Testing before an interview

It’s extremely important if you are taking a laptop to an interview to showcase a project that you’ve been working on to thoroughly test it before going. I found this out recently.

It was a Node JS project I had been working on for about six months, it loaded up, built and ran fine the night before and even on the morning of the interview. Doubts that anything could go wrong just didn’t exist. This project was working.

But that wasn’t the case in the end.

During the interview I booted up, loaded the project in as I had been doing, no changes to the system or project. Then I ran the project and opened up the page in a web browser.

Garbage! That’s what I got on the screen. Just garbage!

According to the output log from the project it was all going fine, but that’s not what was on the screen in the browser. I could see some of the text and icons but they were all squashed up on the screen. Argh! I thought. How could this happen?

I had to resort to just explaining the project and apologising for the failure for it to work properly.

Interview over and headed back home on the train. Furious at myself for this to happen.

Whilst on the train, I opened up my laptop to write a thank you email for the interview which I had to connect to my phones hot spot. Email sent, I decided to open up the project to quickly see why it all went wrong. The project ran, I opened it up in the browser… And it just worked!

After a very short investigation I found what the problem was. A CSS file was being requested from a CDN (content delivery network) which when connected to the internet could get access to and use in the project. During the interview, I did not connect to the internet and the CSS file was not loaded into the page. No layout information, colours, nothing…

So that was it. No internet. Project cannot access that single CSS file.

Of course now I’ve added the CSS file directly to the project and it does work completely offline.

Lesson learned.