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comment by galen
galen  ·  104 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why I think the tech interview process is broken – Medium

    I think it downplays the difficulty of finding the vast gate by "going around the corner," and I think that it does so at the expense of the point that the essay is trying to make. It's a rare and difficult skill to have, to be able to identify how to get around the "little door", and I think that that's a skill that most companies want to have in their employees.

I think it also downplays the importance of privilege in the ability to go around the corner. I think my meaning is best illustrated with a concrete example from my own life: 90% of graduates from my university get jobs through networking, outside of the normal application process. The reason this is possible is because we have one of the strongest alumni networks in the nation, allowing me and my peers to "go around the corner." But our very presence in this network is a function of our privilege: the educational and extracurricular opportunities that we were afforded as a result of whom we were born to and who we were born as, all of which led us to getting admitted and being able to afford tuition.




Odder  ·  104 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think privilege is important, but not in the immediate sense. If you are using your connections to get the same job you might have gotten by padding your resume or memorizing the tech interview quiz, that's not going around the corner, that's more like getting pulled through the little door. You're still in the same place. In a sense, all of the networking strategies are just another game, the same as interview strategies. It's just that that's a game that isn't accessible to many people with less privilege.

If I remember correctly, SpaceX has a spot on their job application for something like "show us something cool that you've worked on in the past." That's trying to get at the idea of "going around the corner" and finding people who are creative, who candemostrate that they can function in an environment where there isn't a set of instructions to follow. That's not something that you get to do if you're barely surviving. There's privilege in having had the opportunity to be creative in the past, and those who have had more opportunities are in many ways more valuable to companies than those who have not had the same opportunities. The problem is that it's virtually impossible to distinguish between people who have never had opportunities and those who just never took the opportunities that were presented to them.

kleinbl00  ·  104 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    If you are using your connections to get the same job you might have gotten by padding your resume or memorizing the tech interview quiz, that's not going around the corner, that's more like getting pulled through the little door.

It's not the same job.

I've worked at companies where employees are paid bounties for finding good candidates for future employment, regardless of whether there's an open position. Every company I've worked at, we've hired people with no positions advertised anywhere. Of the four "real" post-college jobs I held, only one of them existed before I popped up as a candidate.

I know two people who work at SpaceX and one person who works for SpaceX. The two who work at were at Blue Origin and decided they wanted to head south; the one who works for was a recommendation from a friend who was too busy for the gig. None of them interviewed.

rjw  ·  103 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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