Is it common to require a candidate to take an automatically-graded online coding test if they have lots of demonstrable material online?

The OP asks questions (in the sense that there are sentences with question marks at the end) but he/she seems much more interested in complaining about how they've been "abused" by the company at which they tried to get a job, almost to the extent of looking for validation versus an answer to a question.

It's a post that's attracted a lot of attention, and I think there's a potential for it to add value (as a discussion about clarity around hiring practices) but it's so mired in the rant that it feels very lost. At least, to the extent that I'm not sure how to address it, personally (comment? edit? answer? leave it alone?)

There isn't specifically a "this is a rant disguised as a question" close reason (unless I'm missing it) but it is disallowed in the help section of SO:


Editing to point out that the Workplace help section also has a similar "don't rant" clause:


Editing again to provide clarity around timing: I had asked this question based on "early" versions of the question, prior to the major edits which toned down the storytelling and focused more on the actual questions - ie revisions 9 and earlier, basically. The edit history can be viewed:


  • Do you mean the original revision #1, the current #13, or revision #9 which was current when you asked this (and the question was briefly closed)? Many of us did a lot of surgery to convert it into a useful, neutrally-phrased, generic question. It seems you asked this Meta question when the original question was back on #9, so this is now at best obsolete, at worst downright damaging. You should at absolute minimum reference the extensive revision history, better if you summarize how it morphed from/to #1, #9, #13.
    – smci
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 0:27
  • I'm not interested in summarizing edit history, since that might imply an obligation to update this question every time there are future edits. I do agree though that it's fair to point out the timing of my question versus the revision history, since my question doesn't make as much sense against the current revision.
    – dwizum
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 14:09

3 Answers 3


I've edited out as much of the rant as I can, if someone else would like to do some more, I think there's a worthwhile question there

  • The edits are great, the post is open again.
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 22:03

I thought it was a farily obviously a question.

From top of the original question (my emphasis):

Short version: I had an experience with a recruiter that I think was not fair. What's the line to asking to do tests?

and at the bottom (of his "rant"):

My question: Am I exaggerating and this is normal? Isn't this abuse in a way? Like what's the limit to this "abuse" so to say?

My reaction to the original (rant-y) version is, "Yes, that was too much to ask you to do."
But much of what makes me say that has been removed at this point.

My reaction to the question as currently phrased is, "The answer I posted no longer makes sense, guess I should go delete it."

Let's say a new person looks at the question and reads the answers...
if they don't know how to access the edits they may (at best) be confused by multiple answers which address stuff that isn't even in the question (in its current form). At worst they may assume that those answers were from people that read the question incorrectly.

In summary: the edits aren't bad, except that they came too late (after lots of answers were posted) and, at this point, may do more harm than good.

  • In part this is why I try to quote the question I am answering... that way if it is edited (heavily or not) my answer would still make a bit of sense, point in which I can see the edit and decide to update the answer or not.
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 22:01
  • I'd like to focus on your reaction: "Yes, that was too much to ask you to do." To me, that's a subjective reaction, and as such doesn't have much value according to Workplace guidelines - my subjective reaction may be different, and we're both entitled to that. I think part of what I meant in my question here was that the OP was looking for validation of a subjective feeling they had. That's a natural human thing to want, it's not inherently bad: I just don't think it adds value as a question on this site, even if it does help the OP feel better, and even if it's not a rant. To be continued...
    – dwizum
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 14:13
  • To me, the value would fit better in the Workplace if it was more objective: a question/answer about standard interviewing practices, or how to communicate during the interview process, or how to set expectations about what you're willing to do during an interview. That way, we'd be indirectly addressing the OP's subjective feelings, but also providing a legitimate objective question and answer that (to me at least) fits better according to the guidelines on this site.
    – dwizum
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 14:15

This isn't stack overflow. Stop moderating it as such. This is the workplace.

You had a stack overflow link in your question. Talking about workplace like it's stack overflow marginalizes non-software career fields and severely limits the usefulness of the site. Don't do it.

People have complained about non-software related questions getting shafted here in the past. We don't need more of that nonsense.

  • 2
    Confused by this, since I haven't moderated anything related to this question, so there's nothing to stop doing - and your answer doesn't even answer my question. If you're picking at the fact that I linked to SO help, then you can look at the Workplace help, which includes similar language persuading users from posting "rants:" workplace.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask
    – dwizum
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 20:57
  • 2
    If you're trying to indicate that you don't think the referenced question is a rant, or that it should or should not receive edits, answers, comments, or whatever, then I'd be interested in hearing some details on why - or, ideally, a link to Workplace guidelines or help material that clarifies, or past questions that set a precedent for questions like this one.
    – dwizum
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 20:58
  • @dwizum Read the update.
    – user53651
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 22:18
  • 7
    Was this meant as a joke? I read it as such (replying to a "is this a rant disguised as a question?" with a rant (very thinly) disguised as an answer) and found it amusing...but maybe it wasn't intended as such? Commented Jan 20, 2019 at 8:53

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