|Date: ||Tue, 7 May 2002 12:55:25 -0700|
|Reply-To: ||"William W. Viergever" <wwvierg@ATTGLOBAL.NET>|
|Sender: ||"SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>|
|From: ||"William W. Viergever" <wwvierg@ATTGLOBAL.NET>|
|Subject: ||Re: comments on interviewing candidates|
At 12:30 PM 5/7/2002 -0700, Gorodenski, Stanley wrote:
>Have anyone seen the movie The Adventures of Baron Von Munchausen? All this
>talk about being clever in programming reminds me of the city manager in the
>movie who had a soldier executed for bravery and valor. The reasoning was
>that he was bad for moral of the common soldier.
But Stanley, the entire war was maintained to keep up moral ......
One of my all time cult favs ..... plus he really did exist ... some
salient info follows:
Oh!! -- and for Viel: <g>
In the 19th century, a fortress is under siege from the Turkish Army. While
the attack is going on, the town's people are in the theatre, watching a
play based on the life of notorious tall tale teller Baron Munchausen.
The real Baron Munchausen arrives at the theatre and claims not only to
have started the war, but also to be able to save the town from the siege.
He encounters only mockery from an incredulous townsfolk who dismiss the
Baron and his stories.
The Baron finds an ally, a young girl called Sally, who encourages the
Baron to imagine a method to save the city - this involves the Baron
locating his four powerful friends by flying to the moon and visiting war
god Vulcan under a mountain (where he encounters the pictured Cyclops). He
is also swallowed by a large sea monster. The Baron's friends are
Bertholdt, who can run faster than a bullet; Albrecht, who is very strong;
Adolphus, who can see for miles; and Gustavus who can blow faster than a
thousand winds. However, his friends have aged somewhat, and appear
reluctant to go into battle. Reunited with his friends, the Baron aims to
save the city from the Sultan and his army. But can this really be true???
Baron Karl Friedrich Hieronymous von Munchausen did actually exist in the
eighteenth century. Rudolph Raspe compiled a collection of his apochryphal
stories in 1785, which have enchanted children for generations. The stories
were later illustrated by Gustave Dore.
Who lured Terry Gilliam into making Munchausen the movie? In 1979, George
Harrison showed Gilliam his collection of Munchausen stories, and later,
Ray Cooper gave Gilliam a book on the Baron and challenged the director to
make a film of them.
On the completion of Brazil in the mid-eighties, Munchausen seemed like an
ideal project. It would be visually rich, and would have an appeal similar
to the hugely profitable Time Bandits. The more the idea was developed, the
more it became apparent that such a movie would in fact be the third part
of a trilogy, starting with Time Bandits (fantasist as child), Brazil
(young man), and now Munchausen (old man).
Following a collaboration on Brazil, Gilliam developed Munchausen with
Charles McKeown. At the time, Arnon Milchan was interested in producing the
movie. However, the movie was produced by Thomas Schuhly, a German producer
based at Rome studio Cinecitta. According to Schuhly, Milchan was impressed
that he had produced The Name of the Rose under budget, and asked Schuhly
if he would like to produce Munchausen, with Milchan as executive producer.
Gilliam loved the idea of making Munchausen in Rome, and got on well with
Schuhly when they met. At this time, Milchan became less and less
interested in Munchausen, and as a result, bowed out. Schuhly took on the
full role of producer. The script was developed and according to Schuhly's
insistence, was budgetted at $25m. It was assumed that production costs at
Cinecitta would be far below that of London.
A deal was struck with Columbia, then with David Puttnam in charge, giving
the company distribution rights for most of the world. Columbia was to pay
$25m, which included video distribution rights too. Since Columbia would
pay no more than this amount, a completion guarantor was employed, to
insure against the movie going over budget. At this stage, Gilliam's
previous two films were Time Bandits and Brazil, and Gilliam had a
reputation, thanks in part to his modelling skills, for being able to
deliver expensive looking films cheaply. It turned out that the agreed
budget would prove to be woefully inadequate.
Also, Eric Idle (a Python colleague) has said:
· "Up until Munchausen, I'd always been very smart about Terry
Gilliam films. You don't ever be in them. Go and see them by all means -
but to be in them, fucking madness!!!"
P.S. Who played the King of the Moon?
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Dianne Rhodes [mailto:RHODESD1@WESTAT.COM]
> > Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2002 11:07 AM
> > To: SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> > Subject: Re: comments on interviewing candidates
> > I am also finding this thread interesting, though I don't currently
> > interview.
> > I found the "quiz" originally posted quite interesting, but I would be
> > intimidated by such
> > an interview technique myself. I confessed to another person
> > here that I
> > never even
> > try to do Bob Virgle's puzzles anymore, and he confessed that
> > he doesn't
> > either.
> > That style is just too sublime for me.
> > Hashman wrote :
> > >> There are no obscure features. Anything documented and
> > >usable is as far as I am concerned not obscure.
> > <snip>
> > > However, I am not sure it is easy to find a project
> > manager, even on a
> > site with oodles of superlative
> > >SAS programmers, who would not think that the guy fails to
> > "resist the
> > urge to
> > >get clever" :-).
> > > In fact, as I recall, one of the most well-argumented
> > >objections came from Westat, where finding a programmer capable of
> > >penetrating into any code regardless of the degree of its
> > cleverness is
> > just a matter
> > >of pointing in some randomly chosen direction.
> > I love that metaphor! Are you using ranuni or what to point
> > in this random
> > direction? Yes, Westat is like that.
