I don't know if people saw this or not but a while back Instagram had a programming challenge inspired by the Darpa Shredder Challenge. They were offering a t-shirt for correct solutions and promised explicitly that every solution would get a personal response. They got more entries than they were expecting and didn't give t-shirts to everyone (which is somewhat understandable). What is much worse is that they didn't even bother to respond to correct solutions. I spent over an hour on it (including the bonus part) and they couldn't even send me a copy and pasted letter of something like "Thanks for playing! We got more attention than we expected and won't be able to give you a t-shirt but we do appreciate you playing." I would never consider working for a company that would respond to an unexpected number of solicited entries by simply ignoring them. I doubt that I'm the only person who was permanently turned off about Instagram by having my email and solution simply deleted without being looked at or responded to.
But I have to say, I haven't heard of Quixey before- it looks like they're building a search engine for software. Are they just trying to replace platform-specific app markets, or is it something trickier than that?
You are given about 10 lines of code and need to change one line to make it correct. The problems are things like binary search, topological sort, shortest paths, etc.
My strategy for those who might benefit: I checked out the profiles of all the previous winners today and found that the challenge question was always one of three. I looked up the algorithms and practiced by implementing a python version of each, noting where the tricky parts were. Then when I entered the challenge I used my reference python version and compared them. I was a bit lucky in that the challenge code was roughly laid out the same way as I happened to do it earlier.
The practice runs were all 5-10 lines of python where exactly one line had to be changed or added to correct the bug. I didn't come across any syntax errors, just logic errors, so I finished the practice runs pretty easily despite having almost 0 python experience. (I did miss one because I was too slow though. I found the bug and correctly guessed at the python syntax to fix it, but it took me 67 seconds.)
$100 bucks, I could need those.
fail and don't send me any spam on my email addy.
"The algorithm will be implemented as a Python 3.x function".
- The instructions page, the first item. (http://www.quixeychallenge.com/instructions).
About page: "Add Skype user quixeychallenge as a contact. A working microphone and speakers/headphones are required. [..] We'll Skype call you when it's your turn."
And since the registration form is required before you do anything, and it is one form needing an email address, I think that counts as 'telling you about the need for an email address before you get involved' too.