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#1 pancakeshouse  Icon User is offline

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Technical interview study guides or cheatsheets?

Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:17 AM

I'm finishing up my last few months of college (math major), and am in the process of pursuing SDE or SDET type positions after graduation. I've started compiling important programming topics that I can put on a cheatsheet of sorts so that I am prepared for the 'quick' questions in a programming interview. A few examples of topics I have in mind are:

- MVC
- Complexity of algorithms (Big-O)
- Basic facts of coding (how compilers work, databases, etc...)
- Various algorithms in pseudocode
- Best practices

Having a couple pages of notes that I can carry with around me and read in spare time would really help prepare for interviews. The interviews I've had in the passed, I've stumbled on these types of questions.

Does anyone have a study-quide/cheatsheet like this? What are some other topics that would be important to include?

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Replies To: Technical interview study guides or cheatsheets?

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Technical interview study guides or cheatsheets?

Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:26 AM

If you need a cheatsheet you shouldn't be interviewing for the job.

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am in the process of pursuing SDE or SDET type positions after graduation.

Different countries have different terms and acronyms. Are these programmaing jobs?

Quote

(math major), {...} in a programming interview.

No mention of programming even as a minor. But you're going after programming jobs. What makes you think you're qualified?
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#3 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Technical interview study guides or cheatsheets?

Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:38 AM

View PosttlhIn`toq, on 03 April 2013 - 01:26 PM, said:

If you need a cheatsheet you shouldn't be interviewing for the job.


True enough, but it sounds to me like the poster wants more to have some study notes.

That being said, I'm a little concerned that one of the things you want on a cheat sheet is "basics of programming", and that "how compilers work" is a sub-category of this.

Something about that seems not quite altogether right....

Quote

Quote

(math major), {...} in a programming interview.

No mention of programming even as a minor. But you're going after programming jobs. What makes you think you're qualified?


Hmm... someone told me once that a programming degree is neither necessary nor sufficient for doing real programming. Can't remember who, though... :)
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Technical interview study guides or cheatsheets?

Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:49 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 03 April 2013 - 01:38 PM, said:

.. snip ..

Quote

Quote

(math major), {...} in a programming interview.

No mention of programming even as a minor. But you're going after programming jobs. What makes you think you're qualified?


Hmm... someone told me once that a programming degree is neither necessary nor sufficient for doing real programming. Can't remember who, though... :)/>


Bwahaha.. someone just won three internet tickets.. redeemable (at the prize counter) for either: a balsa wood toy airplane, three state tootsie rolls and a sucker, or two crazy bendie straws.
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#5 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Technical interview study guides or cheatsheets?

Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:54 AM

Quote

Hmm... someone told me once that a programming degree is neither necessary nor sufficient for doing real programming. Can't remember who, though...

I've said it many times. But always qualified with the rookie putting in an effort to learn on their own. This OP can't make the effort to form a grown-up sentence. But trying to give the OP the benefit of the doubt I asked why (s)he thought qualified. If they came back saying "Well I've made these 4 programs on my own and sell them from my website" then I'd think they had a chance. As you pointed out the OP wants a cheat sheet for "Basic Programming". So realistically they want to be able to bluff their way through an interview they have no business going to. The OP should probably realize that if we can recognize that from the question, any interviewer is going to recognize it from their answers/conversation.

View Postprogrammer23, on 02 April 2013 - 09:19 PM, said:

hi i am a college graduate


Ok, McDonalds/Starbucks counter clerk.

The rest of your post sounds like the numerous posts of "I'm a kid that loves playing video games so I can I get a job writing them."

Quote

how do I get a job


Really? Well... Mr. College Grad... Does the college have a job placement councilor you can talk to?

My suggestion is go join the Army and select one of the numerous related jobs. It really sounds like a hitch in the service would help grow you up a bit.

But at the very least read back a few threads in the Lounge areas. There are many people asking "how do I get a job doing xyz". There is a lot of good advice in those threads. Don't make people beat that dead horse just because you didn't want to do some reading.

By the way... This is the "programming help" area. A place where people writing code related to databases ask for help with there code. See the hierarchy:
Programming Help > Databases.
This probably should have in one of the General Discussion threads, like student campus since you are a student.
UPDATE: Thanks for moving the thread Jon.

Sorry if I sound snotty... It just makes me annoyed to see college grads unable form a sentence on an 8th grade level, unable to reason out simple things like where to post a question or asking questions like "how did I get a job" when there are so many local services available to you, such as your college councilors, the local unemployment office that can point you toward career councilors and job placement specialists. To me, *me* not everyone and not the site, but to me this just rings loudly of someone not yet ready to join the grown up world.

This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 03 April 2013 - 11:56 AM

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#6 pancakeshouse  Icon User is offline

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Re: Technical interview study guides or cheatsheets?

Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:24 PM

View PosttlhIn`toq, on 03 April 2013 - 11:26 AM, said:

If you need a cheatsheet you shouldn't be interviewing for the job.

Quote

am in the process of pursuing SDE or SDET type positions after graduation.

Different countries have different terms and acronyms. Are these programmaing jobs?

Quote

(math major), {...} in a programming interview.

No mention of programming even as a minor. But you're going after programming jobs. What makes you think you're qualified?


Sorry, I was trying to be concise in my post, so I left out details...

I should have used cheetsheat in quotes. I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to refresh my memory with topics I may not remember as quickly as a I want. But it isn't just about memory, I want to further understand the topics, and my experience over the years says I learn best by studying consistently. A "cheetsheat" that I can carry around with BEFOREHAND (read: not during the interview) helps me do this.

Software Development Engineer (SDE) and Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET). So entry-level programming or test/QA.

All of my theoretical computer science course work was two years ago (before I became a math major). Since that time I have significant practical project experience. I'm qualified for the jobs because of this practical experience, though it's been my experience that most employers (especially at larger companies) will ask the theoretical questions.

NOTE that I did not ask for ideas on problem solving type questions (is. whiteboard type problems). Those I'm working on separately.
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#7 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Technical interview study guides or cheatsheets?

Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:31 PM

Quote

All of my theoretical computer science course work was two years ago (before I became a math major). Since that time I have significant practical project experience. I'm qualified for the jobs because of this practical experience,


Cutting through the BS... Can you write a program from scratch? Have you ever built anything other than what you learned in school? Do you even understand OOP concepts? What programming language are you fluent in?

Pretend this is an interview question:
How would you architect a movie and other media tracking program? What are some of the objects you would create and how would they interact?
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#8 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Technical interview study guides or cheatsheets?

Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:39 PM

I know when I was looking into the GRE subject test I pulled out all my notebooks from my classes and used those as a pure aggregate.. at least I knew that information at one point!
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#9 andrewsw  Icon User is offline

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Re: Technical interview study guides or cheatsheets?

Posted 03 April 2013 - 02:36 PM

There are a number of books specifically about programming interviews, and preparing for them:

http://www.amazon.co...g/dp/1118261364

They are obviously not a substitute for knowledge and competence in programming, but I suspect they are an interesting read and could, I suppose, give one an edge over someone with a similar skill-set.

IMO cheat-sheets would be of no use at all; if you don't know the topics already, a few key phrases won't help.
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