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Could a Vietnamese 11th grader pass the Google interview process?

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Could a Vietnamese 11th grader pass the Google interview process?
According to one Google engineer the answer is yes, but it seems that may be more of a commentary of the state of US education rather than Google's hiring process. Google's hiring process is known to be one of the more difficult around, but one Google engineer says that the average 11th grader in Vietnam is answering computer science questions to be put in "the top third" of applicants.

The story goes that Google engineer Neil Fraser took a trip to Vietnam and toured some schools in the country. He was impressed to find that by 3rd grade all students knew how to use Windows (XP), and begin learning to type in English using Microsoft Word. By 4th grade, students begin to learn programming using Logo to create commands and loops. By 5th grade students are writing "procedures containing loops calling procedures containing loops". Fraser compares this to the US where many 11th and 12th graders would struggle to code an HTML img tag. 

Fraser then stopped in on an 11th grade class in Vietnam and got a copy of a problem requiring the class to find a solution and implement it in Pascal. The entire class was able to accomplish the task. Fraser showed the problem to a senior Google engineer without giving the origin of the problem, and the senior engineer said the question would be part of the top third of interview questions.

That's some pretty impressive education, especially since, as Fraser says, CS classes are a fairly recent addition to the Vietnamese curriculum. Here's hoping that the US can take a cue. It's an incredibly interesting blog post by Fraser, we'd suggest you all take a look.

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posted on 20 Mar 2013, 22:57 13

1. idroidequis (Posts: 103; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)

And people wonder why kids in the US are dumb. Same education aystem for the last few decades. Good job Vietnam

posted on 20 Mar 2013, 23:36 2

3. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Actually....at least in my area....schools have changed over the past 10, 15 years. Stuff I learned in Jr high.....is being taught in elementary now.

Charter schools are replacing public schools in my area.....and the curriculum is more advanced than the public schools counterpart.

One thing I hate tho is they aren't teaching cursive writing in elementary schools in my area anymore. I think thats a big mistake. So its up to the parents to teach it now.

posted on 21 Mar 2013, 02:15 5

7. superbored (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Mar 2013)

hmmmm...at 7th grade they know how to make babies...

posted on 21 Mar 2013, 03:58 2

9. JC557 (Posts: 1794; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)

There are plenty of top notch schools in the US, it's just there are a lot of lazy ass students and/ or parents bringing the system down. The no child left behind junk isn't helping either.

I remember we were taught C++ in the public high school I was going to and it was a very diverse group.

posted on 23 Mar 2013, 12:58

12. dragonstkdgirl (Posts: 144; Member since: 07 Apr 2012)

I have also noticed kids learning the same stuff I did but at a younger age.....

.... however, I've NEVER used cursive in my adult life. And they made us write literally everything in cursive my 8th grade year.

posted on 20 Mar 2013, 23:26 8

2. No_Nonsense (unregistered)

Cool, its about the same in India.

posted on 20 Mar 2013, 23:53 1

4. jtl78 (Posts: 20; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

WOOO Vietnam!!!!!!!!!

posted on 21 Mar 2013, 00:04 8

5. techloverNYC (Posts: 601; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)


I never felt I learn much in the US education system. Not to mention the fact city public schools are a joke if u r not enrolled in one of those elite ones. Just today I saw 2 high school girls fight outside their school sidewalk at 3pm (the meet me outside at 3 thing). The other students just form a crowd and watch they pull each others' weaves. School crossing guard stop them in the end.

U.S is gonna get wipe by these countries (china,indie,japan,etc) in the future. They have some of the hardest working students ever!

posted on 21 Mar 2013, 05:07 4

10. rustyimtiaz (Posts: 44; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)

this century is the century of ASIANS!!! :P

posted on 21 Mar 2013, 01:25 1

6. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

My nephew is in Class 3 (India) and i was surprised to see that he had assignments on paint brush menu etc. He knows more of android tab, where to configure wifi, how to search games and download ... pretty much everything. The other day went to him (we brothers stay in same building different apartment and have one broadband and wifi with repeater) so he asked me what's the password as WiFi connection got reset so need to setup. I was really amazed that he could navigate all the way to setting WIFI connection screen. Smartkids i would call them :)

posted on 21 Mar 2013, 03:31 2

8. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)

My nephew (3g years old) has his own android tab..

posted on 21 Mar 2013, 06:15 2

11. ash29 (Posts: 58; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)

I guess the person who typed this comment is also 3(g) years old xD.

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