The Granny—Stroustrup Scale

2007-09-05, Comments

I finally booked up for Pycon UK (I’ll be there on the Saturday), and when I steered my shopping cart to the checkout I had to fill out a form assessing my programming ability:

  • Novice
  • Basic
  • Experienced
  • Guru

I went with “Experienced” — it came easily enough since I’ve been describing myself either as an enthusiastic and experienced programmer or an experienced and enthusiastic programmer for a while now. I hope we don’t get tested before admission.

It reminded me of a technical interview I once took for a programming job. Right at the start I had to rate myself on a scale of 1 to 10 where:

1 is your grandmother and 10 is Bjarne Stroustrup.

There followed a thorough written test, a whiteboard session and some technical Q & A’s. At the end I was invited to regrade myself on the Granny—Stroustrup scale. I think the idea was that I should humbly knock myself down a point or two. I didn’t, but as it happens, I was offered the job, accepted it, and a very good job it turned out to be.

Eventually I found myself on the other side of the table in the technical expert role. The Granny—Stroustrup rating questions were dropped from the process.