Are you JavaScript literate? -- A small test

May 14, 2008

I have too much to do at work. My boss and I agree. Recently I've been involved in strategic work trying to improve on different work flows, as well as going towards XML based storage of our content etc. So nowadays I find myself involved a lot of business decisions, internal and external discussions and meetings, traveling etc. I'm having fun.
But I have less time for what used to be my basic tasks: UI design, hacking and programming. Mostly in JavaScript and ActionScript. So we have decided to hire someone to fill that gap. Of course we're looking for all the usual things you can imagine in that person -- a problem solver, a team player, someone that can deliver on time and that is able to manage several important projects simultaneously. Well, you know the drill...
However: I thought it would be nice if that person had some basic JavaScript literacy as well. Not asking for a lot here -- just an understanding of some basic concepts like prototypes, closures etc. So I designed a small test that I've tried out with some of our applicants. (Time limit 15 minutes, no computer allowed.) Surprisingly enough it seemed really hard for most of them to complete.
That is why I have decided to publish it here. Have fun with it. Please comment on it: Could a person fail this test and still be really good at JavaScript? Is it too easy or too hard? Is it even meaningful as a test?
The test       The correct answers