Two Interview Questions
Overheard on Facebook, after closing out two weeks of software engineering interviews in the emerald technopolis of Seattle during which I was given technical screens and phone interviews with more than a dozen people:
horrible interview question:
“suppose you have a pile of bits” – interviewer
things you could do to them:
look for obvious patterns
look for non-obvious patterns
^^^ not as obvious
look for an absence of patterns
^^^ truly random streams should contain patterns
shift the bits to the right or left (1x, 2x, 3x, etc)
flip the bits with logical operators (AND, OR, NOT, etc)
apply mathemtatical transforms on the bits (linear, squared, quadratic, log’d, etc)
apply computational transforms on the bits (gzip, rar, etc)
treat the bits as every known language.
treat the bits as media: image, video or music
treat the bits as time-series coordinates.
treat the bits as geospatial coordinates.
treat the bits as moves on a chessboard.
treat the offsets of the bits as the data
map the offsets of the bits to time-series axes
map the offsets of the bits to geospatial data
(etc and so forth)
now combine every one of these treatments
in every possible combination
as another steaming pile of bits,
use the results to a seed a training set.
and go back to the top,
lather / rinse / repeat