Dropbox interview

Microsoft eyeshakingking
Jul 8 25 Comments

Recently interviewed at DBX, got rejected; some of the feedback was that I didn't give a good multi-threaded solution to the web crawler problem. Somewhat puzzled since I thought I did ok on that part (the rest of the feedback was pretty-much in line with my own evaluation). Can someone (Dropboxer or not) point me to a valid solution for this problem, still bothers me = ). Thanks.

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TOP 25 Comments
  • Dropbox mb5hi
    Depends on the question and the level, bar can be different. What answer did you give and I will tell you where you were missing :)
    Jul 8 12
    • Microsoft dpbox
      Since we are talking fairness, what would you say to this scenario

      —-

      2 questions are asked, which are LeetCode xxx and yyy.

      A candidate has spend good enough time in doing practice and is able to write perfect code.

      Another candidate has not crammed the LeetCode but is able to present a workable solution based upon the fundamentals.

      How should they be judged and compared?
      Jul 9
    • Dropbox / Eng bigbeans
      the first one will be flagged as suspicious 🤔 and there are always more follow up questions we have than LC
      Jul 9
    • Microsoft dpbox
      Good answer :)

      I hope that does happen in practice.
      But I thought you said coding is all what matters...
      Jul 9
    • Microsoft galaxy123
      Hey so quick question
      If I understand correctly you are saying that code is more important than system design, right?
      What about deep dive?
      Jul 21
    • Dropbox / Eng bigbeans
      didn’t say that. every round is important.
      Jul 21
  • Uber uber101
    I was asked same question three years back. I am surprised that they still ask id allocation problem, multithreaded crawler and all after so many years.

    There is no valid solution, it is open ended. They look if you can you catch all race conditions, can you use workers and orchestrate task to those workers. I feel in production setup this would look totally different - , I would separate out producers fetching web pages and consumers using some task queue and consumers would store data on Redis for fast lookup of urls to weedout repeated ones.
    Jul 8 3
    • Yelp / Eng sJJv80
      I don’t see how race conditions are relevant. Worst case scenario, you crawl the same page twice in a single run. Either that’s an idempotent operation, or you end up with a slightly more updated snapshot of the page.
      Jul 8
    • Amazon Doby2468
      Considering that a good engineer will spend a few weeks working out such a design, the requirement seems to be pretty unrealistic. M two cents
      Jul 8
    • Microsoft eyeshakingking
      OP
      I believe you are right, and prob. this is the solution the interviewer was angling for. Mine was more along the lines of this: https://www.meziantou.net/mixed-producer-consumer-scenario-in-dotnet.htm
      Jul 9
  • Cisco sheep1
    The crawler must be perfect, as perfect as the interviewer though before walking in
    Jul 8 0
  • Microsoft SsOF47
    Just reflect on it yourself and move on. No point in asking for a solution here.
    Jul 9 2
    • Microsoft eyeshakingking
      OP
      Part of the process =). Also, no such thing as stupid questions.
      Jul 9
    • Microsoft dpbox
      @SsOF47, you are right. Interviews are what they are- it doesn’t matter who is right.
      Jul 9
  • Veritas thisGuyFks
    Had very negative experience with dbx interview. The guy wanted me to solve problem his way. Also, took me 15 mins to understand the problem
    Jul 8 0
  • Microsoft igoog
    Op, what level are you at and what level were you trying for? I am thinking about it for staff...

    And one bad interview messed it up?

    How long did it take for them to get back?
    Jul 8 1
    • Microsoft eyeshakingking
      OP
      L65, similar senior position. I haven't quite figure out their hiring bar, but for 65+ they seem to be quite conservative.Took them about 5 business days.
      Jul 8
  • Microsoft igoog
    Can anyone with Dropbox experience comment on the hiring bar? If they expect perfect answers I better skip/reschedule 😪
    Jul 8 0