they gave me during the interview process.

Thank you Vic Dawson

Next time from Doctor to Satirist – Seven Days That Shook My World

Dr. StrangeJob

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