April 01, 2003
Hardest Interview Ever

So last night at 10:00pm I found out that I had an interview this morning at 11:30am. No problem I figured.

(take into account that I went to bed at 6:30am, and woke up at 10:15am)

So, I arrive, in Shirt/Tie & dress pants expecting to talk to the hr/tech guys...

Tech guy, (Aaron) says: "Hi, How are you.... "
Me: "Fine, fine".

(insert small talk here)

Aaron: Ok, so you are familiar with linux?
Me: Right at home on it.
Aaron: Ok, here's your computer. You have root privileges. I'm going to ask you to write some code.
Me: Ok.
Aaron: I'm just going to print it off, I'll be right back.
Me: Alrighty. (Immediately sit down and download my .vimrc file from antiflux so I can use the editor properly)
Aaron: (returns with a piece of paper in hand and notices that I'm already up to trouble)
Here's what we want you to do. If you have any questions, just ask.
Me: Ok.

This is what he gave me.

Here's the exact details:


Chris Jones
01 April 2003

Write a simple shopping cart application within the 2 hour interview.

Things you will use
PHP, PostgreSQL, HTML, Javascript, optionally css

Required Tasks

1) Setting up the database
- set up user for database
- set up tables
- set up permissions
Database Name: shopping_cart
Database Command via shell: psql -U postgres shopping_cart

NB. You will encounter a slight problem here. Be prepared to fix it!

2) Customer Side
- add items to the cart
- delete items from the cart
- edit quantities of items
- display the shopping cart

3) Admin Side
- add items to the database
- edit current items' name and price
- delete items from the database

Optional Tasks (if you have time)
1) Login page to log in as either a customer or admin
2) Improving look and feel of application


After 2 hours, I had basically Accomplished all of step one. And was working on bits of step three. (I skipped step 2)

He came over to see what I had done... not a lot. :)

Apparently nobody finishes this, but still I felt like I got next to nothing done. Most of the stumbling was over the damn PostgreSQL interface.

It was simultaneously the coolest and most difficult interview I have EVER done.

I find out tonight whether or not I get the job.

Yes, I DID ask if this was an April Fools joke. I was told that it was most certainly NOT. :)

Props to Beth, Jimmy George, and Shac for their quick responses on fatkids. That was when i reached panic mode. Wish I got to your links sooner guys, but got wrapped up in things. :)
Thanks again. You guys ROCK!


Posted by cjones at April 01, 2003 03:56 PM
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