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I worked at FactSet full-time (More than 5 years)
Innovation and great people made this one of my favorite places to work. The diversity of personnel is fabulous and should be duplicated around the United States!
Too East coast focused with the layoff of several persons in California in 2013. Still I miss the group of people I worked with for 7 years.
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I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at FactSet (San Mateo, CA) in February 2008.
I applied online for a C++/C# software engineer position in their San Mateo office. I had a phone interview with a recruiter which went well. They contacted me for an all day on-site interview.
When I visited their office, I ended up going through a couple of rounds of people. I had a migraine headache that day, so I wasn't exactly at my best, but I slogged through anyway.
I had an interview with the manager, who gave me a demo and described some of the technology that they developed. Considering that they wrote everything from the ground up, that was impressive. However, they were still using MFC - in 2008! When I asked about C#/.NET, he seemed to be annoyed with my questions. Red flag #1.
Another round was with answering questions about C++, linked lists, pointers, etc., the usual stuff. There was one person just sitting there, and I was told "pretend that she's not here". Red flag #2.
Later, I had a so-called "code review exercise". They had me look at some really bad code, something out of CS 101 - just awful. That was a waste of an hour, considering that when I brought up various issues and concerns, they were ignored by the interviewers. They simply didn't want to listen to what I had to say. Red flag #3.
I ended up talking with another tech lead, who simply had no interest in speaking with me. He pretty much blew me off and didn't even answer many of my questions. I was glad that the day was over. In any case, I would never go back.
A couple of things stood out for me:
- They're still stuck using MFC in 2008, when everyone's moving to C#/.NET. When I inquired, one person admitted that they've had a lot of trouble finding people with MFC experience.
- The people were pretty much "checked out" and not really engaging or interesting to speak with. When asked questions, I often got canned answers.
- The environment seemed okay, but I felt that most of the really interesting work was in their headquarters in CT. They were pretty much a small office and they had a hard time competing with other companies in the area for talent. I can see why.