Google Reveals Secret Code for Recruiting

Many computer programs are known to contain "Easter eggs" -- hidden games, jokes or other features that can be launched by secret commands -- and Google has been found sneaking many such surprises into its searches and other apps over the years.

Data scientist Max Rosett, though, recently became the latest programmer to discover a different feature Google also hides deep in its search engine algorithms: an automated invitation to apply for a job at the company based on the search terms used.

Rosett described his experience earlier this week in a piece on The Hustle, a publication for "entrepreneurs, self-starters, and the curious." The title of his article: "Google Has a Secret Interview Process . . . And It Landed Me a Job."

Previously a data scientist with the San Francisco-based real-estate search firm ApartmentList.com, Rosett is now a newly employed software engineer at Google. The move to his new position all started when he recently Googled the term, "python lambda function list comprehension," he noted.

'Up for a Challenge?'

After clicking "enter" on his search, Rosset writes, "The familiar blue links appeared, and I started to look for the most relevant one."

But then,"something unusual happened," he said. "The search results split and folded back to reveal a box that said, "You're speaking our language. Up for a challenge?"

Rosett had discovered a hidden-to-all-but-a-chosen-few place on Google: a page with the URL http://www.google.com/foobar/. Mere mortals who type in that address uninvited will see only a black screen with a pinkish square graphic and the cryptic message, "Been here before? Log in." However, computer-savvy pros who unwittingly type in complex terms that interest Google will instead see the message Rosett saw, after which they are invited to take a series of challenges in a programming language like Python or Java.

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