Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article)



  • Another coder whines about job interviews.

    "I'm a darling on github and some obscure coding website! Where is my red carpet?!"

    I'm not saying his feelings about hiring practices are entirely invalid. Just that all these whiny hipsters crying about the audacity of having to go through hiring process sound to me incredibly spoiled and (ugh, that word) privileged.

    Case in point is the conclusion of the article, where he basically declares he's done with interviewing and from now on he will dedicate himself solely to his hobby projects. Umm... OK dude, but don't you like, you know, have to eat... and stuff?

    Anyway, nothing much to say here IMO. For some reason I'm just fascinated with these kind of articles. So... here's another one, I guess.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @cartman82 said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    don't you like, you know, have to eat... and stuff?

    Depends on how much he has saved, yes? And whether he has extravagant tastes in food, I suppose.



  • @dkf said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    @cartman82 said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    don't you like, you know, have to eat... and stuff?

    Depends on how much he has saved, yes? And whether he has extravagant tastes in food, I suppose.

    And rich parents.



  • @cartman82 said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    Umm... OK dude, but don't you like, you know, have to eat... and stuff?

    People who bitch like that (and especially defer a job interview for THREE MONTHS) are:

    1. Rich
    2. Never worked at McDonalds or any job requiring actual labor

    Case in point:

    All in all, the on-site interview process took about three and a half hours, with no breaks and no lunch. By 4:30pm [...]

    He went to a 1:00 PM interview and didn't have lunch first? Laws of nature, man, when going into an uncertain circumstance, you eat when you can. You don't have to be in the Marine Corps. to know that.



  • Google calls him for an interview in October and he successfully convinced them to call him back in January? Damn.

    I've only been on the job market a few times in my career, and each of those times, I hated it. I hate dressing up for interviews, going through the dog and pony show of getting to know who might be hiring me and selling myself. And it's not because I resent people grilling me to convince them I'm right for the job, but because I'm simply not the salesman type. I don't like the pressure of giving my best impression to potential employers, and I don't consider myself a good interviewer. I know having good charisma is good for maximizing your hireability, so I psych myself out thinking about it.

    But each time I've been between jobs, it's been at most 3 weeks, and even then it's because I like to have choices and will try to time things out so I have at least two offers available for me to choose from.

    If this guy was truly seeking a job between January and April with no offers, then it makes me wonder just how bad one can be at interviewing if I consider myself a bad interviewer. Or maybe his job selection is bad.



  • @blakeyrat said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    Never worked at McDonalds or any job requiring actual labor

    That's such an American thing. Expecting everyone to "do a term" in the fast food industry, just as a normal part of growing up. Reminds me of how people treated mandatory millitary service back in the day...



  • @cartman82 said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    Expecting everyone to "do a term" in the fast food industry, just as a normal part of growing up.

    I don't expect it. (What's with people putting words into my mouth today?) But you can definitely tell when a person in a professional position has never actually worked with the public, and this guy reeks of it.

    Look, the profession he's chosen is like literally an order of magnitude better than what 70-80% of the US population is doing. And he's a whiny bitch about it. Guy needs to get behind the wheel of a transit bus for 6 months, or mop a few toilets, get some reality injection.



  • @blakeyrat Oh yeah, I agree 100%...

    I was doing nationalistic trolling in general, not trying to put antything unseemly into your mouth.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @blakeyrat Agreed. I personally would never want to work in the fast food industry, but I have a large amount of respect for those who do - dealing with people is not fun at all.....


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @cartman82 said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    not trying to put antything unseemly into your mouth.

    :gigg… wait, no. Not a good idea in this case.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @dkf said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    Not a good idea in this case.

    Agreed. Fast Food isn't all that appealing anyways...


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    I don’t remember what the phone screen problem was about — some string manipulation algorithm problem — but it was neither interesting, nor memorable. No, I still didn’t understand the question, even after hanging up the phone.

    The problem isn't the interview question here.

    To be fair, I already knew about Google’s idiotic interview process that is optimized for hiring book-smart academic candidates who know their algorithms and data structures cold

    Learning about your craft? What a horrible idea! You should wing it instead. Make sure to only do the fun parts, that'll really show your worth.

    followed by a coding exercise — write a maze solving algorithm.

    Being asked to write code in an interview? What are interviewers coming to these days? Next they'll be asking you to think about a problem you probably don't have the answer to memorized critically so they can evaluate your problem-solving skills, and then where will you be? Out on your ass!

