gregbo (gregbo) wrote,

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The PayPal interview was so-so. I had some problems answering some questions and a few mental blocks as well. There was one coding question that I was trying to think of an efficient, non-clumsy way solution to, but I couldn't, and time was running out, so I had to pretty much go with my clumsy solution. On another question, I could write out/talk through a description of what I wanted to do in English, but I had problems formulating the algorithm for it.

On the way home, I was trying to think of how to solve the coding problem and also why I got stuck. When I got home the missing step came to me and I was able to write the code. It was very similar to some other things I'd done before, but because my mind immediately locked in on the clumsy solution, I couldn't reorient it in time to come up with a better one.

It is possible that having to work under a lot of pressure at AV has caused me to lock in on suboptimal solutions (perhaps even more so than when I had trouble in classes). I know that there were times when I was working on things and thinking to myself "maybe there is a better way to do this," but I was afraid to spend too much time trying to think of the better way, lest I not complete the task in time and risk some more serious problem as a result. OTOH, I was worried that at some point someone would come along and criticize my code. In my defense, I would have said "well, I wanted to spend more time thinking of how do to things more efficiently, but in that time several other things might have broken, and people would have been unhappy that I wasn't taking care of them."

I didn't really get much of an idea what it would be like working at PayPal. If I make it to the next round of interviews, I'll get to meet people from groups that are looking to fill positions.

About an hour after getting home from the interview, I took my blood pressure at my local supermarket. I wasn't too thrilled to see that both readings averaged to about 150/90. (I usually take a couple of readings, with the second usually coming in as normal even if the first is high normal.)

Later that evening, my piano teacher had another of her master classes. I played the first movement of Sonatina Romantico, which I have almost memorized and can play reasonably, although somewhat slower than the suggested tempos. I made some mistakes but avoided serious train wrecks. The other students gave me some nice compliments. One student said that he liked the way I brought out the different themes, which pleased me very much.
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