So, this was my third interview and first as official one for real job. Past two interview were for teaching at Embedded Systems Institutes in my 2nd year. The interview was for some company Xy for a job designated as System Administrator. So I guessed all the linux work and Operating systems thing. I happily and readily applied for the job at once.
I won’t be elaborating the company name here as will only say Xy. (thats in rhyme though)
So, It started when I saw opening at Xy for System Adminstrator (offline method) as I haven’t applied for any of the companies (online i.e in our campus). The primary reason being there is not any company that comes to our campus and hires for Embedded System or Linux domain and one thing I know for sure that I don’t want to leave this thing. The only company that works exactly what I want is Intel and others but those too didn’t take you for the bigger jobs there. You may have to work for 5-10 years to get into the real stuff. Thats why I am more into this Higher studies.
Benefits: You are still a student
You get a lot of time for your interests.
After P.hd you are directly into some awesome project or as a Scientist.
The hiring process started with the offline application. Everyone was open to apply from any of the colleges and any of the branch. A lot applied, so they sent a mail to conduct an prelims for filtration process. They conducted a test (online) comprising questions on Basic Linux and Networks.
Ques. Ex-1. Zombie process are created when ?
2. Joe needs to list all lines starting with 3 numerical digital in a file, which regular expression should he use? (on command line)
3. Kill command sends which signal ?
4. Device Drivers are need for which of the follwing ?
5. Common questions
And a total of 30 questions which were also easy, I gave answer to 29 questions which I assume as correct and I didn’t answer one question and that was related to some routing algorithm, which I don’t remember and haven’t even heard of 😛
The next thing is that I got an interview round on 26 October. The plan was to conduct an Coding round followed by three interviews. A total of 20 students appeared for the same. Coding round started for 2.30 hours. It contained two questions
1. Make a program that monitors a given process memory usage (by name),
- The program should run as a deamon
- The name of the process is passed through command line argument
- The things to identify are VmRss, VmSize and Elapsed time for the process
- The process should run infinitely and search for its lifetime for the given process name, if it exists then log this information(above) to a log file every 5 seconds, otherwise just continue searching.
2. Make a program “tac” that does the inverse kindof “cat” command in linux.
Ex myfile: line 1
$ cat myfile – will give the content of the file as it is.
We have to make tac and pass the file name as argument so that myfile is represented as follows
$ tac myfile
The program must work efficiently for extremely large files.
Okay, the problem were frightening at first, but after reading it 3-4 times I got both of them. The ultimate thing was that there was no language compulsion. Do it anyway you know.
So, I started with C (as I am only comfortable with it) but even after an hour I was not able to make this problem running. I don’t know how but somehow a word did get enter in my ears “SCRIPT”, (somebody was talking)
Ohhh My God!! I said the Janice way, and asked the examiner if I can even use scripting??
He replied in positive. I remember the time and it took exactly 4 minutes after that and woah! I was the first one to complete the problem atleast in my examination room.
I was done with that problem but highly unsatisfied as I was unable to do that in C and with examiners. I was frightened with the problem not because of what it does but because I forget a funcitons in C linux in order to make the program Deamon i.e. how to detach itself from the terminal after the fork. But anyway, for that time or for those examiners running that script in background and displaying no error messages on terminal worked. No one in our room did make the program in C, and I don’t really understand if anyone of them really understand the term Deamon here. I didn’t get how they were making a deamon with bash and python scripts!!!
The second problem I again started with C and the code was getting lenghty for no reasons. There are a lot of error checking you need to do in C. Open a file, error checking, Do a function call, error checking bla bla!
And moreover I didn’t remember whole of the functions syntax. But thankfully man pages were allowed and thus I got saved. By the time, the examiner came to evaluate both of the questions I was not able to complete the second. Later on I wondered I must have opted bash/python script for the second one too!
Anyways, I guess the examiner was impressed with my first question and the logic of 2nd question and thus I got selected for the next round.
Next round was Interview with the Examiner guy. I went in and he said, heyyyy!! (just with the gestures) as he was on phone. Then we started, I passed on my resume to him, he said no need for this, I have already gone through your resume already and then some good words for me.
He: How much time you are using Linux ?
Me: For 4 years or more I guess.
He: Okay, ok I am not going to ask you the simpler questions in this case! this may be good or may be bad for ya!
Me: Laughing and then(o bc!!)
He: Tell me something about Networks, I know you are an ECE guy, But we need an Linux Adminstrator!
