As part of the hiring process at ThoughtWorks we do a code review. After a candidate gets through a few gates (a resume’ screen and some phone interviews) the prospect is giving a choice of three code problems to work on. They have 3 days to complete the assignment and turn it in. Then we have 2 developers look over the code (separately) and assign it a score. A lot of these submissions are pretty bad. Java arrays used where an object would provide clarity, cryptic variable names, missing files needed to run the project, and (amazingly) code that just plain don’t work.
But last night I graded a submission that was a joy to read. He submitted in Ruby (a good sign, but not a sure thing by any means) and clearly understood the elegance of the language. He did some fun things with aliasing and Ruby’s built in collections methods that made me smile. And they weren’t just showing off either. Sometimes we get solutions that are crazy over designed. Pages and pages of code where 100 or so lines will do. But this was short and sweet.
I hope we hire him.