Fly to the sky

Monday, January 30, 2006

Phoenix - Sedona trip

Reached my brother's place on the Friday night...drove to Little India, a small place but nothin less than a typical dhaba. Had parathas, pav bhaji, lassi and chat as well. It was damn cool. Had ice-cream from Coldstore, this was one Icecream thta finally beats Bombay's Naturals! Watched back-to-back movies on Saturday. 'Life ho to Aisi' is something u can watch with no thinking, see it for Sanju Baba's sake, hes dead smart in this movie. Went for Rang De Basanti the night show. Man, its after all an Amir Khan movie, and his movies hardly ever go wrong and this sure was no exception; an out and out entertainer! The show was house-full, had never seen so many desis together in any one place, guess it was the whole big ASU crowd.

The next day, we decided to go to Grand Canyon. But, I woke up at 12, and Grand Canyon was a NO to start so late. We started for Sedona after food. U should see the scenary change along the way. It was all brown, dry and mountainous for some 50 miles, then turns green for the next 100, and then its red mountains all over with snow at some places. If u r a nature lover, then this place is heaven! Our first stop was at Mountezuma castle. Came up in 1400s. Tribal inhabitation was at these places, saw the castles, their water springs...took a nice walk along the forest-like place. Calm and peaceful, it was beautiful. Drove thru the Montezuma well.

And we were now headed to Oak Greek Canyon on 80A, no substitute for Grand Canyon, but it sure is damn wide and dead deep. This place is real cool, and is a wonderful place for hikers and over-night campers. The next time we come in here, we shall plan to camp over-night. Now hungry, we stopped by on Sub-way. Satisfied and happy with the nature's immense beauty, we headed back home...

Intel and Phoenix

My final round Intel interview lead to my third trip to Phoenix, and I had nothing to complain :)

My first round was on phone, a cool 20 minute talk, discussed on:
1. my background
2. project work
3. Database interest, since the position was for Database Engineer
4. Basic DB questions - Whats a database? whats a table? whats a join?

This took me to Intel, Phoenix. Arrived at the airport; there were no taxis around, only limos...or probably I see only good things :) Took a limo to San Marcos resort, first limo trip and I was amazed. Ordered food and watched TV, dozed off. I had a dinner-reception hosted by Intel at 5:00 PM but I slept like a log only to wake up at 6:45, rushed downstairs. The presentation was over and people were almost done with the food too. My manager-to-be was about to leave, I barely managed to say Hi and that I was sorry that I had a headache and I took a nap, too long. He smiled and said that its okay, dont oversleep tomorr and be on time for the interview. U bet, I was on time for the interview. 4 rounds; 2 were technical, 2 were behavorial, each was around an hour. I guess I did well.

Technical questions: Algorithms and datastructures, OS, Diff between windows and Linux, OSI, TCP/IP, Ethernet...Hashing, Indexing, Normalization, some DBA stuff, basic Java, basic C

Behavorial questions: Tell me about yourself, what will you do in these type of situation...your strong points, your weak points, your biggest challenges, your biggest achievements n so on...

It is very important that u ask good questions when they say, Do u have any questions for me, and I had done some research to get real good questions. They were impressed and my interviewers went - I never expected such good questions from a fresh coll grad :)

Then, it was time for lunch. Had food in one of the best cafetarias of Intel. There was a break now, and we drove to the Chandler fashion mall. Major sale in all outlets, did some window shopping...back to the campus, and now it was time for a fab-tour. They took us around the fab labs at Intel and wow, it was so cool. The bunny-suit clad engineers and all the automated machines doing wonderful stuff. The amber color lighting was to enable the chips to withstand light, the floors were porous, the holes were to let the air circulate. The ambience here was purer than the best hospital. And yes, the bunny-suits and the special shoes the engineers wear is not for the protection of the people but for the security of the chips. This was one common misconception people generally have. These areas have to be absolutely dust free.

Intel is coming up with another fab lab in an year time. We saw the construction on. The crane they use is one of the biggest in the US, this crane gets redistributed to other construction sites as and when necessary....We drove through ASU and returned back to the hotel, dead tired. Rested for a while and then, called my brother to come pick me up...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Thats one of the 5 buildings of Oracle. They have these 5 buildings surrounding a small lake with a fountain in between, its beautiful. In each of these 5 buildings' lobby, they have cafetarias, each one devoted to a different theme. Came in here for the final round of interviews. My first round was a breeze at the campus. The second and the final one brought me here. Needless to say, I am impressed and am looking forward to start my work here after school. I have a few other interviews lined up in the coming weeks, a few startups and some biggies. The only offer that can beat Oracle's is Google's. I graduate in May, will take a small break and join sometime in July.

