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Discussion on: Let's face it, we have a broken technical interview process in our industry

phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude • Edited

For somebody who speaks about compassion, your post seems a bit... aggressive. I'm sorry if you misinterpreted my opinion, I was just saying what I was thinking.

I'm an idealist for sure, but, as John Lennon was saying, I'm not the only one..

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codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

Compassion doesn't mean that I'm not going to be passionate.

As someone who has been in charge of hiring for the same company for many years, I've seen some excellent candidates...as well as some absolutely horrific displays of behavior from some candidates. Both ends of the spectrum are only consistent with what other hiring managers I'm acquainted with have seen, I later learned.

I've also watched a pervasive attitude of sheer entitlement creep into the job-hunting process, whereby applicants are beginning to feel that they should never have to prove anything, should be paid for their time (not accounting for the money and time the employer already spends on the process), and should be somehow given a sort of "consolation prize" if they're not hired. And after venting that attitude freely, they can't figure out why no one, not even the gentlest interviewers, will give them a job.

So yes, I do get passionate about this topic. Job searching a difficult process on both parties. Typically, when people start representing employers who use, say, live coding and take-homes as somehow malicious bad actors, that's because they are failing to account for the reasons those things were introduced into the process in the first place.

You can say what you think to a point, but you absolutely must think about how a young developer is going to take it, and what the worst possible outcome is. Just venting your opinion in a public place where it will mislead someone with less experience than you is socially irresponsible at best.

To put it frankly, no one has ever died (or, I'd wager, even suffered long term harm) from live coding; I'd even defy anyone to provide a single provable instance of a reputable employer "stealing" the "free work" from a take-home assignment.

In the end, it's because of my compassion that I get angry about this. I'm thinking of all the people who may read your post and be misguided into a treacherous and career-stalling path because "that one guy says employers shouldn't be vetting my skills, so I guess I'll just walk if they do!"

P.S. I've learned that 98% of situations where an opinion was "misunderstood" or "misinterpreted", the correct word is actually "miscommunicated". This is precisely why I seldom use the former two words when I feel like my point isn't understood; I instead take responsibility to clarify. It's not my job to read your mind, it's your job to be clear.

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phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude

You look very sure about yourself, and you conclude many things I've never said.

I'm not as sure to be right as you are, that's why I experimented a few things in the hiring process, and I will continue to do so if I have the occasion. Because if I stay convinced in a set of ideas and I'm ready to fight for it blindly, I will never experiment, learn and bring new knowledge to improve the situation.

If you think I'm dangerous, I'm sorry you feel that way.

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codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

I have experimented, too. As I've said before, the process I follow is based on years of trial-and-error, with a strong emphasis on compassion and communication. I've experimented extensively, and only adopted live coding and take-home assignments after discovering the necessity for them. I'm only more confident in my stance by nature of those years of experience, experimentation, and learning.

I'm sorry if you actually believe I meant "you are dangerous." I absolutely believe that how you stated your opinions is dangerous, but I can't find where I said you were. Just in case that separation between person and idea wasn't clear, I am only debating the validity and wisdom of your idea.