July 9, 2010

We Too Can Think like Computer Scientists

You glance at your watch. The end of the work week is fast approaching. The recruiters in the office are rushing to find that last resume that they need to submit to the hiring manager. Meanwhile, the account executives continue trying to get in touch with a few more hiring managers. As you fill out your timesheet, you receive a notification that someone has just sent you an email. Ahh, yes… the “Thinking like a Computer Scientist” email that a member of our office sends out every Friday. The email contains a difficult brain teaser to keep you thinking like a computer scientist over the weekend.

As you drive home from work, it just refuses to leave your thoughts. The puzzle must be more difficult than last week’s riddle! You attempt to do a few calculations in you head: what is 210? Or what happens if…? But every path you take seems to lead to a dead end. When you finally figure it out, you think back to all of the seemingly silly methods you had previously tried. The answers always seem so simple, yet it always takes you forever to find that solution.

Unfortunately, when you arrive back at work with the answer, you notice someone has already solved the problem. It is their name that is on our “Kudos” board, not yours. Disappointed, you open your project from the previous week and pull up the Internet. Searching endlessly for another resume, you decide to switch up your Boolean searches. The resume you just found is a perfect fit. Why didn’t you adjust your search earlier? It’s seems so obvious; so simple, just like the solution to the brain teaser.

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