First Round Pick Interviewing at Safi Analytics

Aug 8, 2018 00:00 · 523 words · 3 minutes read interviews jobs software

Edited on 2020-11-10:

  • Fixed typos.
  • Fixed some improper sentence structures.
  • Edited out some incoherent/ vague opinions.

Commentary: In hindsight, the interview was ok: not great, and not bad either. I’m glad I never landed this role. Had I landed a role, who knows what the aftermath would have been? What I do know now is that I’m happy where I am: I get paid to hack in Sheme(Guile) :)

I’m writing this on 2018-08-09 at 00:26 hours. Well, needless to say, I’m beat. I’ve been swamped with emergency tasks the whole day. That aside, yesterday in the evening, I decided to sit down and do some interviews with this new start up called Safi Analytics. I’m guessing this is the first round pick. This post recounts my brief experience regarding this process, my opinions, and some things I’m up to.

Objectively speaking, the interview questions were fair(and simple) compared to the more arduous task of implementing BCH/ Convolution codes(I’ve been doing this in uni). This process has highlighted a flaw in how I think and work- which is a nice thing I guess. I need to get more comfortable with prepping for “interview” programming- you know, the kind where you solve a bunch of algos(usually within a given time frame).

I wasted my first 15 minutes on trivia and panicked. It was unsettling for me when I was trying to figure out why this snippet was not working: f"Some really long url {myCustomData}"; only to realize 15 minutes in that I was running Archlinux that ran a Python 3.6.5 install. f-strings does not work in earlier versions of Python- which was the case on the online coding environment- hence my blunder. Another weird problem I ran into was that I’d never used urllib before(I’ve used requests instead); so it took some fiddling to make it work with some API requests, which ate into the interview process. All in all, I think I performed poorly- I’ll improve on this later.

I’ll start doing more of these coding challenges. I’ll however prioritize Project Euler over the rest(Hackerrank and Kattis). My goal for now is to be able to express myself fluently in whatever problem domain I find myself in.

My goals for now? Well:

  • Be really good in solving problems using the Functional Paradigm(preferrably Haskell) and apply it in almost everything I do
  • Work remotely/ full time(as long as it’s not based in SF) for a company that uses FP in their operations and dev work
  • Get deep into some codecs
  • Kernel ninja/ systems(as in Linux) hacker
  • More kernel/ linux hacking
  • Be a decent SRE(or understand principles underlying it)
  • Deep understanding of some wireless telecomm systems

Here are books I’m reading:

  • Learn you a Haskell(Halfway done)

Here are books a devOps guy shared(what he plans on reading):

  • Designing Data Intensive Applications
  • The Site Reliability Workbook
  • ThinkOs

Here are books I plan on reading:

  • Reall world haskell
  • Cloud Native Computing With Go

What I’m doing:

  • Remote Work at CHAI
  • Porting some ANPR system to Haskell
  • Preparing a white paper on the above

I guess, I’ll go to sleep now. Hope for a better day tomorrow :)