A few posts back I mentioned that I had made it past the phone screens and technical phone interview with a major Internet and software company in California. This company is HUGE and is truly changing the world. I am pumped to be considered by this company, and I'm doing all I can to prepare for the on-site interviews that are coming in a couple of weeks.
Now I've been in software engineering for a long time. I've been working in hi-tech since 1996, and doing software engineering for roughly 10yrs. But all my skills need to be sharp, and new theories learned and practiced in order to approach being fully prepared. The questions and topics in their interviews are like none I've ever done before (I interviewed with this company for a position in Seattle nearly 4yrs ago). They actually recommend things to study and prepare - and they are very advanced in nature.
A short aside - late last week a different recruiter at this company contacted me and offered a chance for a different role, one they felt I'd be very suited for. Now I had two to choose from, and I had to choose only one...and respond the next day. I really don't think I've ever pondered and thought-through something so much before in my life. In the end, it came down to this:
- Go with my heart and aim for the position I believed would make me happiest, even though it would be a harder path to get in with this company, or
- Take the easier path to "get in" and work in a role that I wasn't totally sold on.
I finally realized that the latter of the two was unfair to more than just me - the company wouldn't get their best person for that position. I painfully realized that I'd treat the latter as a stepping stone, and that's not fair for them. I made the call and explained my decision, which they appreciated.
So now I'm busting my hump working on sample problems that, truly, are more difficult than what I've been working on for the last 3yrs. They are tough, with most not having an answer that is suitable for all situations. Do it the wrong way, and what could take seconds to solve will take months, even years - honestly!
But you know something? I love it. I mean I really love it. Of my two degrees, engineering has always been #1 over the computer science one, and I see that it's a true passion given the enjoyment I get out of working on these problems. And it confirms that I made the right decision regarding the position I'm hoping to win...even if I don't get it. I'm following my heart right now.
My heart still beckons for a swim, a bike and a run, and it's still getting it. But it also knows that if I get this position and it all works out, I'll be doing it all in sunny California.
Back to the studying!