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    “…it is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs.”

    —Aristotle

    We should not expect those who desperately need programmers for their own loosely related purposes to understand what is required to be a good programmer.

    If there is a change in the hiring process, it will come from making it easier for these employers to understand what kind of talent they need, rather than their gaining a deeper understanding of it. Chances are that people who find easier ways to look experienced will have an easier time finding desperately needed jobs than those who actually work to gain that same experience.

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      I don’t have anything of value to contribute, but literally laughed out loud over this story. How did we get here? And, how can we turn back to a not so laughable age?

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        It’s happening all the time. Companies want to quickly judge candidates, even better if an inexperienced in the field HR employee can use an arbitrary index value that is perceived as a good measurement for the candidates skill. People will look at your stackoverflow karma, your github profile, sites like hacker rank etc. I think it’s actually getting worse and both sides are gaming the system.

        What we can do? Refuse to participate in recruiting processes of companies that go over the line. If you are the recruiter ask the person for a portfolio of his previous work, then hire him on a short term trial contract before offering a long term one. That’s a win-win for both parties in most scenarios.

        The recruiting process should be closely related to the work that will be done. Not a race to be the hottest in whiteboard algorithmic interviews, stalking candidates on social sites etc.

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          For every refusal on my part, there might be 10 other bodies, or employers who won’t refuse. Both sides are incentivized to do this, or it wouldn’t be a thing.

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          At least there are no free official-looking certificates complete with seals being mailed anymore. That was fun, while it lasted. Had a stack of several of those, each gained in under an hour. Unfortunately, the provider quickly caught on that mailing actual physical certificates internationally did come at a cost.

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          Other times the questions were worded poorly and had obvious English grammar mistakes.

          I actually really dislike Geeks for Geeks because of this exact issue. All the questions seem community sourced, provide inefficient solutions with poorly worded explanations, and the comment section is a nightmare to read. Community sourced is interesting but ends up with highly unprofessional products. Look at AllRecipes and you’ll see garbage recipes ranked at the top. I don’t know how HackerRank forms questions but sometimes they feel community generated.

          Much of the time I spent trying to solve problems on Hacker Rank was battling with standard in, rather than solving problems.

          I had the same exact experience and I’ve talked with some coworkers about this too. All the questions are based around standard input and standard output. It’s just incredibly annoying to have to have 3 extra imports and a 5 more lines of code just to deal with the input for problems that literally have one line solutions.

          Any abomination of code will pass the tests as long as it outputs properly.

          When I first tried hackerrank a few years ago, all their questions only had three or four test cases. I felt like if you’re going to go the auto graded route, you should auto generate lots of test cases and really mess with corner cases.