I’m finding it difficult to find employment, even more so in elixir. It would appear to me that employer’s standards are increasing at a rate that feels disproportionate to the available skill sets of the general population.
Today I was given a tech challenge that I was given 2 to 3 hours to complete. Normally I would not share the challenge but seeing as I was open about my skill level from the very beginning I feel I was done a disservice by my interviewer. Sadly this has not been the first time this has happened to me. It’s starting to cause me a great deal of distress in my personal life to the point to where I no longer want to be in this industry. I just don’t feel there is a good place for me anymore. That said I’ve been working in this industry for sometime so I can only imagine what its like for new comers. Frankly I’m sick of this meat grinder.
Any how I’m here to see if its just that I suck and I should just get out of the game and try to find some happiness else where in my life or if I’m seeing something that we are all seeing.
In short the position was posted for I believe 80k to 150k per year. That to me says there could be a wide range of skill sets but they stated the they wanted mid to senior level elixir developers. I mistakenly stated my skill sets fell into the 65k to 70k pay range before I knew what the position was listed for. From there on out I stated many times I’m not super noob but that I’m also very much learning and interested in learning more. I would rather be honest about my short coming then have it come out while on the job. That said they said they still wanted to have me do a tech challenge. Today I received the challenge and what I found was disheartening and demoralizing.
Here is the challenge as it was given to me. ( I get that posting this here is likely hurting my opportunity of finding employment and is a breach of trust but I’m at such a low point in my life I feel its better to get the truth from my peers then continually beat my self up over this )
The program accepts as arguments a list of one or more file paths (e.g. ./solution.rb file1.txt file2.txt ...). The program also accepts input on stdin (e.g. cat file1.txt | ./solution.rb). The program outputs a list of the 100 most common three word sequences in the text, along with a count of how many times each occurred in the text. For example: 231 - i will not, 116 - i do not, 105 - there is no, 54 - i know not, 37 - i am not … The program ignores punctuation, line endings, and is case insensitive (e.g. “I love\nsandwiches.” should be treated the same as "(I LOVE SANDWICHES!!)") The program is capable of processing large files and runs as fast as possible. The program should be tested. Provide a test file for your solution. So, set your own pace. No rush. And just so you have some bounds, the challenge was designed to take somewhere between 2 and 3 hours. You could try it against "Origin Of Species" as a test: http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2009/pg2009.txt .
I spent the first hour just trying to figure out the IO api. I also had little experience writing such algorithms as I’ve mostly have worked in website development and ended up spending a few hours looking up word count algorithms as I knew I would need to build a list of common words before I could find common sequences. I also knew I would need to dig into streams as I maybe loading large data sets and I needed to be mindful of that overhead. I ultimately hit a wall with just how I could get the cli’s api to work with both stdin or argument lists. At that point I just gave up frustrated by the whole experience feeling that opportunity passing by.
Am I wrong for feeling like someone who could competently do this challenge successfully in 2 to 3 hours time would be at a minimum asking for no less than 150k starting? Am I just crap for not being able to solve such a problem at a rate of 70k?
To me this test would have required I had a good understanding of the IO api and a strong comprehension of processing large data streams concurrently to have a well tested cli app. That does not feel like I was given a fair shot.
I’d like your input, please do not spare my feelings, I would rather have direct and honest feed back. Its very likely I’m just not cut out for this anymore and I need some guidance. As for that job I get it was just not gonna be a good fit and I need to move on. I just need to know I’m not going crazy for feeling like I do.