I got an assignment to build a linked-list in language of choice, with a test-suite. A weird assignment if you ask me. But i build it in Golang and submitted it a day later.
After that I didn't get a reply for 3 weeks!! I then mailed them asking if they where going to check out my work.
2 days later I got a reply, it was OK to continue. At that point my interest for Uber was already gone. If they cant handle candidates well, the company would probably be chaotic inside too.
I also don't like their arrogance.
An old colleague of mine is working at Uber, and he says the working times are flexible, but more than 40 hours per week. And they have over 1000 microservices. And its normal to rewrite them often.
To me that seems like a bad architecture.
Why should I bother and be religious about the company If I do not even know what I am getting my self into.
It's not like in this era people stick to one company working there for a lifetime.
> To me that seems like a bad architecture.
I don't know, the part about it being "normal to rewrite them often" is worrying, but having fleets of microservices managed like Erlang processes or supervision trees sounds interesting and possibly pretty good — assuming that's how they're architected, I've no idea about that. And rewriting a service might be less of an issue if each service is just a small processing loop.
Firstly, it takes a lot longer than just making the necessary change. It's a waste of time.
But more fundamentally, I can understand getting it wrong the first time. Throwing what should have been a prototype up without rewriting it. Whatever.
But how the hell did you get it so wrong the 2nd time? And the third time? And the 4th, etc., etc.
Now I'm not afraid to do refactors, massive ones if needed. But there's a big cost to doing it. The big problem with constantly rewriting stuff is that you almost always introduce new bugs. Or you misunderstand the reason behind some of the edge cases and cut them out.
Sounds like the actual problem here is classic NIH syndrome with new programmers coming in, not liking the old programmer's style and rewriting the whole thing.
On top of that, microservices are supposed to be self-contained, but they do depend on each other to some degree.
Unless they were looking specifically for you (TeeWEE) and not a random search on LinkedIn, it is very elitist of them to expect that. I cannot understand how so many companies and interviewers fail to realize that interviews are not a one way street. Interviewees should also be evaluating the company for a fit as much as the interviewer does.
IMO, all the jobs you are supposed to do out of passion tend to be like that (hello game development).
Why? Things break. Critical things act up. You patch it up and work towards automating the fix or fixing the problem during business hours. Maybe you are focusing on the "often" part? Depending on the stack you work with, I think often has a different meaning.
In case you're not aware, it's totally normal to say that in America, particularly if you're a recent graduate. Your recruiter will need to know if you're expecting another offer or something like that, as competing offers can affect your schedule and compensation.
Maybe... probably. Red flag is "more than 40 hours".
and yeah, I too have decided I have no time for companies who screw around during the recruiting process.
I think you're confused with the meanings of were and where.
Were - plural of was
Where - denoting a place. As in - where was this?
I hope you take my comment in positive light. Not trying to be snarky. English is my second language and I appreciate being corrected when I make a mistake so I can learn.
I regularily used a similar exercise to weed out bad candidates. The task was to build a stack with based on a double linked. Looking up stuff was okay, but straight copy paste was not. I gave them half a day and told them to write the best code they can.
There where many discussions how that exercise is relevant to the junior PHP dev position we were hiring for (spoiler: it's not). But it gives you a good idea what the candidate considers good code (consistent code style, documentation, tests,...)
I might be completely wrong about documentation not being DRY, but this by itself could be a good conversation with a candidate .
I agree, rooting out people who can't do basic things like linked lists is desirable, however, if you're going to send a take home assignment, my point was, you're not going to get a very honest measurement of their capabilities on one that they can google in a few seconds. That's all I meant.
I'd enjoy a good debugging question for sure.
I graduated from CS, and the only reason I knew anything at all about how to handle multi-tier architecture is because I was employed previous to my graduation. How do you keep configuration from being a mess? Hard coded values all over the place, etc. CS courses give you the theory needed for getting started down a path of understanding, but it does not make you understand, nor does it actually prepare you for the real world. Data structures are one thing, micro services, unit testing, configuration management, dependency injection, and persistent storage are beasts all unto themselves.
