Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  798 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why I think the tech interview process is broken – Medium

Thiel's "vast gates" have always been akin to the VIP door at the club - he wasn't born stinking rich, but he never had to sweat it. Sure - if you can afford to entrepreneurially start a company instead of working for one, do so. Keep in mind that the percentage of successful startups is smaller than the percentage of Google's non-advertising revenue.

This sort of interview dominates the tech industry like no other for two key reasons: (1) nobody looking for a programming job anticipates being there for long (2) nobody hiring for a tech job expects their employees to stick around long enough for their trainability to matter. The questions are what you know now and what you do when you don't. Things are different when you make specialized widgets with a specialized process and your employer expects to invest time in your position.

Nobody who is hiring fresh college grads is looking for someone they're gonna give a watch to in 25 years. They're looking for cannon fodder. Internal cannon fodder isn't even likely to be promoted faster than external cannon fodder so from the employer's perspective, there's nothing wrong with the process.

Odder  ·  798 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There's probably a lot of companies where it makes sense to have formulaic job interview questions, because they are just looking for someone who can fit the mold of a well-defined job role, not shake the boat, and they don't expect them to stay very long. However, I don't think that those are the only jobs that exist in the tech industry, or that those are the only jobs available to college graduates.

I only know from my own experience and that of friends, but most of the CS or SE graduates I knew looked down on the "codemonkey" jobs, so I assume that their jobs required a bit more creativity. I have a friend who works for google, who got his job right out of college, who certainly does a lot more than write code within a defined set of rules. I think the author's surprise is based on his own impression of google, that since most of their revenue is in advertising, and most of their projects are in other things, that the sort of jobs that they're hiring for probably aren't all formulaic jobs where all you do is follow instructions.

And I don't think that trainability or the expectation that someone will stay at your company for more than two years are the only reasons to hire someone who is capable of doing any more than following instructions. A lot of tech jobs don't have much to do with the initial job description, and most of my engineering or CS friends have told me that they don't actually do much related to the description of their job. While nobody expects a fresh college grad to stick around for 25 years, most also don't expect those college grads to need hand-holding and micromanaging, either.

rjw  ·  797 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I wish people at Google would tell me what they actually fucking do. I hear they have good snacks.