The Burning Island
…you’re on an island that’s thirteen miles long, and there’s an easterly wind at two miles per hour. The island is narrow and long, running east to west. You’re a mile west of the west end of the island, and the entire western mile of the island is on fire. The remaining 12 miles east of you is not yet on fire, but it’s going to be. The island is covered in light brush that will burn and kill you, but the brush is passable. You’re in great shape, and can run at five miles an hour for as long as you want. Unfortunately, you’re allergic to burning to death, so you’d rather not end up on fire.
I recently revisited Aaron’s “Anatomy of an Interview Question” series and if you’re at all involved with the software engineering hiring process I recommend you do the same. Some great thinking about the kinds of problems that are seen in technical interviews, and useful whether you plan on being on the giving or receiving end of the interview. All of the posts: