Ready to take the hardest programming quiz ever?
I'm not talking about a CS 401 exam. I'm talking about not-quite-real-world, stretch-your-synapses questions that will give you a headache. And if you're lucky, they'll lead to a phone interview with one of the headhunters at Facebook.
No, you don't need a degree. Facebook couldn't care less if you graduated from high school. And showing up for the test in faded blue jeans or a natty bow tie won't help one whit. All you need is an Internet connection, a Web browser, and an IQ that'd boil water. In Fahrenheit.
You also need to know C, C++, Java, Python, Perl, Ruby, C#, or PHP. No, you don't need to know all of them. Pick your poison.
If u cn rd ths n code lk a demon u cn mak 6 figrs.
Want to try a test question? Look here. You'll have 45 minutes. There's a list of programming languages at the bottom of the first page. Select the language and you'll get sample data. That'll get you warmed up.
According to George Anders's new book "The Rare Find," the folks at Facebook still use traditional selection and interview techniques for finding new employees: submit a resume, show off your degree, toss in a flashy school and a nosebleed-level GPA, and you might get a job. But they've also raised the programming puzzle challenge to an art form.
Five years ago, CTO Adam D'Angelo and engineer Yishan Wong decided to broaden Facebook's hiring horizons. "We developed this theory that occasionally there were these brilliant people out there who hadn't found their way to Silicon Valley," according to Wong. "They might be languishing in ordinary tech jobs. We needed a way to surface them."
Thus, the superchallenging programming puzzles. Even if you're an itinerant sheep shearer in New Zealand, you can step up to a monitor and try your hand.
We aren't talking about "how would you move Mt. Fuji" Microsoft hand-waving questions. We're talking down and dirty coding, with input and output, test regimens, complex and potentially elegant soluations, and genuine right -- and wrong -- answers.