Instagram, the crazy/fast-growing photo sharing startup, announced a new hiring scheme on its blog.Like Facebook and Google, it is asking applicants brainteasers. But Instead of asking “Why are manholes round,” Instagram is asking engineers to solve a photo challenge.
Inspired by his office paper shredder, cofounder Kevin Systrom writes: “Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to write a simple script that takes a shredded image in as input and outputs an unshredded and reconstituted image,” he writes. The bonus challenge: add a way to auto-detect how wide each strip of the shredded photo is.
Systrom says anyone who comes up with an elegant solution will get an interview at Instagram. Anyone who attempts to solve the puzzle will get a response from the company; anyone who answers it correctly will get an Instagram T-shirt.
TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis asked Systrom why he would use the puzzle hiring approach of his former employer, Google. He replied, “It’s less of a hiring process and more of a marketing tool. I think it starts a discussion that may lead somewhere – but not necessarily with hiring. We just like meeting really smart folks — [and] want to attract people who have the same intellectual curiosity as the rest of our team. We love the challenges we face every day with imaging and building scalable technology, and this challenge is simply a way for us to speak to the people who feel the same way.”
For more about the challenge, head over to Instagram’s blog >>