The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Perceptive Software in July 2012.
Interview Details –
Initially, I did a 40 minute phone interview with two people.
Some of the topics discussed:
How do you make a pure virtual function in C++.
Explain abstract classes, inheritance, polymorphism in Java. Why do we need it? What's the benefit?
Describe your favorite data structure.
Whats your favorite programming book?
What was the biggest problem you ever faced?
Got a call back and was flown out to Kansas for a technical skills test and more face-to-face interviews.
Had 90 minutes to solve a problem in any language. It's level of difficulty was at the level of a homework assignment in undergraduate course. After skills test, interviewed with two separate teams for an hour each. We went over my test and discussed typical behavioral questions and my background. Interview was very casual and free-flowing. Overall time it took was 3 hours 40 minutes that day.
Interview Question – Create a linked list queue with push / pop functions for a document class. Answer Question
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Perceptive Software in June 2012.
Interview Details –
After a 20 minute informal phone interview, I was invited to fly to their office in Shawnee for a Programming test and an interview with project managers. I never met with an HR representive during the entire process, and was 'greeted' at the main desk by a disinterested receptionist. After about a 20 minute wait, she sent me to what was nothing more than a closet with a glass viewing window and a desk. As soon as I sat to take the test, they lost power and had to take the first 15 minutes of the test in the dark. At least she supplied a bottle of water - a good thing since there was almost no air movement in there, and it got quite warm.
The test was as a previous poster described - create a linked list utilizing a document class with a pure virtual function that has Push and Pop methods for the last item in the list. This was all hand written. The test took about 45 minutes to get all written out, by which time I was rushing to just get out of the closet and get cooled off.
Upon completion, I returned the test to the receptionist who said I could leave. I had to remind her I was there for interviews and she instructed me to sit and wait. After about a 30 minute wait, one of the project managers came out to great me and we headed to a conference room in the basement. It appears most if not all of the developers are kept in the unfinished basement in bullpen settings. They adhere tightly to the SCRUM philosophy - odd for a company with only one product.
The interview was split into 2 groups - the first group consisting of 3 project managers. The were all quite cordial and friendly, and I felt we had a very good conversation. There were few technical questions asked - primarily it was a discussion of what the company does (only one product, with each project manager overseeing their chunk of that product). We discussed what they were lacking in their development - good testing methodologies, abysmal mobile development (I've been doing mobile development since Pocket PCs were first introduced, and testing sounded interesting, so I thought this position was going to be a very good fit). This lasted about an hour before the next group of managers arrived.
The second group of managers were quite a bit less cordial and considerably less friendly. One acted as a mediator of the interview, a second had little if anything to ask or comment on, while the last 3 were the antagonists of group. First they nitpicked my programming test - I chose to use stdio and string (what I have used for 20 years of coding in C/C++) but they obviously wanted std:string to be used. They also admonished me for not using const when returning a pointer to the string name of the document. There were a couple of other minor quibbles they had, that would have been quickly caught had the code actually been done on a computer and compiled. It is ridiculous to think that hand writing code on paper won't have some syntactical issues. The were also unhappy that I didn't use a recursive routine to print out the nodes of the linked list - I chose to use a simple do/while loop.
Then came the usual inane interview questions - what is your favorite data structure? Who is your favorite author? What is a design pattern? Well, to me, data structures are tools to get the job done - I have no favorite, just like I don't have a favorite wrench size. I don't read much anymore because books are overpriced and offer much less value than what can be found on the net. And a design pattern is really nothing more than what us old timers called algorithms.
Very little was discussed about my work history. They said they ignored everything but the most current 10 years of work, which has been mostly in the entertainment industry, so they glossed over 20 years of development and management experience saying it was all too old to be considered.
After an hour of badgering, the interview was over, I was escorted to the front door and left there. I've not had many interviews in my 30+ years of experience (only 5 counting this one), but this was by far the least professional of them all.
Mind you, I've created over 30 commercial titles in my career, as well as designed hardware and software for high energy physics research and worked in several other industries such as medical, telecommunication, telemarketing, weather monitoring and forecasting, and entertainment for quite prominent companies. Yet, I was rejected by Perceptive as not having technical depth.
As it turns out, they have interviewed over 45 candidates for this position (actually it is for 5 developer positions) and have rejected all of them. I'm not sure what their issue is - are they looking for perfection, or yes men, or do they simply have a fear that someone will come in and take their jobs.
Interview Question – What is your favorite data structure? View Answer
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Perceptive Software in July 2010.
Interview Details – Started as a phone interview, then went to a skills test and one on one with a hiring manager and technical staff. Overall, pretty simple and straight forward, however there is a fairly large gap in what the company considers a certain position and what is considered by most.
Interview Question – What is more important; theory or practical application? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Salary
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