Offer from Oracle

Wow, what a week I had. Flew from Sanfransisco to Phoenix. Planned for Grand Canyon but was too lazy and tired for that. Saw loads of movies, among the most important ones - Mickel Madan Kama Raj, Kamal Hassan in 4 roles, wanted to watch this movie ever since I was a kid, heard abt that for so long but got to watch it only now. No Entry had a bad start, but towards the end, we were laughing as we rolled on the ground, damn hilarious. Heat, and Saw were great too. Went for Bowling in the evening, many friends also joined in. It was fun, only now do I know am no less than an expert :) We got a free game as well as a bonus. Have had so much Indian food in this week, I miss India not even the slightest bit. Had a great flight back home to Pittsburgh, was so tired I slept for like 5 hours in the day. I wake up feeling so good, and now...icing on the cake, I check my mail and I have an offer from Oracle, Redwood Shores, CA! What a cool way to start my new year ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Silicon valley trip

3 days of Silicon valley trip organized by CMU career center for the graduating students and it was much more than just fun. Got to see the company's campus, their offices, the products they
are currently developing and their cafetarias! Most of them had a gathering organized, small presentations about the company's history, their clients, their development, the career path n all. Every cmpany has to tell us on what makes their org diff from the many others in the silicon valey. Some companies even pick on the others, its Broadcomm constantly picked on Intel. Its nice to know about so much more stuff than just technical jargons that we always heard all around. What is a career in Venture capitalism like? What do service companies have that lure bright intelligent developers every year? What do startups have to offer that the biggies can never? These questions and many more have been answered in the trip organized for us.

How else could you tour Intel Museum without being a part of Intel organization iteself. See the latest Sun products, Sun Ray- a new product launched for secure software systems with the
intelligent badges and finger print technology to back it up. Tour the Googleplex and see the laundary rooms and the gym, not to mention the so much food everywhere. Tell me has a very open atmosphere, no cubes, no cabins...its all under an umbrella, a very college like atmosphere.
First day
1. Google
2. Intel

Second day
1. Broadcomm
2. Tell me
3. Sun Microsystems

Third day
1. Juniper
2. Sales force
3. VM Ware

Its been fun, will leave for Phoenix for the weekend...should be back to Pittsburgh on Monday.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Site seeing at San fransisco

Reached the campus on the 7th afternoon, lazed around for a while. The NASA campus is huge, its tuff to walk around without a map in hand. Decided to see some places around, but no idea how close or how good they were. Talked to the guards and started moving to the Mountain View station. Got the tickets, took the small train towards San Jose (green). Got down at one station, forgot the name, it rhymes with Tarzan...took a blue train from there, got down at the Grand Mall station. That was a beautiful place, you name a brand and you found it here...may eating joints also around...roamed for a while, purchased a few stuff, done some window shopping...thought of checking out some movies, a huge movie buff that I am, saw Munich, a very nice movie, quite heavy and long though...and now it was 10:00 PM, and the last train was at 10:18, made it on time and it was a relaxed walk back to the campus from the Mountain view station...quite tired and hungry at that time, there was just one pizza place open at this time, Dominos veg pizza never tasted better than this, a juice corner nearby, had a wonderful water melon juice...

The next day, I was better prepared, browsed thru the net for some good places to site-see, everybody recommended Pier 39, printed the routes, and train schedules and was ready to start the journey. Had food at the Monsoon, Indian cuisine. Got the Caltrain to San fransisco. The trains were so damn comfy, a double-decker train with luxury seats and a cool decor. It was a 1 and a half hour long trip and reached San fransisco. Now, it was a long walk towards Pier 39. Saw Pier 40, 36, ....the numbers just went on and on. The walk was a long one but thoroughly enjoyed it, the nice weather just complemented the good scenic locales. Finally made it to Pier 39. This place was definitely worth the long 3 hour journey. Went to the underwater Bay acquarium first. It was heaven ! Such wonderful fishes moving all around you...spent about half an hour there. There was a comedy show at the center stage, it was nice too, the fat guy was very amusing. Next went to the Turbo simulator, a 3D virtual ride, its been long since I been to a thrill ride so good...there were amazzing eating joints and food courts so inviting.
Took a lot of pics and decided to move over. Coming up was the Gheradelli chocolate factory. Wow, a chocoholic that I am, I just loved this place. Had a sundae-chocolate-fudge icecream. Ooo, it had a layer of cream, with some icecream and hot chocolate sprayed all over, some almonds and nuts topping it. With my stomach full and a content heart, headed back home. Long walk, a bus and the Caltrain finally brought me back to the Mountain view station. It was 11, and the only shop open was Dominos. Had pizza, garlic bread and now, the long walk seemed even longer than over. Back to bed and kept dreaming about the most amazing place I have ever been to...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

San fransisco

In the CMU West, NASA Campus now. Peaceful and cool, this place is beautiful. The last week has been full of fun and excitement. Phone interview with Intel on the 4th, they asked me to fly to Phoenix for the next rounds sometime in Jan last week. 3rd round Google interview on the 5th. Flew from Pittsburgh to Sanfransisco on the 5th, had my interview with Oracle on the 6th. The day was hectic but I guess it was fun too. The buildings were nicely laid in circles around a lake. The scenic beauty was breathtaking. There are caffetarias and canteens in each building, each one devoted to a variety of cuisines. There is a huge gym, basket ball and badminton courts as well. Had selected 5 groups, mostly architecture related, development position. Each group took 1 hour, 15 mins. There was an interview with the manager and the lead developer in each team. There were puzzles, algorithms, technical questions, was even asked to code on the white board. I fumbled at a few points but they were there to help. They were there to look at the aptitude and the approach that you took to problem solution. Had lunch with a CMU alumnus, he was damn cool too. He took me around the campus, gave me inside tips as well :) Overall had a good day, was damn tired when I was done with all the interviews at 6 and headed back to the hotel, my last interviewer dropped me to the hotel...had a good dinner at the hotel, watched back2back Monk series before I hit the bed.