I'd also pay them for their time, regardless if they got the job.
By the way, it's spelt "suit", not "suite". I believe the e on the end has escaped from "belive", which appears later in the article.
And it's a personal blog, and maybe the person is ESL, who cares if there were two mistakes? If you find that pedantry irritating enough to comment on it, I can't imagine how awful your browsing experience must be like in general.
But as an aside - I was looking forward to hearing more about what you could learn from their corporate culture from the interview rounds. You mentioned that they were almost always running in 'emergency' or 'fix it' mode and expected staff to work long hours, but did you see it in the conduct of the staff you met? Did they seem tired or frazzled?
Also, what did you manage to learn about the management structure and how they treated employees there? Did you notice that people respected their managers, or feared them, or felt disconnected from them?
The guy interviewer was so tired from “staying up
last night working” that he drank two energy drinks
during our interview and forgot his laptop when he left.
"He then asked if I had any questions for him. I’ve asked if they had any plans to make thing better for the drivers."
"I’ve asked if they considered to pay the driver more? He said that it’s not ideal"
"It wasn’t until I’ve red Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber today"
The last one also has "read" misspelt.
Take the first one as an example since it refers to both the third person and first person asking something:
> "He then asked if I had any questions for him. I’ve asked if they had any plans to make thing better for the drivers."
The former is simply past tense, while the latter is present perfect.
You generally write a text in one tense. It doesn't have to be present, it doesn't have to be past, but once you settle with one it's best to stick to it.
Past tense as it suggests indicates something happened in the past. Present perfect on the other hand indicates that something has been done, but either continues in the present, or the effects of which are still present.
It's not as much about being inherently incorrect as it is about being coherent. Best practices if you wish.
Some further reading which may clarify things a bit (or possibly confuse them):
Being expected to tip a person for a service you just paid for is NOT normal!
Yes, in the EXCEPTIONAL situation where you want to give a person money for whatever reason, please do so but do not change a default setting for something that warrants it 10% of the time.
How does one justify going to a salon, being given a price by the barber, paying it and still be expected to "tip" the person you just paid what was asked for?
Uber including tipping will mess up the experience. Period. It will influence ratings. Cos, how would a driver rate 2 passengers with equal service but one tipped $20 and the other $0.
We from the rest of the world are very uncomfortable being forced to perform this "optional" task.
I use Lyft when I have the choice now, but the tipping makes me uncomfortable. Tipping is why taxis drive past people of the wrong skin color. Tipping is why the most important thing in restaurant service is to be sexually attractive to your customers. Lyft does not entirely have the moral high ground, because it supports tipping.
Just pay your employees the money they earned and charge me the correct amount for it.
This isn't true. You tip for their service not sexual attraction.
It's hard to calculate the service they provide. Wouldn't you pay more for a pleasant drive than for an unpleasant one?
Besides these points, I think it is a stretch to say tipping is immoral.
Or you think you do: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?artic...
"This study found that attractive waitresses earned larger sales-adjusted tips than did less attractive waitresses. Attractiveness had no effect on the tips of waiters."
If this was just based on (an even) salary, wouldn't it be better for everyone?
Which has a more attractive staff? Which do you suppose makes more in tips? (Or would in salary if straight salaried?)
I believe that in a straight salary system that more attractive people would be well served (no pun intended) to seek jobs at higher-end restaurants; I believe that's already happened to some extent. One table turn could tip $100 or more at a high-end place today. That will be partially shared with the multiple staff serving the table, but it's still going to be a very strong hourly rate.
Demand is on customer side, not on service company or place. If someone wants to be surrounded by attractive service and is ready to pay for it (not rejecting averages, of course), is he completely wrong?
Yes it is true. You may _think_ you do not tip for attraction, but in that case you either think wrong or do not represent a typical person.
