Palm Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
The process took 1+ week - interviewed at Palm in October 2010.
Interview Details – The interview was phone screen only. Went through the usual stuff first and then a technical question. Has some difficulties getting a grasp of the interviewer intention of the question. Question is quite simple.
Interview Question – I don't want to disclose the question. Answer Question
Very Difficult Interview
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Palm in June 2010.
Interview Details – An external recruiter called me up about this position. It seemed pretty interesting. Talked with the hiring manager on the phone screen and hit it off with him.
My on-site interview was the "gauntlet" type: 6 people. 1 Senior Director, 1 Architect, 2 Managers, and 2 underlings to give me coding questions. It was also split over two days (since I am gainfully employed!)
First day: Went pretty well, although I found out they had a copy of my resume with omitted my work experience at Apple...whoops! Talking to the director was a little difficult, since he was probing me on stuff I did at Apple, and forcing me to dredge up stuff I barely remembered. Oh well.
Second day: That's when they decided to haul out their heavy hitters. It didn't go so well.
First guy: an underling tests me by asking how to make a stack behave like a Queue. I gave the boiler plate answer. He then says how to make it better, to balance out the work done by the enqueue and dequeue operations. Got that too. Then he asks me a tree traversal algorithm. Got that.
Second guy: was supposed to be the hiring mgr, but he decided to take a ME day. Kinda poor form to skip out on me like that, IMO, but whatever. The replacement was another mgr, who worked in their applications group. Very good technically. I made the mistake of admitting my general disdain for the "const" attribute, and decided to exploit that like a sore wound. He also asks me to implement memcpy(). I resisted that too, knowing that's a question full of traps. He finally left, quite quickly, and without shaking my hand. I probably should have left right then.
Third guy: their Architect. First question he asks me: "Why Palm?" I don't think I gave the rah-rah answer he was hoping for. He then goes into C++, specifically: "how would I implement a smart pointer?". Thing is, I've seen that implemented in a prior company, and it SUCKED! I relayed my experience to the guy, and said I would rather use the Boost implementation of SP's.
He insisted I write something down, saying he'd like to see how I think. I kinda knew my goose was cooked, and should have said: "here's how I think: I'm a practical programmer, who prefers to use a solution that will work, and doing SP's is not motivating me". Things got frosty real quick between the guy and I...he then asks if I knew what a "Decorator" pattern is. I just said nope, quite flatly.
I asked a couple questions, and was escorted out, with a curt thank you.
During the interview, they kept bitching that they need help..well, they certainly didn't need mine, with the questions they were throwing at me, and choosing to chase me away.
S'ok, I still won't get one of their Pre phones...whatever lol
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Palm in August 2008.
Interview Details – recruiter contacted. I took some time to reply. They did 2 over the phone interviews. Flew me in for face to face. It went on for all day. I was offered in next 2-3 days.
Interview Question – How are you today? Answer Question
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at Palm in January 2010.
Interview Details – The interview process is straight forward. Interview question included:
1. technical details of various tools such as java, Spring, hibernate, MySQL and others
2. design of multi-tier architecture
3. database optimization, rdbms concepts, normal forms, ACID, etc.
4. a simple coding test
5. question on scalability
6. describe past work experience
I think the future prospect of Palm is poor. The current mobile environment reminds me of the PC environment in the 1980s. At the time there were IBM PC compatible, Apple, and a slew of lesser players such as Commodore, Amiga, Atari, etc. All the little guys disappeared and Apple went through a near death experience. The biggest winner is MS because the PC is a open platform that DOS and Windows ran on. As such, MS was able to piggyback off the aggregate marketing muscle and technology innovation of the entire PC compatible industry. Today, Google is looking to repeat the MS strategy.
Interview Question – question on managing threading and common concurrency patterns View Answer
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Palm in May 2009.
Interview Details – Had a HR and technical phone interview and then got an on-site interview call. Interview questions were related to RTOS, Device Drivers, Embedded concepts etc and linked list, bit operation related questions.
Interview Question – Write a Program to implement Queue. Answer Question