Search for complex coding problems and you may land a job at Google
Getting a job in Google is not an easy task. The world’s best search engine is known for its grueling interview process. So, how does Google recruit programming experts? Well, the company secretly recruits their top coders based on their internet searches. That’s how Max Rosett landed a software engineer position at the tech giant.
On Tuesday, Max Rosett, a new Google employee, explained on The Hustle about how he landed his new job at Google. Working as a data scientist at start-up ApartmentList.com and earning a Master’s degree in computer science through Georgia Tech, Rosett was working on a head-scratching coding problem. He turned to Google’s search box, typing in this query on the programming language: “python lambda function list comprehension.”
The Google split open and revealed a black box that read ‘You’re speaking our language. Up for a challenge?’” Rosett stated. He accepted the challenge, and was shown particular programming exercises for him to solve in exactly 48 hours. “I clicked through and landed on a page that called itself ‘foo.bar.’”
“I won’t post the problem here, but solving it required a bit of knowledge about algorithms. I had the option to code in Python or Java. I set to work and solved the first problem in a couple of hours. Each time I submitted a solution, foo.bar tested my code against five hidden test cases. Once my solution passed all those tests, I could submit it and request a new challenge. Over the next two weeks, I solved five more problems.”
In total, Rosett worked through six challenges over a period of two weeks.
After clicking to point out his interest, Rosett was taken to google.com/foobar, where he was presented with what looked like a Linux terminal.
“The page resembled a UNIX interface, so I typed the command to see the list of files”, he said. “I had the option to code in Python or Java”.
Once the challenge was over, Google asked for his contact information. And after sometime, a recruiter emailed him to ask for a copy of his resume and scheduled him for an interview, which eventually resulted in him getting a job at Google.
Rosett seems to think very highly of the unusual recruiting process he went through. “Foo.bar is a brilliant recruiting tactic. Google used it to identify me before I had even applied anywhere else, and they made me feel important while doing so. At the same time, they respected my privacy and didn’t reach out to me without explicitly requesting my information”, he said.
“Overall, I enjoyed the puzzles that they gave me to solve, and I’m excited for my first day as a Googler.”
However, Google has never confirmed that the test is a recruiting tool. Rosett’s experience is not unusual. Last year, a Hacker News user had posted a similar account, stating that the process is “long,” and the rejection rate “really high.”