Do all the things like ++ or -- rants, post your own rants, comment on others' rants and build your customized dev avatarSign Up
From the creators of devRant, Pipeless lets you power real-time personalized recommendations and activity feeds using a simple APILearn More
Search - "whiteboard interview"
I FINALLY DID IT!! I landed a job!! I'm going to be a firmware engineer!! Woohoo!! 😁
It only took half a year, but I finally got one, and purely off my own merit. It feels damn good when you get the job with no references or connections, just your own skills.
After a highly successful on-site technical/whiteboard interview, I was 90% confident I'd get it. The fact that my job search is finally over, is such a fucking relief. Good riddance to endless interview prep, applications & rejections.
I start on Monday. Goodbye freedom >.<19
This facts are killing me
"During his own Google interview, Jeff Dean was asked the implications if P=NP were true. He said, "P = 0 or N = 1." Then, before the interviewer had even finished laughing, Jeff examined Google’s public certificate and wrote the private key on the whiteboard."
"Compilers don't warn Jeff Dean. Jeff Dean warns compilers."
"gcc -O4 emails your code to Jeff Dean for a rewrite."
"When Jeff Dean sends an ethernet frame there are no collisions because the competing frames retreat back up into the buffer memory on their source nic."
"When Jeff Dean has an ergonomic evaluation, it is for the protection of his keyboard."
"When Jeff Dean designs software, he first codes the binary and then writes the source as documentation."
"When Jeff has trouble sleeping, he Mapreduces sheep."
"When Jeff Dean listens to mp3s, he just cats them to /dev/dsp and does the decoding in his head."
"Google search went down for a few hours in 2002, and Jeff Dean started handling queries by hand. Search Quality doubled."
"One day Jeff Dean grabbed his Etch-a-Sketch instead of his laptop on his way out the door. On his way back home to get his real laptop, he programmed the Etch-a-Sketch to play Tetris."
"Jeff Dean once shifted a bit so hard, it ended up on another computer. "6
These fuckface wantrapeneurs, posting jobs (paying to do so) and then offering bullshit like:
- We have no funding, so you'll work for free for some time.
- Paying in fucking crypto.
- Wanting a full stack rainbow puking and shitting unicorn for peanuts
- Fucking scammers, posing as legit companies and asking you to install Anydesk.
- Asking absurd interview tasks and times (a couple of days worth of work for a task).
- Whiteboard and live coding interviews with bullshit questions thinking they're Google, while having 20 devs.
- Negotiating salaries and when presented with contract get the salary reduced by double the amount.
- Having idiotic shit on their company websites like a fucking dog as a team member associated as happiness asshole. (One idiot even had a labrador during the video interview while cuddling him)
- Companies asking you to install tracking software with cam recording to keep you in check. (Yeah, you can go fuck yourselves)
- Having absurd compensation schemes, like pay calculation based on the "impact" your work has
Either I'm unlucky or job hunting has become something else since I last started searching.5
How do you salvage a really hard question on a whiteboard interview?
Ans: "I'm sorry, I don't code on light theme"!
Via reddit user csquestions55832921
Not having finished any education, and writing code during interviews.
I have a pretty nice resume with good references, and I think I'm a reasonably good & experienced dev.
But I'm absolutely unable to write code on paper, and really wonder how some devs can just write out algorithms using a pen and reason about it, without trying/failing/playing/fixing in an IDE.
Education I think.
I can transform the theory on a complex Wikipedia page about math/algorithm into code, I can translate a Haskell library into idiomatic python... but what I haven't done is write out sorting functions or fibonacci generators a million times during Java class.
I don't see the point either... but I still feel utterly worthless during an interview if they ask "So you haven't even finished highschool? Can you at least solve this prime number problem using a marker on this whiteboard? Could you explain in words which sorting algorithm is faster and why?"
"Uh... let me fetch a laptop with an IDE, stackoverflow and Wikipedia?"26
When a company comes at you with a skills test or a stupid whiteboard interview, while completely disregarding your portfolio/GitHub/other proofs of competence, run far away.11
As a full-stack dev who has been looking for a full-time role for over half a year now... How the fuck can it be so difficult to land a job as a dev? I'm a passionate, capable, and proven dev; it shouldn't be this hard.
And why the hell are coding/whiteboard interviews the de-facto standard for deciding if somebody is worthy of a role? Whiteboard interviews are as inadequate and unencompassing a means of determining the quality of a candidate as asking a dentist how well they know the organ structure of the human body.
I've applied to an endless number of positions, so far-reaching and desperate as to even apply to international positions and designer roles instead of developer roles (I've been a graphic designer for over 13+ years). Even with this, most don't get back to you, and the few who do most often just notify you of your rejection. On the rare occasion I land an interview, my chances get fucked up by the absurd questions they ask, as if the things they are asking about are at all an appropriate, all-encompassing measure of what I know.