I'm not from US and generally I like the "no tips" culture. However sometimes I want to tip for exceptional service. Unfortunately Uber doesn't offer a tool for that. I think it could be implemented in some non-intrusive way.
2. In case of restaurants in the US, generally servers make very little without tip. When you pay you are paying the restaurant and not the person who serve you food. I know it's different in other countries but that's just how things are here.
So pay them more. isn't the whole point of paying for a meal is to include expenses like paying employees? By paying tips you actually contributing to a system that doesn't pay to employees.
As a European that is also often uncomfortable with this typical US "custom", I think it is kind of an arrogant statement to make.
It is just a different way to do things, and I'm not sure what servers would choose given the option.
In Europe servers tend to work long hours, often at minimum wage (I worked briefly as one, while studying), it's not like they are treated substantially better.
At least in the US you can count on the occasional generous tip, and good servers tend to work for it.
In European countries with minimum wages one can live off of, they are per definition treated substantially better.
Not only is this not always the case in the US, but there are exceptions from minimum wage in professions with tips.
This varies by state. For example, in Oregon the minimum wage is $9.75, and, importantly: Oregon is one of the few states that does not allow employers to take a tip credit. Employees must be paid at least the full state minimum wage, whether or not they also earn tips.
Despite this "high" wage, there is no shortage of restaurants in Oregon. Somehow good restaurants do manage to stay in business here.
In the USA, all tipped employees always earn at least the federal minimum wage. There is no such thing as a service worker making $2.35 per hour.
It's possible that food service workers might earn a lot more than minimum wage with tips, such that taking away their tips would hurt their compensation. Perhaps - it's still arguably no concern of the patron. If I'm buying an automobile from a car dealership, should I pay extra because the poor car salesman needs his commission? I don't think so. His compensation is between him and the leadership. It is fair that I negotiate the lowest possible price, and a price that works for me.
Regardless of all that, my primary point is that it is incorrect to claim that servers will make less than minimum wage without tips. They always earn minimum wage and so this is not a reason to justify tipping.
No, the society they live in is punishing them.
Not true. The federal minimum wage for servers and other tipped employees is the same as other employees: it's just the minimum wage.
Interesting, they did not told us that part when I worked in USA in summer. Cooks got 6.5$ and that was minimum wage in there. Servers got 1.5$ and had to report all tips to be taxed. Then again, servers earned more overall, so minimum wage was not really an issue for them.
"The employer is prohibited from using an employee’s tips for any reason other than as a credit against its minimum wage obligation to the employee (“tip credit”)"
"Where an employee does not receive sufficient tips to make up the difference between the direct (or cash) wage payment (which must be at least $2.13 per hour) and the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference."
It should change, but this particular Uber situation isn't going to be the straw that broke the camel's back I'm afraid.
Then let the restaurants pay their servers more. Or put it in the bill. "service charge" it is called. Don't leave me with calculations to do and faux hospitality from waiters being nice only because of money.
I'd hate to have to do a "little dance" and show extra teeth every time I serve someone.
I used to live in a country where tipping wasn't a thing. But having lived in the US for a while now I actually like it. It gives the servers incentive to do well. Also you always have the option to not tip if the service is really bad. I understand your frustration, though. Perhaps, I've gotten too used to it haha.
Yeah, this applies only to US. It is a fucked up system. Everyone else people are rational and tips are not excepted - the service is excepted in the price.
In other cultures it is normal. Yet in other cultures you'll offend people when you try to tip them. Can we just accept cultural differences, and, when visiting, adapt, please?
PS: I am "from the rest of the world", and you don't speak for me nor for my friends who work in service in Central Europe - you don't have to tip them and they'll still smile, but you'll wait for your drink while I can down and order 3.
