Recruiting Through Riddles: The Webfactory Developer Challenge is Live

- TL;DR -

Attention developers and those with curious minds!
We have hidden a job ad and riddle within the source code of Webfactory's homepage.
We challenge you to try to solve the riddle and find the final page.
Hopefully you'
ll find it as much fun as we had building it.


So why did we build a riddle to find new developers?

When seeking new talent, companies do their best to find skilled candidates. By "skilled", I mean people who know different programming languages, tools, frameworks, and all that lovely stuff available to learn for free on the Internet (plus experience of course). At Webfactory we’re not any different, but we also value creativity and curiosity; skills which are not so easy to find. We feel these are both factors based on the kind of person you are, and no school other than life can teach you that!

For this reason, we came up with the idea of posting our latest Senior Developer job ad via our homepage source code. Check it out:

Webfactory is hiring!

Are you by any chance asking yourself: "Why on earth would someone read a site's source code? Posting an ad like this is a ridiculous idea!"?

CURIOSITY is the answer, and that's really the point here: If you’re asking this, you are not (yet) the droid we are looking for...

Obi Wan

"These are not the droids you're looking for..."

Will this ad help us find curious developers? Well, we hope so! Tonnes of them? Highly unlikely. We want people who can go further (further than Right-click > View Source).

Neo

“… and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes...”

For this reason, we also added files to the site source code that are part of a riddle (no spoilers, go find them yourself). If you can figure out where the riddle begins, and dig all your way down until you find the "Congratulations" page, well, we are looking forward to checking out your CV and having a chat, very much so. If you are up for the challenge, go ahead (and please don't publish any spoilers)!

A few words of advice:

  • This is aimed at Frontend Developers, so the knowledge involved doesn't require hacking a password, or writing a query.
  • When we say it is for Seniors, we mean experience, you need to have seen all sorts of things in your life as a web developer. Knowing all Javascript functions by heart won’t necessarily give you an advantage.
  • Think outside of the box. Using only one browser may not be enough to solve the riddle. In actual fact, browsers alone won't be enough, so use your favourite tools as well.
  • Be attentive to details.
  • This riddle is from developer, to developer: The code was written to be read, used, tweaked, explored.
  • There is more than one way to solve it. If you got through, tell us how you got there. There is no right answer, and in development there are no cheats; it’s all about finding the shorter, most efficient path.
  • This is a riddle, not a test. Some steps require 100% thinking and 0% coding.
  • Write your progress like a journal. Especially if you are doing this to apply for the job (even if you didn’t make it to the end and gave up).
  • Keep it simple: "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E. F. Schumacher

Not looking for a job? Not big into frontend?
Why not try to solve the Webfactory #riddle anyway?

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Paulo Amaral

Web Developer

The author

Paulo is a backend developer with 13 years experience, interested in everything that happens in the backstage area of systems, including databases, security, optimisation and automation. He also likes electronics (for fun) and mathematics (for no reasonable reason).

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