Aren't employers aware that competent devs are able to learn new things and technical nuances nearly instantaneously given documentation or an internet connection? Obviously, I keep learning and getting better after every interview, though it barely helps, when each interviewer asks an entirely new, arbitrary set of questions or problems....
Honestly, fuck the current state of the system for coding job interviews. I'm just about ready to give up. Why the hell did I put myself through 5 years of NYU for a Computer Engineering degree and nearly $100K in student loan debt, if it doesn't help me land a job?13
An excerpt from the best rant about whiteboard interviews posted on the internet. Ever.
"Well, maybe your maximum subsequence problem is a truly shitty interview problem. You are putting your interview candidate in a situation where their employment hinges on a trivia question. — Kadane's algorithm! They know it, or they don't. If they do, then congratulations, you just met an engineer that recently studied Kadane's algorithm.
Which any other reasonably competent programmer could do by reading Wikipedia.
And if they don't, well, that just proves how smart the interviewer is. At which point the interviewer will be sure to tell you how many people couldn't answer his trivially simple interview question.
Find a spanning tree across a graph where the edges have minimal weight. Maybe one programmer in ten thousand — and I’m being generous — has ever implemented this algorithm in production code. There are only a few highly specific vertical fields in the industry that have a use for it. Despite the fact that next to no one uses it, the question must be asked during job interviews, and you must write production-quality code without looking it up, because surely you know Kruskal’s algorithm; it’s trivial.
Question: why are manhole covers round? Answer: they’re not just round, if you live in London; they're triangular and rectangular and a bunch of other shapes. Why is your interview question broken? Why did you just crib an interview question without researching whether its internal assumption was correct? Do you think that “round manhole covers are easier to roll" is a good answer? Have you ever tried to roll an iron coin that weighs up to 300 pounds? Did you survive? Do you think that “manhole covers are circular so that they don’t fall into manholes” is a good answer? Do you know what a curve of constant width is? Do you know what a Reuleaux triangle is? Have you ever even been to London?
If the purpose of interviewing was to play stump the candidate, I’d just ask you questions from my area of specialization. “What are the windowing conditions which, during the lapping operation on a modified discrete cosine transform, guarantee that the resynthesis achieves perfect reconstruction?” The answer of course is the Princen-Bradley condition! Everyone knows that’s when your windowing function satisfies the conditions h(k)2+h(k+N)2=1 (the lapping regions of the window, squared, should sum to one) and h(k)=h(2N−1−k) (the window should be symmetric). That’s fundamental computer science. So obvious, even a child should know the answer to that one. It’s trivial. You embarrass your entire extended family with your galactic stupidity, which is so vast that its value can only be stored in a double, because a float has insufficient range:"
Author: John Byrd
At a job interview.
Them: Can you please write a function that calculates fibonacci numbers on the whiteboard please.
I've recently received another invitation to Google's Foobar challenges.
A while ago someone here on devRant (which I believe works at Google, and whose support I deeply appreciate) sent me a couple of links to it too. Unfortunately back then I didn't take the time to learn the programming languages (Python or Java) that Google requires for these challenges. This time I'm putting everything on Python, as it's the easiest language to learn when coming from Bash.
But at the end of the day.. I am a sysadmin, not a developer. I don't know a single thing about either of these languages. Yet I can't take these challenges as the sysadmin I am. Instead, I have to learn a new language which chances are I'll never need again outside of some HR dickhead's interview with lateral thinking questions and whiteboard programming, probably prohibited from using Google search like every sane programmer and/or sysadmin would for practical challenges that actually occur in real life.
I don't want to do that. Google is a once in a lifetime opportunity, I get that. Many people would probably even steal that foobar link from me if they could. But I don't think that for me it's the right thing to do. Google has made a serious difference by actually challenging developers with practical scenarios, and that's vastly superior to whatever a HR person at any other company could cobble together for an interview. But there's one thing that they don't seem to realize. A company like Google consists of more than just developers. Not only that, it probably consists - even within their developer circles - of more than just Python and Java developers. If any company would know about languages that are more optimized such as C, it would be Google that has to leverage this performance in order to be able to deliver their services.
I'll be frank here. Foobar has its own issues that I don't like. But if Google were a nice company, I'd go for it all the way nonetheless - after all, they are arguably the single biggest tech company in the world, and the tech industry itself is one of the biggest ones in the world nowadays. It's safe to say that there's likely no opportunity like working at Google. But I don't think it's the right thing. Even if I did know Python or Java... Even if I did. I don't like Google's business decisions.