    I did not feel like they were prepared for an interview, as they started asking me for questions based on what I said earlier

    How dare they!

    If, and when, I need to know how tree-shaking is implemented, I will go look it up

    Like every master craftsman, you have no need for true understanding or knowledge, merely Google.

    instead of cancelling all my interview appointments (which I really wanted to do)

    You got, what, two whole rejections? Poor thing! Ragequitting forever is clearly the right answer here.

    I sent him my resume, we had a brief chat (didn’t sound like the friendliest recruiter), never heard from him again. If that’s any indication of their work culture, maybe I really dodged a bullet there.

    A brief chat is clearly not enough to truly appreciate this man's genius. It takes at least four interviews and two lunches.

    What the fuck?! You’ve got to be shitting me. How many people can actually write BFS on the spot, without preparing for it in advance?

    Nobody ever. BFS doesn't even really exist. It's the hardest problem you can possibly give, as no answer exists.

    What relevance does it have?

    What relevance does thinking about the best way to solve a problem without wasting memory, resources, or time have to modern front-end Javascript? None whatsoever. Not even being sarcastic here. Crying a little inside, but no sarcasm.

    Interviews shouldn’t be one-sided battles where a candidate must “prove” themselves in order to get hired.

    They should take it on faith that he's the most awesome person in the universe.

    The next round had some coding exercises, one of which was to implement a Tic-Tac-Toe game using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I was able to do it with 10 minutes to spare, although it was probably the most hacky solution I have ever coded.

    Are you fucking kidding me. I wrote tic-tac-toe as my first formal programming exam ever when I was literally twelve. literally twelve. I can't even snark anymore. What the actual fuck.

    rejection, rejection, rejection. It honestly feels as if I am a complete failure and an unhirable candidate. How is this possible

    Literally. Twelve.

    But one thing I do not understand is — why did they reach out to me in the first place, because nowhere does it say on my resume that I have any experience with video.

    Does this man not understand how wide a net recruiters cast? Does he think getting a tech screen makes him special? Desirable?



  • @blakeyrat said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    He went to a 1:00 PM interview and didn't have lunch first? Laws of nature, man, when going into an uncertain circumstance, you eat when you can. You don't have to be in the Marine Corps. to know that.

    Yeah, I wouldn't have expected a meal break, but I would expect to feel drained after interviewing for that long.



  • All of his interview experiences sound awful (granted we've only heard one side). I'm sure I'd fail them all. It's been a while since I've been on either side of an interview, but interviewing like that would never occur to me.


  • BINNED

    @The_Quiet_One said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    I've only been on the job market a few times in my career, and each of those times, I hated it

    I am particularly bad at interviews. I never study for them because it is a waste of time, but apparently it is the norm. Somehow I answer all the questions anyways (like I figure out a well-known-to-all algorithm on the board) but say/do something (I guess) that unsettles the interviewer. I liked (and bested) the interviews that the interviewer was not constantly watching me, just leave the room for fuck sake and come back 10-20min later.


  • SockDev

    One thing I would point out, he is talking front end dev.

    While I'd be all for people in this industry actually knowing their shit (and I don't have a CS degree or anything!), I do have to question the sanity of some of the tests.

    I wouldn't necessarily expect a front end guy to know those algorithms, on the basis that while it can teach you something about ability to reason through a problem, there is a... Missing the point to it. Front end devs generally don't need to solve the kinds of problems where Dijkstra's algorithm would help. Or maze solving.

    I haven't, for example, needed to do path finding in any work I've done in the last year at that place. No path finding, no tree balancing (though I have done tree traversal but only because I also do recursion for an arbitrary nested structure that the user can manipulate like a kind of CMS)... I've done none of the things he talks about, either in the interviews or in the hobbies.

    I didn't have a problem getting hired, but none of the interviews I had even touched on them. One does not do these things in PHP, and I would have buttumed not in JS either...



  • @cartman82

    @cartman82 said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    @blakeyrat said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    Never worked at McDonalds or any job requiring actual labor

    That's such an American thing. Expecting everyone to "do a term" in the fast food industry, just as a normal part of growing up. Reminds me of how people treated mandatory millitary service back in the day...

    I had gone through mandatory conscription. It cannot be compared to serving fast food. Conscription still exist in half of the countries of the world. And no, it does not mean that after going through one term, one who have grown up. Spoiled brats will always be spoiled brats wherever they may be.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @cartman82 said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    That's such an American thing. Expecting everyone to "do a term" in the fast food industry, just as a normal part of growing up

    There was an "or" there. Any kind of retail work would substitute for fast food: cashier at a clothing store. Flagman on a construction crew. Security guard. If you're not unteachable, it will teach you a lot about interacting with the other humans.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    Yeah, I wouldn't have expected a meal break, but I would expect to feel drained after interviewing for that long.

