25 comments

  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, over 4 years ago

    great comment on her reaction piece:

    Keep in mind that you're looking at /r/programming, which consists of... programmers. Programmers are obviously going to scoff at someone being unable to solve a common programming problem. The article was posted to /r/web_design as well, which consists of more of a mix of designers and developers. In general, there were more supportive comments there.

    13 points
    • Kyle ConradKyle Conrad, over 4 years ago

      That said, /r/webdev was equally as dismissive.

      And honestly, /r/web_design was... well, pretty dismissive as well. The "supportive" comments were either downvoted or not very upvoted.

      2 points
      • Hmphry xHmphry x, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

        /r/webdev is typically the better community, from my experience, but both are super toxic. Which is disappointing, but not surprising. Reddit on the whole is toxic. There are, however, many non-toxic parts, (shoutouttor/nfl).

        2 points
        • Kyle ConradKyle Conrad, over 4 years ago

          Haha agree on the toxicity - my go-tos for most of the non-toxic stuff are /r/cfb (it's the absolute best) and then a few of the TV/movie focused ones (although as those get bigger, elements creep in).

          1 point
        • Jay WycheJay Wyche, over 4 years ago

          r/nfl fist bump

          99.9% of the other subreddits can DIAF as far as I'm concerned.

          0 points
  • pjotr .pjotr ., over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    The reddit comments are unnecessary but you should never apply to an engineering position without knowing how to program.

    Also, if you put a programming language on your resume, like JavaScript, you should know how to program in JavaScript.

    These are just pieces of advice, it's super easy to get confused with job titles.

    12 points
    • Bjarke DaugaardBjarke Daugaard, over 4 years ago

      But as a frontender I still believe you should mention JS but be sure to specify what you have used it for. There is a lot of uses for JS without needing to go deeper than animations and interactions

      2 points
      • pjotr .pjotr ., over 4 years ago

        I think that's fair. You just have to be careful how you word it. TBH FizzBuzz is a basic concept of programming and someone who is doing any User Interface development work should be able to understand the concept and implement it fairly easily.

        I'm not advocating for FizzBuzz, though. I feel like a better question would have been. "There's a user interface we need to build. We have an array of products. We need to generate some type of dynamic content from that array. You can use jquery, vanilla js, angular, whatever."

        To which a satisfactory answer would be:

        var products = ['Google','Facebook','Reddit','HN','DN']; var lisT = $('#prod-list') $.each(products, function(index){ var diV = $('<div/>') .appendTo(lisT); var spaN = $('<span/>') .text(products[index]) .appendTo(diV); });

        I feel like that's a better programming question to ask a designer, not FizzBuzz.

        2 points
        • Chris NewtonChris Newton, over 4 years ago

          I’m all for using more realistic examples in interviews. However, as the job ad specifically asked for experience using modern JS libraries, it seems like they’re looking for more than just basic DOM manipulation in jQuery here.

          For an in-person, real-time interview for a designer/developer who needs to prototype a UI, I’d be tempted to set a challenge along the lines of:

          Write a [component|template|widget] using [your|our] usual choice of libraries/framework to show a [table|pie chart|sparkline] of data from [this literal array|this JSON API|this data in localStorage]. You have [your|our] usual choice of development tools and all the usual on-line references available to use as you wish. Let’s see how far you can get in [some reasonable amount of time].

          If you do ask them to use your preference of tools and libraries rather than theirs, you’ll soon see how fast they can translate their existing skill set and pick up any new tools or concepts they’ll need for the real job. Either way, you’ll soon work out whether they have the right general idea about how to design and implement code for a typical UI requirement and how quickly and carefully they work. And it’s an open-ended problem, so if you have a nervous candidate who freezes under interview pressure, you can offer hints to keep them going without unreasonably interfering with the general nature of the test.

          1 point
  • Sacha GreifSacha Greif, over 4 years ago

    I wish she had thought about solving FizzBuzz in CSS, I bet she would've nailed that interview :)

    6 points
  • Thom WetzelThom Wetzel, over 4 years ago

    The reason I scoffed at the original article was because the author seemed to relish in the fact that he/she had a lot of experience getting things done, but when faced with a problem he/she was unable to solve, he/she got overly defensive instead of trying to actually solve the problem.

    The point of things like Fizzbuzz or other programming tests aren't just to demonstrate that the candidate can necessarily complete the task, but to test how the developer approaches a problem and comes up with a solution to the problem.

    The author of the original piece did a terrible job of trying to work with the interviewer to come up with a solution, instead choosing to flame out in spectacular fashion.

    That to me is the damning thing about the article -- the author's shitty attitude demonstrated in even writing the piece that he/she was remotely in the right in regards to the whole topic. The author was wrong, and went shouting from the rooftops to let everyone know how poorly he/she handled the situation.

    4 points
    • Renee PRenee P, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      Exactly, she could have just humbly admitted that she couldn't complete the task.

      Plus, I don't know why the whole interview situation even justifies a blog post, the whole world doesn't need to know about it, just learn from your mistakes and move on.

      2 points
  • Adam T.Adam T., over 4 years ago

    "community" is a strong word for a place with zero face to face interaction. Sounding Board, maybe, but Reddit can be just as bad as Hacker News comment threads, full of "know it alls" with a programmatic mindset. Not a fun bunch.

