Google Interviewing Process for Software Developer Role in 2020
February 28, 2020 4:46 AM   Subscribe

If you’re looking for a success story, this is the wrong post for you. A software engineer describes his recent experience of interviewing at Google.

Tl;dr :-

1. He didn't make it as far as the onsite stages.
2. He didn't really want the job.
3. He didn't really want any job.

Nevertheless, it's an insight into what software engineers are supposed to put themselves through in order to go through the interview process.

A Hacker News thread about the article is here. This provides even more insight into what software engineers perceive as normal or acceptable interview process in 2020. Most of the commentators are quite clear how they feel about what the process has become, but not all - for example this one talks of spending 20 working days in total preparing for the interviews, without a whisper of compaint or unease.

Previously.
posted by Cardinal Fang (124 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's almost like they don't care what your software skills are but instead are looking for people who will put up with a lot of bullshit.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:50 AM on February 28 [89 favorites]


I just got passed over for a promotion at my current company, so I'm going to start looking around.

I'm dreading the technical interviews. I'm a front-end developer. I don't write algorithms. Every single company wants to ask me about algorithms.
posted by marfa, texas at 5:12 AM on February 28 [14 favorites]


I just successfully interviewed for a tech job, although it wasn't at Google (frankly, given what I've heard I kind of want to steer clear of Google). I had no questions on algorithms and data structures, and honestly unless you're working in a language that hasn't already implemented quicksort, I'm not sure why it's worth remembering. I struggle to understand why anyone would manipulate a linked list instead of using a different data structure; hashmaps are so efficient these days that the only reason you'd use a linked list is if order matters and you never need to search it.
posted by Merus at 5:20 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


That was an interesting thread to read through (on HN), but what stands out to me is the sheer number, the unbelievable and incomprehensible number of hours and days and weeks of millions’ of people’s time that Google wastes on interviewing. My God. That must represent an enormous amount of money and potential problem-solving that goes directly into the trash can.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:22 AM on February 28 [26 favorites]


If company X and Y want to channel Ayn Rand and sift for the Übermensch I don't see a problem with it - aiming for the lofty heights of racial purity can be their nauseating jam.

My issue is with every company on Earth doing it. Given how much marketing hype the software industry applies to their recycled development products, I don't want to be "up to speed" on the API du jour. Do mechanical engineers and tradesmen get asked about the things they build at home? Do doctors and nurses have to take interview prep courses just to make it past the first round?
posted by CynicalKnight at 5:22 AM on February 28 [9 favorites]


It's been a while since I played 2048, but isn't the solution to the game quite trivial? It's not a computational complex game where there are nonobvious optimal game states like most other actual games.
posted by polymodus at 5:27 AM on February 28


So one would think that a grad student from Stanford may not be a shoe in but be pretty current on the academic topics and pretty darned qualified, but no, the school has an actual class for the FANG interview process.
posted by sammyo at 5:28 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


wastes on interviewing.

I work for one of the larger domain registrars and the interview process here was one of the most rigorous I had ever experienced. A phone interview, another phone interview with HR, then an in-person interview that was 3 hours, the last hour being a computer proficiency and personality test of some kind. Then a final interview after that with someone higher up than the person interviewing me so that they could ask me questions about the person who just interviewed me. It was super exhausting.
posted by Fizz at 5:30 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


What’s the average tenure of a Google job?
posted by Autumnheart at 5:31 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Crazy. I'm in the middle of trying to "change my career" AKA, I'll take any job I can find. I've been volunteering at my local Alderman's office trying to get connections. A part-time, hourly, no-benefits job at the office opened up unexpectedly. A job that covers many of the same duties I do as a volunteer. Well, I'd been volunteering for four months doing a lot of these things, learning and stumbling my way around and the folks there were happy with my work. So I figure, I must have an advantage, I'll apply.

30 minute remote phone interview with a woman I see on the regular when I volunteer. Then an essay test that I spent a good 2 hours on, carefully citing my experiences and specific instances. No second interview, just a form-letter email "thanks but no thanks".

Turns out SEVENTY (70) people applied for this part-time, no-benefits job. And I'm still unemployed.

Lesson learned over and over: don't burn out after a 20 year career and attempt to do something about it at age 48.
posted by SoberHighland at 5:32 AM on February 28 [48 favorites]


> If company X and Y want to channel Ayn Rand and sift for the Übermensch I don't see a problem with it - aiming for the lofty heights of racial purity can be their nauseating jam.

...aside from being illegal, maybe?
posted by at by at 5:39 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


It's hilarious how much of a completely unnecessary circus Google's interview "process" is, assuming the OP is correct:

several remote coding challenges and reviews, then an onsite review and more coding challenges oh and then some people who never met you and only have your cv will decide anyway.

Normal companies just do the latter first, then invite you for an interview.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:42 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


the sheer number, the unbelievable and incomprehensible number of hours and days and weeks of millions’ of people’s time that Google wastes on interviewing

All completely useless, but boy does it reinforces the idea that you have to be very special --in either sense-- to be working for google.

and every other bog standard tech company, like the sheep they are, has taken over the same approach and wonder why they can't get good candidates.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:48 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


20 working days spent on leetcode and prepping is absolutely tiny. If you think that's a lot, you'll be shocked to hear that my colleagues who are targeting FAANG companies after graduation will end up spending on the order of 100 working days preparing, some much more. I think that's insane, but then I am not targeting FAANG companies and could not be paid enough to sell my soul to them.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:49 AM on February 28 [9 favorites]


All completely useless, but boy does it reinforces the idea that you have to be very special --in either sense-- to be working for google.

Not that they could even tell you about the job you’d be doing, or who you’d be working with, or whether there even is a job.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:50 AM on February 28 [9 favorites]


FAANG companies sound like they suck.
posted by krisjohn at 5:58 AM on February 28 [18 favorites]


I'm seeing something completely different here. They could have given him the axe after the first session, but they gave him a second chance twice.

The Google software engineering hiring process doesn't require four phone screens, it generally requires only one. It seems to me that the guy did only moderately well in the first session, lacking only on time, so they gave him a second chance. When he didn't ace the second session, the recruiter found a way to put him on a different hiring track (possibly an engineering residency). This track did require two screens, which they stacked.

Olivia fought for this guy.
posted by rlk at 6:06 AM on February 28 [27 favorites]


and every other bog standard tech company, like the sheep they are, has taken over the same approach and wonder why they can't get good candidates

This is one of the things that gets me the most. It is generally accepted that in a lot of locations right now, companies are scrambling to get developers because their demand outstrips supply. Despite this, it never seems to occur to a company that one thing they could do to vastly improve their hiring rate is, stop making people jump through so many hoops in processes that are full of so much noise.

I get that firing people isn't trivial, but I have so little sympathy for companies so terrified of making a "bad" hire that they'd rather have a process that weeds out 4 or 5 good hires for every 1 that makes it through that then turn around and complain how hard it is to hire people. Maybe if your culture included mentoring, evaluation, etc, you could stop having to rely on a gating process with a huge number of false negatives.
posted by tocts at 6:14 AM on February 28 [23 favorites]


One thing to remember is that the FAANGs don't actually believe in employee development, because in their view that's money that walks out of the door when the employee invariably looks for a new job in 3-5 years to get a raise. So they "have" to find people who can start contributing right out of the gate.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:16 AM on February 28 [17 favorites]


Maybe if your culture included mentoring, evaluation, etc, you could stop having to rely on a gating process with a huge number of false negatives.

Spending money on professional development is money you're not spending on enormous profits
posted by Merus at 6:17 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


20 working days spent on leetcode and prepping is absolutely tiny.

If you've already got a full time job, it's anywhere between impractical and impossible.

If you think that's a lot, you'll be shocked to hear that my colleagues who are targeting FAANG companies after graduation will end up spending on the order of 100 working days preparing, some much more.

And if you don't already have a full time job... but frankly I also find pretty appalling the implication that even students - in term time or not - have such an abundance of time for big companies to take from them free of charge as they please.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 6:21 AM on February 28 [21 favorites]


Spending money on professional development is money you're not spending on enormous profits

Moreover, it's money that goes to your competitor 5 years down the road when your employee changes jobs so that they can get a promotion with an actual raise. So why help your competition by improving your employees?

Yes, that was bitter "ha ha only serious" sarcasm. The FAANGs created the mercenary culture in tech today, but refuse to actually deal with it properly, instead choosing to engage in illegal wage fixing cartels.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:22 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


>So they "have" to find people who can start contributing right out of the gate.

This.

I interviewed at teh GOOG for a developer relations role in 2014 and it wasn't out of the pale of what I was expecting going in.

With all the free-tier cloud stuff out now I think the best approach to getting a job is picking a technology stack and make it your job getting really good at it.

Mucho bonus points if it's open source and you start getting PRs accepted.

BigCos want to feel 100%+ good about their new hires so to meet this screening you've got to up your game.

20 hrs/week for two solid years. Key thing is being so good is that the hiring manager actively wants you on their team.

Well, that's how I got my job at a BigCo in a previous life at least.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 6:26 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Spending money on professional development is money you're not spending on enormous profits

Moreover, it's money that goes to your competitor 5 years down the road when your employee changes jobs so that they can get a promotion with an actual raise.


