May be someone has a piece of code, that would work as a test for debugging abilities? We will give ability to use Visual Studio, so it should be hardly solvable by doing manual tracing and show us, that candidate is really good at debugging.

  • As per me, memory leaks and memory corruptions errors are quite difficult to catch without any debugger. – Ravi Gupta Nov 22 '11 at 10:40
  • Well, that gave me idea - stackoverflows are usually fun, just need to think code piece, that would be not so obvious. – Giedrius Nov 22 '11 at 12:33
  • Not quite applicable since you tagged C#, but finding off-by-one array accesses in unmanaged C or C++ can be great fun, and can be squeezed into a few lines of code if you want to (or dragged out a bit if you are so inclined). – a CVn Nov 22 '11 at 14:24

The best thing I have seen is to give the candidate a test before the interview and let them bug fix the code at the interview. Make the specs vague enough so that they will have to make judgement calls and the inputs to the problems can be vast -- say reading comma separated value data. If you want to be evil, have them modify an already existing program.

It will show you how they fix their own mistakes.

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  • Although it does not answer my question, but I took the suggestion and gave code to fix. We still doing interviews, so no results yet (results will be after month or so of common work), but I liked it - you can go through same buggy code in several levels, from very obvious junior things to more advanced like thread synchronization problems. – Giedrius Nov 23 '11 at 7:00

I would suggest you come up with your own code with relevance to your company's job opening. This doubles as a benefit as you have the opportunity to also evaluate a candidate's learn new concepts before attempting to solve the actual bug.

You also don't want a candidate stumbling upon this question on the internet!

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