Australian software engineer got asked algorithm question when entering US
The whole world knows that security and background checks get tighten for people to enter US since Donald Trump took office. But have you ever heard about getting algorithm question asked during the immigration check interview while entering United States? Recently an Australian software engineer David Thornton had such an experience when he tried to enter US.
(Image from kaytlentravels.wordpress.com)
David is a software engineer from Sydney and he is a 24-year-old studied computer science and law at the University of New South Wales. In February, David just finished his study in Europe and prepared to stop over a few days in New York before returning back to Australia. The story begun at the immigration queue at Newark airport in New York.
When he was at the queue and waiting for clearing immigration checks, the TV was broadcasting some CNN news about the latest travel ban from Donald Trump administration. And he was asked some regular questions when it was his turn. He felt all clear when these questions were answered. But then the CBP(Customs and Border Protection) officer asked one last question.
“What do you do for a living?”
David told the officer that he is a software engineer. And the officer asked if he knew Python code, and David said yes. Thereafter a follow up question was asked.
“‘I’ve got a problem, I’m trying to write a computer program, can you help me?’”
David was shocked and didn't know how to respond. The officer then passed him paper and pen and started to read question on the computer, it was just like a real quiz. David felt he was played but he had no choice but answering the question since he was eager to enter the country. The question was not as difficult as those asked by Google but definitely it was not just some dummy question.
Anyway David made through the process and entered US finally. The advice given by David is that studying up before entering United States.
There were some other stories where people had weird experience when entering US. For example, some months back, some Chinese got their WeChat(China's What's App) checked before entering United States.
A guy is working on some bug while he is riding a bike. He gets off the bike and stay aside the road and start to debug some production issue. So now you know how hard a programmer is working?