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Do you know Google has a secret way of recruiting programmers and developers?

Blinking……Don’t know…

Come on…. It’s been there for last five or more years. Yet, you know nothing about it. As students of Computer Engineering you got to know what it is.

All right….. It’s Foo Bar Challenge. Also known shortly as

It is a web tool that throws up a challenge. If you have got the nuts, accept it. Wait… this challenge is not for every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Google, you know functions in a smart way. Call it a ‘gift of God’ in words of Pope Francis or a ‘surveillance apparatus’. Google documents every movement of the modern man. Among other things, it tracks your search history. If your searches are about coding of software programs, then Google looks to you as a special person. A person who can be a part of its community. It opens up its secret gate—Foo Bar Challenge—and asks you to enter.

Once you enter the secret gate, you have to pass through five gates called ‘levels’—at different times. At each gate, a sphinx will pose questions. Correct answers will allow you to proceed further. Your breakdown at any level will put a chill on your dreams and force you to retreat. Like the legendary Oedipus, you have to tear down all the gates with right answers. This will guarantee your entry into the kingdom of Google.

This is all what Foo Bar is about.

I know you have many questions like—how to know Google has opened its challenge? What are we to do at each level? What happens if the answers turn out to be wrong? ………and so on.


“You are speaking our language. Up for a Challenge”. This is how Google communicates with you when it selects you as a potential candidate. This communication appears on your computer screen as a Popup. level 1

A click by you in acceptance takes you to Level-1 of the challenge. Each level will have problems equal to its level number. That is Level-2 will have two problems, Level-3 will be with three problems and so on. In total, the challenge will have fifteen problems. Enough time ranging from a couple of hours to few weeks for advanced levels will be given to solve the problems. All the questions of challenge pertain to software programming. And you must crack the challenge by using the computer languages Python or Java.

At Level-1, a simple mathematical problem solicits an answer from you. Everyone who takes up the challenge clears this level with much ease. The next level will have problems which will be harder than the previous level. As you progress, the problems at each level will become tougher than the preceding levels.

At Level-2, Google requires you to invite a friend. This is another way by which Google approaches persons for challenge. It is a referral of a potential candidate by another prospect on his way of cracking the challenge. This formality may be to boost the morale of the prospect and to allow him taking help for solving the problems.

Google will congratulate you when you complete answering the three questions at Level-3. At this juncture, it will ask your personal details including your phone number and email. While doing so, Google pretends as if it knows nothing about you. You will be told that the details are for a potential future interview. A few days or weeks later, Google will reach out to you for a phone interview and then an on-site interview.

Are you getting scared?

Don’t worry. Google understands your fears. So, at every level, it provides you with an explanation of the problem with one or two examples and a few test cases. This helps you solve the test cases both clear and hidden with the question.

Level-4 comprises of problems which ordinary minds find quite hard to solve. Answers to these questions need a sound knowledge of algorithms and programming concepts. Explanation of the problems in this Level will be vague. You must use your intelligence to understand and solve them. Your success at this level will prove you have exceptional competencies.

The last Level-5 will be the real test of your merits. Questions in this Level will be the toughest with no clear explanation of the problems or any clues. They are the touchstones for evaluating your skill in coding and programming.

When you are through this level, you can relax. It’s your time to celebrate. Shortly, you will receive an offer to step into the boundaries of the kingdom of Google. You will be designated as a ’programmer or developer’. The designations are nothing short of the title of “Nobles” given by kings in the bygone ages. The only difference here is— “Google” will be assuming the role of king.

An important question may be lurking in your minds. What happens if somebody fails at any level? The journey of such person comes to end at the level where he crashes. He should be fortunate enough to get an invitation any time in future to take up the challenge again.

You may also want to know why Google puts difficult questions in the challenge. It is because of the selection policy. Google does not compromise on quality. It recruits the best minds on computer programming. Foo Bar Challenge is a tactic for cherry-picking the best programmers from all corners of the world.  Quality gets demonstrated when hard issues get cracked in a logical and matured way.

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Now, it is time for you to prepare for Foo Bar Challenge. Update your knowledge of coding skills, data structures and algorithms. Start a search history on Google regarding computer programming and coding. You will receive an invitation for the challenge sometime. Take up the challenge in a lighter vein. Consider it as a puzzle and enjoy cracking it. Solve the problems at each level with a cool mind. You will succeed. Your dream job at Google will come to you.

Best of luck to all.

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