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    LWN subscriber content like this article is available for free after a week. Posting subscriber links to link aggregators like lobsters disincentivizes new subscriptions to LWN.

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      Actually, lwn folks have shown up here in the past to say that it’s not a problem.

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      It’s interesting that the vast majority of the comments, both here and on the blog itself are about the idea of Factorio as a technical interview technique instead of the broader point of the article. I assume that’s because of how detailed the author takes this thought experiment, and the obvious shortcomings of gaming as an interview substitute versus the not so obvious solution to the technical interview problem. Maybe we’ve stumbled onto something. As someone who interviews developers regularly, it seems getting developers to simply read this blog post could be a suitable interview technique.

      Imagine walking into an interview, the interviewer hands you this post and says “We’ve been experimenting with different technical interview techniques lately. Read this and let me know if you want to play Factorio as a part of this interview process.” Then proceeds to leave the room while the dev reads it over. How would you expect candidates of different experience levels to respond? Anyone who seriously wants to play the game is probably not the best fit, however:

      I would expect Junior Devs to say they wouldn’t want to play, and reword the basic conclusion from the article.

      “Intermediate” Devs would probably say the same, and provide some personal anecdotes from bad technical interviews they’ve had in the past.

      Finally, I would expect Senior Devs to take the opportunity to talk about the failings of traditional technical interviewing, and provide examples of how to develop a better technical interviewing solution that we could work through during the interview.