Because giving raises is also money you're not spending on enormous profits, even if one's company needs highly qualified and competent employees. Feh.
posted by Gelatin at 6:39 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I've been working in various sorts of coding roles for about 25 years now. I've never worked for a company with more than a dozen employees. Currently I'm the one person who does all the IT stuff, full stop, so I'm essentially my own boss, subject to the needs of the business. I'm sure the average Google coder would consider me beneath contempt, but it's a great life - sane working hours, 5 weeks paid leave, a pension and other benefits. By which I'm trying to say that there are other ways to do this.
posted by pipeski at 6:43 AM on February 28 [13 favorites]


....and last but not least, ‘Googleyness and Leadership’. The last one detects how well you’ll fit into the company .... several senior Googlers (who don't know you and have never spoken to you) will review your CV and feedback from the interviewers and decide whether you will fit into Google or not.

Always helpful when a company tells you they are looking for "fit," so you know right away to pass on their inequality-and-implicit-bias-reinforcing asses.
posted by solotoro at 6:52 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


I'm seeing something completely different here. They could have given him the axe after the first session, but they gave him a second chance twice.

I don't know if Google does this or not, but in other companies these "second chances" are really just the recruiter shopping you around internally. So, they might interview you for department A, you get a marginal review but not an outright reject, so they have you interview for a role in department B. Repeat as necessary. That might also explain why the interview questions were different in the different rounds. Of course, you don't see this as a candidate. It just looks like the hiring company can't make up its mind and keeps having you come in for 20 rounds of the same thing that drag on forever.

Sadly, the rejections are often arbitrary. I've been shopped around like this, and once in the door, eventually transferred to the departments that rejected me, and did perfectly fine in the role I was originally rejected for during the interviews.
posted by delicious-luncheon at 6:54 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Olivia fought for this guy.

Most underrated comment in this thread, by far.
posted by mhoye at 7:01 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


> >So they "have" to find people who can start contributing right out of the gate.
> This.

Not really. I worked at google for a few years. Nobody can contribute right out of the gate at google because their system is pretty much completely alien to anyone who has never worked there, and it is *incredibly* complex. You won't know many of the languages used, because they are proprietary and only exist at google. It will take pretty much anyone a good solid 3 to 5 months to become reasonably productive there, and about a year to feel like they kind of know what's going on. My job at google was a *lot* harder mentally than any previous job I've ever had by a factor of 2 or 3 easily, and my previous job was writing storage drivers for linux. I found that working at google was HARD. I was able to do it, but not well enough that I ever really felt comfortable. But then, I wasn't coming in as an entry level employee (I was surprised to find out that I was at the same level as Brian Kernighan, yeah *that* Brian Kernighan. If I didn't have imposter syndrome before, I did after I found out that.) They purposely do not let anyone get comfortable. If you're comfortable, they know they're not pushing you hard enough, so they push harder. There's no "coasting" at google. I think with the interview, what they're really trying to find out is if you're smart. Really smart. Because if you aren't, you're going to fail. Every single person I met at google was ridiculously smart. It was like being on The Island of The Smart People, which was kind of nice, but also kind of exhausting.
posted by smcameron at 7:08 AM on February 28 [34 favorites]


I can't speak from personal experience, but my understanding is that salaries at FAANG (Facebook/Amazon/Apple/Netflix/Google) companies are extremely high even for workaday software people. $400k/year total compensation is the low end of the scale for a mid-level developer, see this Hacker News discussion for example. It is over the top, a totally different payscale even from your typical non-FAANG software developer making $90-150k/year, which on its own is already a very high salary compared to what most people in the U.S. make. I think it's important to keep this distinction in mind when considering Google hiring practices.

This is not to say that I think these are good hiring practices or that passing them means a person deserves that much money, but it's important not to lump together normal software jobs and pay with FAANG jobs and pay. People will do a lot more to get $400k than they would $100k.
posted by bright flowers at 7:12 AM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Don't be evil.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:12 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Every single person I met at google was ridiculously smart.
I think you'll find the same is true among the faculty in any science department at any of ~75-100 state universities in the USA. Thousands and thousands of folks. And yet they manage to find smart capable folks without this level of nonsense and time wasting.

It's not as though people haven't already worked out how to find clever people to do challenging work. A quick google suggests Brin and Page never finished their Ph.Ds, so maybe they never learned that stuff at Stanford? Or, as suggested above, what they really want isn't smart people, it's smart people who also will put up with that kind of bullshit.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:23 AM on February 28 [28 favorites]


I'm sure the average Google coder would consider me beneath contempt, but it's a great life

Yeah, I would never apply to someplace like Google. I work at a small company that contracts to some much bigger ones. There's never crunch time or any sort of overtime or high pressure. And I'm getting decent pay (considerably more than I was offered for a major California game development company, but in the much cheaper Midwest, and I live less than 10 minutes away from the office in a spacious house) and get 3 weeks of vacation time per year.

After I was hired, they told me I did better on the programming test than anyone before or since. My "studying" for it involved reading one book on design patterns to brush up on the concept, since my education was long enough ago that patterns weren't even a thing. It was still a nerve-wracking interview, and a bit of a dumb test (since when is programming about sitting in an empty room and writing array reversing algorithms from scratch with a pencil?).

On the other hand, when I was in the game industry, those dumb tests served to weed out a LOT of people who applied but could just not write code or think like a programmer, including plenty of Full Sail graduates.
posted by Foosnark at 7:30 AM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Just from a labor point of view: why is it legal for them to take essentially a half day of actual work, solving real problems, from him without paying him?
posted by corb at 7:31 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


I have a remote coding interview *today*, so it was probably a bad idea for me to read this post, and the other open one about how bad these interviews are.

At the same time, I've sort of come around to the idea that if they're expecting someone who comes in having spent hours upon hours solving Leetcode problems, then it's not the job for me. My resume makes it very clear what I'm good at, with links to projects I regularly contribute to. Chances are I've already implemented the algorithm they want and can go dig through old code to find it, and if not, I'll do what ever other engineer does and do a web search for it.

I've actually been interviewing for another job with a much smaller company recently, and was pleasantly surprised that there was none of this stuff. The technical interviews have been in response to a "take home" code challenge that I had as much time to complete as I needed. They know I can just google the solution (though in this case I didn't have to), but they asked questions that forced me to talk about it in detail to show that I understood it.

Much like the college test prep industry, it's pretty clear that FAANG and related companies have just created a massive Interview Industrial Complex that serves no legitimate purpose in assessing talent, and just exists to apply artificial barriers and make those already in the club feel superior.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:31 AM on February 28 [14 favorites]


Nobody can contribute right out of the gate at google because their system is pretty much completely alien to anyone who has never worked there, and it is *incredibly* complex. You won't know many of the languages used, because they are proprietary and only exist at google. It will take pretty much anyone a good solid 3 to 5 months to become reasonably productive there, and about a year to feel like they kind of know what's going on.

This both misses and illustrates my point, which is why I find it interesting. Every workplace has a spin-up period for new employees, since every workplace is unique. But when I say that the FAANGs want people who can immediately contribute, what I mean is they want people whom they only have to invest a minimal amount into professional development on. I'd also be willing to bet that expectation also contributes to the lengthy spin up period as well, as it's expected that the employee "demonstrate" their intelligence by coming up to speed on their own.

They purposely do not let anyone get comfortable. If you're comfortable, they know they're not pushing you hard enough, so they push harder.
So they're an abusive employer that pushes their workers to burnout, but frame their abuse in a way that their employees are expected to say "thank you".
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:37 AM on February 28 [29 favorites]


If you've already got a full time job, it's anywhere between impractical and impossible.

Tell me about it. Unlike my colleagues, I have to work fulltime while doing this degree fulltime because I am not rich. I am finding prepping like this totally impractical.

but frankly I also find pretty appalling the implication that even students - in term time or not - have such an abundance of time for big companies to take from them free of charge as they please.

I completely agree.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:43 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


i started to burn out on coding and then tried some of these styles of interviews at smaller companies, and noticed a) these interviews suck, esp. if you're not used to someone staring at you while you thinking things through, and b) some interviewers are more prone to "challenege" you if you're a woman dev.

i am still at my old company but am in the process for completely shifting away from coding entirely and i don't think i'll be going back to it.
posted by anem0ne at 7:47 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


So, basically, coding interviews are to tech companies what unpaid internships are to media companies -- a gatekeeping exercise that ensures only the "right" kind of people can afford to work there.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:47 AM on February 28 [22 favorites]


FAANG companies sound like they suck.

FAANG companies sound like they fight GI Joe.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:58 AM on February 28 [12 favorites]


FAANG companies sound like they fight GI Joe.

Given their position on regulation, that's more on the nose than you think.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:04 AM on February 28 [14 favorites]


My last interview for an IT job was different.
I got a letter whose sole contents were:

"Manager's Arms, one o'clock. Come prepared!"

I got the job.

