I'm currently looking for a new job as a developer. There are two things that companies usually require that bother me a lot: long programming assignments and reference checks. There are plenty of questions about both things in this site.
There are other things that bother me even more: after doing such a process, finding out that the code or system I'm going to be working with is a disaster, or the company itself is.
So I've started trying, with no success (and no surprise) at all, asking the companies in return:
- Some code of their own. I'm aware it's confidential, but just any, any small piece of code they're usually working with.
- Former and/or current employees contact information, so that I can ask "hey, did/do you enjoy working there?" Also confidential, but just the same as the contact information they require from my references. I can read reviews on Glassdoor, but I don't put much trust on that.
One of the companies said that what I'm asking (2-3 people's contact information, they'd asked for 6) is unreasonable. Is it? I acknowledge they have the right to do all they consider necessary to get the best people on board. Can't I do the same?