Google? Again? Really? – 2015-2016

Google contacted me again (see Google – 2000, Google – 2008, Google – 2014, Google Again – 2014, Google – 2015, and Google Again – 2015). I don’t really understand how I could keep failing and they still got in touch with me. This was a slightly different wrinkle:

I came across your resume and understand that you interviewed for a SWE role earlier this year.  However, your experience in a Leadership capacity caught my attention as I support our Technical Program Management job family.
This group combines hands on Engineering and project based leadership across a number of different areas of Google.  One that may be of interest is within our Chrome group.  Would you be interested in hearing more?

They also included a job description.

This was in mid-November. I indicated my interest:

Thanks for reaching out to me. It’s not often I can check off every single bullet point on the job description!
I have certainly had a few positions like this one in the past. I am interested.

We talked on the phone. They asked me good questions about my project management experience, particularly as part of the job I did at Apple. They indicated that they would talk to managers on the Chrome team.

And I waited.

And waited.

And then there were the winter holidays.

At the end of January, I sent a note to them:

At this point, two months later, it is obvious that I am no longer being considered for the positions you had open. Thanks for talking with me, and good luck in your searches.

And they wrote back:

My apologies for not closing the loop in regards to the Chrome OS team.  After sharing your information unfortunately there was not any interest in moving forward.  I sincerely apologize about not following up with this information sooner.


Houston Astros – 2015

The site for sports jobs, TeamWork Online, posted an event hosted by the Houston Astros in Minute Maid Park. Basically, it was a job fair:

TeamWork Online’s Teammate Networking Events give you a chance to expand and grow your network with key senior level executives within the sports industry. Following the event every attendee will watch the Houston Astros take on the Los Angeles Angels of Ahaneim- your ticket is included with your registration. Bring plenty of business cards to pass out to all the people that you will meet!

They promised that there would be an executive there with “Director Business Strategy & Analytics” in their title. I was hoping to meet him, and talk to him about the data analytics department. This thing was expensive; I had to pony up $70, and I had to drive to Houston from Austin, and pay parking, and stay overnight… Oy.

I got there, and found 3 other fellows also wanting to talk about positions with data analytics. One was a former “quant” with a financial firm in Houston who wanted to have his soul back, and the other was a recent college grad with stars in his eyes.

After standing around consuming appetizers and sodas for a while, I finally met the coordinator of the event. When I asked about the person I wanted to meet, he told me that that person had had to cancel, as he was entertaining MIT seniors, graduates, and alumni.

Hmph. The nerve. I bet he hired people from that bunch as well.

At least I finally got to see Mike Trout live. He went 2-4, with two singles. And the Astros won. Yay.

Fortunately, I was happy about the game, but would have been happier with my family there.

Otherwise, a complete waste of time and money.

Google Again – 2015

In the last post (Google – 2015), I mentioned that the recruiter for this position was willing to recommend me for a QA position. So, I agreed, and he passed me over to a different recruiter, one who ran recruiting for the test organization.

The new recruiter sent me an email with all sorts of useful information like “Be enthusiastic and show interest/passion for testing” and “Write very clean and structured code” and “Check for edge cases” and “Share your thought process with the interviewer!”. “Try to identify any bugs in your code and fix them along the way.” “Share your thought process with the interviewer!”, etc. After you get a few of these for developers, this one for testing seemed especially condecending. They still said “Please, refresh on your Computer Science fundamentals”…

We set a time for me to talk to the phone screener. I was on vacation at my mother-in-law’s house in rural Kentucky. The first part of the screen was straightforward. They asked me how to test an alarm clock. I talked and talked and talked and the interviewer finally stopped me, and we moved onto the programming part of the interview.

I don’t remember the problem that he gave me, but the internet connection out in rural Kentucky was not good enough to deal with Google Docs. That was a terrible connection, and I knew it, and there was nothing else I could do in that town. I could have driven to Elizabethtown or Bowling Green and gone to Barnes and Noble or Kroger and used that WiFi, but that would have been weird…

After the interview fell apart, the recruiter sent me an email to reschedule. That was very nice, actually. We rescheduled it for the next week, when I was back home with reasonable internet.

At the next interview, the new interviewer said, “Well, let’s see which question to ask you.” He paused for quite a while, and then said, “You have answered a lot of these questions before”. After another couple of minutes, he said, “OK, Let’s try this one.”

And the interview question was ridiculously difficult. Or at least I thought so. And I still do.

The question:

Write a program which, given an input string, will output a string that consists of the original string and the string that, when concatenated with the original, will form the minimum size palindrome possible.

So, if the string is “a”, the result is “aa”, “ab” produces “aba”, etc.

I did not finish the question, not even close. For one thing, I misunderstood the question initially, and spent 15 or 20 minutes producing wrong answers. And then I ran out of time.

After the interview, I spent 2-3 hours and came up with a solution that is proportional to the length of the string. And then I Googled other answers, and found none that actually worked.

And this is for a Test position?

I did not get an offer.