The "Manager's Arms" was the staff nickname for the pub that was co-owned by the MD and where they all went on a Friday lunchtime. The "come prepared" had meant bring your darts and wife. My wife is a farmer's daughter and the pub was situated on a small holding owned by the MD.
The test was to find out all this and turn up at the right place with the right person.

I was NOT local to the area at the time.
posted by Burn_IT at 8:12 AM on February 28 [16 favorites]


That is some culture fit test. 🤨
posted by migurski at 8:23 AM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Olivia fought for this guy.

Olivia fought for her recruiting bonus. She didn't care about him, she cared about meeting her quota.
posted by octothorpe at 8:38 AM on February 28 [21 favorites]


Google doesn't respect your time.

"OK, now design an algorithm to filter out poor people and single parents..."
posted by klanawa at 8:41 AM on February 28 [24 favorites]


I suppose at least that kind of culture fit test takes less prep time than the algorithm testing, which is probably the best one can say about it.
posted by jeather at 8:42 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


So they're an abusive employer that pushes their workers to burnout, but frame their abuse in a way that their employees are expected to say "thank you".

This was exactly my experience of my 14 mths at $GOOG. I consider myself lucky that Chicago is rife with backend dev openings so I could GTFO quickly once I realized what a mistake I'd made. If it had been my first job, rather than coming after 10 yrs of bouncing around, I don't know if I would have realized the constant refrain of "it's like this everywhere whaddyagonnado" is so laughably wrong.
posted by PMdixon at 8:46 AM on February 28 [12 favorites]


I think you'll find [you'll find incredibly smart people] among the faculty in any science department at any of ~75-100 state universities in the USA. Thousands and thousands of folks. And yet they manage to find smart capable folks without this level of nonsense and time wasting.

Tech companies have a ridiculous hiring paradigm, sure. Academia (including most state U's) is the only sector I'm aware of that's arguably even more dysfunctional.

I mean, they generate their talent pool by spending 4-7 years convincing between 5 and 50 times as many students are there are jobs for in the field that a full professorship is the only way they'll ever be fulfilled as a person.
posted by gurple at 8:50 AM on February 28 [28 favorites]


The salaries at these companies make it possible to retire. With a nice house. Maybe a boat. The competition for positions is intense. Literally 10s of thousands of people apply to every opening.

Google has massive internal training programs. Coding, negotiating, managing, knitting, animal management. Week long training sessions to keep people up to speed.

When I was there I sat next to a lead dancer from the Bolshoi, a team mate was a famous cave diver. The 12th best programmer in the world sat down the hall. The 10th best programmer sat next to him. Vint Cerf worked two buildings over. "Island of the smart people" pretty much nails the vibe.
posted by pdoege at 9:18 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


All of those Really Smart People and they still managed to trash the Google Finance interface.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:27 AM on February 28 [16 favorites]


Olivia fought for her recruiting bonus. She didn't care about him, she cared about meeting her quota.

Companies can avoid alienating good candidates in technical interviews simply by having an HR department incompetent enough to get the candidate to walk away before the technical interview ever happens.

Here's a few Olivias I encountered on my most recent job hunt. You can pick your favourite.

(All conversations are email; not phone, Slack, etc. The date is Thursday, the 12th of Never.)

1. (Big broadcasting company)
Olivia : Thank you for your application to the Software Engineer position. We would like to invite you to an online technical interview. Please confirm if one of these dates is suitable.
Me : Yes, I am happy to interview on Thursday, the 19th of Never. Looking forward to it.
(Friday, 13th of Never, 24 hours later)
Olivia : Thank you for your response. We are happy to inform you that your interview for the Customer Support position will take place on Thursday, the 19th of Never.
Me : I think there's been a mistake. I applied for the Software Engineer position.
Olivia : Oh no, we thought you'd be interested in this one instead. ...

2. (Big semiconductor company)
Olivia : Thank you for your CV. We are happy to invite you to an onsite interview. Please let us know if Thursday, the 19th of Never is suitable.
Me : Thank you for the invitation. Yes, that is indeed suitable.
Olivia : Thank you. We confirm your onsite interview will take place on Thursday, the 19th of Never.
Me : Thank you. I will be happy to attend. Looking forward to it.
(Friday, 13th of Never, 24 hours later)
Olivia : Thank you. We confirm your onsite interview will take place on Tuesday, the 17th of Never.
Me : I think there's been a mistake. We already have an interview booked for the 19th of Never.
Olivia : Yes, but the interviewer is unavailable, so we have moved it forward. ...

3. (Big social media company)
Olivia : Thank you for your CV. Can I call you to arrange a telephone interview?
Me : I can't take a call now as I'm at work - but I am happy to give you a list of possible dates / times (listed). Please let me know if any of these are suitable.
Olivia : Can I call you in 15 minutes?
Me : I'm sorry, that isn't convenient as I'm at work.
Olivia : Can I call you in 30 minutes?
(15 minutes later)
Olivia : Can I call you now? ...

4. (Another big social media company)
Olivia : Thank you for your CV. I'm Olivia, Head of European Recruitment. Can you do a 30-minute telephone interview tomorrow (Friday) at 1pm?
Me : Thank you for the invitation. I will be happy to. Talk to you tomorrow.
(Monday, 23rd of Never, 11 days later)
Me : You arranged a telephone interview, but didn't call. I've had no communication from you since.
Olivia : Oh, oh, so sorry, I haven't been reading my emails, and on Friday 13th I was called away to a company team builder in Las Vegas. ...

5. (Big online retail and cloud company)
Olivia : Thank you for your CV. We're happy to invite you to take our remote technical test. You have 14 days to complete it.
Me : Thank you. I will be happy to do so.
(Friday, 13th of Never) Bot : Just reminding you that you haven't taken the test yet.
(Saturday, 14th of Never) Bot : Just reminding you that you haven't taken the test yet.
(Sunday, 15th of Never) Bot : Just reminding you that you haven't taken the test yet.
(Monday, 16th of Never) Bot : Just reminding you that you haven't taken the test yet.
Me : I'm withdrawing from the process. Your bot is spamming me every day. Life is too short.
(Friday, 10th of Neverafter - 4 weeks later)
Olivia : Just reaching out as we saw you never completed the remote technical test.
Me : I withdrew from the process. Your bot was spamming me every day. Life is too short.
Olivia : Oh, oh, please don't withdraw. We value your candidacy. There was a problem with the bot and we have fixed it now so that this will not happen again.
Me. Thank you. Please send me the test again.
Olivia : Thank you. Sending you the test again.
(Saturday, 11th of Neverafter) Bot : Just reminding you that you haven't taken the test yet.
(Sunday, 12th of Neverafter) Bot : Just reminding you that you haven't taken the test yet.
(Monday, 13th of Neverafter) Bot : Just reminding you that you haven't taken the test yet. ...
posted by Cardinal Fang at 9:28 AM on February 28 [30 favorites]


The 12th best programmer in the world sat down the hall. The 10th best programmer sat next to him.

Hans Reiser is out of jail? And Phil Katz back from the dead?
posted by Cardinal Fang at 9:29 AM on February 28 [12 favorites]


The vast majority of software engineers in the world don't work at Google. There are something like 4 million software developers in the USA (source: Google) and probably something like 10-20,000 software engineers at Google (source: none - and likely many are not in the USA). Google will employ something like 0.25% - 0.5% of the software engineers in the USA. Correspondingly, they pay in the top 1% of salaries (both from the notional "top 1% of income earners" and with respect to other software engineers). Google is not abusing their employees by paying $300-$400K for a mid-level L5 engineer (with compensation going up after that due to stacked stock grants). Google is paying these engineers to be ready out of the bat for Google's rigor. Google is paying these engineers to need minimal or no training. Google is paying these engineers to have minimal risk of failure.

There's a good argument for Google's (and other FAANG) hiring process being inefficient, inaccurate, and annoying. I would actually agree with all three. There's no good argument that this hiring process being abusive. People should have the right to work at a rigorous and challenging organization, work hard, and produce a significant amount of profit (note, Google gets $1.25 million in revenue per employee - not even per engineer) for their employer - and then get paid commensurately well in return. It's not for everyone, and for the people it is for, it's generally not for their full career. It is, however, a fair choice to make.
posted by saeculorum at 9:30 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Google has massive internal training programs. Coding, negotiating, managing, knitting, animal management. Week long training sessions to keep people up to speed.

Cool. How much internal support is there for employees to use them? Does management support training as an actual function of business, or is that something that you're expected to do in your off time?

There's more to professional development than "we have courses!"

Google is not abusing their employees by paying $300-$400K for a mid-level L5 engineer (with compensation going up after that due to stacked stock grants). Google is paying these engineers to be ready out of the bat for Google's rigor. Google is paying these engineers to need minimal or no training. Google is paying these engineers to have minimal risk of failure.

Paying someone well doesn't mean that you can't abuse them. This is a ridiculous non sequetor that always comes up because there is this absolutely ridiculous idea that it's okay to abuse workers with long stressful days as long as you pay well/they have a job that's a calling/(insert bullshit flavor of the month excuse here.) Abuse is always abuse, no matter how much money you paper it over with.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:39 AM on February 28 [29 favorites]


How you treat your employees once they're hired isn't a particularly compelling piece of evidence against the hiring process itself being abusive, especially when the hiring process itself is notorious for providing employment to very few of the people who are abused by the hiring process. "There's a 1% chance you will get a job at Google, we just need to browbeat you for a couple of months first, and if you aren't in the 1%, that was all a waste of your time!"
posted by jacquilynne at 9:49 AM on February 28 [7 favorites]


I've worked at a FAANG adjacent company which modeled a lot of processes after those, with Google being the one we aped most closely.

