20190110 Market Update


  • Trade was with China is resolving favorably, implying a short-term rally
  • The guv’t shutdown can’t last forever, and when it ends, stocks expect to rebound. Stocks may even rebound earlier.
  • Brexit is a short-term and long-term downward pressure on UK and Europe. It shouldn’t have negative long-term effect on US stocks, although short-term volatility drives the prices down.
  • Overall, I’m optimistic today that the December slump will not continue. Now is a good time to buy something.
  • Take a look at NVDA, AMZN.

Good-Bye, Google

How I am planning on controlling the products and services I use more strictly.

Relatively I’ve gotten a new phone, a moto x4, and since I’m on Project Fi (by Google), this phone ended up being a Google phone, too. I only really got it for one reason: it has a dual rear camera, allowing me to take nicer pics. I can use that, for my Instagram. However! After 3 or so months of using it, I have to say I’m ready to give it up, and finally switch to an iPhone.

Now, why? The short answer is that I really really don’t like the Google assistant. It tells me when I get home, it tells me when my credit card is due, it knows everything about me. My photos are backed up (poorly) on Google cloud – so I can neither get them back easily, nor have any reasonable privacy. And I use google way too much. It has all my data and when I type in a search query in Chrome, it auto-completes it for me, so very often instead of searching for what I want I search for something else – the nearest-popular autocompleted sentence. I don’t feel comfortable with that at all.

Now, Google will still have my data, and true privacy is impossible to achieve. But I should make a conscious choice to at least attempt to mitigate the risk and the problem of privacy. Just look at how much trouble Google+ has been, or how much trouble Facebook has been! Oh, I quit Facebook quite a while ago, I have an account but I don’t rely on it for communication or any part of my social life. However, real tools like the email, calendar, and the physical sellphone are harder to own as private.

Another reason for me to dislike google is that they charged me $1800 according to some 5-year-old contract, because someone used some API keys that were under my name. I’m still recovering these monies, actually. Obviously nobody reads the contracts they sign, but also – let’s sign fewer contracts, and let’s actually avoid unnecessarily giving away control.

In general, I don’t feel comfortable how pervasive Google’s services are. I want to use it less, not more. So I’m in the slow, gradual process of abandoning google services. I feel that email may be the hardest to abandon.

5 ways of finding a career match


To correct what I’ve said yesterday, the 5 ways of finding a career match are:
* live fit (career choices, location, compensation, company size)
* technology fit (candidate’s skills align and candidate has the necessary skills)
* cultural fit (candidate’s acceptance of the company’s management style, situational judgement test, personality test)
* personal fit (do I want to work with him? does he want to work in this team?)
* other factors (a blanket category for red flags and whatever you cannot disclose)

Interviewing


Tag: Interviewing Tips

Title: On doing take-home technical coding challenges as part of an interview process

Let me tell a fable about how I applied to the company N***. Let the name be redacted. The recruiter reached out to me via email, he found my profile on Stack Overflow. I have been actively looking for a full-time position. He said he is working on scheduling for me to tal to a VP of engineering, and meanwhile sent me a link to a technical challenge, inviting me to take it.

I spent 2 hours on the challenge and passed.

The recruiter said he’ll schedule the talk with VP for Thursday, and meanwhile wanted to talk with me himself, on Tuesday. Come Tuesday, I have to remind him to call me, after he was 15 minutes late. He rushly calls me and says that he was “just testing how much I’m paying attention” and that simultaneously “power went out” in the office and he was unable to call me. After that he asks me to talk about myself and my background. This is a red flag: if the person you’re talking with asks such a generic question, that means they don’t know or remember who you are, and you are a statistic rather than a man for them. I ask him if he’s read my resume, and he says oh yes! He remembers now, I’m the candidate with a degree from University of Michigan. The recruiter says he was reluctant, almost didn’t want to message me, because he himself went to Ohio state, with which apparently I’m supposed to have a rivalry. After that, believe it or not, the conversation degraded to such a point that there was no next step. Why? Because of the recruiter’s perceived rivalry with my school in college sports.

One of the elements of the interviewing process is the evaluation of how cohesive the team would be, with the addition of a new team member. In this particular case, I didn’t even get to talk to any team members. Upon hire, the candidate will spend no time with the recruiter, therefore there isn’t a question of cohesiveness between the candidate and the recruiter. There is, however, the very material possibility of raising a red flag: either by the candidate, or by the recruiter.

And in my application to company N***, I additionally wasted 2 hours of my time, successfully solving a technical challenge that was irrelevant. People are more important than technology, and talking to people is sometimes less tiring than doing technical work. A show-stopper in human aspect has higher priority than a show-stopper in technical aspect. For this reason, going forward, I have the requirement of talking to people before undertaking any technical challenges.

Tools: Water

It took me a whole going into adulthood business to realize just how important water is, and I suspect that as I get older, water will become even more important for me.

It’s not just that it’s critical to survival. It’s quite critical to health in the following ways:

* A guard against hangovers. If you drink enough water while going out, your hangover will be minimal. The suggestion is to chug a 8-12oz water glass with every drink, and that’s what I do. Say at a bar, I order a beer, and also water, chug the water, then sip the beer. Do it between 9pm-3am, not have a terrible hangover in the morning. Without water tho, your hangover will be so much worse.

* Better sleep and shorter sleep requirement! I just kind of discovered it recently, and still subject to validation. If you go to sleep well-hydrated, you need to sleep less to recover your energy. It’s a time saver! Continue reading “Tools: Water”

How to prepare for Facebook Interview

aka the Facebook University

Facebook prepares you for their own interview, they give you study materials, references and plenty of tips. They hire strong engineers and they want strong engineers to hire.

Make sure to study Hackerrank.com – algorithms, data structures, tree traversals and the like.

Practice by interviewing at other companies. The process and the skills translate from one company to another quite seamlessly.

This is very important and a step that I may not have done: actually want to work there. This is important.

You need to be passive in that you can’t show that you’re desperate for a job, but you need to show them that you want to work there.

Load up on a lot of patience. This might be a slow process, it might take a while. There is a guy who interviewed at Amazon 8 times and the 8th time he “almost got it.” A recruiting company said they think it takes 4 weeks to get a job, on average. Don’t believe silly things like that. It takes a year, multiple years of focus to get it. Of course, we’re talking about top IC (individual contributor) positions at top companies.