Talk:About Testing

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The End

A recent experience absolutely assured I will never take anybody's test under any circumstances. In a vindication of my long screed in these pages after successfully taking one test and thinking we were beyond that stage, I was subjected to a vicious adversarial "can you read my mind" type tech-out and presented with a second test to implement a core functionality in the line of biz of the startup in question!!! I've posted the first test on the original mod_perl CMS page with the older ones and as the second has been posted to github (*Cache Manager") where I make it available as free software (currently a stub of a serious app). There was a poignancy in this because I had a pretty good rapport with CEO of the start-up and obviously I must have done well on the first test or they wouldn't have flown me cross country for what turned out be a ludicrous tech-out (the CEO was out of the country) replete with various misdirections and other comic elements (e.g. stressing "SORT" when "MAP" was meant, assuming that talking about the simplest function and writing f(0) would imply a table look up, etc. The cherry was to be asked about en:Dynamic Programming, and find the questioner used it as a trick question having apparently either only superficial knowledge of it or purposely meaning to conflate it with static vs. dynamic typing.

This absolutely confirmed that people taking this kind of mentality and myself are like cats and dogs, and the utter futility of trying to accommodate them. That the work one does is far too hard, requires far too much effort, and provides far to little compensation for the value delivered was the original reason for the policy. This was the first time in more than 10 years I seriously took a test it made manifest that it's utterly futile, pointless to do so at this point in my career. Any objectivity in a coding is going to be overridden by a subjective judgment by this fearful and highly negative mindset which lacks the ability to make judgements and/or is really only looking to justify its prejudices.

I have in the past used the expression "local cultures of mediocrity and failure" and that is not exactly what fits this because a certain kind of painfully narrow excellence is evinced. But in short, if you have this mindset please pass on my candidacy and don't try to talk me into taking your test and entering a process like this because I'm just not going to.

Belatedly signing this. Will reenable registration/edits when the upgrade is unblocked. Above was last month, have moved on, but it was fascinating, a learning experience. I officially begged off on the virtual FS thing from the second test on GitHub, and enough was done on it in the area of design to contrast with the just make it work quickly approach I took in the first, but could come back to it if it turned out setting up RAM FS or a SSD or whatever wasn't much easier or useful in intended uses.. Root 02:35, 12 July 2012 (UTC)


I recently stumbled into a tech-out for a cushy corporate job so doing an update. I'm a general contractor and sets of trick questions for a specific lang or set of packages are likely to trip me up if it's a reasonably good attempt to do so. I try to stay away from work where that's the mentality and I think more and more people are taking a bigger picture/higher level approach but I would have proceeded with tech out by hr proxy anyway because it was a large cap entity. Adding this blurb in case I stumble into another, so I can inform and refer with brevity. Root 12:06, 24 October 2011 (UTC)


I aim to bring justice to workers and high quality and value to consumers. I do my best but I cannot guarantee a friction free ascent to this situation.

The Clueful!

After some recent bad experiences (see below) am beginning to get back into the good stuff :) A preliminary talk with a potential partner last night while that party perused the Resume Page and noticed the Testing Rant link caused them to comment that they test employees but not contractors. Experience tells me not to expect that generally as some hiring contractors will want to test and some hiring on a W2 basis won't.

A particularly pathetic case (3 Meadow 4704)

Going forward, I accept sponsitility if I bump my head on this shit. Yesterday it happened twice. The first was the lesser case, what looked like a decent gig. I had forewarned by sending a link to the article but they didnt' get it. That was my fault because I should have made clearer when they told me there was a technical interview. I guess I'm still laboring under the apprehension that I can have tech interviews such as I've had as recently as about 18 months ago that are the good kind I describe in the article¹. This was the sad one because I think I could have worked well with this entity in spite of their literal 20 questions.

The other was the one linked in the article. The mistake there was that after the person setup the phone I/V I went to thier site and saw that they were the Slavers From Hell and expressed my misgiving in a maybe 200 word note that should have been a single sentence cancelling the I/V. The individual apparently took it personally and called me with the apparent intent of "showing me up". In particular he asked "what is a thread"? Having worked with threading since it was introduced in late 80s in OS/2 I responded broad and deep. The statement that a thread is essentially a process must have totally flipped this person. Of course a process is usually associated with the OS job construct but the truth is that every variant of a sequence of instructions executed by a computer (or anything else for that matter) is in fact a process. Threads, fibers, tasks, jobs are all in essence processes. I gave other details based on an experience beyond this persons comprehension including reference to the B machines but the real mistake here was even speaking to this individual after having sent the note.

As if another ground were needed this last showed how at this point in my career my thinking is so completely maladapted for this sort of thing, I don't even think in a manner that can allow me to succeed in these small minded little torts.

¹ In these success cases, very simply, what happens is there is a enterpreneur with or without a technical background who is capable of making independent judgements. There often is also a heightened need for someone fitting my profile.

About References

This needs to be moved again, leaving it here till I decide where Root 13:32, 10 May 2007 (EDT)

A related¹ problem is the checking of references. If a free worker providing you services at reduced cost but serving many clients like yourself were to have her references checked constantly this would not work as the references would quickly become unresponsive.

This will be eliminated for any workers in the WIK-CSO Public Job Shop you may contract with as we vouch for them as qualified and indeed, if you contract under our framework, guaranteed workers. Later we may offer actual development insurance.

¹ in the sense of being a superstructure manifestation of the same base condition.