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    8th grade algebra, right? And I’m talking 8th grade public school here; fancypants private schools probably teach this stuff to their kindergarteners.

    I wonder if the author was aware of the San Francisco public school district’s decision to stop allowing 8th graders to take algera 1 and was making a very oblique reference to it.

    I took a look at the linked scan of the entire 1960 IBM booklet, and indeed section I was all pattern-recognition questions for sequences of numbers, part II was questions that involved finding patterns in and mentally manipulating abstract shapes (i.e. questions that are similar to the ones given on some IQ subtests), and section III is all word problems that involve what I would consider middle school or high school algebraic reasoning.

    There are no questions about computer science topics, but of course in 1960 a lot of the theoretical computer science that underpins modern software engineering hadn’t even been discovered yet, yet alone percolated down to the sorts of things you could expect trained adults applying for jobs to have studied.

    The linked article on the same blog, Technical Interview Questions for Equal-Opportunity Employers is also pretty cute in a mildly satirical and 80s nostalgia sort of way. I enjoyed: “A rotary phone has a dial diameter of 10cm. Write a function that computes the total distance your finger must travel on the dial to call Jenny’s number [867-5309].”