Yes, I'm aware you need to asses my technical skills, however, I'm not going to work for free. If I want to do that, I'll hack on some open source something or other that takes my fancy. Witness this company, paying well for a [Hipster Programming Language] dev. I casually dropped them a line and they rather liked what the saw, so they invited me in for an in person interview.
I arrive at the newly appointed offices, complete with ping pong table. I guess I should have known right then. I get introduced to the team and after a little 'get to know you' coffee, we sit down at a large bench filled with 27" iMacs. The conversation ensues:
Lead Dev: "So I thought we could spend the day pairing on a little code"
Me: "Okay, sounds cool - do you have something in mind or should we grab a little open source something that needs a little TLC?"
LD: "Well, I thought we could work on our application, we've got some features I want to implement and push live by the end of the day"
Me: "Um, you mean *your* application. Like, the one I would work on if I was an employee?"
LD: "Yeah, that's the one"
Me: "Okaaaaay. My day rate is 450 yeah?"
LD (looking confused): "Excuse me?"
Me: "My day rate is 450. As I understand it, you want me to hack on a live product that you're getting paid for."
LD: "Yeah, but I need to assess your technical chops"
Me: "Sure, so lets grab something open source. You get to assess my technical chops, we get to give a little love back."
LD: "But our technical test is on our codebase. I know it well so I'll be able to properly assess you"
Me: "I'm sure you do, but you are asking me to work for free"
LD: "No, it's a technical test"
Me: "ON YOUR LIVE CODEBASE"
LD (frustrated): "But I need these features out in the field today. Anyway, I don't see what the problem is, it's only a day's worth of work."
Me: "Do you work here for free?"
Me: "Right. Exactly"
LD: "So, should we get started?"
Let me say this very slowly, so you will be sure to hear it:
FUCK YOU, HIRE ME....
Then I'll be more than happy to hack on your app all day everyday.