    I have hypoglycemia. I've long ago learned that if there's going to be an interview process (or anything, really) that takes that long, to bring a snack and/or be clear while scheduling the interview that I will need food eventually.


  • BINNED

    Feedback is too much to ask for these days, apparently. And this is not even half as bad as experience of some people who submit their take-home projects that they’ve worked on for days, or even weeks, that never got as much as a reply from a recruiter.

    This is spot on. Fuck all those recruiter scum! They just vanish into their mother's blackhoe and do not even tell you to fuck off after months, let alone to give feedback!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @dse said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    I never study for [interviews] because it is a waste of time

    It's not necessarily a waste of time, but it matters what you study. Don't study general background material like algorithms (unless you're applying for the one or two posts worldwide that actively do algorithm development as a main thing). Do study the company you'll be working for if you get through the interview so that you can talk reasonably about how you might fit in.



  • @cartman82 This onebox looked like a video. Hell. I was dreadin' 'em hipsters forget how to write.



  • This, alas, highlights the sad state of tech recruiting from both sides.

    Take recruiters, for example. They almost never ask questions related to problem-solving in the actual domain, and somehow assume that industry veterans should be asked the same questions as fresh CS graduates. It's worse when interviews are conducted by coders: it's very rare that the interviewer doesn't try to make the interviewee feel inferior. Actually, anyone doing interviews tries to make the prospect feel like shit basking in the interviewer's glory and cleverness. Maybe it's a manipulative technique so the candidate will ask for less pay.

    What gets on my nerve is when an ad says "URGENT" but you end up in a month-long round of endless interviews at the most unconvenient times you can imagine.

    Candidates, on other hand, tend to act like prima donnas, whether warranted or not. Acting like a prima donna is annoying. No one wants to work with one.

    I think that's how you can be a better candidate:

    • If you hear a stupid question, you don't retort with "fuck this shit" or throw tantrums even if you want to, and even if they deserve it. You may be forgiven for not having the CS undergraduate shit in your brain cache, but no one will want your toxic personality on their team.
    • Corporate work is a game of compromises. You either go work somewhere with less friction, or you learn to adopt whatever path the team has chosen, you learn to bargain on better ways to do stuff, you learn to tolerate pointless stuff that you need to do because it's political.
    • I think that any coder job now actually requires the people skills. If you want to do your work, get your paycheck, and be rather unnoticed, find a janitor job. But to stay unnoticed, you better clean these toilets well.
    • And yep, you notice and politely decline any attempts to bring your price down. It's politics, and your interests are at stake. They'd like to screw you and get a service from you. You'd like to screw them and take their money. You play a bargaining game until mutual screwing is minimized. You know it, they know it, and they know you know it, but no one says it aloud. Just don't be a slave-like disposable scum. Again, you don't actually say it in their face.


  • @Arantor said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    I wouldn't necessarily expect a front end guy to know those algorithms, on the basis that while it can teach you something about ability to reason through a problem, there is a... Missing the point to it. Front end devs generally don't need to solve the kinds of problems where Dijkstra's algorithm would help. Or maze solving.

    In each of these cases, it seems the company was actually able to find a better candidate. So probably someone who can do frontend at his level, AND solve programming algorithm puzzles. Now, whether they are putting too much emphasis on algorithms and too little on, for example, graphics, interface design, etc., that's a different question.



  • @WPT said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    I had gone through mandatory conscription. It cannot be compared to serving fast food. Conscription still exist in half of the countries of the world.

    I just barely scraped by without having to do it. I was a year too young to get snagged for wars, then delayed the service long enough for it to be cancelled. Yay me.



  • @blakeyrat Never worked at McDonalds or any job requiring actual labor

    Oh, oh, oh! I did my time in McDonalds! And they were surprisingly good employers - well above minimum wage at the time was £3.80 p/h for 21 and I earned £4.40 (this was summer 2001), 1 free meal per shift, flexible, good holiday leave, good training schemes, etc. I also worked as a milkman and had to dig a van out of a snow drift with a tiny fucking hand shovel. I don't really struggle with cold weather so much since then.

    He went to a 1:00 PM interview and didn't have lunch first? Laws of nature, man, when going into an uncertain circumstance, you eat when you can. You don't have to be in the Marine Corps. to know that.

