Learn the hard way

I recently made it to the final round in an interview process, I was very excited about this as I have felt like I have really been gaining some traction lately. I reached out to the recruiter to see if he had any insight on what I should prepare for so I could put my best foot forward. His response was JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. I decided to build something in React and really struggle through things so I had a clear understanding of what I was comfortable with and what I wasn't.

Cut to the interview. The engineer taking me through the interview did a great job of making me feel at ease, I was more eager than nervous to show my programming skills. Initially, the requirements seemed easy. Recreate this view by pulling from an API. Looking at it, it was just some images, and specifications detailing the images. This was also done in a REPL which was a new concept for me. Not in a sense of never using it, but building something in react within REPL and keeping all of my functions in the same file.

I start in on it, asking some questions about syntax as VS code will auto-populate certain functions. What seemed like minutes turned out to be the allotted time for the interview. The engineer asked me just for my logic in dealing with the data I had and how I was going to render it. We went back and forth a few times to which my response was to map over it and return a card with all the specified data shown in the render I was trying to copy.

Looking back at it I realized where the engineer's question was coming from and why I was questioned on it multiple times. I remember making a comment on the JSON the API was showing me and how it was a bit more complex than most data I'm used to working with. This should have been a very big hint at how I should have answered the question. Knowing my data would have had me much more prepared to deal with it and I would have not been building a view at full speed just to run into a wall. An important lesson learned was to KNOW YOUR DATA!



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