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Weird Request from Potential Employer

  • # July 13, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    A web development job posting I recently came across had some special instructions to complete before sending your resume to them. They had a link to a web page with errors that they wanted enumerated in a Word document.

    The instructions were: Go to this link and list as many items as you can that you believe are bugs, errors, or could be corrected: http://xworld.ujcfedweb.org/wpatest

    At first I thought this was kinda cool, but then I looked at the broken page … :shock:

    Maybe this is just me being relatively new to web development, but I found the extent to which the page is messed up to be beyond the point of fixing. Any ideas on how (if) to tackle this mess??

    # July 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Well I certainly wouldn’t do it for nothing. :?

    You could start by making it validate http://validator.w3.org/check?verbose=1&uri=http%3A%2F%2Fxworld.ujcfedweb.org%2Fpage.aspx%3Fid%3D159435 only 406 errors. :D

    Other than that, if they are not providing a mock up, how are you to know what the page is supposed to look like?

    # July 13, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    That’s what I’m saying. 406 errors and nothing to go by… :?

    Could they possibly be pulling some sort of psychological crap to see if I’ll speak up for myself in unreasonable situations?
    Or maybe they’re idiots I’d rather not work for?

    I’m thinking I should write them back explaining that it would be impossible to fix such an error riddled page without a design image to guide me. What do you think?

    Rob
    # July 14, 2009 at 2:35 am

    I would go here first…

    http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/vali … ?id=159435

    lol

    # July 14, 2009 at 4:42 am

    I think I would just point out the shortcomings of the markup and css and explain that I wouldn’t do anything about it until I knew what the end product was supposed to look like.
    If they seriously expect you to second guess somebody else’s design then they are not a company I would like to work for.

    # July 14, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    send them a link to the 2 validators and say that is what is wrong with the page, then ask them, why on earth did they get a distraught bubbles to do the page? or was it a palistinian that done the page??? getting their own back… :o :D :lol:

    # July 14, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    They must have a properly coded page to compare any submissions against – and should have no problem giving you at least a screenshot of it. If they don’t have such a finished article, then I would start wondering whether they’re just trying to get work done for free.

    The most I would do is give them a short paragraph, much like any that can be found throughout this forum, detailing briefly what’s wrong with the code (e.g. "you need to clear the float after div #X, etc.". I wouldn’t submit any actual coded solution unless I was sure they could actually do so themselves and were genuinely testing submissions.

    Definately include the validator links though – at the very least it shows you know that code is supposed to validate properly!

    Rob
    # July 15, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Can I also add – if the conspiracy theory is true, and they want you to fix a site for them and thats an example of their work, in the words of Monty Python…

    RUN AWAY!!! RUN AWAY!!!!

    # July 15, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    If you can’t be bothered – who could?! Then just send them some wordy bs something like-

    In my opinion the validation and substantiation of such a page would incur superfluous costs and would dissipate my own time in a gratuitous fashion. If you require a demonstration of my extensive skills in the validation and web-page design sector, please feel free to explore my portfolio at http://is-this-a-joke.com

    Obviously you would replace the last URL with the location of you portfolio ;)

    Rob
    # July 15, 2009 at 3:45 pm
    "tomwalters5678" wrote:
    If you can’t be bothered – who could?! Then just send them some wordy bs something like-

    In my opinion the validation and substantiation of such a page would incur superfluous costs and would dissipate my own time in a gratuitous fashion. If you require a demonstration of my extensive skills in the validation and web-page design sector, please feel free to explore my portfolio at http://is-this-a-joke.com

    Obviously you would replace the last URL with the location of you portfolio ;)

    I like that a lot :)

    # July 15, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks! That is usually the way I win clients, use big words and talk fast :)

    # July 15, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Thanks for the support, everyone.

    I ended up writing them a short paragraph describing how messed up everything was and included a link to the html validation errors page (I neglected to send a link for the css because, frankly, after seeing the html results I didn’t have them stomach to even validate the css). I also said that I would be happy to list any errors and provide a solution if they would send me an image to go by.

    Probably a little too generous on my part, but I need a job… :(

    Thanks again!

    # July 16, 2009 at 2:48 am

    why not start your own small business? to get you by in the mean time, this will help get you a portfolio, clients, money then a company will see how much you are doing and maybe take you on that way, maybe even a wordpress site to show some examples of code and a learning site…… oh my god I described CSS tricks

    # July 16, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Well if that’s what they intended the website to look like then I suppose there are no errors. I’m not a mind reader so I can’t tell what they intended it to look like and therefore have no way of knowning if something is a bug or error.

    It might be quite straightforward to fix all the validation errors and keep it looking the same. On the other hand I’m not entirely certain that’s what your client wants. *evil grin*

    # July 16, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I think a few people have the wrong idea about what the employer was trying to do here.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it was a simple test for each potential candidate to take. It wasn’t a page that needed fixing, nor was it them trying to get work done for free, it was simply a test to see the skills/capabilities of the people applying for the job.

    Having said that, I do agree that it’s so far beyond repair I wouldn’t even bother. Unless it’s something tricky like just an extra } in the CSS markup. Sneaky sneaky.

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