    I don't know about you but while it's less than ideal, I can survive til 5pm on a good breakfast if required to. Lazy entitled bastard probably doesn't bother to eat breakfast is my guess.



  • @Yamikuronue Usually I just like and move on but I really feel I should comment.

    I really enjoyed that post. Thanks!


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    Also. The more I think about it, the more ludicrous this seems. I mean, he's saying a breadth-first search. It's been a bit since I graduated, so maybe I'm mis-remembering, but isn't that as simple as

    Given:

    public class Node {
        int value;
        List<Node> children
    }
    

    an algorithm like:

    public Node search(Node current, int desiredValue) {
        if (current.value == desiredValue) return Node;
        for (Node item : current.children) {
            if (item.value == desiredValue) return item;
        }
        for (Node item : current.children) {
            if (search(item) != undefined) return item;
        }
        return undefined;
    }
    

    Did some googling, oh right, the proper algorithm is hideously complex due to a lack of recursion. Still, my BS inefficient example is enough to talk through and get a sense of style and thinking, you know?


  • SockDev

    @Yamikuronue said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    Did some googling, oh right, the proper algorithm is hideously complex due to a lack of recursion.

    Why would anyone write a tree search that isn't recursive? I know some people overuse recursion, but tree searching is a recursion posterboy, for sod's cake!


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand


  • SockDev

    @Yamikuronue Oh, it's for a digraph? I'd still be tempted to recurse, but I can see why you'd want an iterative solution as well.


  • BINNED

    @Yamikuronue

    0_1461837761431_upload-0b52502f-09c3-48e6-b17e-e5aa033c14a0

    I agree, by step 5 I couldn't be arsed to keep going either...


    Filed under: I have nothing smart to add, but fuck if I'm gonna miss a chance to make a really lame joke



  • @cartman82 You know, I think that this kind of problems is not about being a wikipedia link chaser or top notch at college-level tasks. The "stuff you knew how to do but have forgotten since" is essentially almost the same as "the stuff you never did". And a senior coder position is inevitable about "doing stuff you never did before". Like diving in a totally new problem domain.

    Except that "solve a maze" can be treated as "totally new stuff that rings a few bells in my brain". I'd do my earnest to show how I would attack this problem given that I know, maybe, a few keywords. This would involve a combination of "it occurs to me I've seen a MIT licensed library do exactly this", some questions about data representation "or do I have to work this one out as well?", some pointers about algorithms I'd refresh my knowledge about, and maybe an inefficient duct-taped solution "in case they need it yesterday and I haven't yet finished my research".

    Of course this assumes you have an interviewer who wants to see your approach, and not to show how he is cleverer and better than you. Which sadly is the case most of the time.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @wft said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    The "stuff you knew how to do but have forgotten since" is essentially almost the same as "the stuff you never did". And a senior coder position is inevitable about "doing stuff you never did before". Like diving in a totally new problem domain.

    Exactly! Thank you for saying it so succinctly, it's early in the morning for me and I'm tired :smile_cat:



  • @Yamikuronue I see you have a potential for improving your rest (not to be confused with REST) skills :)


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @RaceProUK said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    I'd still be tempted to recurse

    Doesn't work well for breadth-first, but it's ideal for depth-first. The difference between the two is that depth-first uses a stack to store nodes to process, and breadth-first uses a queue.


  • Fake News

    Wait, what?

    UPDATE 2

    Company names have been anonymized (with two exceptions). Why? I feel that I’ve made my point clear and said what I wanted to say. A few companies mentioned in this article have already reached out to me as a result of this post. But wait, isn’t it a little too late? Yes and no. Again, my point has been made and the story has been heard. I may have burned a lot of bridges by putting these companies on the spot and I have received a lot of judgement and criticism by putting myself on the spot, however, their further involvement with the story has no real benefit to me or to them.

    Why would you even put company names out there when posting on the Internet? Due to its world-wide scope only very few people will have heard about a given company or care about it, and "warning" other developers is rather unlikely.


  • BINNED

    @JBert said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    "warning" other developers is rather unlikely

    Dunno man, I know to avoid Initrode thanks to the interwebz...



  • @wft said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    Of course this assumes you have an interviewer who wants to see your approach, and not to show how he is cleverer and better than you. Which sadly is the case most of the time.

