Mario is my intern for this summer.

A shocker on Mario's first day

I did not interview Mario as I usually would for interns because he came introduced from an esteemed source. Instead, I skipped right to the programming test for Mario, and he passed with the usual mistakes, as you might expect from an average programmer. An average programmer for an intern will suffice.

On Mario's first day, I asked how NUS Computer Science is like now in my bid to make small talk and get Mario to feel comfortable in a new environment. Then he said:

Oh, I am not from Computer Science.

Then I asked: "Oh, so you have been programming?"

I took the CS (Computer Science) programming module last semester.

Fuck, did I hire an intern who barely knew how to code?

Super Mario

I was hoping to get an intern to build some internal tools that have been nagging at me. Tools like TMP, or to flesh out a prototype for Sapiengraph. So I decided to just task the work to Mario anyways, albeit incrementally. And boy this guy can learn. A month and a half later:

  1. Mario had pulled together a working prototype for our photo crawler for Sapiengraph
  2. Built and deployed TMP
  3. Fixed various breaking bugs for us in our deployed applications

He learned fast. I am glad I took a leap of faith on him. This is not exactly something that I have to learn as I have always hired people based on their rate of learning rather than what they know at this current point in time. Try it next time, your hire might just surprise you! Implement a probation period to reduce the risk of a bad hire.