Tad Thorley Avatar



My Favorite Interview

Several years ago I interviewed for a job with Endpoint. I ultimately went with a different company, but I was so impressed by how they did their interviews I thought I should share and get the idea out there.

The interviews

The first interview is pretty standard. Someone (typically a developer) calls the candidate and asks them general questions to see if he or she will be a good fit for the company. If that goes well, they schedule a technical interview. It is the technical interview that is remarkable.

They invite the candidate to join an IRC channel where the team hangs out. The team chats a bit with the candidate, then they give the candidate an IP address, username, and password to shell into a special interview server that’s hosting an example site. When a candidate has demonstrated that he or she can log in successfully, the technical interview begins. The candidate is emailed a list of tasks and given an hour to complete as many he or she can. Some of the tasks are: find out a bit about the system (which processes are running, which type of Linux it is, etc.), fix the error that Passenger is throwing, check code out/in of github, add an “About Us” page to the site, add a simple feature, modify an existing feature, and fix a broken test. The candidate can ask the team questions or get clarification via IRC during the hour.

Why I enjoyed it

When I was done I felt like I had a good feel for the company and the work they did. The team members work remotely, so chatting on IRC made sense. The tasks I worked on were tasks that I would expect in a typical workday. I was unfamiliar with Spree and I asked them questions the same way I would of a co-worker.

Basically, the skills they needed were in line with what they asked of me.


Installing Minecraft Forge From the Command Line on OS X

(I am putting this here so I don’t have to search for it each time minecraft releases an update)

First, download the latest universal from http://files.minecraftforge.net/.

cd ~
mkdir mctemp
cd mctemp
jar xf ~/Library/Application\ Support/minecraft/bin/minecraft.jar
unzip ~/Downloads/minecraftforge-universal-*.zip
jar uf ~/Library/Application\ Support/minecraft/bin/minecraft.jar ./
cd ..
rm -rf mctemp

3 Notes

A Look at Zurb Foundation 4 - Semantic Naming and Sass Mixins

Version 4 of Zurb’s foundation was released recently. It sports an emphasis on mobile and better/faster javascript. The last feature, which they don’t give much detail about, is “semantic naming” and sass mixins.

It turns out that this last feature is really cool. Here’s an example. Suppose that your HTML looks like this:

Then you can use the foundation grid like this:

You can use classes and id’s that make sense. The killer feature is that everything is in the css now. For example, if you wanted narrower navigation you could increase the main content area to 10 and reduce the nav to 2: that is changing two lines in a scss file instead of going through all of your pages and replacing “span9” classes with “span10” classes like you’d have to with current Bootstrap.

I made a rails app as an example: https://github.com/phaedryx/foundation-four


My Favorite Minecraft Seed

My 5-year-old son tried out a lot of different seeds before he found this one. If you repost this seed, please give credit to William Thorley. He would be thrilled.

The seed works with minecraft 1.2.5 and 1.3.1. The seed is: happytime

Now a few screenshots to show why it is so fun.

It starts you out next to a village:

with a cave below it that has plenty of coal and iron, and also gold, lapis lazuli, and redstone

with plenty of sheep


and chickens nearby

to the west of the village, jungle, taiga and desert biomes converge

and if you walk over you’ll see a jungle temple

south of the village is some above-ground lava (for an obsidian nether portal perhaps? maybe just a nice place to throw your trash)

just through that tunnel you see on the right and around the corner

if you travel south from the initial village you’ll find another village!

hmm, I wonder what is in this cave behind the sister village

under the sister village and surrounding area is a huge dungeon that intersects several abandoned mines

So lots of things to explore and do from day one.


Family History

My mom started a blog about our family history.