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> We’re not here to fix the technical interview: we’re here to destroy it, and create something new and better in its place.

That sounds pretty bold - some of us are kind of happy to go in and do an interview and talk about our experience and not spend a lot of time playing a game. I could see the game as more likely to work for people with lots of time and not as much experience or proficiency with the typical process. I could see it working very well indeed to find people who might otherwise have been ignored.

In any event, it sounds cool, and I wish you guys the best of luck with it!




If the only reason you'd mess around with Starfighter is to get a job, we've done something wrong. This isn't one of those sites where you solve discrete programming puzzles for badges, or in lieu of a whiteboard interview.


> If the only reason you'd mess around with Starfighter is to get a job, we've done something wrong

That was just my first impression.

At my age, I kind of know how I stack up: I've met really awesome people like Andrew Tridgell and... I'm not one of them. So I don't feel like I have anything to prove, and I much prefer to hack on open source ( http://journal.dedasys.com/2014/04/27/an-erlang-postgres-dri... ) or side projects where I make and create something rather than playing a game. So I really don't think I'd use it unless I had to as part of a job process. I don't think that's where you're going with it though; it's more of a way to attract interesting people who might otherwise not get noticed, right?

So I'm "not your target market", which is of course natural and to be expected. I think it's a great way to find people who might otherwise slip through the cracks, and have the time and inclination for puzzles.


We've been talking to people for a few months now about this and have heard that concern repeatedly. We're working on designing and releasing something that rewards competition for the kinds of people for whom that's a motivator, and rewards tinkering for the kinds of people who enjoy tinkering.

I'm the Dwarf Fortress kind of game player, when I ever play games, if that gives you a sense of the direction I'm pulling us.

If Starfighter is only rewarding to people like Andrew Tridgell, we've done something very wrong; count on us to adjust course quickly if that happens.


I'm super excited about it even though I'm happy where I am. I've been doing devops for a while now and I can feel my other dev skills slowly atrophying. This will be (hopefully) a great way to help keep those skills as current as possible.


If it's not going to help me get a job (and increase my exposure to companies that might look at my stats), then why, as a developer, would I play it?

I know you mean well, but I improve my development skills by developing applications.


(a) For the same reasons you'd noodle with any other game

(b) For similar reasons to the ones that make you noodle with a programming language you doubt you'll ever use in production

(c) For the same reason anyone ever did anything with a BeBox

(d) Because for some of the technologies/concepts we work with, our dumb game will be the easiest way to get your hands dirty with them.


"(a) For the same reasons you'd noodle with any other game"

I play games for fun and to relax.

"(b) For similar reasons to the ones that make you noodle with a programming language you doubt you'll ever use in production"

On your website, it says that these will actually be real problems for real companies. I would think it's something I would see in production?

"(d) Because for some of the technologies/concepts we work with, our dumb game will be the easiest way to get your hands dirty with them."

Isn't this what open source is all about? Pretty much every job I've ever had involved technologies I could just download or install myself and throw on a Linux box/VM.

I suppose it could involve proprietary technology that I would never see in the wild, but if this is the case, I don't think I could get enough experience with it on your game to prove to a company that I know enough to get a job.


Usually CTFs / wargames / whatever are the only way you ever get to work with stuff like radio or telephony protocols, credit cards, homegrown crypto...

Also you can probably expect things dealing with custom VMs, file formats or networking. Say for instance one of the challenges involves a machine with a broken TCP/IP stack, so you have to write your custom client that can talk to it, how often do you do that in real life? Yet it can translate into useful skills.


Thank you. Exactly this. Try to make a list of interesting stuff you'd like a chance to play around with, in a highly structured environment that handholds you just long enough, and that eliminates all the nonsense required to get dev environments working, or expensive subscription fees, or bankrolls, or laboratories... those are all places we want to be.

Part of the problem I had earlier today was with the words "fun" and "player". I think the words I was looking for were "participant" and "rewarding".


I think the gaming analogies make sense. If you invest time and effort in it, it sure will be more useful in your CV than "Level 80 Paladin" under "Other Achievements"; if not, no hiring manager will ever pass on an otherwise great candidate for not being a part of it.

And it allows outliers to get potentially amazing job offers from your partners.

It's exciting to think that with today's easy access to cheap cloud computing and good process isolation you can have instanced "raids" in the same way as an MMO so I can get my very own version of a challenge that can be as realistic as possible.


> I play games for fun and to relax.

Different people have different definition of fun. Some play Minecraft just to build CPUs out of redstone.

> On your website, it says that these will actually be real problems for real companies. I would think it's something I would see in production?

The key word isn't "production", it's "you". I, for example, don't really expect to ever use Go or Rust in professional setting. Nor do I expect to use Prolog. Then there are real production systems today that use PDP machines (nuclear reactors) or COBOL (banks). I don't expect to work on them either, but sure as hell would like to play with them at some point.

I get the feeling that Starfighter is about giving geeks some hard-core tech game with a side effect of helping them find a job that is not boring.


Whoah. You misread and we miswrote. We are not taking our clients problems and reframing them as games. How boring would that be?

Read "real" here in the sense of "plausible".

Sorry about that.


> We are not taking our clients problems and reframing them as games. How boring would that be?

Not that boring, if your clients have interesting problems.


I'd rather have total complete free rein to pick the most interesting problems I can find. :)




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