You’ll never believe what happened when Littlefish tested if I was smarter than an 8-year-old
I was just forwarded an IT quiz by the company’s PR team. It appears to be a PR stunt from a managed IT services company, which was labeled “Are you smarter than an 8 year old?” Which, to be fair, is a fantastic headline, primed for going crazy-viral on social media and having a lot of very smart IT people pound their chests. YES! I AM AS SMART AS A CHILD 30 YEARS MY JUNIOR!
Of course, I took the bait, and you will never believe what happened next. Okay, maybe you will believe it, the test was full of shit.
Question 1 — A unique question!
None of these answers are completely correct. An IP address can be a shared web address, but it isn’t always shared, nor is it specifically for web addresses. But it isn’t a unique device ID number, either: It’s not necessarily unique (sometimes IT administrators have major headaches when there’s more than one device on the network with the same IP address). It isn’t unique between networks (there’s a lot of devices out there with the 192.168.0.1 IP address). And a large number of devices can have more than one IP address. Your laptop, for example, can be plugged into Ethernet and connected to Wi-Fi, which means it has two IP addresses.
Where’s my None of the Above option?
Question 2 — That looks anatomically unlikely?
In this particular case, it assumes that the person answering the question is an 8-year-old. As an adult, the appropriate response will sometimes be to share it on social network. Or the police. If you’re getting abuse on Twitter, you could report it, but you’d probably be better off not bothering anyway. And in any case, who knows who their network administrators are on their phone or at home anyway?
Where’s my None of the Above option?
Question 3 — LMGTFY
Okay, this one is actually fine. You can have this one, Little Fish.
Question 4 — Waiter! Over here!
Again, this one doesn’t make sense. I know which one they want me to click, but it’s a lot more complicated than that: Most web servers technically consider of several servers (database server, application server, front-end server, asset server, load balancers, what have you), and a lot of web servers are virtual boxes in the cloud. Which, to be fair, are computers where files can be stored and accessed, but… Yeah. Besides, the vast majority of websites these days are dynamic (i.e. the content changes over time, or is adjusted when people post new content etc), in which case talking about “files” is inaccurate.
Besides, the answer would be more correct if the question was “what is a server”, rather than specifically a web server.
But fair, you can have this one too — at least all the other questions make even less sense.
Question 5 — What year is this?
Why are we teaching kids this? Both the two top options could be considered correct; in common parlance “I will look it up on the internet” means they’re going to the triple-dub. “I’ll check that with my browser” is something nobody ever said ever, but they’re still talking about that www. And everyone who likes the world wide web uses a search engine to find shit. Can we just focus on teaching the kids stuff that actually matters?
This reminds me when I was in school in the late 1990s, where the teacher (who was Norwegian), told us that half a Byte was called a Nibble. It’s funny; “Byte” sounds like “bite” and a small bite is a nibble. I got it, I thought it was funny. It was only when “What is a name for 4 bits” turned up at a test (!) that I realized that the teacher’s English wasn’t good enough to realize that he had told a joke. He really did think that “nibble” was an accepted technical term. Which wouldn’t have mattered, except if you didn’t know that dumb joke, you’d get marked down in your test, which could potentially be the difference between failing and passing a class.
What I’m trying to get to, is fuck you. This doesn’t matter. If you need to know what, exactly, the World Wide Web is, you can google it. There’s no excuse for it ever turning up on a test, and especially not with two ambiguous answers that are both equally inaccurate.
Question 6 — We live in a post-fact society
Ok. Fair. It’s option D. Obviously. Why? Beause I just said so. On the internet. I’m a journalist and everything. Or am I? Yes I am! Because it says so right there in my bio.
Question 7 — Elementary, my dear Watson
I’m going to assume that ‘logical bug’ is British English for ‘logic bug’, and not an actual beetle that goes around using logic to solve puzzles.
With that assumption in the bag: ARGH. Again with the ambiguities. Although this isn’t as bad as some of the others. A logic fault can cause unexpected system faults, I suppose. Having said that, there are unexpected results that aren’t bugs (for example, a user opens a webpage in a browser that the page wasn’t designed for will cause an unexpected result, but wouldn’t typically be called a bug), and there are logic bugs that don’t cause unexpected results, either because the user doesn’t know what to expect, or because the faulty logic somehow spits out a result that looks like it makes sense. See also.
There’s a bonus on this one, too, actually: When you click on the correct result, the site gives you an explanation that is also incorrect:
If all the code was correct, you wouldn’t have bug, now would you?
Question 8 — You’re getting wormer. Wormer.
Fine, you can have this one, too.
So, in this fantastic test where you’re meant to pit your wits against an 8-year-old, who’s the winner? NOBODY, that’s who. Nobody wins, everybody loses, and everyone is just a little bit dumber for having wasted their time on this drivel. Out of the 8 questions, only half of them even make sense. Ugh.
I get it. The quiz is not designed to actually test your wits against a school kid. It’s designed to make you feel stupid and hire the services of a managed IT firm. And that’s the most infuriating thing about all of this. IT isn’t that hard and there’s no reason to make people feel stupider than they need to with a quiz where half the questions don’t make sense.
Ultimately, though, there’s only one conclusion: There are a lot of managed IT services companies out there. Judging from the quality of this quiz, I think you’d best look elsewhere than Littlefish.