To Test or Not to Test

Subject: To Test or Not to Test
From: Daniel Wise <dewise -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 1996 22:52:24 -0700

Colleagues,

This testing thread has drawn a lot of comments. Let me add, after
accounting for inflation, my dollar's worth.

One type of "writing" test I found useful was to ask the candidate at the
end of the interview to put pencil to paper and write a short synopsis of
what we had discussed, what his/her perception of the job was based on what
we had discussed. The value of this test was two-fold. First, I got to
read an unedited sample of the candidate's prose. Second, I got a chance
to correct any misconceptions the candidate might have based on faulty
communication between the two of us. Of course, we were not dealing with
software doc; what we needed was a solid knowledge of English grammar,
syntax, usage, spelling, etc. We were basically editors of scientific and
technical reports.

For what it is worth, that is what I did. It worked for me at that time, in
that position, under those circumstances. It might or might not work for
you.

Dan Wise
dewise -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com

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