Sunday, September 23, 2007

Facebook Job Application

I got a chuckle out of this Facebook job ad. They're following in Google's footsteps in trying to attract the best people by being humourous and clever in how they advertize for job applicants. Link.

eam of government programmers to decode copious amounts of possibly illegal wiretaps. Your congressional hearing is coming up, and you need to have these wiretaps decoded as soon as possible so you can give as informative testimony as possible (and clear your posterior of any wrong doing!). Unfortunately, government programmers are not the most well adjusted, sharpest tools in the shed, and they require decisive and firm leadership (e.g. you) to guide them. Programmers are assigned integer numbers to protect their classified identities, while wiretap victims are referred to by their first names.

Due to OSHA regulations, you will always have exactly the same number of programmers as wiretap victims, and each programmer decodes exactly one wiretap. Because this is the government, to decode a wiretap it takes at least 1 server hour per letter in the victim's name. All programmers share the same secured government terminal and they can only work one at a time. Once signed in, programmers must stay at the terminal until they are finished decoding a wiretap. To make things worse, each programmer has certain personality quirks and foibles which can alter their efficiency.
Programmers with an even number suffer from vowelitosis, they require an additional 1.5 hours of work for every vowel in the victim's name.
Programmers with an odd number suffer from consonentia, they require an additional 1 hour of work for every consonant in the victim's name.
Programmers whose numbers share prime factors with the number of letters in a victim's name are struck with a severe phobia, that requires an additional 2 hours of therapy per common factor. Due to DHS regulations, the programmer must stay at the terminal while under therapy, preventing others from using it. For example, it took programmer 12 (factors of 2 and 3) an extra 4 hours of therapy to decode NORMAN's file (factors of 2 and 3).
You are given 26 programmers, numbered from 1 through 26. The 26 wiretap victims are named as follows:


Makes me wonder if they're kidding on the square just a little. They certainly make their money data mining the hell out of their social graphs to better target ads, and you know the US government has been working with telecom companies to spy on innocent people pretty extensively. This jokey job ad is at least their attempt to keep up a good guy public image the way Google's been mostly successful at doing since they began.

Something else that was interesting was the languages they would accept solutions in:
You may use any of the following programming languages:
  • C++
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • OCaml/SML
  • Perl
  • PHP
  • Python
For extra credit, you may submit additional solutions in the other languages as well as solutions in languages not listed here.
Interesting omissions are C# or any other Microsoft-preferred language. Also OCaml is a neat inclusion, it's a very academic-focused language, perhaps they're looking for more specialized algorithmic experts who might usually turn their noses up at regular software development jobs.

I also liked this bit at the end:
Please send your code and solutions (and a resume) to:

{ (0xFACEB00C >> 2) in decimal format } @ facebook.com

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