React, AWS and Interviews
TLDR : Updates on stuff.
Anyway, I’ve been learning React for the past week. Curiosity + Future requirements are the reason I’m doing so, and for the most part it’s alright.
Until it isn’t. I had to redo a lot of stuff because I forgot until it was too late that I didn’t want a single page application, but multiple pages in my application. Had to install React-router, had to do a few work arounds, this, that and boom.
Later, I need to install an EC2 instance from AWS so that I can have my server up and running. No biggy, I’ll make a free account.
I made one years ago? I can’t use the AWS free services anymore? There’s an old debit card linked to that account? My debit card doesn’t work with the new account????????????????????? (My debit card is Rupay, while it only accepts Master and Visa. Steam accepts local cards, why not AWS?)
Anyway, so that’s that. A pickle I need to unpickle myself out of. I’ll figure it out by tomorrow.
On a completely different note, I bombed my first interview on Saturday. It was bound to happen, one day or the other. The person asked me to solve two coding questions I had never seen before in my life, and I had no idea how to solve them (Along with other common questions I flubbed. But I did explain to him about one of my projects, so yay!).
I have it on good authority that absolutely nobody uses this stuff on their engineering team. They just do backend and frontend stuff for the most part. No heavy algorithmic anything. And yet they hire people who can solve those kind of problems, rather than say, someone who can actually do stuff.
I’ve always wondered about this evolution. How and why does anyone wish to hire someone who can code some leetcode questions? For frontend, for backend, for mobile applications. Same stupid thinking.
You do wish to test basic coding skills (and no, these do not do that) but there are better ways and easier tests to do so.
One of the first coding tests I did was actually fun in this regard. They basically gave me a simple question, and gave me 30 min. On a good day, I’d have solved it in 10, however due to being out of shape (severely. I forgot how to take python inputs and had to google the sort function.) I blew it. But I don’t hold it against that company, cuz the question was actually and genuinely good. I failed that test because I didn’t consider all the edge cases, but no matter.
Coming back to the company that gave me hard questions, here’s a funny thing. For their first online assessment, they gave a Trie question. How anybody was supposed to solve it, I have no idea. The other two questions I still maintain were hard (one of my friends said it was easy, but it was his company, so his opinion doesn’t count). I got 2 hours to solve these questions. Suffice to say, I copied the answers! (If this strikes you as morally bankrupt, I wholeheartedly agree. However, I wished to see if anyone would run a plagiarism check, since I copied code verbatim from a blogpost and resigned myself to the fact that it was a waste of time. Funny thing is that the blogpost was for the same company. I got selected for the next round. Lel).
On a more cynical and depressing note, this practice is actually pretty prevalent, of copying for the online assessment. While companies might argue the need for greater and greater methods of control on the candidates to prevent such a system, the root of the problem is the fact that people are able to get stuff that they can copy. If you copy a question from leetcode, why can’t I copy the solution? This is the same harebrained logic is present in the JEE. Score the highest in Maths, Physics and Chemistry? Go to Computer Science.
I’m still trying to figure out if I’m the person calling out the emperor who’s wearing no clothes, or the angry fox who claims the grapes are bitter because he can’t reach them. Since self-motivation is a thing, the other dude is always wrong (unless he isn’t).
Note : Interview depression is a thing. That bad interview compounded by the fact I got no calls for some time (or really bad job matches) threw me for a loop. Thankfully I have enough people around me to pull me out, but I think I understand the Japanese phenomenon of shutting yourself from the world. Being crushed under a machine really does feel hopeless, eh?