DCP 11-April-2019

I had a programming interview today, which featured no “getting to know you”-type stuff. Instead, right off the bat, I was asked: “describe how you would implement a function to count the number of bits in an integer.”

I rattled off my [correct!] answer without batting an eye, but followed up my response with a statement to the effect that I wasn’t interested in “proving” myself to the interviewer. Instead, I said I wanted to connect on a human level first, and to learn a little bit about the job they were offering.

(It was interesting to hear the interviewer’s response to this; she basically indicated that she always did the “getting to know you stuff” after the initial technical screen. I think that just speaks to how bad a lot of “programming” candidates are.)

But basically, the interviewer was OK with what I proposed, and we did indeed talk for a while about the actual position. (Lots of things about the position weren’t that great, but the large (!) paycheck they offer is definitely a plus.)

Skype Interview

Next, the lady sprang the next surprise on me, which was to email me a link to do a Skype interview.

When I checked my email and clicked the link, it took me to the Microsoft Skype Interviewing platform:

The interviewer then asked me to “write a function that prints out all numbers from 0 to 99 that are odd.”

(The Skype IDE is cool because it works with many programming languages, so you get to take your pick when implementing your solution.)

Despite feeling somewhat “put on the spot”, I managed to string together a simple Python program which worked on the first try:

def f():
    for i in range(99):
        if not i % 2 == 0:
            print("%d is odd" % i)


All-in-all my interview today went well, and they are supposed to call me back for another one, possibly followed by a final in-person interview.

I am not sure I am actually interested in their position, but I do feel like I am getting better at the interview process.

As an aside: I have been thinking about trying to have a side-hustle of being a head-hunter (“software recruiter”), and I think the Skype Interviewing platform would be a good way to do it.

Additionally, in the meantime I also want to continue my practice of writing simple little “CS”-type problems everyday to keep up my skills.

And thanks to dailycodingproblem.com, I get a never-ending stream of them in my inbox!