I did mostly the initial phone screen / remote coding question with a little bit of in-person whiteboarding. I never sat on the "hiring committee" which put all the feedback together into a decision.

My position was that the phone screen was to weed out interviews which would be an incredible waste of time for everyone involved (including the candidate), and generally asked three short questions and then chatted for a bit. All of the questions involved have been leaked already, so it's safe to say it was "write me two for loops and answer a question about the common OS we use". Usually there was a second person on the call to give a second opinion.

Given a minimum of one phone screen like that, and the on site process, we're looking at 14 people each taking over an hour, not counting the 1-8 hours spent by the candidate. The cost of food, travel, etc just piles on top of this.

I don't have a strong background in algorithms: my job often involves more duct tape than deep thoughts. People with math backgrounds always wanted me to make the questions tougher, but from my perspective most candidates *couldn't* do pretty simple things so raising the bar would be counterproductive.

The upside, if any, of these massive interviews is a nod towards getting many perspectives on the candidate. I was hired into a group which needed people, solved duct tape problems, and wasn't as picky as the groups which turned their nose.

The downside is that you've taken a bunch of people, all with different professional values, and you aggregate all their feedback. Most of the hiring committees were risk averse, so any strong feedback in the negative was essentially a veto.

Everyone involved in my interviews was massively overloaded with work in progress, and the interview schedulers would take as much of your schedule they could get away with. With the constant need for fresh faces to replace attrition, saying "no" to a interview was discouraged.

I've failed the Google interview ("need more technical depth"), and I've failed the Netflix interview ("poor culture fit"). Google is pretty aggressive about trying to get me to interview again. I chalk it up to the way they do recruiters: I think they're hired for 6 month stints and there's some sort of quota or target to meet in the pipeline. So the names keep changing, and they keep working through some sort of shared rolodex of warm blooded programmers.
posted by Anonymous Function at 9:54 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


From TFA:

After several months of interviewing, I understood that Google is just another big enterprise company that has all these bureaucracy problems, opaque processes and weird rules.

Let me help anyone reading this: you can come to this conclusion right now and save yourself several months.

Google is fine. It's full of shockingly normal people. Yes, there are a lot of smart people. There are a lot of hard working people. The people can be a little extra at times, like being former Olympic athletes or having a hobby of being an opera singer that performs semi-professionally. But mostly you're not going to be impressed by most of them.

Abuse is always abuse, no matter how much money you paper it over with.

There are 100K full-time employees. The town I grew up in was 55K people. Tons of Americans. live in cities smaller than the number of people on Google's main campus right now. It's not really meaningful to make sweeping statements. There are people who are bad managers. The company has some questionable-to-bad practices. But the law of large numbers says the bulk of the company is average, by definition. Can you think of a really good corporate process? Google has it! Can you think of the worst requirements doc you've ever read? Someone at Google probably wrote another one of them today! Who has the worst reputation in the world for cancelling products? Google! Yet who somehow manages to be the primary email provider for over a billion people? Google!

And per the other interview thread, tech interviews are terrible. Google interviews are terrible. Google is weirdly happy to spend millions upon millions of dollars to hire people. Recruiters are often temps, often wildly inconsistent and yet they're the face of the company to candidates!

The fundamental truth is that Google has one core business that prints money and a few other businesses that are very, very good. The success of these businesses is completely decoupled from things like recruiting efficiency so recruiting remains terrible because there's always money in the banana stand.

There's a 1% chance you will get a job at Google, we just need to browbeat you for a couple of months first, and if you aren't in the 1%, that was all a waste of your time!

I've had a lot of jobs. The interview process I had for being an inventory counter in high school was as bad as Google's. Every interview I've had has been stressful, time consuming and driven by the hubris of whatever company I was applying for. I'm honestly not sure how Google's process is all that different other than that they seem to have interviewed nearly everyone on the planet at this point.
posted by GuyZero at 9:55 AM on February 28 [10 favorites]


I'm all for workers' rights but like I said above we're talking about a serious amount of money. Also the arcane hiring process should not be a surprise to applicants, and no one is being forced to apply to or stay at a FAANG.

It's like discussing abuse in the context of people who are applying to be a Navy SEAL. Sure there is probably some kind of conversation to be had there but I think it'd be better to focus on the abuse suffered by people who end up in the rank-and-file military because they had no other options in life, or were tricked.

If however someone understands the difference and still wants to go to bat for FAANG developers who are making 1% gobs of money, then sure, have at it.
posted by bright flowers at 10:05 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


(As a side note about Alphabet, while online paid search is indeed a license to print money, the amount of money gets smaller every year. The moon shot projects haven't panned out yet. So they have more money than everyone save Apple and some larger countries, but it's not infinite. Also, Inbox is still 1000% better than Gmail and I feel its loss almost as much as Reader.)

We are in the middle of revamping our corporate hiring and culture, and I think of the words of Scott Berkun:
Worrying about "culture fit" usually skips over asking: what are the strengths and weaknesses of our current culture?

Maybe improving culture is more important than fitting folks in to a bad one?

Many managers don't get culture - hiring is a potent way to improve or damage it.
See also all the comments about weeding out candidates who are not open to this amount of abuse.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:10 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


the arcane hiring process should not be a surprise to applicants, and no one is being forced to apply to or stay at a FAANG

That might be remotely an excuse for the FAANG crew's shitty behavior if their hiring practices didn't end up infecting the rest of the industry. This is unfortunately as it has always been, though the specific "who" that's driving these practices has changed over time. Small companies that aren't willing to put the money into building good hiring practices just copy the big guys, because if it works for Google it must be good, right?

Also this?

I'm all for workers' rights but like I said above we're talking about a serious amount of money

This is a total nonsense. If we can't push for companies to provide humane treatment of people who are making a shitload of money, then how on earth are we going to convince them to provide it to people who are paid poorly?

The answer is: we won't manage it. As long as "they're paid a lot" is an acceptable excuse for abuse, the advice to the lesser paid amounting to "just put up with it and eventually you too may be paid a lot" will follow.
posted by tocts at 10:20 AM on February 28 [16 favorites]


I'm all for workers' rights but like I said above we're talking about a serious amount of money.

Then you're not for workers' rights. Being for workers' rights means being for them, regardless of how that worker is compensated.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:26 AM on February 28 [13 favorites]


Olivia : Thank you. We confirm your onsite interview will take place on Thursday, the 19th of Never.
....
Olivia : Thank you. We confirm your onsite interview will take place on Tuesday, the 17th of Never.


FWIW, I not very long ago acted as a hiring manager, which meant I had no choice but to use the software implemented by our HR department. One of the many irksome things about said software (which happily has been replaced) was that whenever you tried to use the system to set a new status or new interview time for a candidate, you had to SCRUPULOUSLY check a very small and easily overlooked box telling the system that no, this time, just like every single other time, you did not in fact want it to send an automated email with the new information, because its automated email was always this sort of one-line "here's the new info" with no context or chance to say "actually, I'd like to run this by you, not just treat it as a fait accompli." There was no way to change that default behavior in the system, and worse, while it would spoof your info to make the email seem to have come from you, it wouldn't even copy you so you'd see that you'd missed that stupid little checkbox.
posted by solotoro at 10:31 AM on February 28


I'm trying to say that there are other ways to do this.

Tech reporter here, checking in after four days of interviewing people at all manner of companies at a security confererence. One of the articles I'm working on now is about the chronic skills shortage/open jobs in some IT security fields and I asked several of my sources about their opinion on how tech job listings are written and what the culture in their companies is like.

One guy, after sharing his opinion on whether or not companies should invest in upskilling existing workers instead of trying to hire in new talent, told me, "With your career, you can optimize for money, location or lifestyle. Once you know which one of those is good [to you], you can make that the good thing about your career. And you can chase the increased paycheck and have lots of success, or you can live where you want, or you can spend your time how you want."

The world is full of all sorts of tech companies that do interesting work. Tech doesn't begin and end with FAANG.

I see parallels between elite college admissions shenanigans and interviewing for a FAANG. Both are an explicit acknowledgment that branding and access to powerful networks of people are both a means and an end. And both want some performative proof that the people who will get those perks are invested. It's a nice eversion of "know what's good for you."
posted by sobell at 10:31 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Tech doesn't begin and end with FAANG.

The problem is that when the FAANGs sneeze, tech as a whole gets a cold. When they engaged in a wage fixing cartel, the knock-on effects resulted in an industry wide suppression of wages. Smaller tech companies look to them for hiring practices, which is how we got a decade of inane logic puzzles.

