At big tech companies, at least.
Becoming a software engineer at a place like Facebook or Google requires learning to become a master at solving esoteric algorithm problems on a whiteboard. Interview problems are almost their own distinct discipline, wildly theoretical and disconnected from any real work.
Everybody involved thinks it’s a crazy system, yet it’s what every top tech company does. Why?
The fact the interview doesn't tell you anything about somebody's practical ability is the point.
One very specific personality trait: the ability to put up with an arbitrary assignment and do it well, thoroughly and completely.
It's like the SAT. It filters for compliance and dedication to a task, not ability. It works precisely because it’s arbitrary.
This is critical for companies like Facebook and Google to work. The biggest challenge these companies have is not finding smarter people, but getting them to all row in the same direction.
Big companies spend an extraordinary amount of energy communicating with themselves — it's remarkable they don’t collapse under their own weight. Finding people that can work together effectively at scale is the bottleneck.
That’s the role of the technical interview.
The technical interview is frustrating — no doubt. However, it’s much better than the alternative: throughout history the best jobs were only available to those who were well connected and from the right social circumstances.
Now, it’s possible to earn $400k+ just by working hard and passing a test. A life-changing career in software engineering is imminently achievable — so long as you understand what the test is really testing.
The information provided herein is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide tax, legal, or investment advice and should not be construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation of any security by Candor, its employees and affiliates, or any third-party. Any expressions of opinion or assumptions are for illustrative purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results and the opinions presented herein should not be viewed as an indicator of future performance. Investing in securities involves risk. Loss of principal is possible.
Third-party data has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable; however, its accuracy, completeness, or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Candor does not receive compensation to promote or discuss any particular Company; however, Candor, its employees and affiliates, and/or its clients may hold positions in securities of the Companies discussed.