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Disney Interactive Studios President, Disney Interactive James Pitaro
James Pitaro
19 Ratings
  • Great

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios

    Pros

    Loved my boss and coworkers. Great location and great perks. Things still had a bit of the start up pace when I started.

    Cons

    Lack of real direction and strategy. Had a division meeting where we were informed our strategy was to come up with a strategy.


Disney Interactive Studios Interviews

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  1.  

    Principal Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Disney Interactive Studios (Glendale, CA).

    Interview

    I applied directly on disney.com to this position. Two months later I got a frantic email from a recruiter (based out of Seattle) wanting to interview me almost immediately. I immediately returned his call and left a message, then heard nothing for two weeks. Then, I got another email wanting to urgently schedule an interview. Again, I replied and did not hear anything for two weeks. Finally, on the third try, I answered the recruiter's call and had a good conversation. He was very interested in my experience in machine learning and recommender systems but warned me that the hiring manager was very picky. A few minutes after I hung up, I got a call back saying they wanted a technical discussion, which we scheduled for the following day.

    In the technical discussion I was very up front about my background in machine learning and distributed architectures. Apparently they wanted someone to come in and revamp their recommender system for Disney Interactive. The conversation went well, although I got the feeling they thought I might be a golden goose. An hour after our call I got a call back from the recruiter wanting to fly me out. By this time I had decided not to take the position and told the recruiter as much -- the Glendale location was not ideal. The recruiter suggested they could get creative and would call me back.

    The next day I was told the salary was $30-40k more than I had discussed previously, that there were annual 25% bonuses and an additional first year guaranteed 25% bonus, and, oh, I could work remotely in a location more to my liking. Just fly out as soon as you can. So I flew out.

    I got slaughtered in the interview. To be fair, it was mostly my fault for clamming up on the whiteboard, but at the same time I was being interviewed by future subordinates who were keen to ask me about the inner workings of matrix algebra and show me that they were already doing the job themselves. I'm not certain that all of the interviewers were on the same page about what they wanted.

    In the end the recruiter told me that had interviewed 20 people over 6 months and had flown out 6 people besides myself.

    Interview Questions

    • Differentiate between supervised and unsupervised classification.   Answer Question
    • Diagram a distributed redundant architecture on the whiteboard.   1 Answer
    • How do you do matrix factorization for matrices that are too large to fit into memory?   Answer Question

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Additional Info

Unlock Profile
Website disney.go.com/disneyinteractivestudios/index.html
Headquarters Burbank, CA
Size 1000 to 5000 Employees
Founded 1988
Type Subsidiary or Business Segment
Industry Media
Revenue $50 to $100 million (USD) per year

Rest assured, a video game by Disney Interactive Studios won't give anyone nightmares. Disney Interactive Studios is the gaming arm of The Walt Disney Company's Interactive Media Group. The unit produces family-friendly video games based on properties from every corner of the Magic Kingdom, from the Jonas Brothers to TRON to The Pirates of the Caribbean. The company produces hundreds of games for video game consoles, PCs, and handheld devices, leveraging popular Disney content from movies, books, and television shows, and from its own concepts, such as Pure and Spectrobes... More

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