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Google's been recruiting programmers based on their search habits

Sean Buckley, @seaniccus
August 26, 2015
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Want a job slinging code for Google? You might already be on the company's radar. According to new Google hire Max Rosett, he never applied for a job at Google -- the company reached out to him after he made a habit of using Google search as a programming resource. One day, a search for "python lambda function list comprehension" returned something unexpected: a secret Google recruitment test.

Seriously. If you search the right terms often enough, Google might interrupt your quest for knowledge with a question: "You're speaking our language. Up for a challenge?" If you are, you'll get access to Foo.bar, a UNIX-like interface that presents users with programming challenges. Foo.bar led Rosett through six different challenges, each with specific requirements and time limits. When he finished them all, it asked for his contact information -- Google rang him up, ran him through the regular employment rounds and now he works there. Simple as that.

Don't bother searching for Foo.bar though -- the test is invitation only. Finding the page is easy enough, but it won't let you play if you weren't specifically asked to: "To log in, you have to have logged in before," the page reads. Confused visitors are invited to, you guessed it, search Google for answers. It's a slightly creepy recruitment tool, but it's also fun, quirky and refreshing. Try it out. If you can.

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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