Interview

Recommendation: strong hire
I interviewed candidate focused on ops as this is candidate’s main strength through his past experience.
Q: Your current project used docker, and your previous project used ansible for deployment. Can you tell me the difference and strength of each approach?
A: docker uses container technology and makes deployment easier. Ansible is script based deployment process. ….
Comment: The candidate can clearly tell what technologies behind docker and ansible. He didn’t pinpoint the major docker advantage over ansible being docker is good at guaranteeing image consistency even when we need to rollback. However, unless one has actually gone through a full cycle of product deployment, it is almost impossible to realize docker’s main benefit. Docker was released only last July. Candidate’s response shows that: 1, he didn’t inflate his resume. 2, he actively follow the latest technology trend and indeed used in his work.
Q: If you are an SRE responsible for google.com. One day, when you open a browser and type http://google.com/ and got a white page. How do you debug?
A: check my computer’s gateway, … dns using nslookup … using traceroute/ping … check web servers …
Comment: very impressive for someone who has no real work experience. This shows the candidate indeed has done real work. The candidate didn’t know about Load Balancer. However, this is normal as he has never worked on a real project before.
Q: Tell me your proudest accomplishment in the past 2 to 3 years.
A: while working at National Central University Big Data Lab proposed to hire interns, managed interns to win competition two years in a row. Learn how to manage and motive interns given they have almost no experience but eager to learn.
Q: Given interns have limited to no experience. And they have very different personalities. E.g., some talk at length but always fail to get to the point, while others are very shy, unwilling to speak up, how do you manage them in project discussions?
A: …. group them in teams. Asking them to write down bullet points. and select a leader to present …
Q: You decided to do project A, and you need to decide how to implement it. One engineer proposes to use Haskel, one engineer proposes to use OCaml, and yet another propose Java. They are all very passionate about their choices and have strong arguments to back their claims. How do you resolve it?
A: …. ask them to listen to others points … use deadline, features, resources to decide which one is the best for the project.
Comment: I was looking to first check that he indeed managed team before, not just bragging on resume. How a candidate solves the problem is not important as with such limited experience, a candidate is unlikely to have real world knowledge of how team dynamic works. I just want to find out that the candidate can think of some solution. The answers are actually quite good given so limited experience this candidate has.
Conclusion:
The candidate has limited real world product experience. However, given his limited experience, I was quite impressed with his maturity at technology and team management. Seems like a strong candidate for tech lead, or manager, down the road with technical trainings.
I recommend strong hire for the candidate.

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