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    Tom left Matasano for this? It seems so… startupy.

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      In some ways. Depending on what kind of games they make and how they engineer them, it doesn’t look like it will need millions in VC money. That saves them from a lot of startupy nonsense without skipping a lot of potential upside:

      I think Thomas is saying that, if the process is repeatable, then the person who possesses a black box which ingests smart person on the left end and outputs a programmer can rent that box to industry and charge, well, billions of dollars for its use. (Fermi estimate; cost of college education to credential the number of engineers AppAmaGooBookSoft will hire this year was on the order of 105 * 104 = a billion dollars.)

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        I think he mentioned that Matasano was, as a company, “done”. As in no more enterprising problems for him to solve, not “washed up”.

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        I’m curious as to how much this will select for people with free time. Many of the CTFs I’ve played in required a quite non-trivial amount of investment of time (which I didn’t mind, as they’ve been quite enjoyable), but there are certainly people who can’t afford n dozen hours to solve problems due to family/work/other obligations.

        I do think this is significantly better than the alternative, but I’m also concerned that it will just create a new class of people who do unfairly poorly in the hiring process.

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          Presumably you don’t need to complete the game the same week you look for a job. A score from six months ago will hopefully remain valid. It sounds like a work sample that has an extended timeframe and will work for multiple employers.

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            From reading a lot of what Patrick McKenzie and Thomas Ptacek have written on hiring, I belive they are very aware of this failure mode. I think their hope is both that this takes much less spare time than resume writing, networking events, attending meetups, contributing to open source, attending hackathons, or sitting in the standard terrible technical interview; and that it provides a much better signal of whether someone will be a good employee.

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            Super interesting idea. Can’t wait to see what the constraints look like. I almost want it to be like World of Warcraft – many small individual problems, and occasional event-style team Big Problems wherein the ability to work well with others is paramount.