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I interviewed with a defense contractor last year; I didn't gain employment from this. I'd not been aware of what the opportunity would concern until after showing interest, spurred by a notice to ask for a job if interested in lower-level topics, seen on a forum. I don't name the business, not from respect, but because I don't deign to mention the names of businesses in my writing, if unnecessary.

After discussing the listing, I was applying for reverse engineering work, which I felt particularly suited to; I very begrudgingly made an account with an employment website I'd not before seen, after seeing the terms and finding naught egregious, and being sparse on personal details as I could, with the expectation that I'd be able to later delete the account and, as the defense contractor claimed, have mine information wiped from its records upon request. Perhaps I shouldn't've been surprised to much later notice that website had shape-shifted, leaving me unable to delete mine account, and that defense contractor has behaved likewise in wiping its records; it's ultimately of little importance.

While mine original contact was a pleasant conversation partner, the interviewing process was marked by an omnipresent shadow of what I'd consider mismanagement. The terms discussed beforehand weren't strictly to my liking, but I was willing to at least finish any interviewing; I'm so willing to help build weapons and whatnot, but urinating in a cup is worker degradation I refuse to partake in. I'd received my first phone interview, only after waiting slightly longer than two months since contact.

That first phone interview lasted forty-seven minutes. I'd asked about the ``work environment'' and other things. The particular team I'd be joining concerned itself with reverse engineering and like things. I asked if anyone there used Ada, and was surprised to learn that it seemed unlikely anyone there did; I was told those C and C++ languages, along with Python, were what were common. I wasn't skittish, when asking about how any of my Free Software work would be impacted, to be told copyright waivers were common; I would've negotiated this further, in any contract, but it never came to that.

I occasionally reflect on this interview when considering why the horrible programming languages are still in use; I'm inclined to believe there wouldn't be a market for fixing programs, finding flaws, and exploitations, were better languages commonly used; correct software isn't good for the economy.

My second phone interview came roughly one month later, again having required repeated rescheduling, lasting one hour and twenty-four minutes. In the interview, I would be programming in a proprietary WWW program, in which the real-time characters of what I typed could be observed. I'd informed them I wasn't keen on nor particularly proficient with the C language, but this was the language for this review. I'd been able to identify the semantics of several fragments shown, answer questions, write mine own fragments for certain tasks, amongst other things. That point at which I failed was rather likely when I struggled with a basic problem, having attempted to reuse my C language fragments from earlier to spare myself and, after ten minutes or so, had asked to skip it, shortly thereafter which the interview was finished; after the interview, I easily thought of how to solve the task with APL.

I wasn't made aware, when I was no longer being considered, and later asked to have mine information removed from the system, to a vague response. I'm not certain I would've taken the job were I truly offered that, but it was ultimately a wasteful experience, and at least it resulted in this article.