Clippings' challenge to developers to create a Node.js CLI search client for Algolia
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LICENSE Algolia challenge

Clippings' challenge to developers to create a Node.js CLI search client for Algolia

This is a small task sent to potential hires for evaluation.

What is Algolia?

Algolia is a hosted search solution. It allows you send your data in a structured way to be indexed and then queried with blazing speed. You could read their documentation at

The Task

There are a lot of integrations for Algolia, including their awesome dashboard which allows you to search and preview your indices in the browser. However there is no command-line search client which would present the results properly to the user (usually a developer).

The task is to build a Node.js npm package which could be installed globally as a CLI client.
It would be great to have:

  • simple configuration (e.g. environment variables) for API key and application ID;
  • simple help in the CLI describing the possible commands;
  • a CLI interface to perform queries and present them in a readable manner to the user;
  • speed;
  • a cool effect - whether it would be colours, interactive search, piping ability, filtering the results using Algolia facets or anything you can come up with.

Some pointers

  • A good design is never easy to achieve, but try to separate the CLI code for input and output from the logic which performs the search and processes the results.
  • A full-blown documentation is unnecessary for this kind of package, but try to have a README stating what the package is for, how to install it, how to use it, license and author information.

Useful resources

  • You could use the official Algolia JavaScript client which could run in both Node.js and the browser.
  • There is an offical Algolia CLI client already, but it is written in Bash, it is useful mainly for uploading content, instead of receiving it. It returns the results in plain-text JSON instead of something useful to the user on the console.
  • If you sign up for Algolia there is a forever-free plan with a tutorial which could fill up your indices with test data. You could use it to test your client without taking the time to import data yourself.


The most important thing is the client to be working and usable. It is optional, but recommended to be tested and linted in an automatic manner.

The resulting work should have a license compatible with BSD-3-Clause or MIT, and will remain under your own copyright to do as you wish, present elsewere or promote as your own open-source project.

Good luck!