"Going to those sessions was like watching a train wreck in slow motion," Mr. Bozanich said. It was, he said, "a testament to the bad economy that so many overqualified people would come in for one lousy programming trainee position."
Mr. Bozanich said he thought Mr. Allen was genuinely motivated to help the trainees find work, but he also considered the process inevitably exploitative.
Mr. Allen himself doesn't see it that way at all:
- "People understood they were taking a risk and could drop out any time," he said. "No one gave off a sense of desperation."
Or perhaps the ones who did give off a sense of desperation were gone so quickly they were forgotten.
At least in this instance, the contestants were getting training -- in this case, in a somewhat obscure computer language called APL. The same article refers to another contest at an ad agency involving actual unpaid work, in which
- 10 people ... participated in a weeklong competition for an entry-level advertising job. The group worked on making pitches and it devised a promotional campaign for Crunch Fitness. Every night, management voted two contestants out.
At the end of which, they could either hire the winners... or hold another contest.
Update: link to the article corrected.
No link to this story in Google news, or through the Times Link Generator, unfortunately, so it will go stale...