Interview Questions

Netflix / EngOKyY23
Aug 19, 2018 8 Comments

Do you believe interviews that focus more on data structures and algorithms than the technical knowledge for a particular position (I.e Android, .Net) are an effective way to screen for talent?

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TOP 8 Comments
  • Amazon sofffffs
    At the same time there isn't a scalable alternative
    Aug 19, 20180
  • Netflix / EngOKyY23
    OP
    I try to do a mixture of both.
    I just know that more than once I have hired someone who can do a great job coding tree traversals on a whiteboard and do every sorting algorithm from memory...who can't tell me the basics of memory management in Java.
    Aug 19, 20183
    • Amazon cnnm16
      What if they used some other platform. What if they are specialists in a platform you don't know anything about. Learning about java memory management is not hard if you have some brains and general engineering aptitude, which is what algorithmic questions show
      Aug 19, 2018
    • Netflix / EngOKyY23
      OP
      True, but interviews aren't aboug aptitude. If I'm hiring for Android, I'm looking for domain experience and an understanding of garbage collection is a better signal of being prepared for the role than the algorithms.
      Aug 20, 2018
    • Amazon cnnm16
      Small companies sometimes hire on domain knowledge, but large companies don't and shouldn't need to (perhaps with some exceptions - embedded or ai maybe). Large companies should have enough resources to train up and mentor developers working on a new platform. There's no reason a dev with generic development experience can't be productive on Android in a month or two, provided the aptitude is there. We don't want to hire someone who's good at Android, we want smart people who can be good at anything.
      Aug 20, 2018
  • Research Now / EngArschloch
    At a FANG interview I solved a problem in 10 minutes using Java Collections. The interviewer was not impressed because he wanted me to write hand coded Stack, Tree and Queues. He asked me to explain the asymptotic runtime of my code (which I had done 15 years ago). The problem was super easy but I failed.

    However according to me no one should ever write D'S by hand because we have libraries which provide all DS. Performance is done using load testing rather than asymptotic analysis.
    Aug 19, 20181
    • Amazon sofffffs
      big O analysis and load test is not apple to apple comparison
      Aug 20, 2018
  • Netflix / EngOKyY23
    OP
    Interesting that this is split almost completely evenly
    Aug 21, 20180

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