On the Plane

Posted by Thoughts and Ramblings on Sunday, April 2, 2006

I thought that I would write a post while I was on the plane. I had the time, and since I already had one post stored on the computer, it really doesn’t make much difference to make another. I am currently flying first class back to DFW. It is much, much nicer than flying in the rest of the plane. I actually have room for the computer to open the screen all the way, in addition to not having it pressed against my chest. The nice, free breakfast along with the Chardonnay was a plus too.

My interview didn’t start until 10:30, but I woke up at 7 anyway. I can only shift my schedule so much with the time change. The breakfast in the hotel was a continental breakfast, but it wasn’t really all that good. In addition, it cost $14, but MS is picking up the tab for that. The morning was a really nice day. I walked around the area some, and entered a park. It was so nice, I went back to the hotel room to grab my camera. Below is a shot of the area with the hotel I was staying at in the center. MS in their kindness also gave me a basket with cheese, crackers, and a bottle of wine. I am taking it back with me. Maybe someone down in CS would like to join me when I finally get around to it.


Now for the question everyone wants to know. The interview went well. I talked with four people, in two different groups. The first group was the safety group, which is responsible for a new product which is going to contain an anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall management, and other security related items which windows users need. The second group is their business software, which is responsible for managing several recent acquisitions in business software and re-architecting it into a unified code base. Each interview asked me some technical questions:

  • Design an algorithm which merges a sorted array into another sorted array.
  • Design an algorithm which shuffles “cards” in a linked list, one from first stack, then second stack, then first, etc…
  • Design an algorithm which finds all paths in a graph from a single source.
  • Design an algorithm which replaces consecutive spaces with a single space in a string. Then design one which replaces all spaces with %20 (url escaping).

I was told that during the interview, my previous interviewers seemed to have very high praise for me. It sounds like I will get offers from both groups. That will certainly be nice, as it keeps my options open.

I have no idea what the pay would be. I will have to wait and see what that is, but the housing is subsidized, as is transportation. It sounds like my living expenses would be rather low if I should go to work there for the summer. Maybe they have convinced me, time will tell.

After the interview, I mentioned that I had a few friends who work for MS. The recruiter set up dinner with one of them, and we both had dinner together with MS picking up the tab. That was nice, and Ian certainly seemed to enjoy it.

Then, I woke up early, went to the Starbucks for breakfast (better food and cheaper, not that the price matters). Then booked it over to the airport, used the express lane in security reserved for first class passengers, and got on the plane. The only downside about the new travel arrangements was that I was a “SSSS” passenger, because the arrangements were made on Friday, and they were both one-way trips. I do have to admit that the people here are much better about it than Albuquerque.

Anyway, I guess that is enough for one post, until the next time, and the next set of drama.