Category: ThoughtWorks

Quick post to say that on Friday morning I received my acceptance letters from ThoughtWorks. This means I can finally close the door on one Saga (and open the door to another one).  All in all it should make for an interesting start to the New Year.

Just finished been put through my paces for the 2nd time at ThoughtWorks. This time it involved another technical interview and a quick hour or so pairing exercise.

Well this time I’m told that I have definately made it. Honestly!!

Bring on ThoughtWorks University.

Yesterday I received a confirmation call that ThoughtWorks had provisionally accepted me to become part of their team!!

Apparently there was somebody (don’t know who) missing from my interviews this week, so I’ll need to go to London to round off the process.  I am living in hope that this is more of a formality, but there is always the option that I can still screw things up!

I’m also told that the other guys who joined me in the process weren’t so fortunate, even though they all seemed fairly clued up guys to me. I have no ideas what I did differently, but I am very happy that I’m one step further to becoming a ThoughtWorker.

EDIT: Looks like my recruiter got some wires crossed somewhere, as the next interview will certainly not be a formality. I have another technical interview at hand and a pairing exercise. Time to worry a little more!!!

An interview with ThoughtWorks

Recently I’m happy to say that I’ve had the privilege of  going to interview with ThoughtWorks.

The Code Review

The process was initially kicked off by completing a small coding challenge that was later reviewed.  The coding challenge was actually quite a lot of fun, and it echoed memories of  previous university assignments.  As you may know ThoughtWorks heavily promote an agile approach to development so I thought it would be wise to keep my solution simple and with few premature optimizations.

The Interview Rounds

After my code was reviewed I was invited to come in for a day of interviews and assessments. The day started at 8:30pm at a location a few hours from my home, and after a few weeks break from contracting it’s fair to say that this was a slightly early start than my body is used to. When I arrived for I met two other developers that were also there to go through the motions. Unlike myself, the other guys had opted to go for the casual option (I now suggest that this is the better option as I was the only fool in a suit).

My first interview was the HR/Management interview, which was a very informal chat about aspirations, the company and life in general.  I’m pretty sure that this interview went well as it ended with me been told that I would be a good fit and if the other reviews went well I’d be in (so far so good). The next step of the process was a cultural interview which further introduced me to the company and how they operate. This interview was my weakest, and although I feel it went OK, I left with a slight feeling of uncertainty.The final step was the technical interview, and this was the one that I was initially most fearful off (I guess I thought that I might be found out as a fraud or something). I need not have worried as it basically consisted of a bunch of us geeks sitting around around and talking about what we like in software developments. I think I held my own here, but who knows I could have come across sounding like a complete Muppet.

The Assessments

So with the interviews over with and a general feeling that I haven’t completely screwed everything up, the next hurdle is the assessments. These start off with one of those personality tests that determine if your a serial killer or not.

Next comes the Wonderlic assessment, which is basically very simple aptitude test that they use in the NFL pre-draft (for some reason). The key to this test is speed, and I cannot stress this enough, do not mess around here just fly through them asap. One other thing worth noting is that the questions are very squashed together so its worth using another piece of paper, or a ruler to line up the question with the appropriate answer space (valuable time was lost here).

Finally, there are a series of logic tests that require complete concentration to get through them. Anyone who remembers learning about  the Turing machine will feel some familiarity here.

My experiences aren’t good here I am afraid, as I broke a personal rule of mine – “if you don’t understand something ask”. The problem I had is that the example scenarios were worded in such a way that confused me and I didn’t ask for clarification. While I did later understand what was been asked of me I lost valuable time on something that I should not have, and subsequently I made some mistakes that I otherwise would not have.  So the moral of the story kids is make sure you understand the examples given before you start the assessment!

What’s next?

Well we were told that the review process will take a few days and that we should be informed late next week. I’m not holding my breath, but if I don’t get offered a position I will not have any regret coming in to meet them. I can honestly say that everyone I met was passionate about the work they were doing and despite the long hours and extensive travelling that seems to be involved in the role they all seemed happy in their jobs.