Welcome to the Contrast Code Challenges project page. Code challenges are an important part of our recruiting and hiring process. Most engineer/developer, designer or technologist that works at Contrast, full-time or intern submits a code challenge as part of the process to join the team. Some candidates prefer a technical interview and some prefer reviewing a past project. Our goal is to accommodate the candidate’s preference.
The code challenge is designed to give candidates the ability to showcase their skills in a low stress, extended time model rather than in a conference room as part of a technical interview. Be aware that each code challenge can take longer than a day to complete, hence we give you ample time to work it. We believe that technologists work best in the comfort of their own home, coffee shop or favorite place to code or design.
Most importantly we do the challenge for you. Anyone submitting a code challenge, owns their own code, whether they put it on GitHub or another site. Our theory is that you are putting time into the interview process. We want you to get something out of the effort. What better than something to add to your portfolio?
One last important item…please do not reference Contrast on your project as we do not want to introduce the possibility of someone plagiarizing your work. We rotate projects several times a year.
We offer a few options to the developer project. The first project is designed for the dedicated UI engineer. The second is for the full stack engineer who likes to design slick, web interfaces. The third project is more suited for the backend developer who still values interactivity with users of the application, but in a different modality.
You only have to complete one project.
The user wants you to create a web application that will allow them to compare up to 3 stock tickers at once. They want to be able to search for companies based not just based on symbols but also names. For example the user could search for PLTR and Palantir.
A data source you could use is https://www.alphavantage.co/documentation/ (Free API key available). Here are a few user stories that the customer wants:
As a user, I want to be able to search for a company by symbol or full name so that I can be able to search for ‘AAL’ and ‘airlines’.
As a user, I want to be able to pin/bookmark up to 3 results to my view so that I can search for companies and add them to the view without losing track of companies I am interested in.
As a user, I want to be able to see up to 3 pinned columns so that I can draw direct comparisons across the data sets.
As a user, I want to be able to see the graphical representation of a company’s EPS earning or cash flow and be able to compare it across the 3 selected companies.
If you have made it this far then you’ve learned enough to know that Contrast is an application and cyber security platform. We think of security in terms of vulnerabilities, threats, and attacks.
As part of this project, we would like for you to build a simple, yet elegant application that visualizes a security intelligence data feed (vulnerabilities or threat intelligence data). We ask that your UI contains at least:
It should be a clean UI written in one of the recommended JS frameworks below. The service layer should be written in Java.
We recommend that you identify one or more data feeds from one of these three sources.
Additional requirements as part of our craftsmanship initiative:
Our agent technology is the heart and soul of our product. Agent engineers need to be highly proficient in the language they are supporting. They must want to explore the internals of the language and the engine the language runs within. To really be successful you have to be willing to “hack” the language you are working. Each of the languages below provides an interface to capture a bevy of instrumentation from your web application.
This project takes can take upwards of 8-10 hours.
For this project we are asking that you build the beginnings of a Node.js agent. The agent will simply have to be configured into the runtime of an Express, Hapi, or Koa application and perform some very basic instrumentation. We recommend that you look at existing APM technology like New Relic, AppDynamics or Dynatrace for inspiration. If you are familiar with an APM agent, then you will quickly learn how to solve a basic agent instrumentation effort.
We then want you to explore (2 out of 3) data points specifically:
Provide an interface that instruments the application to answer the questions above (preferably both to an endpoint, console and log). Ideally, the interface is a flag or switch that can be turned on/off as part of the startup of the application.
Bonus: Show metrics on the page or a separate app/webpage
For this project we are asking that you build a minimalist version of an Application Performance Monitoring (APM) library for Django (or Flask or Pyramid). The middleware should get the time that the request enters the middleware, the time that it leaves the middleware, request path, the parameter list, the MD5 hash value of the rendered output, and the current thread and process ids. This should be appended to a CSV file. The location and name of the file should be configurable by the user of the library. To make it interesting the agent, optionally, should do its MD5 calculation in compiled C or Rust code.
Goals: We are interested in how you write idiomatic and well-tested python code in a library that could be shared among many teams, particularly when some of the logic is implemented in not-python code.
virtualenv is your friend if you want to check for both 2.7 and 3.x Python compatibility.
For this project we are asking that you build a minimalist version of an Application Performance Monitoring (APM) library for Ruby on Rails. The middleware should get the time that the request enters the middleware, the time that it leaves the middleware, request path, the parameter list, the MD5 hash value of the rendered output, and the current thread and process ids. This should be appended to a CSV file. The location and name of the file should be configurable by the user of the Gem. To make it interesting, the project should add itself to the hosting Ruby on Rails application using Railties AND the agent, optionally, should do its MD5 calculation in compiled C or Rust code.
Goals: We are interested in how you write idiomatic and well-tested ruby code in a gem that could be shared among many Ruby on Rails projects particularly when some of the logic must be implemented in non-ruby code.
rbenv is your friend if you want to test in multiple ruby versions.
We have a very specific project for Java agent engineer candidates. The project for the Java Agent Software Engineer is to create a metric-gathering extension for a web application. This “extension” should gather metrics about requests and responses served by the application and the candidate is encouraged to design this extension such that it is decoupled from the web application.
Note that to solve this problem, it is not necessary to create a javaagent. The goal of this project is to demonstrate an understanding of how a Java web framework handles the HTTP request and response lifecycle.
Goals: We are interested in how you write well-structured, well-tested code that needs to interact with shared mutable state. Therefore we encourage you to implement your own metric-gathering rather than use any metric-gathering capability provided by your web application framework “out of the box”. Our review’s focus will be on the metric-gathering extension and not on the web application.
We have a very specific project just for .NET agent engineers. We ask that candidates interested in working on our .NET agent to implement either a metrics gathering extension, either as an ASP.NET Core Middleware or an ASP.NET IHttpModule.
IHttpModule) extension should be designed so that it can be safely added to any ASP.NET Core (or ASP.NET) web application.
Project Goals: We are interested in how you write well-structured, well-tested code that needs to safely interact and not adversely affect unknown third-party applications. This is similar to the kind of work you would do as part of an agent team at Contrast. Your extension needs to implement its own metric gathering rather than rely on any metric gathering capability provided by your web application framework or third party component. Our review’s focus will be on your extension and not on the web application.
At Contrast we like to play hard, work hard, and automate our Saas environment end to end. We made this project so you can showcase your skills and give us a better idea of your individual talents.
Take a look at this project here. You will need to clone the repo and send it our way when you are finished.
We have three projects to choose from if you’re applying to be an integrations developer at Contrast.
Pick a project that appeals to you and follow the instructions. Commit often with quality commit messages so that we can see your thought process as the project progresses.
After submitting your project, you’ll have a conversation with one of our engineers about your code, the decisions you made, things you liked, things you didn’t, etc…
Thanks for looking!
Clone the repository here and follow the instructions in the README.