Our recruitment experience

As all of the readers of this blog (if there are any) will know, SDSLabs had a core team recruitment of first yearites recently. There were altogether 150 people who took our written test, which we had designed to test mental aptitude, coding, HTML, and design appreciation (and some other things as well). The test was well received and we shortlisted 32 people, some of which had chipped in really cool answers. Try this one for example:

How can you open a link in a new browser window?

The most amusing answer we received was this:

Right click on the link, and click “Open in new window”

Unfortunately, we couldn’t give the person involved any extra marks for that, but that was some out of the box thinking, especially considering that the question was preceded by 6 HTML questions, which demanded you to write code.

And the blank space question got in some more amusing responses, ranging from people who had told us why we should select them to people who had written cryptic math equations or a puzzle for us to solve, or simple batch file scripts, and even a paradox (VOID, we thought it might have been better as void* though). Nonetheless, we tried to keep ourselves objective and formed no prejudices about any of the shortlisted candidates.

And then we had to face the actual interviews. There’s only one way to describe them. It was pretty much like falling in love with IIT again. OK, that was not so apt, but we were blinded by the sheer exposure to pure awesomeness (Po’s words, not mine).

Like every other section at IITR, we had a lengthy discussion and debate about our hiring procedure for girls. Despite so many people asking us, we would never have gone ahead & just said yes to all of them. And by probabilities, we thought there might be 1 or maybe 2 who will fit the bill. But we were to be proven wrong by a girl who gave us an almost bug-free recursive shuffle program in 5 minutes, and another who explained to us what a chicken is in OOP terms so brilliantly. And even though we had decided that this test was meant for programmers, we found someone with such a sharp understanding of design principles that we had to take her.

And other than these we found someone who had never heard of a database, but gave us an awesome idea combined with an equivalently good db design. There were people who wrote their code as they thought it, and yet even more who gave us some really cool algorithms to do even cooler stuff.

So all in all, we were surrounded all day and night (from 1100-0100) by ideas, codes, problems, questions, and algorithms. The results will be out soon (we got delayed due to a minor totalling problem with one person, it seems they happen everywhere). And even now, our minds are so full of ideas that we can’t wait to sit with these people and work them out. We only had a small opening, since we want to remain a closed knit group (we’re still in single digits if you want to know). And not choosing any of the rest was a tough decision, believe me. If we had a single more opening, each one of the rest would have been equally apt to get in. And each time we took someone’s name off the list, we were stricken with guilt. There are so many with such great potential, and yet there’s no one to guide them. And that is exactly why we have lectures @SDS. If you want to learn something, come to us, we are more than happy to help you any time. Don’t lose hope if we didn’t select you. It was because we don’t have enough space, not because we didn’t like you.

In the following days, we will be redefining ourselves and enter a new era. And we have Shobhit Sir to thank for that. Thanks to Sagar for managing the entire recruitment, and Ankush sir for the power boosts and pep talks, just when we needed them. Also we believe we will be challenged to our limits by such a brilliant ensemble. We’ll be looking forward to working with them this semester in high hopes.

Team SDSLabs

(The final list of selected candidates will be uploaded by 22:15 tonight)