I've recently flashed my OnePlus 6T with LineageOS. It's now completely Google-free, except for a stock Yalp account (that I'm too afraid to replace with my actual Google account because oh dear, third-party app stores, oh dear that could damage our business and has to be made highly illegal!1!). My contacts on that phone are are all gone. They're all stored on a Google server somewhere (except for some like @linuxxx' that I consciously stored on device storage and thus lost a while back), waiting for me to log back in and sync them back. I've never asked for this. If Google explicitly told me that they'd sync all my contacts to my Google account and offer feasible alternatives, I'd probably given more priority to building a CalDAV and CardDAV server of my own. Because I do have the skills and desire to maintain that myself. I don't want Google to do this for me.
Move fast and break things. I've even got a special Termux script on my home screen, aptly named Unfuck-Google-Play. Every other day I have to use it. Google Search. When I open it on my Nexus 6P, which was Google's foray into hardware and in which they failed quite spectacularly - I've even almost bent and killed it tonight, after cursing at that piece of shit every goddamn day - the Google app opens, I type some text into it.. and then it just jumps back to the beginning of whatever I was typing. A preloader of sorts. The app is a fucking web page parser, or heck probably even just an API parser. How does that in any way justify such shitty preloaders? How does that in any way justify such crappy performance on anything but the most recent flagships? I could go on about this all day... I used to run modern Linux on a 15 year old laptop, smoothly. So don't you Google tell me that a - probably trillion dollar - company can't do that shit right. When there's (commercialized) community projects like DuckDuckGo that do things a million times better than you do - yet they can't compete with you due to your shit being preloaded on every phone and tablet and impossible to remove without rooting - that you Google can't do that and a lot more. You've got fucking Google Assistant for fucks sake! Yet you can't make a decent search app - the goddamn thing that your company started with in the first place!?
I'm sorry. I'd love to work at Google and taste the diversity that this company has to offer. But there's *a lot* wrong with it at the business end too. That is something that - in that state - I don't think I want to contribute to, despite it being pretty much a lottery ticket that I've been fortunate enough to draw twice.
Maybe I should just start my own company.6
The story of how I got my dream job.
I was working for a company with a job I got just after graduating university. It was ok, not very exciting tech but I learned a lot by just surrounding myself with professional code monkeys. I was there for about a year when my company bought parts of another company and there was talk about people getting fired. This made me worried since I was the last one to get hired, so I started looking around for other jobs. I received this e-mail from a company saying they were looking for interns, what a coincidence! I adjusted my CV and sent it in.
--A few weeks pass--
It's Friday and I'm at a dinner party, it's 10pm and someone is calling me. I pick up and it's a recruiter from this company. I get very nervous but the alcohol helps me keep my cool, I pass the initial idiot test and they invite me for an interview. Yay!
I go to work on Monday and in a 1-on-1 and I tell my boss about the upcoming interview, he gives me a high-five :)
The interview is approaching and I'm feeling that I'm about to get sick, I refuse to believe this so I start taking a lot of medicine (painkillers, cough medicine etc.). I feel a bit better and thank the gods for medication.
I wake up, put on my nicest clothes and get on the train. I had one hour to spare just in case, which was well needed because the fucking train is late by 30 minutes. I'm still heavily medicated because of my ongoing fever. When I arrive I basically have to run there and somehow I manage to pick up a coffee on the way there which I devour in two seconds. I'm ready for the interview!
Some guy meets me in reception and the first thing he says is "My colleague doesn't speak our language so we'll have to speak english". This is fine, I speak good english but I was not prepared for this so it caught me off-guard and made me even more nervous. We get in and start talking. Things are going OK despite my numbed brain. I try to make eye-contact to make a good impression with the foreign engineer but he keeps staring somewhere which is making me nervous.
We get to the technical part on a whiteboard and this is where my brain decides to stop communicating. I'm presented a simple task which I'm struggling with finishing, and I feel the embarrassment coming over me. "NOOOOO THIS IS MY DREAM JOB, THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING!" I'm thinking to myself. After making myself look like a complete arsehole for some time we wrap it up and just before I step out the door I say to the engineer "You should checkout my Github page, I have lots of interesting stuff there" and he says "I'll be sure to do that" but I don't believe him.
I leave the office in fury (of myself) and make my way to the train station and even though it's the middle of the day I quickly devour two beers to calm my nerves and make me feel a bit better. I was so damn disappointed in myself, I wasted the opportunity of a lifetime! I go back home to my regular (now shitty) job.
--Two days later--
I get a call from an unknown number. I pick up the phone and it's the same recruiter guy. "So how did you think it went?" he says. "To be honest, I think it went really bad", I replied. "What? Really? Because they loved you, you got the job". (this was an obvious recruiter lie) "... wat, are you sure you called the correct person?" I said and he just laughed. The day after I quit my old job the whole department gets fired - such impeccable timing.
