Michael Platt: I have done a ton of interviewing of architects and typically look for this simulated annealing in their problem solving approach using a number of architectural problems that I have come across that cannot be solved by [divide and conquer] (in fact make the problem worse). One of my favourite non technical interview questions is very simple and designed to see how people analyse problems. Their response allows you to categorise them roughly into mathematical, logical or analytical thinkers. Developers tend to be logical, architects tend to be analytical, I not sure what the mathematicians are! … Here’s the question if you want to see what you are:
I have a cup of coffee and a cup of tea. I take a teaspoon full of coffee and put it in the tea. I then take a teaspoon of the tea and put it in the coffee. Which is the purest, the coffee or the tea? Explain your thinking.
Well, I went for the mathematical approach. Not sure what that means.