Also, this:
"With your career, you can optimize for money, location or lifestyle. Once you know which one of those is good [to you], you can make that the good thing about your career. And you can chase the increased paycheck and have lots of success, or you can live where you want, or you can spend your time how you want.
- is self-serving bullshit that dodged the question being asked. Workers should not have to compromise their life in one area to have proper compensation in another.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:38 AM on February 28 [10 favorites]


I don't even feel like I have anything more to say about how stupid this all is, so:

I struggle to understand why anyone would manipulate a linked list instead of using a different data structure; hashmaps are so efficient these days that the only reason you'd use a linked list is if order matters and you never need to search it.

Because of all the pointer chasing and subsequent cache invalidation, linked lists are pretty much a terrible idea in any context where you have a choice. Some contexts where you don't, or where the alternatives don't offer any benefit, are: managing memory allocation on the heap (malloc basically just implements linked lists of used and unused memory chunks directly in the raw memory space it gets from the OS) or keeping track of internal OS resources (Linux keeps its record of running processes/threads in a doubly-linked list, because it's only rarely traversed in full and the memory overhead for each entry is much more predictable than with a fixed array). Also, amusingly enough, the array that backs a hash map almost always points to a linked list of actual items, since distinct items can hash to the same value.
posted by invitapriore at 10:51 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


They purposely do not let anyone get comfortable. If you're comfortable, they know they're not pushing you hard enough, so they push harder.

So your employer works you to the bone, but they've also managed to convince you to that this is because you are Very Smart and Very Special. I think you just illustrated the point - this is exactly what their interview process is selecting for.

I'm all for workers' rights but like I said above we're talking about a serious amount of money. Also the arcane hiring process should not be a surprise to applicants, and no one is being forced to apply to or stay at a FAANG.

The context missing here is the cost of housing in the bay area. That is the main incentive to go through this bullshit: it's the only way to buy a house in the bay area. And why is the cost of housing so high here? Because of the astronomic salaries they pay these engineers, pricing every person who isn't willing to jump through these hoops in the software field out of not just the house buying market, but the rental market as well. So the more Google pays these engineers, the more housing prices go up, and so the more desperate people are to feel like they're one of the Special ones who "wins" the game and gets to buy a house.

Studio apartments for rent in my part of the bay - which is not in SF and not convenient to commuting to FAANG unless you want to spend 3+ hours in the car everyday - start at $3000+/mo.

Reading these articles about tech interviews has been really revealing to me as a bay resident in a how-the-other-half-lives kind of way. I thank god every day I decided to go to art school instead of pursuing computer science, which I do as a hobby. But man it really goes a long way to explain the techie stereotype of entitlement.
posted by bradbane at 10:52 AM on February 28 [16 favorites]


companies should invest in upskilling existing workers instead of trying to hire in new talent

Most tech companies do spend money upskilling existing employees (last few years: Agile, SAFE, automated testing, cloud, microservices, algorithms, cloud, whatever) but I think the question is still not good. If you asked the same question re: subsidies for existing home owners/people with good jobs/insurance havers vs allow new ones, would the answer be any different? Existing employees already have so many entrenched advantages even if the org doesn't support much direct on-the-job training.
posted by The_Vegetables at 10:53 AM on February 28


I think with the interview, what they're really trying to find out is if you're smart. Really smart. Because if you aren't, you're going to fail.

I would just like to say for the record that I am VERY HUMBLE; probably more humble than anyone you've ever met!! I konw that sounds surprising, but I am very smart (NOT a genius -- llol, sometimes I think I'm TOO humble) so you can trust me. Anyway, about Google,
posted by invitapriore at 11:00 AM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Nevertheless, it's an insight into what software engineers are supposed to put themselves through in order to go through the interview process.

No, this is how people that what people who work for Google, specifically, have to go through.

Also, the answer to "why would anybody go through this???" is: ~$500k per year (well, probably not in Poland like this dude) and recruiters cold calling you 5-10 times a week for the rest of your career, just begging for you to consider whatever role they are trying to fill.
posted by sideshow at 11:02 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


A good friend of mine interviewed at Google while seven months pregnant, after spending ten years in a more traditional midwestern company. In view of her pregnancy they broke up her interviews over a couple of days so that she wouldn't get too tired and arranged them to match her schedule. They hired her, she worked for less than a month, and then went on six months paid maternity leave, came back sorta part-time for a month before really getting down to work.

Name one other US company that'd do that. It's the most humane interview and on-boarding process I've ever encountered; maybe their hiring process is really just very uneven?

Hiring in the US blows generally; at least in tech you can be seriously well-paid rather than struggling all the goddamn time for every speck of dignity you can scrape together from the crumbs the asshole boss left on the table. After five years she makes almost $500K (!!!) and expects to be able to retire in about ten years. Her kid is already a millionaire (trust fund) and she gets home by 7 every night despite being in the Bay Area. If you know of a better company, by all means let me know, I'm sure she'd like to make even more for less effort.

[As you might guess, I'm quite jealous. Then again, I'm not as good as she is and my skills are way less profitable for my employer. I wasted a bunch of years in an industry where you could be straight-up fired on Monday for having gone to a BBQ on Sunday and had a beer or two. Literally. I mean, a guy on my team got fired for exactly that. Just perp-walked out of the building. Bye bye Carl.]
posted by aramaic at 11:03 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


No, this is how people that what people who work for Google, specifically, have to go through.

As has repeatedly repeatedly repeatedly been mentioned in this thread, a giant fraction of tech companies' recruiting processes are in imitation of FAANG practices.
posted by PMdixon at 11:05 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


tocts, NoxAeternum: I came into this discussion thinking people might not be aware of the pay disparity. It's often an eye-popping surprise even to people in the software industry. I've made that particular point so I'll let it be.

I'm uncomfortable with the argument that FAANG people are workers too and if you're not for improving their situation then you're not for workers' rights. It feels analogous to me to the situation in the queer community where for a long time activism focused on gay and lesbian rights with the argument that improving things for them would lead to improving things for all queer people. In practice when gay and lesbian rights significantly improved, some people decided it was mission accomplished and pulled the ladder up behind them.

So with that in mind I'm not convinced that making things easier for the software developer equivalents of gay men like Peter Thiel and Tim Cook would actually be effective at helping everyone, rather than increasing divisions even further. I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea either but I think a more nuanced argument is needed.

(If anyone chooses to engage with my analogy, please try to do so respectfully and keep in mind that I personally am queer.)
posted by bright flowers at 11:10 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I'm uncomfortable with the argument that FAANG people are workers too and if you're not for improving their situation then you're not for workers' rights. It feels analogous to me to the situation in the queer community where for a long time activism focused on gay and lesbian rights with the argument that improving things for them would lead to improving things for all queer people. In practice when gay and lesbian rights significantly improved, some people decided it was mission accomplished and pulled the ladder up behind them.

I think the analogy doesn't hold because I don't think tech workers are the focus of most discussions about workers' rights -- if they were I'd be right there with you in wanting to deprioritize their concerns in favor of more pressing labor issues, although that would still be "deprioritize" and not "disavow entirely," the latter of which I think is definitionally not compatible with a concern for workers' rights.
posted by invitapriore at 11:19 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


If it had been my first job, rather than coming after 10 yrs of bouncing around, I don't know if I would have realized the constant refrain of "it's like this everywhere whaddyagonnado" is so laughably wrong.

Google very much loves to hire students right out of school, who have no sense of what jobs are like in other places, and who've spent the last 10 years of their lives believing that their main daytime activity is supposed to dominate every aspect of their lives.

Not mentioned in articles about Google's hiring and employee treatment practices: How many people work at Google but not for Google, and are stuck as contractors working for staffing companies that don't have the high salaries or cushy benefit packages. Hiring process for them isn't as rigorous (because they're generally not programmers), but often still involves a couple of interviews and checks for "Googleyness", plus review from random higher-level people who go over notes from previous interviews and the CV and decide whether the person is a good fit.

Ageism is rampant and blatant; managers will tell recruiters not to bother with anyone over 30.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:20 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Google very much loves to hire students right out of school

Every company loves to hire people right out of school. This is hardly unique to Google. Every genius is presumably in university somewhere and when they graduate that may be that last time they're on the open job market. Heck, most big companies have internship programs specifically to find the top graduates before that happens and to try to get them onboard even earlier.

This is the case at every company I've ever worked for, from tiny to huge and is only limited by the company's current ability to hire. When I worked at 200-person companies they were very eager and happy to take well-liked co-op students as new hires.

And yes, there are tons of issues with how new hires get treated and whether they're given proper mentorship. But I don't think you have to shed many tears for the poor overpaid new grads sucked into Google straight out of Cal Poly or Waterloo who get to put the #1 company in the world on the resume on day 1 of having a job.
posted by GuyZero at 11:34 AM on February 28


Also the arcane hiring process should not be a surprise to applicants, and no one is being forced to apply to or stay at a FAANG.

I find this line of thinking very frustrating. Of course, no one is required to apply to FAANG. No one is required to apply for any given job. No one is required to work for a fashion magazine or a TV network or an advertising agency, so rampant abuse of unpaid internships doesn't matter. No one is required to work for a major law firm, so massively overworking articling students and junior associates doesn't matter. Nobody is required to work for a non-profit, so having to provide dinner and a show as part of your interview doesn't matter. Nobody is required to work for... fill in the blanks with any really desirable job (creative or high paying or both) here.

