Here is a dump of some questions from an IBM software engineer interview. Note, these questions are mostly behavioral, and are geared towards a student who will or has recently graduated from school. Copious notes are taken during this process. Whether these should be questions of import in a software engineer interview, I will leave […]
Amazon recruited on campus at UMass over last fall and I was lucky enough to snag a spot after running into them at the career fair. The rep at the table quizzed me on some generic stuff, recording my answers (what is the algorithmic complexity of the best comparison sort?) on the back of my […]
A few years ago when I was learning rails, I sounded off that Ruby’s lax policy surrounding parentheses was a problem. Specifically, that it is impossible to tell the difference between a method call and a variable reference. There is now an open bug against Ruby 1.9.1 at https://redmine.ruby-lang.org/issues/1801 that demonstrates the problem.
One of the lessons about Amazon’s cloud failure last week is that the cloud is incredibly overhyped. The cloud doesn’t necessarily deliver a lot of the things implicitly promised – such as improved uptime or reliability, or even cost savings. But the real problem with the cloud is that you actually get less database reliability […]
Java — and in a more general sense — the garbage collector is partly responsible for the huge productivity gains in the past several decades as development moved increasingly to memory-managed environments. This has come at a cost, with less attention paid to the amount of memory consumed in such environments.
This is the first of several interviews from fall of 2010 that I will document. The Microsoft Software Development Engineer Interview is hard. While no interview process is perfect, they do a lot of things right in terms of setting a high bar, as well as showing off what the company has to offer. It […]
“The great thing about managed code like Java and C# is that it can’t leak memory, because the garbage collector takes care of everything for you by reclaiming objects using a reference counting algorithm.” The above statement of course, is completely false, although widely repeated.
Many programming languages contain the concept of a null “value,” which can mean “nothing,” or may be precisely equal to integer zero. When encountering this in a database, it would be natural to assume it means roughly “nothing.” This is a naive, although workable definition of null. As we’ve seen, simplified and even incorrect definitions […]