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here’s an interview freebie

if I ask you to tell me pros and cons of a thing, it’s because literally no one thinks about the tools they use to build the systems the build

and it’s not even like, an ethics thing. is that if you’re interviewing for my team, your job will be to _change_ systems. not to build systems. to change them. and everything you do signs everyone up to be forever maintained.

this particular system ranges 40-50 years old. that’s the timeframe you gotta think in.

work stuff 

if you tell me you haven’t, it’s not a black mark! it’s not obvious stuff, it’s fine.

the easiest way to get a quarter-point deduction: you tell me you can tell me the pros and cons, then repeat to me what they are, then blank out when I ask to elaborate. don’t lie to me. I know the environment is pressuring you to perform; being truthful in the face of environment pressure to lie is a major plus. at this scale, in this capitalism, I need to be able to trust you.

work stuff 

it’s a bigger black mark if you launch in a surefire list that is wrong. it’s _another_ black mark if you do not accept contradictory. this is a job about extrapolating past samples to predict future direction: everybody is wrong _all the fucking time_, and if you can’t admit it, you’re kind of a liability.

work stuff 

I like thinking in points even if I don’t really use them because it lets me quantify this: generally speaking bungling a question never puts you as down as getting a question right pulls you up.

but gods preserve me you _can_ absolutely get multiple black marks per question and get yourself deeper down than you’d be up if you had a cogent answer.

work stuff 

also: there are no right answers!! you’re never judged by the final point alone or even majorly! it’s the work you’re doing I want to see!

so many interview questions right now are rote or close to rote. I have fixed interview questions but _never_ do coding because when I’m around I’m around to test your design chops. you gotta show your work. yes, design chops means also having a somewhat deep understanding of the fucking material you’re working with!

work stuff 

the trap there is, I need to work hard to not just put someone up points when they do something that is _pleasant_ to me. plenty of things are pleasant and unadvisable; I want to see the person who advocates cogently for the bulky design.

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