    It certainly sounds like the interviews described in the article. I mean, there was one that reminded me of @cartman82's csv adventures (inspired by someone else here, IIRC) that seemed fairly reasonable...more complex than FizzBuzz and the sort of common task we all end up doing a zillion times. But most of that stuff...meh.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @JBert said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    only very few people

    The company names were mostly widely-known tech companies.


  • area_pol

    @Arantor said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    One thing I would point out, he is talking front end dev.

    A front-end application is a complicated thing, has to deal with complicated state, user interaction, dynamically synchronize data from a server but be able to operate when connection fails.
    So it seems a good programming skill is needed to do it right.

    This guy's problem seems to be communication.
    He can't understand the google task even after probably half an hour of explanation.
    He gets a question about <some algorithm name he does not know>, but does not ask "i dont know the name, could you instead tell me what the program should do?".
    So it would not be unreasonable to expect, that if this guy was hired, he would neither understand what job he is supposed to do, nor ask for clarification.

    @Yamikuronue said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    breadth-first search

    Your implementation is DFS, because it pursues one path until the end, then comes back to try another path.
    BFS is simpler without recursion:

    List<Node> queue;
    queue.push_back(starting_node)
    
    while( ! queue.empty() ) {
    	Node current = queue.pop_front();
    	
    	if(current.value == desired_value) {
    		return current
    	}
    
    	for(Node other : current.neighbours) {
    		if(!other.visited) {
    			queue.push_back(other)
    			other.visited = true
    		}
    	}
    }
    

  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @FrostCat said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    @boomzilla said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    Yeah, I wouldn't have expected a meal break, but I would expect to feel drained after interviewing for that long.

    I have hypoglycemia. I've long ago learned that if there's going to be an interview process (or anything, really) that takes that long, to bring a snack and/or be clear while scheduling the interview that I will need food eventually.

    Same (with Type 1 Diabetes) for me. Low BG is never a fun thing, especially in an interview......



  • It honestly feels as if I am a complete failure and an unhirable candidate. How is this possible — I have received emails from people all over the world, who praise and give me thanks for the work I’ve done on my open-source projects and tutorials (and I say this as humbly as I can); people who see me as an expert on Hackhands; co-workers, friends and acquaintances from meetups, hackathons, conferences who apparently think I am a decent programmer—but I cannot pass a single tech interview. How?

    People who are considering paying you will have stricter requirements than people that don't have to pay you? Shocking.


  • BINNED

    I wouldn't want to work with or hire this guy. Any time he doesn't immediately know the answer to a question he gets annoyed at the questioner. I like getting questions I don't know the answe to, especially in interviews when I can talk through my initial thoughts, be guided towards an answer and show off how I work through a question.



  • @boomzilla The thing is, he doesn't understand the intent of half of those technical questions. (Now it's possible his interviewers are morons and asking them at face-value, but that's unlikely.)

    The point isn't for him to write a depth-first-search on the whiteboard perfectly, the point is for him to work through the problem and talk about his thinking process during it. They might also have given difficult code problems specifically to see if he'd stand-up for himself and say, "hey I can't do this without a laptop", or "hey I did this in college, but it's been a long time. I'd need some time to review." Because those are also qualities (good) employers look for, frank honesty instead of bullshitting-them-along.



  • @WPT said in Fuck You, I Quit - Hiring Is Broken (article):

    Conscription still exist in half of the countries of the world.

    The stupid half.

    The US didn't stop conscription because we stopped fighting in wars, or because there was some huge political movement to stop it. We stopped it because it was making our military really shitty. (Look at the rate of drug use among soldiers in Vietnam, for one small example. Or the entire fact that we have the slang, "fragged" as in "we fragged our CO last month".)



  • @Yamikuronue It's been a bit since I graduated

    Still did better than I would. We only studied it in theory - module called "Expert systems" and never put it into practice.



  • @Yamikuronue BUT DID YOU SEE HOW MANY DAYS IN A ROW HE MADE GITHUB COMMITS?!?!??!?!!!!

    EDIT: BTW something someone pointed out on the HackerNews article about this guy, the giant Brony cartoon on his GitHub page probably isn't exactly screaming out, "hire me!" And he's obsessed with people visiting his GitHub page. Maybe... maybe rethink that particular strategy?



  • That's a lot of work these recruiters are asking from candidates. For a small chance of being hired. Do not want.



  • @blakeyrat Plainly because writing toys in NodeJS don't amount to work people are going to pay for. People pay for doing boring stuff and solving problems, not for using trendy languages and frameworks.

    There are people writing open source libraries and applications that are actually useful, even if they might be niche. The fact is such people, strangely, are employed.


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