Celestine Omin is a Nigerian software engineer who works for Andela, a technology company backed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, founded to give talented African coders an entree into the leading American tech firms; this week, he flew to the USA on a B1/B2 visa to meet with the company, but he found himself detained at the border.
The CBP guards who detained Omin after his 24-hour flight were skeptical that he was a real software engineer. They apparently googled "quizzes to give to software engineers" and told him to answer ten questions (e.g. "Write a function to check if a Binary Search Tree is balanced" and "What is an abstract class, and why do you need it?") to gain entry into the country.
The ordeal ended when a CBP officer called Andela and confirmed that Omin was an engineer.
Omin, who says he was too tired after his 24-hour-long flight to answer the first question correctly, and says border agents didn't looked convinced by his answers.
Furthermore, he also suspects that the border agents had absolutely no training in computer science, to begin with, and should not have been giving him this type of test.
All the questions looked like some agent googled "questions to ask a software engineer," and compiled a short list. Omin suspects that no agent had the capability to understand his answers anyway and that the test was only an excuse to deny him entry to the US.
I was just asked to balance a Binary Search Tree by JFK's airport immigration. Welcome to America.
— Celestine Omin (@cyberomin) February 26, 2017
[Catalin Cimpanu/Bleeping Computer]