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Microsoft Software Development Engineer II Interview Question

I interviewed in Redmond, WA and was asked:
"Design a scheduler to run many functions at different times. It needs to (obviously) be thread-safe. Each task which is scheduled to run will have a time stamp, containing a desired execution time, a function pointer (containing the desired function). Also, find a way to supply the arguments to each function. Implement the mechanisms for scheduling/removing work to be done. How would you handle functions that must be serialized as opposed to ones that didn't need to be?"
Tags: data structures algorithms operating systems
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Part of a Software Development Engineer II Interview Review - one of 3,363 Microsoft Interview Reviews

Answers & Comments

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Too much to write in this box, but open your operating systems 101 book. If you know how to dispatch threads, use a mutex and a condition variable, you're good to go. Also, know how to implement a min-heap or perhaps a circular queue. You'll need one. Make quite sure it's thread safe!
- Interview Candidate on Jan 27, 2013

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