Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

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#1 Charles86  Icon User is offline

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Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:27 PM

Project.
My very exclusive group of friends and I (mostly me) are looking for some coders for a Minecraft server project we are attempting to start up. And because the project is what it is, many a moron and delinquent would apply for such things without actually being at all helpful. So I am trying to create some sort of basic code competency test to keep the useless out and let the candidates with real potential get proper face time with me. We want to look for coders on the Minecraft forums rather than a general coding forum because we want (would prefer) people that are genuine "hard core" fans of Minecraft, that happen to also be able to code well. Though, that does not mean you who are reading this are NOT invited. I'm just not expecting your interest. But you are more than welcome to visit the site at...

http://fourelements.voxelperfect.net/

Problem
I wanted to bring this up here because I myself am not 100% confident in my own coding skills. As such I am not sure how to proceed creating an effective test (which is inherently a non-Minecraft thing). None of the rest of the group can code at all either (hence why we need coders.) The languages are PHP for the website, and Java for the game + moding. Most of the Java work revolves around modding the server, so server API knowledge is important. And probably even some moding of already existing mods. Also, we will likely need some basic scripting capability's. i.e. OS shell script and web scripting. As far as I know Java and PHP are the most important languages for my needs. If you think this is in error, I am all ears.

I am currently running with the idea that I can simply take various code examples off of the Internet and modify them to some small extent. The test will be that they have to correct the code back to working order. Is this a bad idea? I didn't want to make questions that are easy to just Google the answers to. Which is why I thought this would be a better idea than just. "What is a function/variable/array/operator?".

Also, I want a test that separates particulars for each language, not something that just is passable if you know common conventions used in most all languages. This way if a person that takes the test is able to solve a question for one language, they won't automatically be able to figure out the answers for the other languages by similarity.

Finally, I want the difficulty of the questions to be more or less targeted at just weeding out the average code idiot. I don't need coders that could be NASA scientists or Google/Microsoft employee's for this project. I only need people that can do what most of you would probably consider "light code authoring". But I also don't want it to be TOO easy of course.

Conclusion.
If you have some ideas, or want to see examples of what I have, Please post to this topic or PM me. I have 75-80% of a test ready that I could PM someone if you wanted to see it. I don't want to post it on the forms though because I don't want anyone to be able to be able to prep an answer sheet, or otherwise be able to get the answers of the net with ease.

Thank you very much for your time.
-Charlie

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Replies To: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:53 PM

Curious question - what are you, and by extension, your associates to this venture? You have a large paragraph dedicated about the rigors of having a developer get face time, but confess on the lack of skills and competency on the subject. As person that's been around the block a few times - while it is good to keep out the 'joiners-that-do-nothing' some really great developers have come about from going with no or low skill to high skill while developing during a project. So it might not be bad to grab folk that come by.

As it is - the test should cover some basics... hit the specifics of the language of choice or tailor to the specific areas people are applying to. From there crack open any entry level "learn language X in 30 days" and see about the basics of variable declaration, loops, controls, etc. Throw a bit of databasing in there as well since it looks like that might be part of it. Ask for a portfolio or online documentation of their abilities.. and yes, have a small or moderate sized chunk of code they need to be able to debug and fix.

Just googling around you can pickup language specific bits so that has you covered. Of course not having any real depth of skill makes writing, and grading, this pretty darn difficult. You could outsource the skills based bit - I've seen that work well before.

As with most things this test should change and evolve over time - if not to keep the study guides, I guess, from popping up but also to keep relevant as languages change.
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#3 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:02 PM

So let me see... you want someone to help you write a "code competency test" to decide who should be allowed to be on your project, and the reason you want someone to help with that is because you're pretty sure you're not competent to write it?

Do you want to guess where my thinking is going on this one?
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#4 Charles86  Icon User is offline

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:28 PM

@modi123_1:

Hello, thanks for your constructive input.

"What are you to this venture?"
I am the owner. I am the artist. I am the one with all the ideas for a good game/experience. What I am *NOT* is capable of doing this entire project by myself/with limited help. Especially when my help (friends) don't know how to code at all.

"So it might not be bad to grab [any] folk that come by."
The problem with this theory is that 80-90% of people that are going to TRY to get in our group are going to do it JUST for the sake of cause mischief for us. We call them "griefers" in the Minecraft world, and they are a constant nuisance and would do ANYTHING to get in to a position of power so they can cause damage. Getting into a project would give these people access to admin level commands, and that gives them the power to totally ruin a server. You can YouTube "griefers" and you will understand the whole situation. It's awful.

Quote

As it is - the test should cover some basics... hit the specifics of the language of choice or tailor to the specific areas people are applying to. From there crack open any entry level "learn language X in 30 days" and see about the basics of variable declaration, loops, controls, etc. Throw a bit of databasing in there as well since it looks like that might be part of it. Ask for a portfolio or online documentation of their abilities.. and yes, have a small or moderate sized chunk of code they need to be able to debug and fix.


Yeah, that's pretty much what I figured, so I mostly agree. I don't think they are going to have portfoilios though. Other than examples of mods they may or may not have made. As for code debugging, here is an example of what I have for one of the questions, Could you tell me what you think...

Quote

QP2: What is missing from the following PHP code?

<?php
$to = "aperson@asite.com";
$subject = "Some Mail";
$message = "Do you know how to code PHP?";
$from = "Myself@mysite.com";
$headers = "From: me";
mail($to,$subject,$message,$headers);
echo "Mail Sent."; 

Answer P2: <They would fill in the answer in this space>


The answer would be that this code does not have the closing "?>" Which I think is some what specific to PHP. :smile2:


@jon.kiparsky
You don't seem to understand AT ALL what I'm asking. I want assistance with what I have so far, not for some one to do the work for me. Also, I feel your sarcastic comment is trolling, which against the rules BTW. "I myself am not 100% confident in my own coding skills." != "you're pretty sure you're not competent" One implies I'm worthless, the other implies I'm simply being cautious as I can.