> > We even heard a manager arguing against using VB and for
> > using SAS on the
> > basis that
> > "we have more SAS programmers than VB programmers to support it."
> > Its all about resources.
> > IME even code that seemed quite clear and understandable
> > loses something in
> > the translation
> > when it is handed down from one generation of programmers to
> > another ... and
> > I include myself as being one generation "handing down" something to
> > "another"... that is I have inherited code from myself and
> > wished I had been
> > clearer about decisions I had made in writing the code. The
> > code was clear
> > enough, but why I wrote it the way I did was not self evident.
> > Don wrote:
> > > >> I had 2 weeks to find 3-4 people to complete the project in
> > >> 4 months. I interviewed 8. I needed to know almost
> > immediately that I
> > >could find a whizz bang coder who had knowledge of many
> > advanced things
> > >that others didn't, and 2 solid programmers who could
> > competently and
> > >quickly follow instructions, and in particular, also do
> > work on other
> > areas, such as
> > >spend 3-4 weeks documenting every aspect of the system we
> > develop -- in
> > other words do the
> > >boring chaff as well as the exciting stuff. My mandate from
> > the client was
> > DO NOT find
> > >all whizz bang propeller heads.
> > It's great to have such a clear mandate on the style of
> > programmer wanted.
> > When I was staffing a big CASE project (at ACS), one of my
> > own rules was "no
> > consultants looking for w2 work"
> > because IME they don't like doing the "bread and butter" work
> > and don't stay
> > for long.
> > Over my objections, one such person was hired, and put on my
> > staff! And
> > they stayed for
> > two months. And left ... to do consulting!
> > As for looking for SAS programmers, in my job at DOL, my
> > primary interest
> > was in finding
> > someone who could spell SAS forwards and backwards and was
> > willing to work
> > with me
> > and learn from me. The last such person I hired was a great
> > match! (Right,
> > Ed?)
> > My favorite question: tell me what you like most about your work.
> > Hashman continued:
> > >
> > >I have expressed this opinion before, and do not mind
> > >repeating it now. If I had a piano bar, say, and wanted to
> > hire a pianist,
> > the idea
> > >of asking him how to play piano would never enter my mind.
> > Nor could I
> > care
> > >less if he needed sheet music or could play all by heart. I
> > would simply
> > >ask him to play the style of music, or maybe even some particular
> > >pieces,
> > Does he know the Chattanooga Choo Choo?
> > > that to my
> > >mind, could please my customers. Listening for a half and
> > >hour would give me
> > >all the information I needed. Quite importantly, it would be
> > >a comprehensive
> > >impression.
> > >
> > >Does there exist *any* set of questions, no matter how
> > >cleverly concocted,
> > >that I could ask the pianist instead and achieve the same
> > >result with the
> > >same success?
> > >
> > Very good points! More below ...
> > >Hence, in those (luckily, quite rare) cases when, at one
> > site, I was
> > charged
> > >with selecting folks for a project work, I simply would let
> > >the candidate sit in front of a tube in a cube with shelves
> > stuffed with
> > >SAS manuals (as they usually are in the real life), with online help
> > >available, and ask to write (that is, design, code, debug,
> > validate the
> > results,
> > >etc.) a real program similar to, or with key elements of,
> > programs he
> > >would be taking care of if hired. Then I would show the guy
> > my location,
> > tell
> > >him he could ask me any questions any time and leave him
> > the heck alone
> > >for a period of time about twice as long as I thought would
> > be sufficient
> > to
> > >accomplish the task. After him having finished, I would look at the
> > program
> > >and we would discuss it.
> > This is the same technique my mom used to hire secretarial
> > staff for my
> > dad's law office.
> > I think if you can reproduce a realistic situation for
> > programming, that is
> > a great
> > way to interview and make a selection. It tells you a lot:
> > how fast the
> > person works,
> > how thorough they are, when they think they are "finished"
> > I would probably freak out and hide in ladies room.<sheepish grin>
> > >
> > >With the exception of one rather bizarre occurrence, when the
> > >interviewee refused to be interviewed in this fashion, told me that
> > >"normal interviewers just ask questions", promised to
> > complain and slammed
> > the
> > >door (later he did, indeed, concoct a long letter to the
> > upper management
> > >about "unfair interviewing practices"), this method has
> > consistently led
> > to
> > >acceptable results. In fact, even the above-mentioned
> > pathological case
> > >proved to be positive in the sense that not only the person
> > was not hired
> > Yes, you were lucky that he reacted that way and you did not
> > risk hiring
> > them.
> > I have not been so lucky. Actually this was another case
> > where the project
> > manager at ACS-CDSI
> > hired someone against my recommendations. During the entire
> > interview, she
> > held a handkerchief
> > in front of her mouth. I cannot pinpoint why that made me
> > not want to hire
> > her, but it was a
> > red flag to me. She turned out to be a total nut case
> > who fell to coming into work later and later in the day to
> > avoid personal
> > contact. Perhaps she was great
> > as a consultant but as a co-worker she was clearly
> > pathological. Eventually
> > she just stopped
> > coming to work, and we had to hunt her down to cash her
> > paychecks. Truly
> > bizarre.
> > Dianne Louise Rhodes
> > Sr. Systems Analyst
> > Westat
William W. Viergever Voice : (916) 483-8398
Viergever & Associates Fax : (916) 486-1488
Sacramento, CA 95825 E-mail : email@example.com