I became a developer freelancer for the first time four years ago. After getting my profile up to Upwork and codementor, I thought it would be easy to get to Toptal. The first soft skills interview round went great. The second round was the end of my dreams.
To be continued in May 2023 🔮
I never fully have gotten over it. Did this mean I am not in the top 3% of developers?
Even worse, I was not even in the top 7.4% of developers:
At least I was in the top 26.4% of all freelance developers 💪 But I still have more potential, right?
However, getting back to coding challenges, it's even worse than worse.
Out of the 26.4% of developers well-versed in the English language with extraordinary personalities who were approved by one of Toptals HR people, only about a third of people get through the coding challenge.
7.4 / 26.4 => ~28%
So basically, I'm not even in the top 4th regarding coding challenges out of all the devs who crushed it in the first round
But it wasn't a surprise, actually. I've always thought that coding challenges are a specialized skill in which I've always been rusty and under average.
So, I struggled a lot with deciding on this project. I never cared much about coding challenges in interview processes. A coding challenge was usually the end of our interview relationship, especially if I saw that the challenge would take more than 30 minutes.
Also, I almost ditched the idea of doing it because of... AI! 🤣
I'm not using any of the fancy tools yet in my daily coding life, but seeing how ChatGPT and Co-Pilot are solving the challenges in seconds and how flawed interviewing processes like this are, made me want to throw this idea away many times.
Still, I finally found some valid reasons to give it another shot:
- Help others: I'm still getting asked a lot about how to pass these interviews, so I'm not sure those challenges will go away very soon. I want to have a better answer than "I personally dislike coding challenge interviews and don't do them usually". 😁
- Make Ruby more prominent in the coding challenge space.
- Connect again with my buddies at Exercism.
- Boost my ego: After the "loss" 4 years ago, I'd actually enjoy a track record of mastering a major coding challenge.
- Have access to toptal gigs if ever needed and be a part of their community. I have heard it's worth it.
- Show off in the Ruby Discord
- I actually like coding puzzles, data structures, and algorithms. And I like the idea of recalling some of the mathy part of coding and taking the next step in computer science. Math does magical things in our world and is intertwined with nature. That's a good reason.
- Get to a confident new level of typing snappiness with Ruby. ♦️
- Talk to competitive programmers about palindromic trees and Aho-Corasicks.
- Show off how fast I can type code: Rich.
- Does it train my brain?
Here is the whole series so far:
x. Any articles I missed to add here 🙈