    4 points
    • Axel ValdezAxel Valdez, over 4 years ago

      Half of the communities I participate in have zero face to face interaction, and I don't see anything wrong with that.

      2 points
  • Abhishek SureshAbhishek Suresh, over 4 years ago

    Reddit is more of a gathering than a community.

    So expect dogs to be present in /r/cats

    2 points
  • Chris NewtonChris Newton, over 4 years ago

    It’s unfortunate that people resort to some of the tone you see in these comment threads.

    That said, I do think the original author was completely over-playing her hand here. While the job ad could have been clearer, I noticed at least half a dozen indications that significant programming using JavaScript would be involved, from the job title right through to the preferred qualifications. The author even highlighted (and immediately dismissed) some of them in her own article.

    To someone hiring for any programming role, failing FizzBuzz in any programming language you claim to know is instant rejection territory. Sadly, people try their luck like this all the time. For front-end roles specifically, people who know a couple of jQuery tricks try to present themselves as JS programmers all the time, too.

    The reality is that, however unintentionally, these people come across about the same way as a prospective client who wants you to design their start-up app that is going to be the next Facebook, and all they’ve got is $50, but if you do a great job then you might get some repeat business. They are so far from a realistic assessment of the situation that probably all you can do is end negotiations as quickly and politely as possible.

    The most surprising thing to me is that the process got as far as an in-person technical interview. It would surely have saved everyone time to see that programming skills and JS didn’t appear on whatever résumé/CV/cover the author sent in and finish the process immediately at that stage with minimal disruption and hopefully no hard feelings.

    2 points
    • Thom WetzelThom Wetzel, over 4 years ago

      To someone hiring for any programming role, failing FizzBuzz in any programming language you claim to know is instant rejection territory.

      I disagree. If I'm interviewing someone and they've demonstrated a bunch of good skills, have a good attitude, and demonstrate the ability to think on their feet, failing Fizzbuzz when they're put on the spot during an interview isn't an instant-fail in my mind.

      Not knowing how the % operator works (or hell, even exists) isn't the end of the road. I may not hire that person as a lead, but if it's a junior position and the candidate seems like a person who has a lot of enthusiasm and possible capacity for learning, I'd still consider them. I'd rather hire that person at the appropriate level, than someone who's not going to fit personality-wise.

      0 points
      • Chris NewtonChris Newton, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

        I’d like to agree with you in spirit, but I can’t do so in practice. Yes, finding someone with the right culture fit is a high priority when recruiting, usually more so than any particular technical knowledge or skill. But FizzBuzz is so basic that hiring someone for a programming-related role who couldn’t do it just seems like asking for trouble.

        It would take something remarkable for me to hire a designer who had never heard of a colour wheel. It’s not likely that I would hire a front-end dev who didn’t know how to mark up a link in HTML, either. And for exactly the same reasons, I would readily reject a candidate for a programming role — even at a junior level — if they couldn’t demonstrate the most elementary grasp of programming skills. On a scale of easy to hard, FizzBuzz is well below easy; technically, you don’t even need a modulo operator to solve it, as a chapter-one-level understanding of loops would allow a correct, if somewhat inelegant, solution.

        But more than all of that, if someone got as far as applying for a programming-related position and claiming a knowledge of a certain programming language, yet they couldn’t write FizzBuzz in that language, I would find it difficult to take any other skills or experience they advertised seriously either. That alone would be enough to send the application to the circular file under any normal circumstances.

        [Edit: typos.]

        2 points
  • Navarr BarnierNavarr Barnier, over 4 years ago

    What's currently at the top of the reddit post isn't that toxic. People saying the job description was written wrong, they were looking for a programmer, etc.

    There are some criticisms about her not being able to solve Fizzbuzz despite being very mathematically literate, but the vast majority are "it did it's role - the company was looking for an engineer, which she was not and they were not a fit."

    1 point
  • Greg BowenGreg Bowen, over 4 years ago

    Reddit is really toxic a lot of times. Trollss guard the gates

    1 point
  • Nicole DominguezNicole Dominguez, over 4 years ago

    For all those telling her that she shouldn't have applied to an engineering position without knowing how to program.... literally please explain how they expect to hire someone who is a great designer and a great engineer? Those people do exist, but realistically... come on. Also, considering the nature of tech, people should also be given the opportunity to learn on the job. Job descriptions are ideal asks of an imaginary person. People get hired every day without having every single thing on a job description.

    -.-

    0 points
    • pjotr .pjotr ., over 4 years ago

      literally please explain how they expect to hire someone who is a great designer and a great engineer

      FWIW knowing FizzBuzz isn't being a great engineer. It's stop gap for dealing with unqualified job prospects.

      2 points
  • Anthony Gibson, over 4 years ago

    The only thing I want to add, only because I didn't see it in the comments yet, was how much I agreed with the statement on the degree requirement. I'm graduating with a B.S. in Communications this fall, and I can tell you first hand it didn't get me my current job as a Creative Director, nor has it been what gave UI/UX design skills to my friends who got a degree and then started their career. It's all about the experience you make out of it, and at least my interpretation of this industry is that degrees do not mean anything more than "I sat through lectures in college and got a piece of paper to certify that."

    0 points