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Discussion on: Are You a Mediocre Developer? ME TOO

flrichar profile image
Fred Richards

It does sound like you did a lot of free work for them. Maybe they deserve an invoice?

adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett


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timjkstrickland profile image
Tim JK Strickland

I tend to waffle between I-don't-want-to-seem-like-I-have-a-big-ego and this-was-a-week-of-my-life-now-pay-me attitudes on this.

However in this circumstance, you're doing WAY more work than the original prompt was given. On top of that, it seems really strange to me that they would request edits to a take-home project. Isn't the whole idea of a take-home to assess how the interviewee would think their way through a typical problem and then assess their value based on their implementation strategy rather than nitpick about dead code? I honestly am confused by this. And then to end it with a TL;DR as a rejection letter seems way too colloquial for this project. You deserve better for the work you did.

I've seen something like this done before and my mind was blown. I'm curious if anyone on Dev (hiring or being hired) has any anecdotal experience for this?

Here's my response to their TL;DR

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190245 profile image

I wrote our hiring tech test. We spec it at a day, but for a junior position (dependent on resume) we'll either extend to 3 days or just skip the test all together.

When I get the answers, I don't even bother to read the code. Does it compile? Does it have better than nonexistent tests? Cool.

I do look for the commit history (the reason for the requirement of uploading to a public git repo to share it with us...). I'm looking at two things; commit messages & thought pattern approaching the problem.

If an applicant tried to bill me us for the day's effort, I'd have a good laugh & legal would write a stern letter back.

While we spec it at a day, a decent senior can fulfill it in an hour and change. If you're applying for a senior position & it took you 3 days, you might be lucky to get a low ball offer.

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tuljmdev profile image

While I don't condone billing your interview at all, OP's experience still seems over-the-top for an interview, does it not? I can understand being frustrated with aspects of the feedback that could have easily been resolved in the first code reviews of full employment.

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190245 profile image

Don't get me wrong, I agree, OP went well above & beyond.

Even so, billing for that would get a response from legal, rather than HR (or me).

The lesson here, is that OP should have stopped sooner. Particularly on the first reply from them that suggested improvements.

I've had 1 person that I've given feedback to (because the project didn't compile!) - they were subsequently hired (against my advice). I had to fire them a week later.

If there is need for ANY feedback loop in the interview process that isn't face-to-face, it's time for both parties to walk away.

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sas1ni69 profile image
Hassanin Ahmed

Why would legal send a letter?

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v6 profile image
πŸ¦„N BπŸ›‘ • Edited on

...hiring tech test. We spec it at a day...

Oh god damn this has gotta stop. I mean, I know where the mentality comes from.

1 2 3 4 I declare a flame war

Your company must have one hell of a pretty, pretty brand to be able to afford to get rejected by the many, many applicants who all the rest of us are advising not to waste their time on this BS.

But as far as the legal, I'd say anyone who wants to try it absolutely should. Why not? Better yet, if someone posts a problem like this, send them your rates before you start with your own little EULA-style check boxes.

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190245 profile image

You clearly didn't read the whole post that you quoted. It continues...

While we spec it at a day, a decent senior can fulfill it in an hour and change.

For junior roles, we can skip the test completely, and have hired simply on a 45min face to face chat (with the CV being the gateway to the chat).

So yes, if you apply for a senior role, and spend more time than we think it should take, and try to invoice us for it, it will be the legal team that reply to point out just how silly that is.

Also, you should probably know that the tech test we offer, is a simple CRUD application that you can Google the answer to. But if you do, we'll know. You might still be offered a job (because sometimes, knowing how to Google is a good skill for a developer), but we'll know what happened - and any offer made will reflect the fact that you used Google.

The tech test we give out, has nothing to do with us wanting to make money on your code, and in fact, I'm likely the only person that will see it, ever. Maybe 1-2 others might if they're curious why I'm making the comments I am. And I don't even look at the code itself (that's not the point of the test)! Hell, we've hired people in the past where their solution to the tech test has been "I've done something similar, it's already public on github, can you accept that instead?"

So if you want to submit an invoice for it, sure, why not? Just remember, that when the employer is as flexible as we are, you nit picking over a couple of hours means that you probably fail the "attitude" test and an offer wouldn't be made. We would, however, wish you luck with your future.