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Science Systems and Applications Scientific Software Engineer Interview Questions

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Scientific Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Greenbelt, MD
Anonymous Interview Candidate in Greenbelt, MD
Application Details

I applied online. The process took 2 months - interviewed at Science Systems and Applications in June 2012.

Interview Details

NASA Goddard contractor, you would work directly with NASA civil servants (who are technically not the greatest and can be very laid back). Initial invitation by email, it took two months since I applied and two weeks for the on-site interview. It seems, from the previous review, that it is common practice to interview people who do not have a shot at all. This is really bad since it's a waste of time (travelling, preparing for the interview and contacting your references) thinking you are the right candidate. The position basically asked for knowledge of Fortran, C++, HPC, SVN and modeling experience (which I had as I worked for NASA before). During the interview I was asked about my experience with this tools and at some point I also mentioned my experience with Java. One person started to laugh (very unprofessional) and two others were so defensive (very insecure) and bombarded me with questions on Java. I tried to stay professional and answered with technical reasons, which I think I did, and one person was kind of pissed I answer one of his questions. I was cut off by another person many times during my answers. Unfortunately, I think I touched some nerve (they use Python) and it got to the point I had to say I am not advocating for Java and I wanted to talk about my experience with Fortran and C++ as the job required. Three days later, I was told that "I used so much Java in the past that they decided I was not the right candidate". It sounded like an excuse, it's like saying "the job requires A B C, but you know A B C D but too much of D". Beware, it's a scam so don't be disappointed if you are not chosen as they might have someone already and you're there just to kill time. Many times they prefer the "yes man" rather than someone who would make them feel challenged.

Interview Questions
  • They went through my resume, but it was basically a way to find an excuse to not hire you.   View Answer
  • They use Python so I was asked if I used Python for codes.   View Answer
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