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Company Uses Portal 2 Mod to Recruit Programmers

| 23 Jan 2013 18:15

The custom mod even features its own sketchy, murderous AI.

Valve's Portal 2 may be a few years old, but it is still an excellent physics puzzler that rewards creative problem solving. It turns out that quality is exactly what new tech companies are looking for in their employees and one company decided to use Portal 2 to demonstrate it when applying. WibiData is a data collection and analytics outfit in San Francisco, and the CEO realized almost half of their 22 employees loved playing Portal, hopefully not on the company's dime. He asked modder Doug Hoogland - the guy who used the game to propose to his girlfriend - to create a mod to put potential WibiData employees through the gauntlet of dealing with a physic-bending "weapon" and a terrifying A.I. personality.

The mod includes a detailed recreation of the WibiData offices, and 5 brand new puzzle chambers created by Hoogland. Instead of the companion cube, players have to shuffle around a representation of WibiData's logo - which just happens to be an orange cube. But what's really cool is that Hoogland wrote a whole story behind the test chambers, starting with an email from the WibiData CEO describing a finicky new artifical intelligence.

"Unfortunately, I'm a little booked right now what with the new recruiting website AI acting buggy and trying to kill the new applicants (probably a maven bug). Since our legal budget was blown when your 'absolutely vital' giant Wibi hovercube crashed into city hall, kinda trying to nip this one in the bud," reads the email.

There's some great quotes from the A.I. in the trailer. "I'm going to speed things up a bit, by mixing your oxygen with neurotoxin," says the A.I. "I even made it smell like strawberries, just for you."

The mod is a very cool way to attract people to apply for a job who might not otherwise, which is vital for a small tech company jockeying for talent in a crowded job market like Silicon Valley. If I had any programming chops, I'd totally play through it to apply for a job. If you think you can get past the puzzles and want to work for WibiData, give it a whirl.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with WibiData in any way, nor am I a devilish A.I. attempting to lure new "recruits" into my test chambers.

Source: New York Times

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