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Donald Feury
Donald Feury

Posted on • Updated on

Coding Interviews are Garbage

So I went on a little rant about how I think most coding interviews are garbage and disqualify candidates based on a skill that is barely ever used, algorithms.

Enjoy

Discussion (4)

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bcrigler profile image
Brian Crigler

100% agree. We've hit the point now where every single technology recruiting firm is now administering code interviews for the companies they recruit for. For me, I've worked for the past 14 years as a developer in a variety of different languages. I'm a generalist, and to be a generalist, you have to have Google in the real world. I don't think there is a human being that can realistically remember all the built in methods of every language, the exact syntax unless they work with 1 particular language and that is all they do. The problem is that's not what companies expect, nobody is hiring for 1 particular language. They all want you to know all the latest and greatest things and be an expert in it. I may remember and think, "oh yeah there is this method I can use that would be perfect for this scenario that I've used in the past", but I can't remember exactly what it expects or the order in which it expects it. So... I look at the documentation for the language. In the real world I can't remember every bit of syntax that I need across various languages and frameworks. None of it is realistic, not to mention these recruiters are handing out 2 hour code exams that you must complete before you can even get a 1st round interview! They will actually just empower the big technology firms, because I know one thing if I have to invest that much upfront time just to get an interview, I'd rather invest it in passing the coding exam for the big players in the game, not in your < 50 person company. I will just spend time learning algorithms and will memorize them to a T, as if I was taking a standardized test because that's what this has become.

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dak425 profile image
Donald Feury Author

Yup, it also seems to me that, frequently, being a generalist hurts you more than helps you.

In my experience from interacting potential employers, they often time want someone who is an expert at a few very specific things. Which is fine if you're that type of person.

But if you've constantly been in environments where you needed to be more a generalist because the company ran with a very lean dev team, you basically have to know a little bit of everything.

Generalists are most likely more preferred at startups but meh, then you're working awful hours for what is probably not impressive pay.

At that point, it just seems a better use of your time to grow and build your own brand/service/legacy, if you have an interest in that of course.

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treddson profile image
Taylor Short

hard agree

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dak425 profile image
Donald Feury Author

What part of the rant made the most sense to you?