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Principal engineer Interview Questions


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The VCR Plus feature was described. In the TV programming guide each program/show/movie had its own code. When user wanted to program the VCR to record a particular show she just had to enter the program code from the guide - no need to enter the start and end time. I was asked to design this feature. How can it be achieved?

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Assuming that TV shows start and end at the 1 min interval (ie won't need to set the start to 1:35:28), there are 1440 mins in 24 hours. One solution would be to have an 8 digit VCR Plus code: xxxxyyyy The first 4 digits will be the start time, second 4 digits will be the end time. This will take 8 bytes of space.

That solutions assumes one channel. 1 digit for the day of the week. Assuming a max of 1000 channels, 3 digits for the channel number. 4 digits for the start time. Assuming the maximum show length is 1000 minutes, 3 digits for the record time. 11 digits. This could be optimized further if you restrict program start times to the nearest 5 or 15 minute interval, and record times to 5 or 15 minute intervals.

Actually the VCR+ has 30 minute resolution. It packs the info into binary bits, then converts from binary to decimal, saving digits. The Java code is here:

Print unique strings in a array.

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"Did you work at Motorola in Plantation previously?"

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"Can you just sign here, please?"

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What is your biggest weakness?

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Do you consider yourself a team player?

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Find before last element in a LinkedList.

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To describe in details what I know practically in engineering desing with DOE and DFM.

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I was given a code exercise during the onsite interview. The questions are not very difficult and just unexpected. Also, some of questions themselves are not correct and I need correct the questions before answering them.

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All questions fell along the lines of Amazon's 13 Principles. All were "Target Selection Interview" (TSI) style.

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