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Its worth noting that I have already done this now, but I am wondering if I might have made a mistake.

Background

I have on my resume that I know a few programming languages, and I do. I actually really enjoy programming, and while I've never worked as a developer, I have written code for previous employers and enjoy writing code on my own time. I've been a hobbyist coder for most of my life and I'd like to think that over the years I have written some complex and interesting software.

During an interview for a Customer Support role at a software company one of my interviewers decided to quiz me on my knowledge of one of the languages that I said I was fluent in. I ended up being unable to satisfactorily answer a rather simple question about what specific command I would use to handle a specific, but common situation. I could not remember the name of the command. I gave an alternative command to use, but it was a much more inefficient route to go.

When I program I usually have the language reference, for whatever language it is, open in front of me, and I refer back to it often. Had I been asked to write a small sample program to demonstrate my skills, I think I would have had no trouble.

The Problem

So having made a mistake on the skills test that I think probably looked very bad, I sent some samples of code that I have written in each of the languages listed on my resume along with an explanation of why I blundered and what each sample did.

Did I make a mistake here? Will this come off arrogant? Should I have just let it go? I'm questioning my decision to send code samples.

EDIT: This is the relevant part of my interview follow up email.

"I also wanted to take a moment to apologize for my blunder during the skills test that I was given during our discussion. ... I have attached to this email a few pieces of code that I have written that I think are a much more representative of my current skill level. If you have some free time I would appreciate you giving them a quick look over."

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    Some adverts ask for code samples in the application. You sending code samples of your own accord is not different. It probably comes more down to how you presented it. BTW I also always forget the right commands to use. I can't even count the number of times I looked up some simple functions like printf even though you I used it a million times. Isn't that they made man for, etc. – Brandin Mar 13 '15 at 18:43
  • "I also wanted to take a moment to apologize for my blunder during the skills test that I was given during our discussion. ... I have attached to this email a few pieces of code that I have written that I think are a much more representative of my current skill level. If you have some free time I would appreciate you giving them a quick look over." – Zell Faze Mar 13 '15 at 18:50
  • I think that context makes a big diff. If you want feedback from here add that email sample to your explanation. It's not like you need permission to send them an email. And if it's just source code they can just look at it if they want (like you said) its not like you're sending them suspicious binaries or something – Brandin Mar 13 '15 at 18:58
  • I can do that. It is just uncompiled source code. – Zell Faze Mar 13 '15 at 19:01
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    I was given a scripting exercise. I made excellent progress but I tripped up on the last part of the exercise because I couldn't remember the syntax for a specific option of the command I wanted to use. I asked for, and received permission to access the Internet. A couple of minutes later, I found the command switch and the syntax for it and got the job done, to the astonishment of the CTO who had expected me to spend much more time on this :) – Vietnhi Phuvan Mar 13 '15 at 21:12
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I think you misinterpret the point of the test. Usually, they don't judge you based on what approach you took. They judge the quality of the code that you did write. It's about seeing that you're not re-inventing the wheel. That you're able to use the tools at your disposal, rather than assembling everything.

Besides, they are well aware that anyone would be able to submit better code if they were given a second chance. That's the way it works. But that's not what they're testing for.

All in all, don't be too worried about the test. It's usually just there for you to prove that you can in fact code. No one expects flawless code on a test.

I would have advised against contacting them about it. But I'm sure they understand that you're on edge about it. Anyone would be.

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