Recently, I’ve been applying for jobs. I got a response today that included these sentences: “…the next step in the process will be a “24 Hour Test”. In the next 24 hours, send me something that shows how you think. This should be something quick, like a photo, experience, goal, or really anything, but it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes.”
I considered writing some code. There were probably some interesting things I could have done with loops or hyperlinks to represent how I think. It would have been nice to show off some of my coding skills but that probably would have taken more than a couple of minutes.
Eventually, I went with the idea of taking a photo. I arranged a couple of the books that I had been reading and thinking about and snapped a photo of them. Done. Easy.
It’s an interesting question though, and I couldn’t help thinking about it a bit more. In order to show how you think, you need to be able to think about your own thoughts. It requires a sort of metacognition; thinking about thinking. How do you know that you know what you know. etc. As I pondered it a bit more, I realized that among the books in my ‘24 hour test’ photo, there were some relevant reads. In “The Inner Tradition of Yoga” Michael Stone prescribes meditation as a way of seeing one’s own mind. He says “Moments of psychological stillness remind us that there are ways of knowing other than intellectual” In Andy Hunt’s awesome book, “Pragmatic Thinking and Learning” he describes several practical ways to think about thinking. He talks about the Dryfus model, Left-Brain/Right-Brain modes of thinking, and other interesting lessons about learning. ”The Black Swan” covers cognitive biases. Even books on seemingly unrelated subjects contain interesting ideas that are tangential to metacognition. I’ve learned about epistemology by studying Software Testing. I’ve pondered the meaning of intelligence and self-awareness through the lens of artificial intelligence. Reading about psychology has illuminated some aspects of my own mind and personality. It seems like there are a lot of ways to think deeply about thinking deeply.
Anyway, I’m curious. How would you show how you think? How do you think about thinking? What would you do for the “24 hour test”?