Except that those things do matter. Because when the interview process or the entry-level version of the job is some bullshit gauntlet that can't be met by classes of potential employees -- people whose parents can't support them while they spend 3 months unpaid practicing for an interview or 6 months in an unpaid internship; people with kids at home who can't put in 12 hour days 6 and a half days a week; people who lack the social capital and connections to get offered an unpaid, unadvertised internship -- then those people get shut out of those jobs. And then mysteriously, the people who are left to fill those jobs are always the same kind of people -- mostly men, mostly white, mostly from higher socio-economic backgrounds, and mostly delighted to set up hiring processes to ensure that the people who follow behind them are just like them. It's how systemic privilege fucking works.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:41 AM on February 28 [35 favorites]


As has repeatedly repeatedly repeatedly been mentioned in this thread, a giant fraction of tech companies' recruiting processes are in imitation of FAANG practices.

As someone who occasionally interviews engineers for the larger A in your FAANG, I can tell you that Google's interview practices are really specific to them.
posted by sideshow at 11:50 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Also I find it funny that people summarize a whole class of companies as "FAANG" when then father of terrible interview styles is Microsoft, infamous for using brain teasers, well document in How Would You Move Mount Fuji?: Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle -- How the World's Smartest Companies Select the Most Creative Thinkers which was published in 2004 and summarized a practice that had been in use since the late 90's at least.

Apple is the one company in this cohort that doesn't do all this and that's because they don't hire generalists and have hiring practices that date to a paleolithic time known as "the 1980s."
posted by GuyZero at 12:43 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


There was another thread like this about a week ago, and while I totally agree that tech hiring is a mess, that one was similar in that the guy was complaining about interviewing at "large search firm", "large ride-sharing firm", etc. So while I have some sympathy, what I read into that was "I have interviewed at the biggest and best-paying prestige Silicon Valley firms because I am very smart and want the prestige and huge pay that come with those hot-shit jobs." There are zillions of tech / programming jobs all over the country (US) that offer good wages and reasonable work-life balance. So it feels a little like complaining that you don't like the shitty policies and working conditions of the big Delaware corporate legal firms, so why did you go to law school? As if you can't just be a lawyer anywhere.

I have made a great career in software for 23 years and have never had to put myself through the stuff described in the articles. I also did not move to California. As another data point, I have a friend who moved to the mountains of NC and took a job programming control software in a soda bottling plant. Lives in the country, low stress, and gets to be one of the smartest guys in the room.
posted by freecellwizard at 12:58 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


The article would've been so much better - though maybe not better for the author - if it had stopped here:
After a tough interview with Google and several interviews with small start-ups and companies, I have concluded that employment is not for me.
posted by clawsoon at 2:00 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


If Google decides to construct a byzantine, Kafkaesque hiring process based on skill writing low-level algorithms, I suppose that's their choice. It's just a damn shame that so much of the tech industry has looked at their process and thought "sure, that'll probably work for us too".

This is a common pitfall in the tech industry: You Are Not Google. No, you probably don't need to use Kubernetes, Hadoop, microservices, and NoSQL. No, you probably don't need to hire people by subjecting them to ridiculous whiteboard coding sessions or trick interview puzzles like "why are manhole covers round" (you can thank Microsoft for popularizing that bullshit, btw). But people in the hiring pipeline think Well that's how Google does it and they seem to be doing pretty well for themselves and here we are.

Software development as a craft is more about the messy human-to-human shit that doesn't involve writing code, not re-implementing linked lists or (god forbid) assigning the value of one variable to another without using an intermediate. You wouldn't hire a contractor to renovate your kitchen based on their accuracy with a hammer or their skill with a measuring tape unless you were trying to filter out the top 0.1% of a few thousand applicants, but that's not a problem anyone else actually has.

It's not quite as bad outside the Silicon Valley tech bubble, and even though that's not where the big money is, it suits me just fine.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 2:36 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


I don't think you have to shed many tears for the poor overpaid new grads sucked into Google straight out of Cal Poly

I'm not shedding any tears for the new grads being paid zillions while they're learning that it's expected for their jobs to take 75-100 hours of their weeks. I'm annoyed on behalf of the smart, competent people who are being shoved aside for being over 30, and wanting to work 40 hours a week so they can have a family and social life that doesn't revolve around work.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:36 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Every company loves to hire people right out of school. This is hardly unique to Google. Every genius is presumably in university somewhere and when they graduate that may be that last time they're on the open job market.

Many of the geniuses that come out of academia have severe personality flaws that prevent them from working well in large feams and which are not easy to discover in interviews. In my industry at least one productive job stint is known informally as the "not crazy" stamp. If you can reduce many of your problems to simple hierarchies with isolatable, testable components it doesn't matter as much if you hire smart but crazy/evil people (e.g. James Damore).

At Oracle they just ask you to shoot the puppy for $20 cash, and you're done with the culture fit test.
posted by benzenedream at 3:00 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Many of the geniuses that come out of academia have severe personality flaws that prevent them from working well in large feams

This is a pretty bold assertion.

Regardless, lots of companies have aggressive university hiring programs. If they're wrong, everybody's wrong.

while they're learning that it's expected for their jobs to take 75-100 hours of their weeks.

Nobody at Google is working a 100 hour workweek. Maybe a tiny handful of people. Most of their employees are lucky to get 20 productive hours out of a week once you get past status reports, team meetings, memegen and waiting in line at the food trucks. A lot of people are spending 2+ hours a day on busses from the city, but let me assure you they're boarding them at 4:30 sharp.
posted by GuyZero at 3:15 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


I'm annoyed on behalf of the smart, competent people who are being shoved aside for being over 30, and wanting to work 40 hours a week so they can have a family and social life that doesn't revolve around work.

And let me be clear - this is so immensely far from the truth that it's beyond ignorant into borderline disinformation.
posted by GuyZero at 3:16 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Maybe the folks from the Island of Smart People should go spend a few months on the Island of Wise People, see how the other half lives.
posted by chromecow at 3:18 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


And let me be clear - this is so immensely far from the truth that it's beyond ignorant into borderline disinformation.

Yeah I kind of think so too. I don't know a broad slice of people who work for Google, but I do know quite a few people who work there, most of whom are my age, were hired there in their late 30s, early 40s, or in one case I know of late 40s. They work regular hours, don't experience crazy crunch times or any of that.

I think their hiring practices are pretty over the top but their work life seems fine. Who knows, maybe they're working all their new grads to the bone, but I've never seen or heard of it.

ETA: "my age" is mid-40s
posted by RustyBrooks at 3:24 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Maybe the folks from the Island of Smart People should go spend a few months on the Island of Wise People, see how the other half lives.

....this is part of the same archipelago as Crone Island, isn't it?
posted by AdamCSnider at 3:44 PM on February 28


Software development as a craft is more about the messy human-to-human shit that doesn't involve writing code, not re-implementing linked lists or (god forbid) assigning the value of one variable to another without using an intermediate.

This, a thousand times. We have a new guy on a team, he's a bright guy, did great in school, knows his comp-sci very well. He can analyze an algorithm, probably put an ML tool together if you need it. But he's been getting frustrated on his first projects because the legacy database is poorly normalized, someone before him did something bizarre in the code, he's got clients that give him dodgy requirements, there's always another "but what are you doing about x?" when no one ever told him that x was a thing, a lot of stuff is kinda poorly documented - the usual in your non-Google regular line of business coding. He's got good people around to help him through everything, but yeah. Most places aren't Google. Most software developers will never have to implement a sorting algorithm.

But you probably will have to organize a meeting, get requirements without making the client feel insulted, deal with weird legacy code, decipher things that should have been done better, but weren't, for reasons lost to the sands of time. I wish there were a class on that stuff in college.
posted by mrgoat at 3:47 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Many of the geniuses that come out of academia have severe personality flaws that prevent them from working well in large teams

This is a pretty bold assertion.


Yeah, I should have added qualifiers to that. As noted in other comments, the amount of dedication/time /nearly free work devoted to a Ph.D. (and postdoc) in pursuit of an academic post makes 3 months of skill prep look trivial. As such, I think it can select for monomania and knife fights over meager rewards, especially in fields where large collaborations are not essential. I do not think it is as bad in fields where you can still get a reasonable career with an undergrad degree.
posted by benzenedream at 3:53 PM on February 28


Most places aren't Google. Most software developers will never have to implement a sorting algorithm.

Once again, people have weird ideas about what happens day-to-day at Google. It is not implementing sorting algorithms.

Now, sure, that's a reasonable guess what they do based on what the interviews cover, but it is not, in fact, what they do. Allow me to quote a poster from the estimable Hacker News:

The harsh truth of working at Google is that in the end you are moving protobufs from one place to another. They have the most talented people in the world but those people still have to do some boring engineering work.
posted by GuyZero at 3:55 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


The harsh truth of working at Google is that in the end you are moving protobufs from one place to another.

Heh. One of my colleagues once summed up modern software work as mostly about calling one API to get a JSON blob, and then cleaning up the blob so it can be passed to a different API.

