Final Interview Results

The career fair has come and gone, resumes were dropped off, phone calls were made, flights were taken, onsite and offsite interviews were attended, and job offers were achieved.  Overall it was a success, and a lot was learned.  As I plan my next set of articles about any wisdom I can offer about the interviewing experience, I want to first give a few statistics anyone curious of what happened.

  • 23 resumes dropped off
  • 48 interviews with 13 companies
  • 6 job offers
  • 1 job 🙂

It was honestly an extremely exhausting and repetitive experience, but should hopefully be very encouraging for anyone looking to start a career in the Computer Science field out of college right now!

Interview Questions: Describing Code (Braces)

One of the most frustrating things during interview can be coding on paper then having to reiterate what you’ve written to an interviewer.  One frustration I’ve found was discerning the differences between the names of the braces used in programming.  Here’s a list to help with that:

  • ( ) – Parenthesis, aka open-bracket (used when defining ranges in math), or round-bracket
  • [ ] – Square brackets, or closed-bracket (used when defining ranges in math)
  • { } – Curly brackets
  • < > – Angle brackets, aka inequality signs, or just “brackets”

When describing them from left to right, ( is the “open parenthesis”, ) the “close/closing parenthesis”.

Example:

\[(\d{1,4}),(\d{1,2})\]

Would be “Backslash open-square-bracket open-parenthesis back-slash d open-curly-brace one comma four closing-curly-brace closing-parenthesis comma open-parenthesis backslash d open-curly-brace one comma two closing-curly-brace closing-parenthesis backslash closing-square-brace”.  This is why telling an interviewer a regular expression is a terrible experience.

Interview Questions: Linux/Unix

One thing I have neglected to study are the not-to-often used commands of Linux and Unix.  In an effort to make sure I never forget them, I’ll keep a list of the few that I have been asked about:

  • lsof – lists all of the files currently open in the operating system.
  • echo $SHELL – displays which shell you are currently using.
  • uname – displays which operating system you are running.  By itself it doesn’t tell you much, but uname -a tells you everything about the computer you are logged into.
  • find vs grep – use grep to find stuff in files, use find to find files by file name.  Specifically: find . -name filename -print looks for files matching the filename string.  You can use * for wildcard, eg: *brian* to look for any files containing brian (case sensative).