Unfortunately that's not how it works, unless you also know what percentage of your meal cost goes to them. Maybe the restaurant already pays them a sizable portion of what you spent. Maybe they work for tips only. (regardless how legal that is) Maybe the tips go directly to them. Maybe they're pooled and shared with everyone at that shift. And many, many other questions... You don't know the answers, and nobody will tell you what they are. You're doing a blind bidding game.
If you want to do it and be fair to the servers, you have to tip them the whole amount you think they earned. Do you really want to decide that every time?
Thinking of it, it's basically a small mirror of the general society with managers as the government.
A barber/hairdresser will get paid minimum-wage over here in Germany. From friends who worked in this profession I know that they make even less at the end of the day, roughly 5€ per hour. Only because you get paid market-rate doesn't mean you can make a living.
Whenever I ask myself if I would be happy to receive a tip being in the same situation I tip: restaurant, package delivery...everywhere.
Nothing specific to the US.
I'm from Belgium, so we do not have a tipping culture either, and in many cases it is not that needed, but always welcome (restaurants). I live in a university city, so many of the waiters are students and as having been a student in a similar position, I know that they do not tend to have money to waste so the tips are a nice extra.
In general I am happy that we do not have a strong culture around it like in the US, because then you'd have to find out how much to tip etc, which would probably be uncomfortable for me.
They included a tip feature but it infuriated me with the way you had to decide on the tip amount before the journey was over. What if they don't drop me off where I want and stop the journey early? That default 20% tip you encouraged me to set is... not good.
I'm European and I actually prefer the tipping system for service over higher base wages. I'd much rather have the customers decide who gets paid better than giving equal wages to the crappy service at the cost of the good people and hoping the employer filters out the bad apples and rewards the good ones.
Then again it's pretty rare to see "well your service was horrible, have 0$ as a tip" and the tipping also kind of smears together into one big "roughly 10-20% every time independent of service"...so whatever I just accept the better base wage and only tip for good service now. It's usually 25% or nothing for me.
But americas tipping culture is silly.
But those are unique instances I believe :-)
The latter is ok in my book because it is seen as part of the cost of the service but separated in the invoice just like tax.
The former is a BIG pain!
At least in Switzerland, you round up a Franc or two maybe if you are paying with cash, just to make the bill easier to pay. If you are paying card you generally don't tip at all.
If you tip 20% you either come off as a stupid tourist, or if you speak the language and explain it is for exceptional service (and not just because you culturally don't know better) you will make the waiter's day.
To give no tip is in my experience considered quite rude. I only ever do it when I was unhappy with the service.
My personal experience when I was jobbing as a waiter during my university time was different. Larger tips (more than a round up) were rather the rule than the exception.
Due to the fact that all tips are usually shared with everyone working in the restaurant I usually even tip if I was not that happy with the service because I liked the food or also the other way around.
It still is quite surprising how even those "habits" are different in all the different regions here.
If you want to live in the US, then assimilate. Either do it or dont -- but please stop this pedantic "how-the-rest-of-the-world" works perspective.
I'm sorry, you'd have to live with hearing different perspectives. I'll be visiting the US in a bit, I'll decide to tip or not and I'll still give my opinion. :)
Or you could take your own advice and avoid any place (on or off line) that will expose you to international perspectives.
Your opinion is always welcome even if I disagree with it.
Enjoy your stay :-)
The were many instance where I would have liked to tip an especially nice Uber driver as an extraordinary thing. But due to the poisonous tipping culture this is not easily available through the app and giving cache is another hurdle and inconvenient for both parties.
America has this huge ego, where some of you guys feel "the best". It's a third world country, seriously. Don't like how you roll and won't come back, once was enough.
It's your problem, so maybe try relaxing and listen to advice if it's sensible.
The issues raised in Fowler's however is not normal and is something that Uber should figure out as soon as possible.
This one is just a weird uninformative rant that is mostly just a description of an arduous but not particularly horrible interview day, plus some comments about not liking the app.
It doesn't contain anything particularly new or insightful or damning about Uber.
