Hello, world

Welcome! I’ve been thinking of putting down some thoughts related to coding (and the art and love thereof), management of coders, and the brutal but necessary process of interviewing (mostly from the point of view of the interviewer). Who am I? I’ve worked as a technical trainer, video game developer, web entrepreneur, and engineering manager, and have spent an uncomfortably large amount of time over the past several years interviewing engineers. I currently work for TripAdvisor, where I manage the Mobile, Social, Local, and Internationalization teams. If you really care to know, here’s my LinkedIn page.

First up will be a series of posts on interviewing, specifically relating to preparing and avoiding common mistakes. To start the ball rolling, here’s a post I made on the TripAdvisor blog called Acing the Technical Interview. This is similar to (though much shorter than) an article Steve Yegge wrote on getting a job at Google. There are a couple of major points:

  • The interviewer is rooting for you.
  • There are some well-defined areas that you can and should prepare ahead of time – big-O, data structures, algorithms.
  • You’re going to be asked to write code, probably a lot of it – practice! Don’t be caught apologizing for not remembering syntax.

I’m not going to reproduce the whole of the other blog post here, but suffice it to say that most people go into the interview process with a naivete that’s astonishing. Your performance in the interview is going to have a major effect on your offer (if you get one), and can have knock-on effects significantly after you join the company – you want people to view you as a top candidate, not as someone who just squeaked through, and there are some very concrete, well-defined ways in which you can improve your performance.

Next up: avoiding common coding pitfalls.

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