During a job interview lately I was tasked with a very interesting exercise. The interviewer said he’d be pretending to be a dam operator and I was supposed to make his life easier by designing a new tool or software (it had to be my choice). I was free to ask him questions at any time. And I could either describe what I came up with, or draw it. There were some limitations obviously. The operator didn’t give me all the information right away, I had to ask him questions. And that also was the point. But below you have some of the information I received (I don’t remember all).
- There were three dams that had to be operated and each one had a lever located close to it.
- The old system was faulty, the lever was getting stuck.
- The operator had to go to each dam, close/open it with the lever, which was tiring enough (the operator was old-ish), and he had to remeber for how long each dam was opened and whether it was opened fully.
- If the dam was opened for longer than acceptable, it could damage the whole system.
- The operator was given information about the levels of water so he did not have to decide for himself how much a dam would have to be opened.
- Only two dams could be fully opened at the same time.
- The operator needed to open the dams fluently (to have control over the angle that the ‘door’ is open).
- Each dam could not be fully open for longer than 3 hours.
I won’t tell you what I came up with, but I received very good feedback
That’s a really cool exercise. Try it.