Having just read this article, I had what I consider a brilliant idea. But first, a quick synopsis. The article thoughtfully discards the notion that technical interviews, white-boarding sessions and other little puzzles are a waste of time, and provides other opinions, processes and an updated “hiring guide”. One of the main tenets of this list is having a set of pet projects, small things really, to give as a more interesting challenge. The article then goes on to point out this doesn’t scale effectively:
The only real problem is that it doesn’t scale. Google, for instance, would need to find literally thousands of one-week audition projects every year for its candidates, which is probably not realistic.
I think a good solution to this problem is also highly productive and beneficial for everyone: have an online, public “repository” of sorts, where people can put ideas, wants, needs or otherwise, and take from this pool. That way, real challenges, goals and ideas are being realized and created, all while helping hire good engineers.