Sadly, this is all too common, at least in Silicon Valley. Apparently, the tech giants have decided that puzzles and algorithm questions are the way to find the best engineers. I'd like to know whether they have metrics which prove that because over 10+ years of interviewing, I've found the opposite to be true.
So much of what we do now revolves around effective use of tooling and understanding how to simplify code and workflows. Particularly with front-end, there is virtually no need to devise clever algorithms. I've seen that people who look for clever solutions tend to overthink simple problems and write more (complex) code.
I want to know how you can quickly solve practical, real-world problems, so I started giving candidates a mini-app to build, and I've found that that process reveals more about them than giving them a series of algorithm/puzzle questions.
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