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Google The Almighty Buck Transportation

Uber Recruiting Engineers By Randomly Sending Coding Game To Play During Rides (businessinsider.com) 27

An anonymous reader links to a Business Insider report: Uber has found a new way to lure engineers to work for the fast-growing startup. The taxi-aggregator service tests coding skills of select riders during their ride. Uber insists that it is not using individual information to identify recruits, but are just identifying geographies where tech jobs are concentrated to find candidates. "The option to play gives interested riders the opportunity to show us their skills in a fun and different way -- whether they code on the side or are pursuing a career as a developer," a Uber spokesperson said. If they accept the test, Uber challenges the ride with three coding problems to solve, each with a 60-second countdown, and scores them based on their answers. Uber is not the only Silicon Valley giant which has found a "creative" way to hire people. Last year, we saw Google offer at least one person a job based on his search queries.
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Uber Recruiting Engineers By Randomly Sending Coding Game To Play During Rides

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  • How the hell (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 50000BTU_barbecue ( 588132 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @11:23AM (#51782053) Homepage Journal

    Can you need so many people for something like this? Marketers and lawyers, sure, but how many technical people do you need for this?

    I'm baffled.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Not many. They know their targets from the GPS trace showing them as Googlers or Teslas or other engineers. So its just a straight poaching exercise.
      And I suspect they are lying about grabbing gps location when not using Uber taxis. I think if you are an engineer at a major corp and have Uber installed you'll get an app test, even if you don't Uber to work!

    • Can you need so many people for something like this? Marketers and lawyers, sure, but how many technical people do you need for this?

      I'm baffled.

      To do a basic version? Not many. To do the best version? Lots.

      For the app itself that's fairly easy, but you need to test and patch on every conceivable platform and keep the look and feel as clean as possible.

      On the back end side you need 100% uptime or as close to as possible, you've got a crap load of data coming in, GPS, customer profiles, driver info, etc.

      There's also a lot of nice haves, what should a driver do between fares? Is there somewhere they should go to anticipate the next fare or should they

    • Their current batch of engineers have big batches of stock and/or stock options. They want to punt this group of engineers in a way that results in the company retaining all the stock/options, and hire a new batch for a straight salary, probably also lower than the current batch.

      The next swap will move development to India.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    (for a woman passenger) How can you do a background check to determine whether your Uber driver is actually a serial rapist, trying to find a suitable isolated place to perform the deed?

  • by Brannon ( 221550 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @11:43AM (#51782117)

    I would vomit over every square inch of that car if I tried to code while moving. Am I in the minority here?

    If I ever meet the guy who decided to put TVs (that are impossible to turn off) in the back of every NYC cab I am going to vomit on him.

    • I wonder about this too. Not because I get sick... I'm blessed with a fairly iron stomach... but because probably about 90% of the time that I'm using Uber, it's because I've been out drinking. And I doubt that I'm an atypical Uber user. So I wonder what kind of "programming challenge" can be done drunk and on an iPhone screen that will give them anything resembling valid hiring data?

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      The art of good user-interface design is lost these days. Your problem is very well known and very well documented in the literature, the cretins designing things just never had a look at the basic knowledge of their field. This is, incidentally, also why the current VR bubble will burst just as the ones before have: Too many people get real problem unless the content and VR equipment is done exceptionally well (at exceptional cost that all these morons that waste their lives trying to get rich will not be

    • That and just what are you going to code on during a car ride ?
      Android phone/tablet with touchscreen keyboard ?

      In years past I used to try and get work done on everything from a T-1200 (Google it kid) up, in everything from planes to trains to RVs.
      The only thing that was even close to viable were the trains.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      I would too since I get easily carsick. Even a good (earth)quake shaker while looking at my computer screen make me sick. I really wished we had t(rans/ele)porters. :(

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      I would vomit over every square inch of that car if I tried to code while moving. Am I in the minority here?

      If I ever meet the guy who decided to put TVs (that are impossible to turn off) in the back of every NYC cab I am going to vomit on him.

      Maybe into adulthood, but getting nauseous in a moving vehicle isn't too uncommon (usually most people outgrow it). It's why there are plenty of gadgets, gizmos, drugs, patches and other things that help one through it.

      I used to get carsick all the time - airplane tri

  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @12:25PM (#51782271)

    Dear Uber Passenger who has been picked up at location A and is wanting to be taken to location B.

    We would like to test your skills as a developer by seeing how well you can solve the following simple tasks:

    What are the
        1. Fastest
        2. Shortest
      3. Most interesting

    Routes between location A and location B

    Please pass on your answers to your driver so that he/she/it can rate your abilities.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @04:10PM (#51783181)

    You cannot identify or hire good engineers via "puzzles". Why do you think Google is stagnating for about forever now? They make the same mistake.

    • Puzzle solving has always been a big piece of engineering.

      As to why Google is stagnating, the company is a behemoth and it's nearly 30 years old. You can only maintain exponential growth so long, and after awhile you get people in the company who's personal optimizations and goals aren't aligning well with the company.

  • If I used Uber to get to and from work, for instance, then when I’m headed there, I haven’t had all my caffeine yet, and when I’m heading home, I’m worn out from work. No way I would get offered a job. On the other hand, if they saw my resume, it would be a different story, what with the 20 year of industry experience, the PhD, etc.

"Though a program be but three lines long, someday it will have to be maintained." -- The Tao of Programming

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