"send me some of your code"

  • pietlinden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 62370

    Just wondering what other people think about questions like:

    "Can you send me samples of your code?"

    Without a job description (even a title would suffice!), I'm not sure what they're after. Are they just looking at programming style? I have worked on databases that were a complete disaster - the company didn't have a developer that even understood the significance of the Normal forms, so there was code in there that did things like creating normalized views of the unnormalized tables... Doesn't really make sense out of context, though.

    How do other people respond to questions like this? If I had at least a job description to go on, or a database to write against (even if it's a "public" one available on the internet), it would be one thing, but I haven't a clue what they're even looking for. Maybe the recruiter is clueless, I don't know.

    Any thoughts on how to respond to a request like that?

    If it matters, I'm more a developer than a DBA type...

    Thanks!

    Pieter

  • Koen Verbeeck

    SSC Guru

    Points: 258890

    Unless you have written source code for open source or for your own blog, I wouldn't share any, since you'll be in violation of the contract of your (previous) employers since you are handing out their intellectual property.

    Need an answer? No, you need a question
    My blog at https://sqlkover.com.
    MCSE Business Intelligence - Microsoft Data Platform MVP

  • Eirikur Eiriksson

    SSC Guru

    Points: 182343

    I think my take on it would be similar to many of the questions on the forums, outline one or more problems, construct a table structure relevant to the problem(s), some test data generation and best effort queries to satisfy the problems. To me it makes no sense posting code only, kind of out of the blue.

    😎

    As I have a fairly good repository of problems (2000+), DDLs, test data generators and solution, I'd probably just grab a handful from there;-)

  • pietlinden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 62370

    That's kind of what I was thinking. Without context, the solution is somewhat meaningless. For example, in a previous job, I had to summarize data in tables that I wasn't allowed to restructure, so I had to write ridiculous union queries to create a normalized view of the underlying table(s) and then query those. Without an explanation, I would have thought "Why not just fix the table??"

  • John Mitchell-245523

    SSC Guru

    Points: 148246

    Pieter

    Are you out of work, in work and looking, or in work and considering offered opportunities? If, like me, you're in the last of those categories, I wouldn't send a recruiter anything (CV, code, Christmas card) without a bona fide job that I would want to apply for and would be likely to accept if offered.

    John

  • Ed Wagner

    SSC Guru

    Points: 286955

    Like Koen said, many (if not most) of us are bound by intellectual property agreements. If someone wants your code and can't understand that, then that's a huge flag and you probably don't want to work for them anyway.

    I would probably take an approach like Eirikur and send them some solutions to problems.

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 993892

    pietlinden (9/9/2015)


    Just wondering what other people think about questions like:

    "Can you send me samples of your code?"

    Without a job description (even a title would suffice!), I'm not sure what they're after. Are they just looking at programming style? I have worked on databases that were a complete disaster - the company didn't have a developer that even understood the significance of the Normal forms, so there was code in there that did things like creating normalized views of the unnormalized tables... Doesn't really make sense out of context, though.

    How do other people respond to questions like this? If I had at least a job description to go on, or a database to write against (even if it's a "public" one available on the internet), it would be one thing, but I haven't a clue what they're even looking for. Maybe the recruiter is clueless, I don't know.

    Any thoughts on how to respond to a request like that?

    If it matters, I'm more a developer than a DBA type...

    Thanks!

    Pieter

    I've not had anyone ask me such a blanket question but, if I did, my simple response would be, "Why?".

    There are a lot of reasons why people might ask such a thing and I consider it to be fairly rude to ask such a question without a reason. Up front, it shows extreme laziness and, perhaps, a bit of arrogance on their part. Ironically, I can see the same people that asked the question becoming highly offended or infuriated that I might have asked them such a question in return. Of course, that would cinch my decision as to whether to help out or not.

    Hitting both ends of the spectrum, it could be someone that wants to make a good example to their team or someone that wants to include it in their own resume as a work sample of (supposedly) their own work (and, yeah... I've actually seen that during interview where I recognize someone's code from this very forum). I also understand that some folks are just in a hurry but I wouldn't let that sway me for such a question.

    The bottom line is similar to what I do on the forums... I wouldn't provide any code without knowing what the actual need is and how it will be used because I don't know if I'm helping someone honorable trying to do better or a poser get a job they don't deserve.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems

  • Alvin Ramard

    SSC-Forever

    Points: 41190

    I wonder how many companies would actually ask someone to send them "their" code. How would they know who actually wrote the code? How wold they know it didn't come from this forum?



    Alvin Ramard
    Memphis PASS Chapter[/url]

    All my SSC forum answers come with a money back guarantee. If you didn't like the answer then I'll gladly refund what you paid for it.

    For best practices on asking questions, please read the following article: Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help[/url]

  • Sean Lange

    SSC Guru

    Points: 286402

    I wonder if anybody responds with "I don't actually write any code, I just copy and paste from SSC or SO". :-D:-D:-D

    _______________________________________________________________

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    Cross Tabs and Pivots, Part 1 – Converting Rows to Columns - http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/T-SQL/63681/
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    Understanding and Using APPLY (Part 1) - http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/APPLY/69953/
    Understanding and Using APPLY (Part 2) - http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/APPLY/69954/

  • Ed Wagner

    SSC Guru

    Points: 286955

    Sean Lange (9/10/2015)


    I wonder if anybody responds with "I don't actually write any code, I just copy and paste from SSC or SO". :-D:-D:-D

    Uh huh. There are the developers and DBAs who write their own code and understand it. There are also the copiers who use Bing/Google to find any copy code. A part of the later group are those who make no effort to understand it.

