I have been working at Balabit full-time (More than a year)
Great atmosphere in the office; work from home position. Tons of opportunities to learn about what companies are doing in the security space. Technology is highly stable and runs on a Linux core.
Drawbacks are similar at most medium size companies.
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Balabit in March 2017.
I've applied to a C/C++ developer position. They asks to write a program:
- you have to submit not only the final solution, but GIT repository, to see your commits, messages etc.
- the program must be written in C, but OOP style (srsly),
- you can't use 3rd party libraries,
- you have to implement a not-too-hard problem (no spoiler) as service,
- it must be run as a daemon,
- there're further restrictions (no spoiler), which make the task rather easier,
- unit test should be written,
- you must write a CLI client for the service, without restrictions (in any language, you should use any libraries).
You can work on it even for a week, but you have to set a deadline. It took me more than a week to complete: the service daemon, unit tests, client (Python), manual and some design documents.
Then I got invited, there were a conversation with the leader of the group, two programmers and the HR person. They've introduced the company, then I said some words about myself, but it was pretty informal. They've asked me about the service I've written, and we were talking about general stuff, e.g. what's my opinion about design patterns. It was like you hang out with your friends and talking about your job.
Some days after the interview my HR contact said that the group decided not to hire me, but there's another group.
On the interview with the another group, things went similar. They asked, why have I used X and not Y in my homework, I said, it was a requirement, then they noticed, that their homework is the same, but with less restrictions. Also, we have spent an hour in good atmosphere, they were asking me about programming, my previous projects etc.
Some days later, my HR contact said, that the latter group has rejected me.
I got no justification, and I haven't asked for any. I know, it's hard to say that "yes, let's invite this weirdo senior guy, it would be 100% good idea to work with us". Also, there are techniques for it, e.g. invitation for 2 weeks temporary contract, which the parties can know each other better than a stressful one hour conversation.
Although, I put lot of effort into the exam, it was a joy to work on it, to conform the less or more silly, but interesting restrictions, like the OOP style C. Probably, I'll publish it on my GitHub profile, without mentioning the purpose... or probably not, I don't want to spoiler the assignment - life is hard.
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