Wasting our time around here

There was no gif for Welles saying, “Wasting our time around here!”

I had to do a take-home coding test for a potential job last week. The job is supposedly heavy on Python, a language I’m familiar with, but that’s it. Having looked at the job description, though, I decided that didn’t matter that much since the rest of the description was fairly in line with my ability and interest.

Furthermore, I personally place a lot of weight on the mission of the company. I am sure either companies don’t care whether I am interested in their mission or not or don’t think it matters — I’m just a developer, right? But it matters to me. I think if I’m invested in the mission, I will do better work. I will be more efficient and feel a sense of immediacy.

Anyway, the test was a doozy. I won’t describe it in detail, for fear of revealing something publicly, but I took one glance at the instructions and thought, “Well, I won’t get this one.” Of course, I tried anyway. I thought at first that I was struggling because my Python skills are not as refined as, say, my Ruby or JavaScript skills. But I soon realized that it was just a difficult problem. It’s the sort of thing that cruel people use to weed out all the unqualified people — along with 80% of the qualified people. It wasn’t a test that sought to determine whether someone could thrive at the job. None of them are.

Afterward, I had a professional Python developer friend of mine look at the problem. She said she probably couldn’t do it either. Wasting our time around here.

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