Want a job? Tell me what's wrong with this html?

Maybe it’s the much talked about “brain drain” that’s retarding our country but I can’t seem to find people who know what they’re doing.

White BoardNow, I am by no means implying that we don’t have skills in this country… We have some of the most brilliant software and hardware people on the planet right on our doorstep — but that community doesn’t seem to be growing at a pace that is going to be able to keep up with the industry’s growing demands… and the industry is going to end up suffering because of it.

Case in point: I’m looking for Web Developers… The most fundamental need is a good understanding of the web and web standards… These things are the building blocks of web development; without them you’re destined to fart around in a world of buggy code and overcomplicated layouts.

Regardless of whether your coding language of choice is perl, python, php or *gasp* .Net, you need to know xhtml, css and web standards. Don’t tell me that your WYSIWYG editor did the markup and it’s therefore not your fault.

Want a job? Tell me what’s wrong with this. (I can quickly point out 15)

Update: I’ve had a few replies which I’m not posting yet because I want to try and keep the answers a little bit secret until I’ve gone through all the interviewees. The two people so far probably got A+ grades.


10 thoughts on “Want a job? Tell me what's wrong with this html?

  1. No, that’s not cheating… in fact you get a point just for suggesting it. However, it only initially spots 7 things wrong. Some of the issues aren’t technically “wrong”, they’re just bad habits that would make someone with a little experience cringe.

  2. I’m keeping that a “secret” for now… got some potentials coming in over the next few days. Either way, it doesn’t matter — you’d hit it.

  3. Have you had a look at brainbench?


    With brainbench you don’t have to sit and twiddle your thumbs while the potential(-less) canditate embarasses themselves. Just give them a PC, tell them to do the test – if they fail they can just show themselves out.

    … or you can install one of those trapdoors that opens when you press a button under your desk.

  4. Lemme see….

    1. No DOCTYPE
    2. No
    3. No …
    4. therefore also no , which is mandatory…
    5. and should be inside
    6. No tag
    7. ‘s are not inside or
    8. style tag has no type attribute
    9. Using H1 as an id? Sounds like a bad idea to me.
    10. CSS defines unused styling for id=H1
    11. id=’greenBox has missing quote. Besides, afaik you use double quotes for attributes?
    12. tag matched by tag, afaik most XML parsers do not like that.

    These just off the top of my head. Didn’t use a validator.

  5. ps. Various people have submitted answers that were all pretty good. I’ll be putting together a new post shortly to discuss the answers and get into some nice nitty gritty xhtml best practice debates.

  6. It’s not a question of what’s wrong. It’s a question of what would be the right form. Here is the correct way to present the data in question:

    H1 {
    font-size: extra-large;
    li {
    color: white;
    .greenbox {

    Untitled Document

    Hello World

    I’m not fat I’m big boned

    Option 1
    Option 2
    Option 3

    Of course I want some cheesy poofs

    Option 1
    Option 2
    Option 3

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