Me: Umm, I know quite a bit of Networks, you may ask me like any other guy you are asking
He then started asking about TCP and OSI model. Then TCP and UDP. NAT, MAC, IP addresses , gave me some problem and scenario and I think I answered most of them as per my knowledge.
He: Asked some thing, and I was only able to get a single word from that sentence (DATABASES)
Me: Sir, I don’t know a single bit of Databases.
He: Ohh!! Not even a bit!
Me: Yeah, not even the LSB.
He: Look dude, Being very frank here, you know what we people do Xy, and what you have been doing.!? We people do work at System Administration that deals with working up with Clouds maintainance, firewalls, working with databases (…) and as per your resume you are into this kernel stuff which we don’t deal at all! Neither the hardware work you do nor the Kernel stuff. So, are you sure applying for this job? I don’t want you to say for me bad things after going out this interview(( bhenchood! sala, bond ban raha tha!))
He actually said this!! I loved him!! LOL
Me: I actually applied for System Architect where it was written in the skill set all about the OS things and I love that .
He: We don’t at least currently work those things.
Me: O ou!
He: Okay tell me some cool linux commands
Me: dd, objdump, readelf, nm , dmidecode, ifconfig and a few others
He : asked simple questions on these commands
He: Okay, thats all for now, will let you know by the HR for the further things
After an hour or so, another interview call for me, This guy was senior to the previous guy.
He: Basic questions about whats going on and how was the day and bla bla!
Me: replied accordingly
He: Okay so I am going to ask you questions on Linux only
Me: Sure(evil laugh inside)
He: Asked questions on Processes
Me: started belabouring on that
He: You can be a little superficial about things here.
Me: Yeah, sure
He : You know databases??
He: Okay then, tell me something about open source configuration tools.
Me: Umm, I have just heard of Puppet, Nothing more
He: Okay, tell me how GIT works?
Me: I just know how to upload and download the code from there and do a few branching and pulling stuff. I really dont’t know how it works inside.
He: Okay what you know of drivers?
Me: Sir, ask me openly here (I knew that he don’t know much in this area, )
He: How you compile a driver ?
Me: Explained like hell!
He: Asked questions about Data Card that he was using. Why is it shown as a CD-ROM instead I have plugged it in USB drive.
ME: I explained with what I know of USB drivers and mounting to user space things.
He: Okay, can you explain me the Booting process?
Me: (he asked a very wrong question, I can spend hours on this…lol) Yeah, and I explained this for I guess 20 minutes or more!
When I reached at Init, he started asking about the runlevels, that was an easy shot too!
So, at the end he said, looks like you were the right guy to ask for booting process! ( I am definite computer guys can never know when it comes to hardware stuff and so was he!)
He said OK I will let you know from the HR!
After 15 minutes, HR came and said I will be having a Skype conversation with some guy. Okay then, I was on skype with some guy)
He started with Bakchod! questions like how was your day!, did you enjoyed being there, how was the food, and how was your interview experience.
I answered them moderately,
He: Okay what you want to do in your life?
Me: I do want to be a great kernel coder.
He Then why Xy ? What are your plans for your life?
Me: My aim requires a lot and for that I must be extremely good system adminstrator.
Okay, I don’t remember exactly where but I do mentioned INTEL somewhere, as dream company and they don’t take into this field below five year experience or so. I am confused with the conversation with this guy only! Otherewise I am pretty sure for my conversations.
Anyhow at the end, he too said that I will surely let you know from the HR.
I lateron thought, this was somewhat bad! umm, really a bad thing to say something like this to someone who is a dammn big Dog for a company.(HR guys they are!!) He will surely bark at you or may be try to bite ya!!
And within 15 minutes HR came with a sorry thing.
Okay, I was not disappointed at all! The thing is they promised reimbursement for the conveyance thing and I was on bike and it was 55 Km from my home and they didn’t gave that!! Bad guys!
I consider both of the interviewer guys as awesome because they were quite cooperative and promoted me for both of the rounds even though I said a clear no for the DATABASE thing which they needed heavily. All their work was for cloud and all.
The important thing for me that I want to convey to all the reader of blog here, is that Xy company don’t work at all for Kernel things. They hire awesome people for making algorithms work for their clouds handling and coding there. No Operating system work here at all – This is told to me by both the interviewers guy there and by that Skyper.
Okay, leaving that thing there I am back here with another closer step for making my TurtleBot ! \m/