Disqus Senior Python Software Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Disqus Senior Python Software Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at Disqus

1 Interview Review

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Senior Python Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Disqus (San Francisco, CA) in April 2012.

Interview

Good job advert - they used native Stackoverflow Careers rather than simply using it as an advertising board which is always a good sign. Good interview management, excellent communication. For one of the interviews they forgot (it's a small startup after all), so I sent an email 15 mins after it was supposed to start and in fairness to them they rang through five mins later with lots of apologies their end.

The first interview was with one of the founders, mostly centered on general philosophy of engineering and such. I had worked on a cloud based startup written mostly in Python last year, so that was an excellent framework for discussion. We went quite far outside just that though, went into the future of computing and such.

The second interview was a phone based coding exercise. The guy interviewing was much more competent than the average I experienced during second stage interviews with US tech companies, and he really knew his stuff. I almost certainly came across as a python newbie, forgetting things like namedtuple() is a factory and you must do namedtuple()() to actually instantiate it. I also made what he'd think a mistake where I used dictionaries where sets was a better fit, and he later used set intersection to avoid writing a filtering loop. He was right that by pushing into the C implementation it's likely much faster for small item counts, but how well that scales with item count I can't say and I can see how a set implementation might not scale as well as a dictionary. However, fair enough, the fact I don't know shows my inexperience with python!

The third stage was asking me to complete a model solution to a fairly hard problem, something which would have taken a full day of my time. I knew if they were asking me that then my coding abilities were in doubt. I run a busy IT consultancy firm, and I don't on principle code for free or else I'd never make any money, so I would on principle refuse to write model answers without them at least paying something e.g. a flight out onto their premises for a face to face, or something like that.

I liked the company, and I liked their engineers, so rather than flatly refuse I postponed it to the following week. A few days later they said the position was no longer available, which was fair enough.

All in all they were among the best of the Silicon Valley startups I interviewed with. From what I saw, competently run, with competent engineers.

Interview Questions

  • Write a Unix glob implementation in python. Globbing lets you use * for zero or more characters, ? for a single character, [] for a character range.   1 Answer
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