Handed in

Handed in my homework – the mini-assignment I was given. Obviously wouldn’t be right to describe it in full to the general public, so here are a couple of general thoughts:

  1. I had to do things I’ve never done before and explored tools I’ve never used before. Good! I suspect that’s all part of the plan – to make you have to figure out new stuff – and I wonder how much effort goes into picking things that the applicant doesn’t know. Certainly there were two elements in my assignment that didn’t appear in my CV…
  2. The “brief” was a touch vague, again I think deliberately so. Indeed there was even a line saying effectively, “If you’re not sure what to do from these instructions, just use your judgement.” The instructions were clear enough for me to be sure that I understood certain specific objectives, but there were others where it wasn’t clear just how far I should go. Nor was there any indication how much time I was expected to spend on the task. I was asked to get it back within 3-5 days, and on the assumption that many people will be in full-time work while applying, I expect the task is designed to be achievable with a few hours work. Certainly what I would consider the bare minimum to meet my objectives was doable in 3-4 hours, including some fiddling around in knowledgebases working out how to do things new to me. In the end though I probably spent a good 12-15 hours on it – perhaps going further than expected. Or perhaps not! Maybe I’m way off the mark…
  3. It was fun! So much better than doing an interview. I remember when I was trying to coach myself into being a better writer, the single best piece of advice I got (from everyone and everywhere) was “Show, don’t tell” – and that has to apply when recruitment too, surely. Kudos to Automattic for figuring it out and giving people an opportunity to do some showing.

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