FizzBuzz for BizTalk

So unless you don't read any of the "big" .NET bloggers (like Scott Hanselman's Blog or Podcast, Phil Haack, Jeff Attwood, etc) then you're likely familiar with the "FizzBuzz" problem described in those various posts.  In case you missed it, the idea of FizzBuzz is a super simple coding exercise which can be completed during the course of an interview to prove that the candidate can at least write a program.  FizzBuzz in particular is an example of that as follows: Write a program that prints the numbers 1 to 100.  But for multiples of three print "Fizz" instead of the number and for multiples of five print "Buzz".  For numbers which are multiples of both three and five print "FizzBuzz". It's simple, elegant, and proves that the candidate can at least write simple code.  As many people have pointed out, it will not highlight great developers, but it will knock out bad ones. My question to the assembled audience here is, what is a good FizzBuzz problem for BizTalk?  Obviously asking you to write a custom Adapter or Pipeline component is just right out.  They are to complex to be accomplished during the time of an interview.  But what is a fair example of this type of problem for BizTalk? How about sometime like this: Write, deploy and start a BizTalk solution which will accept an XML file containing a root node named "Root" and a potentially unlimited number of child nodes of the root called "Data" from the path "C:\Test\In" and will output the same structure with to "C:\Test\Out" with the value of every "Data" node multiplied times 100. Sample Input: <Root>     <Data>1</Data><Data>2</Data>     <Data>1</Data><Data>2</Data> </Root> Sample Output: <Root>     <Data>100</Data><Data>200</Data>     <Data>100</Data><Data>200</Data> </Root> The problem here is there isn't such a thing as the "5 minute" BizTalk Solution.  I think I could do this solution in 5 minutes, but I wrote the thing.  What do you think?  Is this unreasonable to expect during an interview? Again, the point is not to prove you know BizTalk Server inside out and backwards, it's to prove that you don't know it at all through failure.  Thoughts?

Great New Resources

The ever insightful Lakshmi Murthy (BizTalk MVP) has a great post today about new code samples released by Microsoft for BizTalk 2006.  You'll definitely want to go check this out! Of particular interest to me is the Integrating BizTalk Server 2006 and Windows Workflow Foundation sample.

Gravatar is back!

With version 1.9 of DasBlog, which I run here, comes the ability to support Gravatar's out of the box. What are "Gravatar's" you ask? Simple, a Gravatar is a small image (80x80 pixels) hosted by which a site can request of you given your email address. This allows blogs, for instance, to show an avatar of your choosing next to your comment without having to personally handle you uploading the file, trimming the image, storing the image, screening the image for "appropriateness", and so on.Gravatar's have been around for a while, but for over a year they have not allowed new people to sign up for the service because they had reached the capacity of there existing infrastructure. Well they've completely redesigned for scalability and are back with style. You will see now that my recent responses to comments include my ugly mug as an avatar next to my comments, and if you'd like your face immortalized then all you have to do is go to this site and request an account of your own. Once you do, you'll instantly have you're chosen Gravatar available here, no more work required provided you left an email address with your comment.The Gravatar team has a blog here so you can keep track of what they are doing.