Job hunting, interview process and anything related to the experience of a job writing the Clojure language.

Quite surprised to hear. Can I learn more about that somewhere?

dpsutton 2020-06-08T03:17:15.226300Z

i'll see if i can dig it up. she did her studies at oxford and ended up at UVA law


Great. Thanks a lot

alexlynham 2020-06-08T15:30:39.227400Z

I've done take home stuff when I was junior and I think at that level eh, it's fine, but I've also failed at least one as a senior where I was like 'okay, I have limited time, gonna have some fun with this, but I'm not going to worry about performance' and then got comments about unprofessional code comments and performance, so I'm a bit ambivalent about it all tbh. If I run into a performance issue in real code, I would... work it out and fix it. :man-shrugging::skin-tone-6: Then again, the flip side of that is maybe it was worthwhile cos clearly we weren't a good fit! Ha. Last two gigs I've just had a conversation about program design with the person hiring and that's been pretty good. Quite hard to hide what you don't know in a situation where you are asked follow-up questions - eventually you get to 'I don't know, I'd have to look that up' and as somebody who's done a fair bit of interviewing before, I really like it when people are able to be honest about that. Also I know others have already said it, but blind CVs, making sure there's always 2 interviewers and/or a cross-discipline person present & making sure you take a standard form of notes are all really useful things when working out if you're just going on gut.

alexlynham 2020-06-09T07:41:28.273300Z

yeah i mean in the particular case I'm thinking of it was fun to solve if I limited myself to only map/reduce and transducers but it didn't scale as well as loop/recur

alexlynham 2020-06-09T07:41:54.273500Z

but I felt like the loop/recur solution was a) boring and b) not an opportunity to show off idiomatic clojure constructs

alexlynham 2020-06-09T07:42:27.273700Z

so I did it using map/reduce/transducers and it blew up with a big enough input

alexlynham 2020-06-09T07:43:20.273900Z

I was like er yeah it'll stack overflow, although thinking about it today if I'd spent a week rather than a few hours there was probably a fully lazy solution that could be gracefully realised

alexlynham 2020-06-09T07:43:29.274100Z

gosh that version would have been a pain to write tho

alexlynham 2020-06-09T07:43:48.274300Z

at that point you def would have to pay me, I've got interesting side projects I'd rather work on lol

Conor 2020-06-08T15:54:47.227500Z

What unprofessional code comments did you put in?

Aron 2020-06-08T15:59:56.227700Z

Ah, the interesting questions! : D

alexlynham 2020-06-08T16:38:30.227900Z

there was a bit of code that was definitely where any prospective bugs would be

alexlynham 2020-06-08T16:38:37.228100Z

it had all the side effects basically

alexlynham 2020-06-08T16:38:48.228300Z

so I put ;; here be dragons I think

alexlynham 2020-06-08T16:39:23.228600Z

there was one bit that said sorry this isn't super nice as well around something that was a bit of a hack

Cameron 2020-06-08T19:14:41.229200Z

yea this is re-triggering me over something similar I got in an interview once ahahah I was just thinking 'wtf of course I wouldn't leave these comments in other code, these are for you personally'. Had a similar bit about using the less performant version of a function ... and of course I did .. the inputs are fixed, there will always be 8 inputs. I didn't think that decision would be read into as some grand marker for how I treat performance. Speaking of which, it doesn't matter if O(n) describes how it scales with inputs, if the inputs themselves don't scale (and couldn't, btw, by definition)-- in a case like that, might as well say there are no inputs, only 1 fixed computation. Might as well be O(1). In a real world case of course I will compare library functions more closely and get to know (all) their trade offs as well as possible -- I am not so inflexible that either something always matters to me or never matters.


When we hired Clojure devs we also did 3 interviews. 1.) interview for general meeting with the key team members and discuss experience 2.) pairing on a project or an exercise -- I'm usually driving and I'm explaining the problem I'm working on. I express early on that progress does not matter. I just want to see what they're like to work with. Do they ask good questions? How do they handle critical discussions? Can they communicate well? 3.) call references 4.) final meeting to discuss roles, salary, and follow up to reference discussions.

seancorfield 2020-06-08T22:09:28.234600Z

That raises an interesting question for me: how many of y'all actually follow-up with references? How do you deal with not being able to contact them?

seancorfield 2020-06-08T22:10:18.235700Z

I ask because nearly all of my former colleagues (and esp. former managers) at every company I've ever worked at has either moved on or I just plan old have no contact details for.

seancorfield 2020-06-08T22:10:52.236100Z

(at least, former colleagues that would make sense to list as potential references)

seancorfield 2020-06-08T22:12:58.238400Z

My manager from Macromedia (who was one of the best managers I've ever known) left about when I left -- after Adobe acquired us! -- and went through two or three different companies before I completely lost track of her. Some of the companies I've worked at no longer exist so I can't even point potential employers at the company, let alone any of its former staff.

seancorfield 2020-06-08T22:15:11.240700Z

It was actually a big stumbling point when I joined World Singles Networks because they couldn't contact any of my references (because they had either long-since left the company or the company itself no longer existed). We were talking the other day about tech folk switching jobs every 18 months or so -- how on earth do you keep track of at least three past colleagues/managers that you can actually use as references? How is this system supposed to work these days?

alwyn 2020-06-10T01:44:37.294800Z

Try applying for a work visa in the US and immigration requiring references from all your previous employers. Yes, sir, I worked at EDS 12 years ago, they were bought by HP, Oh and company Y doesn't exist anymore.

seancorfield 2020-06-10T01:49:24.295Z

I was lucky that I came in on an E-2 (Executive Transfer) -- it's all on your current employer.

alwyn 2020-06-10T01:49:40.295200Z

I was L1 🙂

alwyn 2020-06-10T01:50:03.295400Z

not the manager one

alwyn 2020-06-10T01:51:40.295600Z

Luckily in the end they weren't strict about it as long as you had the most recent ones.

raspasov 2020-06-10T07:30:28.296200Z

@seancorfield interesting; never heard of “legal problems” about giving a bad reference (but I’m no legal expert)

seancorfield 2020-06-10T07:34:34.296600Z

(and, like so many things in the US, it varies by state)

kenj 2020-06-08T22:38:57.245Z

I’m facing a similar issue converting to FTE at my current gig. I was self employed for years, and was doing short term contract work for years before that. My best reference right now is a business owner who is actively trying to get me to do work for him, so it’s a bit of a conflict of interest. Meanwhile HR doesn’t care about any of this and demands manager position references despite me being at my current gig for 1.5 years at this point.

seancorfield 2020-06-08T22:58:25.245200Z

"HR ... demands manager position references" -- Yeah, I assumed most companies looking for references would typically be looking for past managers and I certainly couldn't satisfy that. I can't even remember the names of my managers from more than a few jobs back and I have no way at all to contact my previous two managers.

seancorfield 2020-06-08T22:58:46.245400Z

And you can't exactly give as references the people you are currently working with! 👀


Maybe we need a new network 😂

kenj 2020-06-08T23:32:05.247700Z

It’s kafkaesque bureaucracy. I can’t even give as a reference the person who I reported to at this company, who has since moved on!