“So, using whatever language you want, php, python, perl, javascript, program something that gets today’s date and time, then writes it to a file.”

$ date > today.txt

“We don’t feel you have the right skill set.”


  • 23
    simple and elegant?
    We don't need your kind here
  • 10
    I fucking hate such recruiters and such managers. Deepthroath them all!
  • 1
    The font on that page is gonna end me. How come they decided to put the top of the t at the midline instead of the crossbar like everyone else?
  • 0
    The right skill set?? Shit I’d say that’s a pretty damn concise solution. Interviews are like my least favourite thing.
  • 4
    @ArcaneEye The wording was program something, not deliver an executable. You could however easily throw it in a shell file and mark it as executable.
  • 14
    python -c "import os; os.system('date > date.txt');"
  • 1
  • 3
    Site needs some styling work, however, content is golden. Had a good laugh.

    In an interview I once was asked to estimate how many tennis balls can fit in a school bus. How is that relevant for a programming position? Apparently, he wanted to see my thought process. Why not use a programming question instead genius? Then you can analyze my thought process in a relevant way. Who the fuck cares about how many tennis balls fit in a school bus? It has no real world application, no value at all. Who get these fucks?
  • 1
    @epetrov i can actually see the reasoning behind that, its quite common to ask stuff like that, there are other questions like "how many dogs live in [country]". Its a psychological thing totally unrelated to programming skill or any of that. Its how you approach things, like "every second person has a dog, there are [X] People in Country, so there are around [X/2] Dogs in Country plus an unrelavant number of stray dogs"

    For the tennis ball thing one probably estimates the volume of the bus, then the diameter of the ball and some thumbestimation, numbers of an actual bus dont really matter. After my interview they said i "answered like an engineer", so there is that
  • 0
    Hard to break it to you, but i think recruiter is right on this one. I know recruiters are synonym with evil here, but they are human too, who is doing their job.

    There are 3 main probabilities on recruiter. Lets inspect them.

    1. Recruiter and their dev staff doesn't know shit about Bash/zsh/fish, stdin, stdout and UNIX in general. ( That is probably the case ) and thought you just wrote some psuedo code without context. They think that you just fooled around.

    2. Recruiter knows exactly what you wrote, but since they wanted to have an executable, you fail. Maybe if you wrap this snippet as a syscall on top of c executable, they could accept it.

    3. Your solution is out of scope. If i wanted to hire a sysadmin, this is exactly what i would expect on prospect. But i wouldn't want this kind of solution from a web developer. Knowing it is nice, but i would like to measure your web dev skills.
  • 0
    @illegaldisease if 1) then great! They have no business working in software. 2) and 3) are dubious, however, based on how the requirements were set. They literally asked using anything at all, just get today's date and output to a file. You can't penalise the dev for their best effort on vague requirements. That's an issue that comes up just about every day on the job. If that's how they'd be, you've also lucked out
  • 1
    @windlessuser As i stated, i don't know which position they were hiring for, i am just giving an example.

    I highly think 1st statement is what happened, so you really dodged a bullet there :) A company which is close to innovation is destined to be doomed anyways.
  • 4
    I one got "using PHP return the largest number in this array [5, 3, 7, 1, 4]"

    $array = [5,3,7,1,4];
    return max($array);

    Response: "Sorry that's not what we were looking for. We wanted you to build your own solution."

    I looked at it as poorly defined requirements and took it as a blessing. If they couldn't be straightforward and properly define the requirements for an interview, they certainly aren't going to be able to properly define requirements on a real project.
  • 0
    You should've added the shebang to look fancy (#!/bin/bash)
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