Do you want to guess what I was actually going for? (turn about is fair play mods)

Or in other words, my options were to either be cocky, and act like I can code tomes. Which I would imedatily be called on then possibly get trapped in some pis.. urinating contest with a true guru who would probably own me is a second. *OR*, be respectfully modest when I am addressing a community with select individuals that have probably been writing code most of their lives. Where as I certainly have not.

I chose the latter. Was that so wrong?
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#5 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:36 PM

*sigh* Yes.. I am aware of griefers. I do crank up mine craft once every few weeks for a couple of hours and have some sort of residence on a server somewhere..
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#6 Charles86  Icon User is offline

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:39 PM

Sorry #5 modi123_1. I was not trying to imply that you know nothing about Minecraft. That is actually great that you do. I personally love the game. I don't like that it's in Java, but it can't be helped.
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#7 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:43 PM

... but yeah.. okay I am satisfied in seeing where this all lays out...

side side question - artist, eh? Got any work online?
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#8 Charles86  Icon User is offline

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:50 PM

No no no, you got me all wrong. I'm not "an artist" I am "the artist" [For the project] And the link to the server site is in the first post. (Well, what I have so far). There is a link to a picture gallery showing all the Minecraft stuff. I did all the content for the website also. Please don't get on my case for the spelling/grammar, I am aware it sucks, it haunts my existence. Blame Americas schools, not me. I say otherwise but I really do try-ish.

(Also... can we not edit our posts? Or is the button just hidden or something?)
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#9 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:58 PM

View PostCharles86, on 07 September 2012 - 11:28 PM, said:

"What are you to this venture?"
I am the owner. I am the artist. I am the one with all the ideas for a good game/experience. What I am *NOT* is capable of doing this entire project by myself/with limited help. Especially when my help (friends) don't know how to code at all.

Ideas are a dime a dozen. You know what is not? Coders that dedicate years of practice learning their craft, only to create something to be relinquished to another owner.
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#10 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:00 PM

Quote

(Also... can we not edit our posts? Or is the button just hidden or something?)

There's a threshold for that...
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#11 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:01 PM

View PostCharles86, on 07 September 2012 - 10:28 PM, said:

I chose the latter. Was that so wrong?


Not so much wrong, but funny. Your request is completely inane, on a par with trying to find good writers by picking paragraphs out of Gutenberg, making some alterations to them, and presenting them to candidates to see who can undo your edits.
You don't even seem to have the faintest grasp of how much would be involved in doing it in a way that would reveal anything interesting at all, which is interesting, and you don't seem to have noticed that it would be much simpler to simply write the tests yourself, and, crowning the joke, you don't seem to have twigged to the unbearable gall underlying your entire post.

Also, you don't seem to have a clue what "trolling" means. Lossage all around, I'm afraid.

But good luck with your hyper-selective server. Hope you can beat back the maddened hordes.
(Here's a hint: if science doesn't work, try your personality. It's working wonders to keep me away!)

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 07 September 2012 - 09:03 PM

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#12 Charles86  Icon User is offline

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:07 PM

Quote

There's a threshold for that...


I thought it might be something like that.

Quote

Ideas are a dime a dozen. You know what is not? Coders that dedicate years of practice learning their craft, only to create something to be relinquished to another owner.


100% agreed. Some ideas are better than others though. But everyone thinks their ideas are the next sliced bread.

And no one is going to be relinquishing anything to me. It will be a group effort, and coders will get partnership. I'm for working together, not having slaves. I'm obviously not giving up my share either.

:Ignores OTHER comment like a good member should:
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#13 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:09 PM

View PostCharles86, on 08 September 2012 - 12:07 AM, said:

And no one is going to be relinquishing anything to me. It will be a group effort,

You'll find that those who can do this, already are. Your idea is far from original, it's just something that you want.
You think you want to create it, yet have no ability to do so yourself. So you basically asking for it to be created for you (masked by the noun "group"). That's how this project reads.

You'll find that coders are not a mindless bunch that wait around for some project manager that proclaims they have a project but offer no coding input, yet a laundry list of outrageous requirements that will take tons of "wasted non-billable" hours to create a project that you thought of. Coders actually do come up with their own project ideas & work on them with their own teams, or alone.

What you will find are coders that think they can learn in group of other non-coders with the idea that if no one knows how to swim, safety in numbers will produce knowledge of swimming. In otherwords, people will join thinking they can read code, change a few lines, & somehow magically absorb the knowledge of the code.

Post this same project on source forge, & I'd be willing to bet that anyone that joins yields nothing close to 1% of your desired outcome, & the project goes stale by the end of the 2nd week.
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#14 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:11 PM

No reason to jump way off topic of aptitude testing to the general hole poking of too often seen "these types of project".

end game - OP - you may need to outsource/pay someone to write up a test for you and and the answer key. It'll save time and having learn too much about said languages..
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#15 Charles86  Icon User is offline

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Re: Minecraft Server upstart. Looking to make a code competency test.

Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:16 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 07 September 2012 - 09:11 PM, said:

No reason to jump way off topic of aptitude testing to the general hole poking of too often seen "these types of project".

end game - OP - you may need to outsource/pay someone to write up a test for you and and the answer key. It'll save time and having learn too much about said languages..


Thank you, You have been very helpful and it is very appreciated. So you saying that what I have as an example is no good at all? As I said in post number 1, I only need "basic coders". I just needs to be people that love Minecraft, AND also can code for it. Or better said. I need people that love Minecraft enough to have learned to code for it. And I can't simply ask for that since people will just lie.
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