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The Compiler Design Test contain questions about LISP ?

Active Member
Dmitry N Member Since: Dec 17, 2016
1 of 4

I understand what 

"Upwork doesn't make these tests. It licenses them from a third-party vendor.

And Upwork is not a "skills test" website.

" Preston H

But can it at least be renamed to "Compiler Design and Lisp Test" ?



Active Member
Nikita S Member Since: Sep 12, 2018
2 of 4

Lisp-like languages are used in several compilers, like GCC, for internal representation. Most compiler students usually start with implementing simpler language, like Forth and Lisp, which are easier to parse than say C++ and immediately provide you with useful primitives, like symbols and lists. Lisp also teaches that you can macroexpand all complex language structures into simple form, made of lambda, if and goto. TLDR: Lisp is the language designer's helloworld.c, so it makes sense to test for it.

Active Member
Nikita S Member Since: Sep 12, 2018
3 of 4

Ooops! Just checked that test. Disregard my previous comment. The test indeed includes irrelevant highly specific Common Lisp questions, regarding rarely used features of that language. I was able to answer them only by googling into CLHS, despite having good amount of Common Lisp experience (I wrote my first compiler in Common Lisp!). Some questions feel too informal, almost like jokes. Other questions don't test the specifics of compiler design, and more about general comp-sci, so they could be moved into separate test. Yet wasted is the opportunity to ask proper questions, like say questions about parsing specific example of SEXP code or compiling the lambda itself into continuation-passing-style.

Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
4 of 4


Thanks for your feedback, Nikita. I will share this with the team for their consideration.