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General Atomics Software Developer III Interview Questions

Updated Sep 3, 2010

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General Atomics
Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Diego, CA
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I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at General Atomics (San Diego, CA) in Aug 2010

Interview

First is a phone screening, which I thought was very technical. Mostly c based questions; use of keywords volatile, register. Concepts of RTOS, an occasional odd math question like "what is the derivative of velocity", then followed by a trig function, given a triangle, describe how one would fine the sine angle. The on site interview process consisted of first meeting the recruiter, who gives you a pamphlet of the company benefits and briefly tells you about the history and back story of the group. Then a technical interview is followed, in my case done by two members of the engineering group. Since I was applying for a position which required c/c++ experience, they wanted to hear details about my past experience in the previous employers. My perception was they seemed to be strictly by the numbers in terms of experience, so if you are applying for a position that requires 5+ yrs of c/c++, then you better have directly 5+ yrs of being a c/c++ drone. A "technologist" who moves between technologies wouldn't cut make the numbers. They give you a tour of the facilities and the systems they develop. Then a skills test is followed in which you are given a programming problem on a laptop and asked to finish the program. If your comfortable on linux, you should do fine at this point, since it was a redhat laptop. The program was in c and dealt with mostly string parsing; you are given a buffer that needs to match a formatted string format. I liked this aspect of the interview, usually one doesn't get a laptop and a program to work on but usually whiteboard problems. Anyhow, my overall perception for this specific division ( UAV ), it's a large legacy application in which new features are added too. When asked about whether they embrace new technologies? the general consensus was "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". As suspected, when asked about tribal knowledge, the response was it's an occurring problem their trying to address by better and more :) documentation. The main reason I pursued this position at ga-asi was because of the stability and the 9/80 schedule. After getting a better idea of the technology used and the application support that is done, I doubt I would have learned much.

Interview Questions
  • phone screen question: what is the derivative of veloctiy?
    4 Answers
  • describe the type of variable one would need to if setting during an interrupt service routine? why?

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