So I'm unhappily debugging some inherited Python code, a language I've never used before, that's causing trouble (it's comparing .csvs, and was using giant dictionaries to keep all the rows from the first in memory, removing keys when a matching "id" column was found in the other file. But did it anticipate repeated keys in multiple csv rows? No. No, it apparently didn't), and got the attached "results" from googling for "python try catch". Hello, surreal...

And, as you can tell from the second picture, if you choose to play, after the search results are replaced by a command-line environment, things get a little Hideo Kojima-y. I remember once playing the original Metal Gear Solid with a buddy and running into Revolver Ocelot (?) in a boss battle, and he said something about how long it'd been since we'd saved, and that we weren't allowed to save now. I'm not even sure he was telling the truth, but we didn't try to save, and the battle was that much more exciting because of it.

So "This invitation will expire if you close this page," certainly convinced me into going down the rabbit hole. I mean, even if this is some sort of strange, elaborate hack, who wouldn't? I'm your huckleberry.

Turns out there's a file in my "home" directory called start_here.txt, and I'm given a programming challenge. Not too difficult, but a challenge, and a timer, and a time limit of 48 hours (I guess that was my first hint I should've waited until I was home). I don't know Python, but Java is allowed as well. Haven't really used Java seriously in a while, but I happen to have javac on the workstation (though no Eclipse or Netbeans), left over from when I decompiled an app we were using from [a vendor] to fix a bug of theirs (a casting error; they were pushing essentially a double into a single), so let's try this. A quick click on Sublime Text, a quickly hacked bat file to compile and run my class, a cmd window, and we're off.

The worst thing? I completely foobared the Google/foobar. What a freakin' idiot. I did sort of figure it was an application for employment, and I couldn't've done worse. The first problem wasn't tough, but I did my usual "race through and figure out errors later" and obo'd all over the place, which was obviously the point of the problem. I got it, but it took about 17 minutes of setup and fixing dumb errors. Idiot. I'm sure they see every failed verify call. Idiot.

Oh well. I logged in to save and guess I'll try the remaining tasks later. Not that I'm even looking for a job. Not that it's particularly ethical to interview me for a job while I'm working in my current position without telling me that's what we're doing. But that was fun, in a way.

This is what I get for searching to fix a Python issue! Programming languages are all "different dialects of the same language", a prof once told me. He was right, but it's strange what googling those dialects can do to you.

Anyhow, more about what's going on with Google/foobar here. And yes, it turns out it was an interview. Dang it. Still, from debugging Python in VIm via ssh to javac-ing an answer in 17 minutes isn't horrible, I guess. ;^)

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