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I think the implication is that the CTO currently doesn't think that automated tests are worthwhile, so there wouldn't be any in their codebase.

That's the implication, but the problem is how ambiguous the statement is, particularly in written text.

For all we know it could mean "hey, for an interview exercise, I'd like you to sell (this guy) on the importance of automated testing."

Suddenly it sounds like a pretty good interview question.

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