Finally a test for aptitude for programming?

It is well known that it is impossible to use currently available tools to test for ability to program computers.

In their paper The camel has two humps (working title), Dehnadi and Bornat claim to finally have a test, which can predict one’s ability to program. Basically, their test assesses the candidate’s ability to manipulate symbols according to rules without looking for a meaning in those symbols.

A note to self:
According to the above paper, the following are the major semantic hurdles, which trip up novice imperative programmers:

  1. Assignment and sequence.
  2. Recursion/Iteration.
  3. Concurrency.

Novice declarative programmers have to leap the following semantic hurdle:

  • Argument substitution.

In addition to the above semantic hurdles, I know of one additional major semantic hurdle:

  • The concept of a pointer.

I wonder whether there are additional semantic hurdles, listed in some obscure (or not so obscure) paper published somewhere in the world – or even unrecognized so far.

Author: Omer Zak

I am deaf since birth. I played with big computers which eat punched cards and spew out printouts since age 12. Ever since they became available, I work and play with desktop size computers which eat keyboard keypresses and spew out display pixels. Among other things, I developed software which helped the deaf in Israel use the telephone network, by means of home computers equipped with modems. Several years later, I developed Hebrew localizations for some cellular phones, which helped the deaf in Israel utilize the cellular phone networks. I am interested in entrepreneurship, Science Fiction and making the world more accessible to people with disabilities.