Tags: , | Posted by Admin on 10/4/2007 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

I’m mostly happy with my day job. Actually not mostly, I’M HAPPY with my day job. Therap is a fun place to work for Software Developers in Bangladesh, and it has a unique culture which is seldom seen, specially in IT industries in Bangladesh. So unless I feel like juggling with my career, or someone from Mars offers me a job with a joining bonus of a House (and a mini rover) in Mars, I think current job offer and agile environment in Therap is hard to beat.

Well odd things happen you know, and on such an odd morning, I fired up my Firefox and found an interview offer letter from Google. To be precise it was “Google.com Engineering Team” from Mountain View, California. Internally this team is called the SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) team in Googleplex. They told me that they found me from “Online Sources”. Was I excited? Hell yeah I was excited as getting an interview offer from Google was … well … at least worth lots of excitement in most geeks mind. So I replied with a positive tone, and the interview process started.

It was interesting to go through Google’s interview process which gave me the opportunity to find the strength (and weaknesses) of the recruitment process of world’s best company to work for. They found my resume online, and contacted me for a specific position that they thought better for them to put me in. One thing to note here is, it wasn’t me going to them and knocking on their door for a job. Now, why didn’t I think of that? May be I still love to work here in my home country and stay with my family? Why doesn’t Google open a development house here? Well that would be fun!. Anyway, the interview process started with a phone call from the technical recruiter assigned for me.

The phone call with the technical recruiter was fun. He was mostly interested to know what are my current responsibilities, and then asked me to self evaluate myself, on a scale of 1-10 for some specific technologies he mentioned. I liked they way they categorized the self evaluation scale. As far as I remember, it was something like this:

  • 0: If you no idea about it
  • 1-3: Heard of it, somehow familiar with it
  • 4-6: Implemented it, can work on it given time
  • 7-8: You are the goto guy for this technology.(been there, done that)
  • 9: You can write a book on it (you are a star, an expert)
  • 10: You have written a book on it. (10th Dan)

The technologies they asked me to evaluate myself included Java, C, C++, Python, SQL, Shell Scripting, Unix Systems Programming, TCP/IP Networking, Hacking Linux, etc. Though I have working knowledge of Unix System Programming, TCP/IP Networking, Shell Scripting (and other stuffs needed to know to do production deployment these days), being a Java developer for last 3/4 years I rated Java knowledge as the highest.

After giving the technical recruiter my self evaluation report, he asked me some simple algorithmic questions. I’m not sure whether I can safely discuss the questions directly, but the question had to deal with some simple conversion of 16bit integers to binary format and handling large scale Array (without memory limitation).

There were more questions regarding networking, unix commands and internals etc., most of which I got right, except some odd ones. The phone call lasted around 50mins and we ended the conversation with a positive note of having another technical screening by an Engineer from Google. The recruiter specially informed me that I will be asked questions on the topics I rated myself most, so logically I though there will be lots of question regarding Enterprise Java, and newer developments in the Java World.

After the initial screening with the Technical Recruiter, he setup another phone screening for me with a Software Engineer in Google (at Mountain View, California). As per my self evaluation with the recruiter, I was preparing myself for questions mostly on Java, and Enterprise applications, as my expertise lie on that area. But during the second interview, I found absolutely no questions related to Java/JEE. The questions were mainly from networking, network protocols, unix systems programming, shell scripting, etc. I know these stuffs, but I wouldn’t say that I’m an expert at these. I answered the stuffs out of my own practical experience, and passed on some questions, but after this interview, I realized that as the recruiter was trying to fit me in a certain position they need to fill up, my current expertise may not match what they are actually looking for. But I think overall it was good and they setup another interview with a Software Engineer from their Ireland office. This phone interview was interesting as they asked me what I have been doing here for last couple of years, and what interests me most. They were mostly interested in my experience regarding managing deploying JEE applications in a clustered environment, and how the database is synchronized in different geographical locations.

After all these phone interviews, and emails, we came up to the conclusion that I am not the right person that they are looking for this exact post. Well, I couldn’t agree more. Interestingly, it was a very good experience for me as I came to know the process of the company where every geek wants to work now-a-days.

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