Posted on Apr 25, 2015 at 07:06AM
The other day, I had a very Hello-Neo-I'm-Morpheus kind of moment. I'd been googling for python this-and-thats on my right-most screen and coding in the middle one.
I was focusing on my editor, staring at some bit of wayward code when I caught something change in the browser out of the corner of my eye.
I didn't look right away. Honestly, today's web does a lot of unexpected things with ads and banners and I'm not one to pay much attention to such things.
But I did look. And what I saw was pretty cool.
The google results I'd been poring over--or not, sometimes I'll just remember the keywords that bring up the link I want--had literally cracked in half and a black void with a very bash-prompty font was presented to me with an invite to try what ended up being Google FooBar.
I write 'ended up' because I don't remember exactly what it said and I can't find a picture of it anywhere.
As I recall, it had some sort of red button. I always press red buttons.
At that point, it opened up into a full-screen console giving me a very familiar and unixy terminal to poke around in. After a few minutes, I'd ascertained that this was an algorithm puzzle and it was one that I remember being talked about in one of my classes back in college.
It took me an hour or so to get it done and I submitted it. And, at this point, Google FooBar confirmed that I'd successfully completed the puzzle and, then...nothing. Oh, I think maybe it gave me a login, but I'm pretty sure that login was just going to get me access to more puzzles.
Meh. Seems like a lot of work for that. One puzzle's worth of my time is worth the very cool introduction, but, beyond that, I wasn't real sure I wanted to keep going. I solve puzzles for a living and I'm not really searching for a new fount of things to do.
I googled Google's Foobar and figured out that it was the start of a conversation with Google's recruiters.
I'm not a Google hater, but I don't want to work for them either. I'm more comfortable with small teams of people solving tangible problems.
With that said, I will admit to being absolutely blown away by the approach and I bet it has been a big success for their recruiting department. Kudos to whatever team put in the work to make it happen.