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re: Tech Interviews Are Broken. Let's Fix Them! VIEW POST

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re: There are so many people who can’t deal with whiteboard interviews. Do we normally code on a whiteboard? No. The context switching is enough to cri...
 

At my company, we only use the whiteboard in both interviews and on the job for diagramming ideas. Proposed system architecture, very loose pseudocode, proposed json schemas, etc. We would never have an interviewee write code on the board, that's ridiculous.

I hate that so many companies do this. As someone who is dislexic and has a hard time spelling and reading, writing code without spell check and autocomplete is very difficult. I'm self taught, no degree, was team lead on my first job, filed for my first patent (and was granted) at my second job on a proprietary OCR technology along side my mentor who has a PhD in neuroscience from Stanford, now I am a Machine learning engineer working with health care data. I don't say this to brag, but to highlight that I think I'm a pretty smart guy but I've failed a LOT of interviews. There is so much focus on crap that isn't used on the job. I will almost certainly never have to implement my own sort algorithm because every standard language library has a highly efficient sort function picked out. I failed a Facebook interview because I don't know how to solve Grid search problems when interviewing for an ANDROID position! Where in the Facebook Android app do they use Grid search? They don't.

I think big O isn't as important as the process by which you evaluate the complexity. Knowing that you have to loop over your entire dataset 3 times to solve your problem when a solution exists that can do it with one iteration. Being able to compare efficiency like this is more important than being able to specifically score a function. Ultimately, you're never going to actually score functions on the job. You'll profile code and compare processing time, sure. You may even look for inefficiencies in a code block that has been identified as a bottleneck, but you'll never actually score the code.

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