    The ones who don't even try to understand it are dangerous to themselves, but more so to their employers. After all, who do they think is going to be supporting it? I know my boss would never accept "I don't know. Somebody on the internet said to do it this way." as a reason for something not working.

  • Sean Lange

    SSC Guru

    Points: 286402

    Ed Wagner (9/10/2015)


    Sean Lange (9/10/2015)


    I wonder if anybody responds with "I don't actually write any code, I just copy and paste from SSC or SO". :-D:-D:-D

    Uh huh. There are the developers and DBAs who write their own code and understand it. There are also the copiers who use Bing/Google to find any copy code. A part of the later group are those who make no effort to understand it.

    The ones who don't even try to understand it are dangerous to themselves, but more so to their employers. After all, who do they think is going to be supporting it? I know my boss would never accept "I don't know. Somebody on the internet said to do it this way." as a reason for something not working.

    Around here we all know that. I am just wondering if any of "those" people respond to that request honestly. 😀

    _______________________________________________________________

    Need help? Help us help you.

    Read the article at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537/ for best practices on asking questions.

    Need to split a string? Try Jeff Modens splitter http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Tally+Table/72993/.

    Cross Tabs and Pivots, Part 1 – Converting Rows to Columns - http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/T-SQL/63681/
    Cross Tabs and Pivots, Part 2 - Dynamic Cross Tabs - http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Crosstab/65048/
    Understanding and Using APPLY (Part 1) - http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/APPLY/69953/
    Understanding and Using APPLY (Part 2) - http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/APPLY/69954/

  • pietlinden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 62370

    John,

    It's a recruiter, which makes me wonder, because the number of recruiters in this town that understand and can evaluate the "goodness" of T-SQL code is less than 5. In theory, he'll "pass it on" to whoever is doing the evaluating, but that sounds weird.

    it just sounds odd that they can't say, "Given this scenario/database, write SQL to answer these questions or do these things. Explain why you picked that way instead of another." And perhaps more importantly, "explain how it works" (to prove it's yours).

    Would a proper response be "Yep, it's definitely my code. I can tell by the warts and all. Might be ugly, but it's mine, and I can explain how and what it does, and why it does it that way."

    Pieter

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 993892

    pietlinden (9/10/2015)


    John,

    It's a recruiter, which makes me wonder, because the number of recruiters in this town that understand and can evaluate the "goodness" of T-SQL code is less than 5. In theory, he'll "pass it on" to whoever is doing the evaluating, but that sounds weird.

    it just sounds odd that they can't say, "Given this scenario/database, write SQL to answer these questions or do these things. Explain why you picked that way instead of another." And perhaps more importantly, "explain how it works" (to prove it's yours).

    Would a proper response be "Yep, it's definitely my code. I can tell by the warts and all. Might be ugly, but it's mine, and I can explain how and what it does, and why it does it that way."

    Pieter

    Ah. A recruiter. I agree that most recruiters don't even know what SQL stands for but I have seen a lot of companies ask their recruiters for such a thing to help filter posers and fakers from the real thing. Of course, that can be faked, as well, but 1) that won't help you explain the code and 2) the diligent company will Google for the code to see if something shows up there. For example, I had ran into one fellow that had removed all comments from and renamed a copy of DelimitedSplit8k and called it his own. While it is possible that he certainly could have come up with the same thing (although probably not letter for letter and space for space and name for name), he also couldn't explain it.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems

  • Michael L John

    One Orange Chip

    Points: 25691

    pietlinden (9/10/2015)


    John,

    It's a recruiter, which makes me wonder, because the number of recruiters in this town that understand and can evaluate the "goodness" of T-SQL code is less than 5. In theory, he'll "pass it on" to whoever is doing the evaluating, but that sounds weird.

    it just sounds odd that they can't say, "Given this scenario/database, write SQL to answer these questions or do these things. Explain why you picked that way instead of another." And perhaps more importantly, "explain how it works" (to prove it's yours).

    Would a proper response be "Yep, it's definitely my code. I can tell by the warts and all. Might be ugly, but it's mine, and I can explain how and what it does, and why it does it that way."

    Pieter

    This sounds fishy on so many levels. As someone said before, if you wrote code while being employed by a company, this is not your code.

    If they want to see how well, neat, readable, functional or whatever you code may be then they should create some sort of test for you to take.

    I once had company seek me out because I had been the head of development for a company that produced software. This company was considering starting a division to produce competing software.

    I was grilled on the algorithms and the structure. They asked if I could show them the code. I came close to providing a presentation using the code.

    As I found out, they were in the process of trying to purchase the software from my former company. They were using me to try to get leverage in the negotiations.

    Michael L John
    If you assassinate a DBA, would you pull a trigger?
    To properly post on a forum:
    http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/61537/

  • pietlinden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 62370

    That's what I thought... if they gave me the scripts to create a database and said "write a stored procedure that does X", then it would make sense. Otherwise, the whole "test" thing is impossible to verify.

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