A few months ago, I was browsing the internet and saw one of those many adds on Reddit for a service called Triplebyte. You’ve probably seen them all the time on programming websites (they are fairly aggressive in advertising everywhere it seems), and their pitch is fairly simple. “Just take the quiz, pass the interview, and you are ‘fast-tracked’ to the final-round of onsite interviews with major tech companies.” With Apple and other companies on their list and being bored for the day, I figured, why not try?
I ultimately decided to take the standard Generalist quiz. (This is not the new Generalist Entry-Level edition quiz which came out recently and what I would now have taken instead.) It was a boring New Year’s Day when I took it, and then…
I did unexpectedly well. I even got a 3/5 for Academic CS, despite having never having taken any CS courses in high school or college. I guess reading all of those programming books and reading Hacker News enough taught me enough Academic CS concepts to pass.
Despite passing that quiz very well, I was nervous about taking an in-person interview. Furthermore, my college studies got started again and I didn’t need a job immediately, so I waited a while. Then COVID-19 struck and my college eventually ended for the semester. Triplebyte switched from online interviews to an “automated interview” system, which turned out to be basically a much longer, more complicated, 2 hour quiz. The results were less good but still impressive for my age and non-academic background:
As you can see, the categories for the more rigorous, 2 hour test were much different than the shorter introductory quiz. There was no “Coding Productivity” or “Algorithmic Knowledge” categories on the prior exam. It said I mainly lost because I didn’t have the strong understanding of algorithms required, though I wasn’t that surprised by this. After all, Academic CS has to mean something in the real world and you can’t really implement algorithms from math by reading a programming book from the library.
Even though Triplebyte said they wouldn’t be taking me because I simply wasn’t “exceptional” enough, I was still a solid performer, and they said they think I was ready for everyday web engineering roles. If you read about my analytics programming, that probably helped a bit.
What I really wish I could do instead of that would be to try my hand at the new “Entry-Level Generalist” exam instead of the “Generalist” exam I took and passed. It would be interesting to see how good I would be at that one. I’m still glad to have gotten this far in the exam. People far smarter than me have failed. I have emailed Triplebyte Support to see if they will allow me to take something just a bit easier. In the meantime, I think this validates my skill at least a little bit. 🙂