One comment I didn't manage to put into the previous software engineering interview thread was my suspicion that all the interview emphasis on super-hardcore coding, interesting algorithmic stuff, and lofty design principles can seem like a bit of bait-and-switch. A lot of the time, it seems to me that a lot of software engineering isn't about breaking new ground or pushing the envelope or disrupting the paradigm or whatever but rather just mundane and routine engineering stuff. I mean, it seems like sometimes they're testing candidates to see if they can design and build a Notre Dame cathedral with their bare hands but when they actually show up to work, they find out they're mostly going to be hanging drywall in cookie-cutter bungalows in an anonymous suburban subdivision. Maybe sometimes they'll also get to do some wainscotting.
posted by mhum at 4:22 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Maybe sometimes they'll also get to do some wainscotting.

So here's the real issue with Google's interview process: for pure software developers, no one involved in the process knows what the candidate will end up doing. I mean, if you're a new hire there's a non-zero chance your product is going to get killed within a year. And Google is always inventing new stuff that's never been done before, that is kind of their thing. So Google hires "generalists".

So you'll be hanging drywall for a few years. Then you'll transfer to, uh, copper mining. Where you might talk to the people making household wiring sometimes. Then you'll be in a hammer factory, making tools for drywall hangers.

What do these all have in common? You might think nothing, but clearly the answer is metallurgy! So to hang drywall, mine copper and make hammers you'll be interviewed on your academic understanding of metallurgy and chemistry.

It makes perfect sense if you think about it long enough.
posted by GuyZero at 4:28 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


As I mentioned upthread, I had a technical phone screen today, and much to my relief, the discussion was nothing like the horror story depicted in this piece, and much more like the kind of technical interviews my coworkers and I conduct.

The task was to implement a pretty basic key value store, and it was a relief to be told that it would be done mostly in pseudocode, and that I wouldn't have to implement a hash map from scratch. It started out as the basics of persisting keys and values to a file, then the interviewer added different features -- concurrent access, ACID properties, crash recovery, etc. The focus wasn't on knowing a particular algorithm, but on the process of going from a vague specification to add new features, justifying the decisions I made, and clearly explaining my thought process.

I don't know if I'll get an offer out of this, but I feel a lot better about the company than some others I've done technical interviews with, and I feel much less anxiety about potentially leaving a university R&D center for a late-stage startup.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:01 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


None of these responses have dissuaded me from the idea that they're hiring for bullshit tolerance.
posted by fnerg at 5:14 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


mhum: Heh. One of my colleagues once summed up modern software work as mostly about calling one API to get a JSON blob, and then cleaning up the blob so it can be passed to a different API.

Just today I was just thinking that we should change the SQL questions on our technical test to some kind of JSON-blob-API-call question since the job hasn't involved any SQL calls for at least five years.
posted by clawsoon at 5:18 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


3 months of skill prep look trivial.

I don’t see why anyone thinks it’s fair to count PhD work as ‘interview prep’ for professors but not count a CS person’s time getting degrees or certifications? Because all the highly paid coders I know had pretty intensive degree programs too. This post is about interviews, not degrees. Those are different things.

Granted my comparison to academia is a bit off-topic but whenever someone goes on and on about how smart coders at X place are, I just hear “I don’t know many academics”, or worse, “I judge smartness solely by arcane coding stunts”.

Another comparison: I know a medical doctor who just got hired at a new job and her process was a breeze compared to the OP, and again, hiring doctors is about finding really smart people who also solve really hard problems, and they manage to do that without all this nonsense.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:02 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


None of these responses have dissuaded me from the idea that they're hiring for bullshit tolerance.
Software, most of it, is often about tolerating enough bullshit to identify what's actually important to do to solve a problem and do enough plumbing (json blobs, protobufs, IPC serialization and marshalling, APIs with varying levels of both reliability and abstraction) to get to the "hard" part for which you happen to either have or develop the unique skills and knowledge to solve the core problem at all, and maybe over time and with enough instrumentation, efficiently.

Maybe that hard part is some neat implementation of loose graph matching or new take on search distance that is content-specific to your particular domain. And that's cool. Then the results still have to get out back through all those annoying layers.

And those layers are often attached to other teams, and people, and require you to also navigate a certain amount of their indifference, competing priorities, and externalities of technical debt to get your one damn instance through their one damn pipe. It requires thirteen rounds of code review and an escalation to your mutual 2.5M annual salary VP that gets rescheduled until you basically give up because the project you're on has been moved to another entire product area.

But that moment when you noticed that the problem in the pipe was due to what was basically an O(n^3) search over the entire IPv4 space masquerading as a distributed hashmap... that efficiency introduced as one step of hundreds in an ultimately only partly successful project... actually saves nearly 1Bn annually.

Tolerating the bullshit when you're not the smartest person in the room to be capable of recognizing the important thing to fix while solving harder, bullshit-laden quest chains, then build a tool to automate and collapse 20% of that quest chain out of sheer frustration. The benefit is then having a team support you doing exactly that, because you happen to work for the company that owns every layer of this shit-layer-cake and every tiny thing you make better is payoff to their investment in someone who would tolerate bullshit and make every terrible step a notch less terrible.

Soo I'm saying you're right, and it can be worth it. But there's also stupid bullshit to do everywhere, getting a shot at a moment of transcendent non-bullshit is pretty rare but when it happens at one of these monsters it can have a great deal more impact. I'm guessing that's what keeps people coming to the bullshit interviews.
posted by abulafa at 6:47 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Somebody let me know when there's an opening for a steady 9-5 paycheck that doesn't require me to deal with any bullshit
posted by GuyZero at 6:56 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


This interview process sounds like garbage and I'm glad people are shaming big tech companies for it. But the biggest (if not totally unrelated) horror of their hiring practices is they are blatantly and obviously racist and sexist.

If IBM could figure out how to hire and promote black computer engineers when segregation was still legal, big tech now can fucking well do the same. But they choose not to. "Googliness" and "culture fit" and subjective conceptions of smartness are ways to keep an insular community of men of only a few narrow cultural backgrounds in these jobs and to keep everyone else out.

There are computer science programs in state schools all over the county. You think you're so fucking smart Google? Figure out how to hire some black people.
posted by latkes at 10:10 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


"Island of the smart people" pretty much nails the vibe.

Guys, guys, please stop telling on yourselves, you're going to have me cringe right out of my skin.
posted by praemunire at 11:45 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


severe personality flaws that prevent them from working well in large teams

You mean, we scare neurotypicals?
posted by Cardinal Fang at 12:24 AM on February 29 [2 favorites]


Because Google’s hiring process has one more step, which will take place without you. In this last stage, several senior Googlers (who don't know you and have never spoken to you) will review your CV and feedback from the interviewers and decide whether you will fit into Google or not. Only with their endorsement can you land the job.» OK, it’s time for frustrating moment #2.
This part made me sad, because I think it's actually one aspect of interviewing that Google gets right. It's true, the hiring decision isn't made by anyone who's met you. Interviewers take detailed notes and rate each candidate against different rubrics, with clear objective guidelines for what each level of rating should be.

The hiring decision is made by a committee that only sees those notes. They don't see your name. Interviewers are instructed to use gender-neutral language (only "they" or "the candidate"). The system is bureaucratic and inefficient, true, but it's also intentionally designed to avoid implicit bias. I think it would be hard to design a more fair system.

There are several coding interviews, but that's so having one bad interview doesn't tank you. You need at least three interviews to correct for a bad interviewer.

It's ironic that people think the "Googleyness and Leadership" interviews are bias-enforcing. They were introduced as a concession to the walkout, with the goal of improving inclusion and diversity. They replaced one of the five technical interviews with a soft skills interview for "what's your biggest weakness" type questions. Engineers don't like them - they just want to go back to asking the same coding problems they've been asking for years. It's not going perfectly - people still don't know how to conduct them, they're almost always scored as "hire", and the hiring committees don't quite know what to do with the feedback. But I think it's good that Google is taking steps to move away from pure coding interviews, even if those first steps are shaky.
posted by heathkit at 1:59 AM on February 29 [3 favorites]


Also, I think it would surprise people to know just how ad-hoc the interview process is. It's gotten better in my time here - having standardized, objective rubrics for feedback is a big improvement, and that just happened in the past few years. But when it comes to the actual interview questions, everyone's kind of on their own. There's a training people take before interviewing, and there are guidelines. There's a community-driven question bank, where questions that have been seen on sites like leetcode get flagged, but there's no requirement to use it.

Most people do a couple interviews a month. Some people love it and interview several times a week. When you start interviewing, you have to figure out which question you're going to ask - either borrow someone else's or come up with your own. The goal is for it to be a work sample type question - here's a toy problem that someone could reasonably expect to solve in an hour. No brainteasers or implement a Red-Black tree or anything like that. Even so, there's huge variability in interview questions, and that's something that needs to be fixed.
posted by heathkit at 2:12 AM on February 29 [4 favorites]


I think it would be hard to design a more fair system.