Terrible judgemental article. The author has preconceived notions and wants to capitalize on the Uber hate wave.
> The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads ... that sucks.
Re trying to capitalize... I want to contribute to the discussion, since the time seems right for Uber to actually listen.
I liked your article but would have liked it more if you had left out the comparison to facebook part out. I have multiple friends at the big G and facebook and trust me if that's not a waste of good engineering talent & life, I don't know what is.
I have no objections to Uber's business model, and a friend of mine earns $5000/month being an Uber driver (that's in Switzerland, but still impressive -- it helped him a lot when he had financial troubles).
Sexism, of course, is unacceptable, but that's from another story, not this one.
I know one guy who leased a Prius. He didn't get the calls he was promised. He ended up ruining his credit.
I hear these big numbers thrown around, and don't know whom to believe.
Five grand a month is great! Is there something different in Switzerland that would account for his/her success?
My friend who leased the Prius lives in the Bay Area.
Yes, cost of life and wages are way higher than what you have in mind. Median salary is around 6k (it is by far the highest in Europe, esp. looking at after taxes wages).
His interviewers were young and seemed stressed. One guy implied you should work long hours. He realized mid-interview it wasn't for him. Finished interview. He feels bad for drivers.
Questions/problems are pretty lame, btw. Do one geeksforgeeks problem a day, you'll be able to crack it in a year.
But I did not get a sense of such extreme underpaid/overworked culture as I got from Uber.
I asked many Uber drivers (outside and inside my own country), and they all LOVED uber (bottom line - more jobs, more money, even if smaller profit margins per job)
I think in general it was much more appreciated in third world countries. (And also by me, safety-wise. regular yellow taxi drivers could be extremely dangerous in these places. so many tricks to make on tourists).
I truelly cannot remember a negative comment about it.
> I was planning to tip him well, but couldn’t find the tip option like the one I’ve seen in the Lyft app
I think that the rating system is much more powerful (even economically) than a $$$ tip.
A 5-start rating is even better than a $ tip - you will (in the long run, if others rate you high as well) make more jobs (thus more money) if you have a great rating.
Same goes the other way around:
Giving 1-2 stars is even more criticizing than not leaving a tip - if your average rating is lower you will get less jobs. if it's below some threshold - game over.
I myself would prefer (if I were an Uber driver) that you just gave me a pampering 5-star rating and then have a nice day :)
(edit: new lines)
(edit2: responded to a different quote from the article)
I understand if one company is a better culture fit than another, but if the motivation is to make more money, then wouldn't it be better to work for someone who will actually pay more money?
It seems to me that the writer includes his values when making a decision (willing to pay more for Lyft, not interested in working at Uber due to a culture mismatch) and also doesn't weigh Uber's financial package as highly as some other companies because of their stock situation.
I didn't see the writer say that his motivation was to make more money, but even if that is the goal, my impression is that it looks like other companies that allow selling their stock and/or offer higher compensation would be better ways of doing that in his view.
The best feature of Uber compared to Lyft if you ask me.
For example, Amazon had a "bar raiser" who'd be somewhat intentionally offputting and as part of the interview they gauged your response to this person's mannerisms. Same with the frequent and seemingly chaotic interview situation. Two different "tactics" meant to determine how you handle unexpected situations.
"The Interview" is such terrible black magic, there's simply no way these techniques provide reliable predictivity towards someone's success in their job. I would love to hear about specific metrics regarding expected vs. actual success, and while I know it'd be impossible to know how someone would have done had you hired them, you can at least know how well someone did who you did hire, based on your expectations. Like, if someone scores "well" on the "Is it cool if I take my shoes off during this?" stress test, does that actually make them more likely to be a good employee?
I currently believe no one in HR knows the answer to that question, though the assumption is largely, "Yes."
Late last year at 10am on a Thursday, I got a call asking if I wanted to interview for a HR position with Uber in Australia. He wanted the position filled ASAP, so we organised an interview for that evening.
