Root Cause Missed

There’s a reason for this:

A software engineer from Lagos, Nigeria, is claiming that he was made to sit a written test by US airport immigration officers because they weren’t convinced he was telling the truth about his skills.

According to social networking site LinkedIn, Celestine Omin, 28, landed in New York’s JFK airport last Sunday after a 24-hour flight from Nigeria.

After being asked a series of questions by a US Customs and Border Protection officer, he was taken into a room for further checks.

The practice of forging credentials and passing yourself as something you are not is rife among Nigerians, more so than among anyone else. Mr Omin might well have been the real deal but far too many of his countrymen are not, hence he’s been hauled aside for extra questioning.

He says he was then given a piece of paper and a pen and told to answer these two questions to prove he is actually a software engineer:

I’ve done exactly that with a Nigerian claiming to be a piping engineer with 15 years’ experience. The results were laughable. I can well believe the Border Protection people didn’t cover themselves in glory in Mr Omin’s case, but the root cause of the problem does not lie in the USA.


6 thoughts on “Root Cause Missed

  1. But what were the questions?

    1. You see a co-worker having PC problems. Do you:
    a) help them, because software engineers know about computers?
    b) ignore them, because, as a software engineer you have terrible social skills?
    c) laugh derisively at them, and then tell them to call IT because software engineers have no idea how computers (or people) actually work?

    2. You are struggling with some code. You have a choice between:
    a) making it quick, understandable and easy to use,
    b) following traditional programming conventions, resulting in a technically correct solution, but one that is difficult to use, understand and replicate.

  2. As a (further) aside- I had exactly this, with a brit of (IIRC) Nigerian heritage.

    I was interviewing for an entry level position, and was delighted to find a great candidate- good experience, nice personality- funny and friendly. Also was a slightly larger girl.

    Offered her the job.

    I turned back up a few weeks later to do some induction talk to her crowd of recruits- the girl we offered the job to was replaced by a better looking, but useless alternate.

    Left the session, went straight to HR and reported her. She was dismissed on the spot, but not before I had to submit the interview notes I’d taken, which I was told weren’t that helpful as I’d “failed to note what she looked like”.

    Since then, I’ve made a point of capturing some physical descriptions when I interview- “nice tits”, “Flat arse” “Needs to lose a stone”- just handy little aides memoir.

  3. “I’ve done exactly that with a Nigerian claiming to be a piping engineer with 15 years’ experience. The results were laughable. ”

    We did exactly this will an entire process section of an engineering team. IThis after one of them asked me what a flange was.
    Our CEO didn’t believe the result and did the test himself and scored higher than around half of them. He was an accountant.

    I concluded that anyone who knew what a flange was either got promoted to line management, or got pissed off and had left.

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