My first pair-programming interview

As any other jobs in this world, it’s not enough to say ‘I have these skills, please hire me’. You need to be tested.

I’ve been contacted by an Aussie startup that was interested in my profile. Good. They sent me a home test I needed to complete in two days. I had to make tests pass. It was a bit difficult at the beginning because it was all about poker. I don’t even know how to play poker. But finally I figured it out with some help and all my tests were passing. So I sent them my ‘homework’.

Few days later, I was expecting to attend a pair programming interview. For those who’re not familiar with it: it’s a code session with an experienced programmer from the company.

So I went to the interview.

I’ve never done that before, it was my first time. That was awful. It was a great way for me to see my lack of experience. I’m a Ruby on Rails developer. RoR is a Ruby framework, meaning written in pure Ruby. I know well how to code web application with RoR. Because I know the process, I know what to do and when (and I know what it means). I’ve good skills in RoR but not in (pure) Ruby. Weird ? Kind of. It’s like Javascript. Pure JS is the hardest, after C of course. But you can be good at coding in jQuery, AngularJS or even NodeJS and not that good at pure Javascript. I feel the same with RoR. My pair programming interview was based on the code I’ve sent them few days ago. SO, it was about poker. I don’t understand poker rules ! So I had to understand the rules, and build some code about it. Plus, stress. Impossible. That’s why it was awful.

But, I’m so frustrated. They could see what I don’t know, but not what I do know. I couldn’t show them how great I am at RoR.

But, well. I’m still waiting for their answer. Finger crossed, but… We’ll see.

It doesn’t make me give up on finding a job in my domain. It just makes me work harder for that.