--A few months later--
I finish my internship and they want to keep me. I'm so happy. The engineer that was in the interview works on my team. I ask him "Why did you hire me? You know as well as I do that my interview was horrible". It turns out he _did_ look at my Github profile and that's how he knew I could write code. I also heard later that for my position there was about 2000 applicants and somehow I made the interviews.
I still work there today and I couldn't be happier (Sorry for the long text).3
This right here is all I need to remind me that I don't want to work for anyone but myself anymore. These whiteboard interviews are so pointless and stupid.
I can't pass a whiteboard interview to save my life. I did pretty well on a fizzbuzz whiteboard a few years ago but in reality in is fairly straightforward. I am interviewing right now and the more I practice and study I realize my teacher in college was right 25 years ago. I should never have become a programmer. I am a likable and fairly competent coder but I am completely overwhelmed and stressed.14
This wasn't an actual interview, it was a nightmare I had before an interview.
So how many whiteboards do you have at home? We are whiteboard exclusive developers. If you take this job would you like a tabletop whiteboard or a wall mounted whiteboard.1
Still looking for my first full-time dev role. After being endlessly rejected from every dev job I've applied for, it starts to eat away at your confidence. Makes me wonder if I'm not as competent as I believe I am. :/
Fortunately, I landed a coding interview with Google! It is my dream job to work at Google, so the fact that they even acknowledged me & my skillset makes me so happy and reaffirms my belief in my capabilities. :D
It's pretty odd, that after applying to 20+ open Google positions relevant to my skill level & location and often with references included, then having been rejected from all of them, that I finally got a chance with them when one of their recruiters found me on LinkedIn and liked what she saw. I cleared the screening call, and made it to the first coding interview.
Of course, even with all the interview prep I've done, it was all practically for naught since they caught me off guard with a crazy conceptual problem anyway. (Well, actually, was I 'caught off guard' if I was already expecting to be caught off guard? o.0) I struggled heavily in the first half of the interview, but found my footing towards the end. So I knew I screwed up and that it was highly unlikely for me to get the job.
Nonetheless, Google had the decency to reject me not via an automated email, but through an actual direct phone call with my recruiter. (The cruelty of the automated application rejection system in our society is a whole rant of its own, for another time.) My recruiter told me that they felt I wasn't ready but they liked what they saw, so they will be revisiting me in exactly a year to reconsider me.
To know that I wasn't fully rejected, and that my dream company Google sees real potential in me, is highly reassuring. It means I'm not a lost cause; I simply need to keep looking. Google will want me more strongly once I have the experience that comes from a fresh grad's first full-time job.8
Had an interview the other day for a fullstack role. They told me I'd have to whiteboard stuff, of course. No big deal.
They had me whiteboard css though. Totally off guard. Pretty sure I got it, but WTF. Is this normal?5
Craziest prep for interview :
Step 1 : Given sufficient time for the scheduled interview by any company, start by searching "How to prepare for Google interviews". Awe at the information before you and get all pumped up to jump in.
Step 2 : Starting with Algorithms, study each one and try not to mix any of them in confusion. In case you are stuck in whiteboard coding, close your eyes, take deep breath and visualize Don Kunth. If that doesn't help, well you are ruined anyway.
Step 3: Practice coding without internet connection, till you are able to write code while you talk about how the weather is really great today. Libraries and methods should flow like poetry. SO is sin.
Step 4: The X programming language which you added to your resume because you can write Hello World, head over to Wikipedia and read more about it just in case.
Step 5: Read some xkcd comics so you can impress the interviewer with some humor. You can try Dilbert too.
I was able to get a referral for a software engineering internship at a company I like this summer. This will be my first “real-life” internship and I’m super excited.
The referral ended up getting me an interview with the company’s “Principal Talent Attraction Consultant”.
What show I expect for this meeting? Is it possible that there is a whiteboarding part of this interview? Or would it be more general?
Lmk if I’m being too vague. Thanks guys!3
Just found out I passed the coding interview phase. Next step is a "live" (covid adapted) whiteboard interview.
I haven't had to do one of these before. Anyone have any advice on these?1
I am a junior in college and I’m trying to get an internship this summer as a web engineer at a company I really like. I have never had a CS internship before and I’m not really sure how to prepare. What are the chances that I would have to do something like a whiteboard interview? Any tips or recommendations are welcome
When you code during an interview using a coding platform like HackerRank out even on a whiteboard, do you spend time memorizing the actual the import statements?
When I usually code, and I need to use like a Queue, when the IDE asks which to import, all I do is look for java.* rather than an external lib. Or for Date, util.* Not sql.*
After you expected to know the full paths?1
When did you use i++ and j++ in real world? I couldn't answer a algorithm question on whiteboard that day during interview.4