Recently I read the following account of a truly horrible interview process. Several of the comments on the article were along the lines of “when the interview is like that, what do you think the job will be like?” This got me thinking again about my own recent job search and one recurring issue, the use of tools like HackerRank. Here’s the thing about me and HackerRank, I don’t do particularly well with it. Between the generally short time boxing, and the very limited tool, I struggle. You might respond that that is the point. If someone can’t quickly solve a problem, with whatever tools they are handed, that says something about their abilities. I acknowledge that. My issue with it is, it may not be the exact abilities that you should be looking for, particularly in a senior technologist. Yes you want a quick mind. Yes you want an adaptable person. But if you’re looking for someone senior you probably want high quality output and good communication skills and for those of us that aren’t Richard Feynman, that may mean some analysis and process. I fully expect my jobs to require good work in a reasonable time on tough problems, and I expect to exceed expectations, but I’m going to do it by thinking a bit, designing a bit, and using good habits like TDD, none of which I can do particularly well in 20 minutes in HackerRack.
I was more then happy to to share work samples, or solve a code challenge over night turning in my solution, but when they immediately threw HackerRank at me, I knew that I wasn’t going to like the culture or do well in the interview process.