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Maybe HR shouldn’t hire developers?

Maybe HR shouldn’t hire developers?

From the Daily WTF:

“At my company, the powers-that-be determined that, because we rejected a lot of job candidates, my group was ineffective at hiring new employees,”Kendall writes, “thus, the responsibility of hiring new developers was shifted to a group much more proficient at hiring: human resources.”

“That has been going about as well as you might expect, and to make a long story short, we were told to handle any ‘knowledge gaps’ with training. And thus, one of the very first training jobs I give to new employees is to develop a method that translates Roman Numbers to Decimal Numbers. Most struggle with the challenge, but one new hire actually managed to solve the problem:

public string rom2num(string r)
    if (r == "I") return "1";
    if (r == "II") return "2";
    if (r == "III") return "3";
    if (r == "IV") return "4";
    if (r == "V") return "5";
    if (r == "VI") return "6";
    if (r == "VII") return "7";
    if (r == "VIII") return "8";
    if (r == "IX") return "9";
    // Snipped LOTS of "code" here
    if (r == "MMVIII") return "2008";
    if (r == "MMIX") return "2009";
    if (r == "MMX") return "2010";
    if (r == "MMXI") return "2011";
    return "E";

Kendall continues, “when I asked him why the method returns a decimal number as a String, he gave me a disbelieving look and said ‘For returning the error indicator, of course.'”

“I can only hope that the powers-that-be will determine that we are ineffective at training and shift the responsibility of teaching programmers to program to corporate training.”

via: [TheDailyWTF]


  1. Got bored and this sounded like a fun challenge. Here is my python solution (whitespace might be off from the copy/paste):

    def rom2num(roman):
    numerals = {‘I’: 1,
    ‘V’: 5,
    ‘X’: 10,
    ‘L’: 50,
    ‘C’: 100,
    ‘D’: 500,
    ‘M’: 1000,
    ‘Q’: 500000}

    values = []
    roman = roman.upper()
    i = 0
    for l in roman:
    except KeyError:
    print l, “is not a valid numeral”
    return 0

    if i == 0:
    output = values[i]
    output += values[i]
    if values[i] > values[i – 1]:
    output -= values[i – 1] * 2

    i += 1

    return output


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