Quote of the Day

“The recruiter scheduled a phone interview and gave me advice about how to prepare for it. First, review algorithms, data structures, and Big O notation. Second, read the Google papers on the Google File System, Big Table, and Map Reduce. I didn’t mention to the recruiter that the first part, the “review” of algorithms, data structures, and Big O Notation, wouldn’t be a review for me; it would be my first formal study of those topics. I was a liberal arts major, Ancient Greek and Latin (an armchair adventure). If I were to be around hard-core computer science majors discussing algorithms and data structures in precise academic language, it would be like me being among the Eskimos, with their many words for snow, me having just a few terms like “snow”, “slush”, and “powder”.
I understand the concepts and apply them daily, but I don’t know the words for them. I don’t know what the concepts are called. For example, although, I’ve learned to call a big array that only has a few of its slots (“slots”?) filled in a “sparse” array, I don’t know what to call an array where each element is a linked list. I bet there is a formal name, but I haven’t learned to speak that language. And I can’t read or speak Big O, even though I have experience applying the concepts that Big O notation is used for. My software development skills are solid, but they are … rustic.”
Corey Trager on his Google interview.
(Susan sez: Read the comments on this piece, they are priceless.)
Note: More Google interview stories here, here, here and (kinda) here