I have been working at SmarterTravel full-time (More than 3 years)
Clear ability to make meaningful contributions in lots of areas. Minimal red tape. Talented friendly coworkers.
Minimal red tape. Lots of different strategies in motion.
Advice to Management
Continue empowering the team to deliver results.
I applied online. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at SmarterTravel (New York, NY) in December 2009.
Had a Skype interview with one of their developers. He seemed disappointed I didn't have a webcam, even though the interview had been described as a "phone" interview. We spoke a bit about my background and goals, and about what I thought my strengths were. The interviewer gave me a programming problem which did seem to draw upon my strengths: write a function in C to compress a string using Run-Length Encoding. He watched (using a sort of remote assistance product from JoelOnSoftware.com) as I entered the code in Visual Studio. We never tried to compile or run it. I thought I got the function basically done (90% or so) and then talked about it a bit. I thought I did well, but I was quickly informed via e-mail that I would not be receiving an offer. In retrospect, I answered incorrectly on a question about the worst-case size of the output- it can actually be significantly bigger than the input. (This fact hit my during my morning commute the next day). Also, I correctly identified some edge cases but left them marked with "to do" comments. I guess the interviewer didn't like that, but frankly I find these sorts of Rube Goldberg Remote Desktop / extemporaneous interviews to be agonizing, and I guess I'm going to have to either get lucky or find an employer that values other things. The staff at Oyster.com seemed like decent people, though, and they didn't waste any more of my time than was absolutely necessary, which I liked. I do think that luck and what I'll call IT / home theater ability played a bit too much of a role here.
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