My experience with the Google foobar challenge and tips on what to do if you get it

My experience with the Google foobar challenge and tips on what to do if you get it

Recently, I got greeted by an unusual message while searching on Google. It was Google?s secret hiring challenge!

Image for postIt still appears sometimes.Image for post😀 And it begins again!

The format of questions were same again but interestingly no questions repeated. The questions were actually very easy in this run. I went flying through all the questions this time in about 2 weeks. It had taken me a month in previous run. Meanwhile I gave the referral to a friend of mine and he completed foobar challenge in just 3 days!

Some tips:

1. Don?t Overthink

Overthinking can make you use algorithms that might be overkill. For one question I went on to implement Edmund?s Blossom algorithm while all I needed was a simple depth first search based bipartite matching. All the questions in foobar are mostly solvable in under 400 lines of code.

2. Don?t feel like it is the only way into Google

This can cause a lot of panic for you when you are near the time limit and you have to solve it or you won?t get into Google! Not really, actually foobar doesn?t get much special attention either. I was contacted by a Google recruiter but I don?t think she knew I had taken foobar, she just pointed me to take part in Kickstart as a new grad applicant. I didn?t apply, so it was just foobar but they saw it as an application because I had selected ?Graduating in 1 year? in level 3 form.

Go in it to learn, not for a job.

3. Refer to the internet when you don?t know

When I got the markov chaining question, I searched ?how to find probability of ending states? and I got the theories I needed. Foobar is more about learning quickly and implementing instead of knowing everything and implementing. You might hit a question that you have no idea about. The internet will be a friend, but don?t let it spoil you.

So that?s all folks, here are some dancing bunnies from foobar! If you ever get a foobar invitation: all the best and enjoy the ride!. If not, try learning some Google Maps API (I can?t guarantee it will work). 😛

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