I believe you that the intent is to have a fair system, but how can this possibly be perceived as fair when the outcome is so unequivocally biased?
posted by latkes at 6:41 AM on February 29 [2 favorites]


fair within the parameters, as in "merit-based" IYKWIM
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:47 AM on February 29 [1 favorite]


It's a lot harder to remove bias than to remove mentions of name, gender, race etc. from the interview notes. You'll still have the implicit biases in the interviewers in how they describe the candidate, and the systemic biases in the selection criteria. If you're looking for a high GPA from a top-tier university for instance, you're really adopting the selection bias of admittance to those universities, and the bias in favor of people who have the resources to focus on school more.

It's great that the intent is to reduce bias, but the proof is in the outcomes, as latkes pointed out. If you remove the visible factors and still come to an unfair outcome, you're not reducing bias, you're just mathwashing it.
posted by mrgoat at 7:03 AM on February 29 [9 favorites]


Well you have the bias of closing engineering in Atlanta nearly a decade ago and then reopening it again this week while Sundar pats himself on the back for promoting diversity. Not much hiring committee can do about that.
posted by GuyZero at 8:44 AM on February 29


Another approach to evaluating candidates is to almost entirely rely on rubric-evaluated work-samples, for example see this Hacker News comment. This means the work-sample almost entirely replaces traditional interviews, it's not yet another hurdle. The commenter reports that it's been successful for him in hiring people. It's really rare though.

I complained above about people focusing on Google instead of more typical companies. On that theme, I'll share that I've participated in many technical interviews at companies that are definitely not Google. heathkit's description of hiring sounds positively military in discipline compared to the ones I've been a part of. More typical is a group of mostly white guys with no particular training skimming a resume ahead of time and then herding into the interview room to ask whatever they want. This might include some standard technical questions. These are the kind of companies that your typical struggling candidate is getting interviews at, not Google.

I'm not sure what the fix is. A more diverse set of interviewers would help. More government regulation maybe, legally required training for anyone who has contact with candidates before hiring. A designated "chief hiring officer" answerable to some government agency. Unionization. Licensing.
posted by bright flowers at 9:39 AM on February 29 [1 favorite]


Man, this is so, so different from the last tech boom, which was when I entered the industry. In the late 90s, it seemed like you could get a job in the field just because you liked computers.
posted by ryanrs at 9:41 AM on February 29 [4 favorites]


In the late 90s, it seemed like you could get a job in the field just because you liked computers.

Well it was a boom, and the demand for labor was far higher than the supply coming from any credentialing institution. I suppose (not sure) employers like Microsoft may have been requiring CS degrees for at least some developer or sysadmin positions, but there were a lot of self-taught people who were quite good that this would have excluded, and those people had no trouble finding work elsewhere. Furthermore, there were new professions, like web design, for which there were NO credentialing institutions. So there it was a matter of throwing together a portfolio, getting a couple of clients, and hey, you have gone from law-school-avoiding, ex-punk-drummer, bong-scraping slacker to well-paid professional. In the New Economy! On the real entry-level end of the spectrum, you could get a job easily with an A+ cert, and jobs stringing Ethernet cable or something like that probably didn't even need that.
posted by thelonius at 10:09 AM on February 29 [2 favorites]


Re: tech companies and housing in the Bay area. It reminds me of Scotch Broom which poisons the soil around it with alkaloids so nothing else can grow. It's very good for the broom. It spreads like crazy. It's terrible for everything else and creates a noxious, impenetrable monoculture.

Sound familiar?
posted by klanawa at 10:20 AM on February 29 [4 favorites]


I think that's a pretty unfair analogy when it comes to tech workers, who are just workers after all. Bay Area cities zone new office space for thousands of people and then zone zero new housing. Why are workers at fault that housing prices have gone up? Why are no houses built? Why do cities continue to try to attract more companies and somehow not make any effort to do anything to ensure there are places for people to live?

Not that it would be any better but if tech companies had their way they'd turn San Jose into Manhattan in a heartbeat. Probably SF too.
posted by GuyZero at 2:02 PM on February 29 [1 favorite]


I didn't say anything about the workers.

(I am one, btw. Just not in that business.)
posted by klanawa at 6:52 PM on February 29 [1 favorite]


Why are no houses built?

I don't know about your specific region, but around me it's because every time a developer tries to introduce greater density they get shot down because everyone freaks out about "more traffic (OMG!!)". They've even started fighting the conversion of a fast food franchise into a different franchise on the basis that the new restaurant would be more popular, and would therefore attract additional traffic.

Near me there's been a multi-year battle over a hideous low-density 1950s mall that a developer owns and would like to convert to a couple mid-rise residential towers, plus a park and some retail. Opponents are using everything they can to stop this conversion; they've even tried to claim that the decrepit termite-ridden strip mall is a site of unusual historic value (it's not; the architecture on display there, while crappy, is nevertheless mirrored in several nearby sites so even if you're fond of crappy architecture there are other options).

...these are the same people (again, in the case near me) that also try to shoot down expanded transit services on the basis that more buses would "tend to disrupt the historic character of the area" (that historic character being whatever character can be accrued from an endless expanse of 1950s tract homes).

They're even fighting the ability of homeowners to expand their own damn houses within the confines of the various zoning rules on the grounds that more people will mean more traffic, and obviously traffic is the greatest villain in history, I guess?
posted by aramaic at 7:26 PM on February 29 [4 favorites]


Fizz... it wasn't me who interviewed you for a "large domain register"-- I've gotten out of that cycle -- but I agree, it's weird, the interview process. (I just had to do it myself to snag a new gig within the company. Terrifying.) The thing is, it's really hard to evaluate Devs with whom you haven't work. I'm not convinced the process works well, given that we've hired some truly terrible Devs and, presumably, passed on some talented ones... but otherwise, it's hard.

We make people do a simple "to-do" level React app as a take home, but even that seems to not be a great indicator of quality, when it comes down to it.
posted by ph00dz at 8:11 AM on March 1


In software we hire commercial airline pilots by their ability to dogfight.
posted by lowtide at 1:51 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


This thread - especially the housing situation, and "how could the workers possibly do anything about that?" - needs a dose of wage compression (PDF).
posted by clawsoon at 2:41 PM on March 1


aramaic: and obviously traffic is the greatest villain in history, I guess?

Never underestimate the power of the politics of road rage. There is no human right more sacred than the Right of Way.
posted by clawsoon at 2:43 PM on March 1


> I'm not sure what the fix is.

One of the boot-camps a friend of my graduated from paid a stipend to students to enable them to concentrate on their studies, and also include help with job placement. (The school ultimately makes money by taking a cut of the first N paychecks.) One student from my friend's cohort did manage to ended up behind hired by Google, with the help of a lot of studying. It's not really a solution that scales, as the school is tiny. Each cohort is only double digits and competition to get into the school is fierce, which really that only moves the issue further up the pipe.
posted by fragmede at 1:27 AM on March 2


(The school ultimately makes money by taking a cut of the first N paychecks.)

Is it Lambda? The one that "current and former students... say it's a 'cult' and they would have been better off learning on their own"?

I'm sure it helps some people but an ISA is still money and it's a lot of money.
posted by GuyZero at 11:36 AM on March 2


One of my colleagues once summed up modern software work as mostly about calling one API to get a JSON blob, and then cleaning up the blob so it can be passed to a different API.

And yet people say Perl is dead.

My favorite part of interviewing at one FAANG was having somebody admit to me that while the majority of a particular system was written in Python because that's what the guys who did most of the original work liked best, whenever they needed the best execution speed they wrote that part in Perl because Perl started up faster. Over thousands of cycles a day that startup advantage was quantifiable and repeatable.
posted by fedward at 1:56 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


One of my colleagues once summed up modern software work as mostly about calling one API to get a JSON blob, and then cleaning up the blob so it can be passed to a different API.

That's really not fair and quite reductive. Sometimes you also call a stored procedure, clean up the results and serialize to JSON so it can be passed to an API.
posted by mrgoat at 2:40 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


And yet people say Perl is dead.

Heh, JAPH chuckles smugly.

<rant>
As an old opinionated person these horror stories are related to the state of what counts as CS education in these days and ages. By about the mid 90s and even more so from the 00s and on, the educational system came under the thumb of the big business interests. Once computing really took off, they came and asked for things like Microsoft, Python, Java, web stuff, Javascript, etc. and said "give us these and we have jobs". This continued and now they're finding that the pool of available CS types don't have that theory stuff anymore. They can make fantastic web pages and simple apps, but can't come up with things that haven't been done yet. And there are fewer and fewer who can just be handed a random problem and come up with how to make it happen.

There's something to be had from the old time. Writing programs when you only have a few hours at the computer user rooms to get your code in and actually working (because you don't have a computer in your room). You have to think about it and plan it and look for mistakes and know that it works and prove it to yourself before you head out to the computer and spend all night getting it done.

I'm not saying that the interview process isn't all messed up. But they're actually looking for the few out of thousands that can do something novel and not just plug API into API. Your modern CS or bootcamp likely doesn't hit that depth of tackling that task of make new random stuff to fix random new thing that the FAANGs are looking for at the moment. And in a way, it's their fault in the first place for asking for replaceable cogs in the first place.

</rant>
posted by zengargoyle at 3:45 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


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