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They Sure Weren’t Hired For Their Technical Knowledge

, , , , , | Working | October 22, 2021

Because I went to one of the top ten public colleges for computer science, I was used to numerous big tech firms showing up to try to recruit us, and often attended these events for the free food and swag. I was a poor college student; I would have done anything short of murder for some free pizza!

One of these events was with [Multinational Technology Corporation]. I got there early and the recruiter started talking to me. I was wearing a shirt given to me by a previous [Corporation] recruiter; I have two of the same shirt, both given to me by recruiters from this company.

Recruiter: “That’s an interesting shirt.”

Me: “Yeah, I like it. It says, ‘Geek,’ in binary.”

Recruiter: “Huh? How can it say anything?”

Me: “Well… each of these sets of numbers is a byte that can be converted to a letter. See, this one is a G, these two are E’s, and this is a K.”

Recruiter: “How do you get a letter from them?”

Me: “I looked up the number the binary represents in a table. Every possible number has some letter or other character it represents.”

Recruiter: “Oh, so it’s like a code?”

Me: “Umm, yeah. That’s literally the code computers use to store words.”

Recruiter: “That’s cool.”

The recruiter wandered off shortly after. I don’t expect a layman to know everything about a computer. I wouldn’t blame someone for not knowing what my shirt said. Still, I have trouble fathoming how someone whose job is literally recruiting programmers for one of the biggest tech firms in the world, who likely had to give out these very shirts before, wouldn’t at some point have learned that computers use binary.

For the record, I did intern with that corporation, where I received yet another copy of the binary geek shirt at one point, but ultimately, I chose to stick closer to home once I graduated.