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There Is No Shortage Of Developers

It is just that the hiring process in most areas and for most companies suck.

I originally posted this thread on Twitter, but thought it would be worth sharing here too.

Original Tweet

The Thread

/1 I was once asked to write a form with validation and error handling. Some fields should be validated async. API + design should be included. All should be tested and documented. They tell me this should be done in around 3 hours.

/2 I am working on the field for several years and have build many complex spa projects with high traffic. However, given the task I would already assume this would at least take me 8 hours. Even if I could do it in 3 hours, using a whole day would end up with a better result

/3 since noone can check how much time I actually spend on the task, people who spend more time, will have an advantage. This is why you are basically forced to spend more time on the task

/4 the companies normally give you a time limit. They themselves however, do not commit to anything. They do not have to answer or if they decline, they do not give you feedback. If you do not get the job you basically spent 8 hours on a useless generic software

/5 let's say you apply to 10 companies. This means with tasks like that, you would have to spend 80 hours, programming bull shit tasks. For free.

/6 some companies give you tasks, which could even be real tickets from their asana board. Big red flags, but I see it often. So more generic tasks are better, because you can be sure, they do not steal your code, but you are still wasting your time

/7 you do all of this and MAYBE you get invited to an interview, where you meet the product manager. If he does not like you, you can go home already. Especially in smaller business, chemistry is really important. So asking somebody to do a 8h task before talking to him is stupid

/8 that's the halo effect. Within seconds the person will have an opinion about you and this will greatly influence their decision. This also means it would make more sense to have a short meeting first and then give the task. But then again, the company does not value your time

/9 even after the talk went great and I could answer all of the questions on the white board, I get declined. The companies normally only tell you, they are sorry, but do not tell you why. Because they cannot tell you "you know, we don't like your face"

/10 once you passed that stage, you are invited to another meeting with the CEO. Maybe you are lucky and he agrees with the interviewer before.

/11 of course the salary range is 40-80k and they will only tell you what they can pay you, once they setup the final contact. So maybe after 30h of your time you finally have a contact, you have to decline, because they do not pay you enough.

/12 and I have to go through all of this processes while I have several years of experience, recommendations from previous companies, a github profile with several thousand commits in the last year and while being in the top 5% for all related topics on stackoverflow

/13 meanwhile you read in the news that there is a shortage of professional developers. Companies are just too stupid to make it attractive for developers to apply. Stop wasting our times.

/14 here is how it should work:

  • definite EXACTLY what you need and what is REQUIRED
  • define how you seperate junior, intermediate and senior or have a short call where you evaluate
  • define EXACTLY what you pay for each level
  • have a short MEETING FIRST to check chemistry

/15 now people who apply are already better fits. Now check through existing projects and publications and if possible: skip the stupid task

/16 normally the contacts include a very short notice period for the first months. So why even bother to ask for an extra task? If you still want me to do extra work to prove myself, I expect the company to give me a longer notice period in return.

Have you had similar experiences? What's your point of view? Let me know in the comments.

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Discussion (2)

jnapprogs profile image

I hated the job search experience. Most companies had me do programming challenges or projects. I learned 2 things:

First, I the challenges were pointless. Being a person who learns and develops for a purpose, the process of doing a challenge that had no applicable meaning infuriated me. At first, it wasn't so bad; however, as time went on, I noticed that most of my time was spent learning how to solve some random internet problem just to get a job interview instead of growing actual skills. After a month, if a company sent me a coding challenge, I just told them that I thanked them for their interest but I'm looking elsewhere. It's sad how so many companies ask this and there are services dedicated to this just so you can get a job.

Second, the projects were hit or miss. If it took more than a day of my time, I learned to avoid them as I was basically working for free and it in itself was not guaranteed to move you forward. Some companies had me just do a live-stream session of a project just to see my thought process and I enjoyed some of them; however, even if things seem like it's going well, nothing is guaranteed.

Overall, the interview process is just flat-out broken. I'm not sure if it's just bias, a flooded market, or just plain ignorance. The process just needs to improve overall; however, I'm sure it's not going to change for a good long while.

oshell profile image
oshell Author

I totally agree. Good to hear other developers feel the same pain. 😅