I had already accepted an offer from another company for a summer internship in software dev, an area I was actually interested in, but I was beguiled by the Uber brand and was practically willing to give up a lot to work for them as a result. I am not interested in HR by any stretch, and believe that HR staff are better put to use removing staples from about-to-be-recycled paper or other more productive ends.
I 'passed' the initial interview and was asked to do the following:
- Draft a cold email to a potential hire, with the goal to fill an existing vacancy in the company;
- Pass an extensive, three-hour 'data analytics' test (see: basic-intermediate data manipulation and analysis in Excel) hosted on HackerRank. This was actually fairly challenging because you're purposefully time-poor throughout the test;
- Create a PowerPoint presentation outlining a plan to target university grads. This was also challenging since if I was given a template with pre-made slide designs, it would be pretty easy. But I designed a slide deck from scratch completely in line with the Uber design guidelines, including typeface, color and other design requirements, on top of my recruitment strategy;
- Trawl through their current Uber Careers website and list as many possible ways that it could be improved.
So I was given this Thursday night. He wanted the tasks done asap, but I told the recruiter that I had an assignment due Tuesday, and that it would be quite a crunch. He 'relented' and gave me until Sunday night. As I write this, I realise that he was unabashedly using my enchantment with the company to his favour.
I did nothing that entire weekend but work on those items, and handed them all in Sunday evening, right on time, to the detriment of my assignment. I found out later (through a contact in the company, not from the recruiter) that I scored over 80% in the online exam, and that all the other items were very well received.
Despite this, I never received anything back from the recruiter at all. Nothing except a boilerplate rejection email, featuring photo of Diversity Hire #1 and #2 laughing over coffee and 'Thank you for your application. However, we cannot proceed with your application at this time...' The recruiter insisted that they tried to call me (again, I heard this through the contact) but lo and behold, despite being glued to my phone for over a week, my phone didn't ring once. The incredible disrespect I felt from this experience will mean that I'll never apply to them for any role, ever.
Tl;dr - my perspective of Uber is that they are entitled to your best work, and have no intention to reciprocate.
This seems like an odd juxtaposition with an article detailing the author's interview at another company...
The fact that this story does not contains ridiculous behavior on part of anyone, just some warning flag does not make it pointless.
(BTW, the author said he was ESL, which might explain the typos).
Preferably, you'd have never made your original comment. Maybe I shouldn't even make this one. Who knows.
The post was prompted by the phenomenal writeup by Susan Fowler on her year working with Uber. If you can read only one, certainly read hers. If you can read only two, consider reading Susan's twice as it's exceptionally good writing. This is a nice (not exceptionally original) personal account of a bad interview experience.
If doing 80 hours of work in 40 and all the other warning signs is no big deal to you, by all means, gun for an Uber position in that area. I'd like to hear about that though before I waste my time, so well done by OP.
I can't imagine trying to take Uber in Seoul, for example, when the majority of the time I could either just take the metro or have a home delivery for most stuff I need, or grab one of the numerous taxis. Or, in my current home city of St. Petersburg, Uber doesn't have much of a competitive edge in price or service compared to the other taxi services, and in most cases, just taking a tram or the metro makes more sense.
Uber's system works really well in places where car ownership is mandatory for day to day activities, simply because there aren't any better alternatives. They didn't really transform urban transportation, they just capitalized on the inefficiency of current taxi services, disrupting the existing market, and quite frankly, unless they start to invest in stuff like the personal taxi drones like what is being demoed in Dubai right now , I think they're going to end up with a transportation empire that is irrelevant when you can just travel as the crow flies and eliminate the traffic concerns entirely. Granted, such a future has a ways to go with technology and regulatory work, but so do the autonomous cars everyone is banking on.
And to the side point on your comment, doing something impressive doesn't excuse bad behavior.
edit: corrected auto-correct's change of Uber's > User's back to Uber's
Sexual harassment is politicizing?