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Comment Re:No, me not interested working for Google any mo (Score 1) 305

I asked that would he be so kind and tell me who they hired. He said that he couldn't tell me details.

This is annoying, but it's something that legal tells most companies. If you were not hired for some reason that is not directly related to your ability to perform the job, then you might have grounds for a lawsuit. It's best not to give out any information.

Comment Re:My interview experience with Google... (Score 1) 305

I'd agree with the other poster. This kind of question is intended to see how you approach a problem. Can you think about intelligent solutions to a problem that you haven't seen before? The answer doesn't matter, the process of getting to it does. If they asked you to in-person interview, it means you passed the phone screening, which then isn't counted for the rest of the hiring process. The in-person interviews are fun. I turned down a job at Google, but I found the interviews fun - they ask you to think about things that you haven't thought about before (well, in theory - one of my interviewers hadn't done her homework and asked me a question about a subject I'd published papers on, expecting me to have no background knowledge). Whether you take the job or not, the experience is enjoyable (and you get to visit somewhere fun at their expense).

Comment Re:Puzzles are pointless (Score 1) 305

If you only got a free lunch, then you did the interview wrong. The trick with Google interviews is to make sure they take place in a country you want to visit. They'll pay for your flight, meals, and one night in a 4* hotel, and then you can tack on extra time if you want. If you visit somewhere where you have friends and can get free accommodation, then it's a good idea to go through it fairly frequently. Interestingly, even if you turn them down, their recruiters will start sending you emails about six months later about coming back to see if they have more interesting jobs for you.

Comment Re:i wonder if brin and page could pass these thin (Score 1) 305

We just did a round of hiring, and interviewers were asked to answer two questions about the candidate:
  1. Is this person competent to do the job?
  2. Would you be happy working on a team with this person?

For a lot of tech jobs, the answer to the second question would probably be 'no' for Woz, Jobs, Gates, Brin, and Page. That doesn't mean that they're not competent, it just means that they wouldn't fit in with the existing team, and that can be highly destructive to a creative environment. That same attribute makes them more likely to go and start a company, which also makes them less attractive to a big company: employees who leave to start a new company often take the best of their colleagues with them, so they increase turnover of the staff that you most want to keep.

Comment Re:No, that's the wrong way to use temporary labor (Score 1) 305

If they're hiring you as a contractor, then they should be paying you contractor rates for that time, so they have an incentive to either hire you full time or let you go. Google doesn't like to do contracting, however, because they have a lot of trade secrets that they don't want to trust contractors with.

Comment Re:In conclusion (Score 1) 305

It's pretty easy. You ask the existing team whether they want to keep that person, and you pay the team bonuses according to the total team productivity. Developers are generally good at assessing the competence of other developers, and how well they fit in with the existing culture, but occasionally will try to sabotage competent people who they think might outshine them. If they get paid more for selecting better people as colleagues, then this incentive goes away.

Comment Re:Opportunity missed (Score 1) 103

The UK tech companies found it hard to export to the US


Because, at the time, the US government would only buy from US tech companies, and most big businesses had their purchasing decisions strongly influenced by what government bought (often for interoperability reasons), which influenced small businesses (for the same reason). Marketing in the USA required a big budget to get national penetration and there wasn't an obvious place to start.

In contrast, a tech company in California could start selling locally and then just expand slowly into more states. Their existing supply chain didn't need many modifications to sell things one or two states over. A British company trying to sell in the USA needed to establish a foothold somewhere. They needed to ship either components for assembly or completed devices to the USA.

Selling to mainland Europe required translations

Is that a big deal? Especially if you went for a few major languages, like German, first. I would think that European manufacturers would have been more used to the need for translations than American companies.

P.S. Wish I had mod points to bump up your post.

For a small company, the cost of translation can be the difference between making a profit and making a loss. You need a big investment to sell enough in France or Germany to recoup the cost of localisation. In contrast, a US company had an English-speaking audience on its doorstep and so could ramp up to economies of scale in the tens of millions of units before they needed to consider localisation. At this point, the incremental cost is sufficiently low that it makes economic sense.

Comment Re:Why didn't 'Andriod' use BSD codebase? (Score 1) 220

It did. Android's libc uses a lot of FreeBSD code. They've recently been talking to us about syncing some of their changes and treating us as they do other upstream projects that they pull code from, rather than maintaining a complete fork. They picked the Linux kernel for a very simple reason: Android was created by a small team, and they had experience with the Linux kernel.

Comment Re:The license (Score 1) 220

No. The GPL does not say you have to give back to the community, it means that you have to pass the source to anyone that you give the binary to. When Google extended Linux to run on their cluster infrastructure, most of those changes remained private. Given that 90% of all software development is in-house and not for public release, this only means that 10% of developers would be compelled to release code by the GPL. The remaining 90% are not affected, but often avoid GPL'd code because of possible future problems.

Giving back to the community is a lot more about culture than license. Companies like Juniper, Yahoo! and NetFlix contribute a lot to FreeBSD, because it reduces their cost to maintain a smaller fork and because the more they give back, the more other developers are likely to care about bugs that they report.

Comment Re:pkgng (Score 1) 220

Recovering from the security incident is not just a matter of reformatting the machines. You don't just turn things back on and hope. All of the code that is being used to build the packages is being audited (this is now basically done). The FreeBSD cluster is now running auditdistd, so that auditing logs of all of the build machines are preserved even in the case of a compromise. The goal is to ensure that a compromise like this can't happen again, not to rush out packages and then have to do the whole thing again next time there's an incident.

For what it's worth, with Poudriere, you can build the entire ports tree into pkgng packages in about 48 hours on a reasonably powerful machine. If you don't want all 20+K packages, then you can do it a lot faster. If you trust iX Systems, you can just point pkgng at the PC-BSD repository...

Comment Re:Opportunity missed (Score 5, Insightful) 103

The UK had a thriving computer industry even into the '80s. Companies like Sinclair did well in the home computer market and Acorn was selling desktops that ran a multitasking GUI very cheaply, with a lot of success in the home and schools markets. The decline started as the IBM PC gained prominence. The UK tech companies found it hard to export to the US, and didn't have as large a domestic market. Selling to mainland Europe required translations, so US companies were able to ramp up economies of scale that left them unable to compete. The ones that were successful, such as ARM (an Acorn spin-off) and Symbian (a Psion spin-off), did so by selling through existing large companies that had an established supply chain.

One of the big problems with getting large multinational companies in the UK is that it's much harder for tech companies to do well on the LSE. A startup in the US wants to get to be worth about a few hundred million and then IPO and continue to grow. A startup in the UK wants to get to be worth a few hundred million and then sell out to a big company. There are a lot of startups in the UK that make it to a few million market cap mark, but almost none that make it past the billion. A lot of this is due to different investor culture, rather than anything related to the people running the companies.

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