San Francisco Company Wants to Hire People With Fire

A California gaming-industry company whose value is “fire” is holding a contest to find coders to work for six weeks in July and August, saying “blow our minds while you’re here and we’ll hire you.”

IGN Entertainment says it doesn’t care if you’re flipping burgers or whether you went to Stanford or MIT. You just have to be legal to work in the U.S., 18 years old, and answer some really simple questions. For example:

  1. How many pennies could you put on the Golden Gate Bridge without any of them overlapping?
  2. Our images have a ratio of 16:9, and our design layouts have 12 pixel wide increments (there are no limits on height). Give examples of three image sizes that would have the correct ratio and would fit the design layout.
  3. What is the minimum number of moves required for a knight to cover the entire chess board? Write a program to prove it. Provide a graph with the move number on the x axis and the number of squares covered on the y axis.
  4. Creatively prove to us that you meet our value — Fire — that this would be more than just a job to you, and that you are passionate about us.

The end of today (Monday) is the deadline to send in answers, with winners selected June 17. Jennie Fissel, the company’s “talent wrangler,” says that she already has about 10 people she is planning on accepting, and will take up to 30. The selection decision is being made in part by the engineering team (where the idea originated a few months ag0) and in part by the HR/recruiting team.

The latter group is looking for what most other companies seem to look for: passion. One candidate sent in a video that Fissel just clearly showed the person is excited about what the company does.

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For applicants who miss the deadline, Fissel says she’s look at them anyhow, maybe not for the six-week program, but for a job. “If somebody is a star, we want to hang on to them,” she says.

Indeed, for those who may want to “kick ass” or “take no prisoners,” (as the job description for the company’s account manager position states), there are other jobs open at IGN.


4 Comments on “San Francisco Company Wants to Hire People With Fire

  1. its cliche to say if you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything, but that’s how boring, reductionist ideas live on and on and on. I’m sure most everyone involved with this is a nice, hardworking, great person, but the overall group-think and sheer non-novelty of the whole affair is striking.

    Are abilities to express group-think and pump yourself really killer KSA’s for the job? Maybe, since who wants a bunch of lazy, semi-smart good for nothings who won’t take orders and insist on going their own directions?

    and yet……..

  2. Well said, Martin. When I hear the word “passion” in a non sex industry JD, I reach for my pistol….

    @ Todd: I’m not surprised when a company like IGN would do something like this. I would be surprised to see the old traditional “status quo” companies do stuff like this-
    I liked what I saw about Home Depot in the other article.
    “Positive innovation where you least expect it”
    and “recruiting success against the odds (not much money, sizzle, etc.)” is what would get my interest, Todd.



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