Tusshar Singh got placed in Google, Mountain View, CA. The Alliance brings you a tete-e-tete with the modest achiever about the Google interview process, how he managed to crack it and his suggestions for all the aspirants.
Q1. How was your recruitment in Google different from the one in Amazon, in terms of skills tested?
Google’s process was quite different from the rest. I had 6 interviews. Each one of them focused-on different aspects of programming. A couple of interviews focused on algorithms. One of the interviews was coding intensive. One involved testing your own code. One was based on data structures and one was based on design paradigms. There was stress on the code quality and presentation. The interviews I had at Amazon were also good but monotonous. Three interviews were based on algorithms while one was based on design. Another big difference was that most of the problems asked in Google interviews were fresh. I had not seen them at any online portal or forum. However, many from the Amazon interview could be found easily on internet.
Q2. What is the profile offered to you in Google and why did you choose this opportunity over others?
I have been offered the profile of Software Engineer at Mountain View, California. I was always amazed by the scale of Google. It is a company that affects millions of people in many ways. It is quite difficult to imagine our lives without Google today. I wished to work to touch millions of lives in some way. So, I chose this opportunity.
Q3. How would you describe the role of your peers and seniors in gaining the technical knowledge in NSIT? Also, what could be the reason behind so many students getting placed in Google this year?
My seniors introduced me to the world of competitive programming. I bugged them at odd times for stupid doubts. But that’s how you learn. I was lucky to have such cooperative seniors. They inspired me to progress. One should not shy away from interacting with seniors. Starting from my first year, I interacted with seniors from all years. They were helpful.
Without my peers, I wouldn’t have been where I am. They were the ones who motivated me to keep on going in the good times and the bad times. It’s always nice to have 2-3 friends who have similar interests and we keep each other interested by discussing anything new you learnt.
The reason, I guess behind so many students getting placed in Google from NSIT, this year is the change in short-listing method. The contest for short-listing was very similar to a Google Code Jam round, which gave an edge to the guys who were into competitive programming.
Also, the guidance and the trend set by the seniors and the competitiveness among the batch contributed a lot.
Q4. What is the role of papers, internships and projects in enhancing your CV? Could you throw some light on the work you did?
Honestly, for a fresh undergraduate, papers don’t matter much if you are going for a job. Also, projects and internships do not hold much weightage for most of the companies that come on campus. But it does enhance your horizon and it helps in case you are planning to apply off-campus.
At the end of second year, I did a project at SEETA under Manusheel Gupta which was based on mobile technologies and automation of printing using shell scripting. It was not particularly helpful for algorithms but it gave an insight as to how things work in industry.
At the end of third year, I did my summer intern at HackerRank, where my role was of a Problem Curator. I set and tested many algorithmic problems and also benchmarked the time limits for various languages. This was a great learning experience as I learned around 10 languages and did a lot of scripting in python. It also led to a lot of improvements in my communication skills and how to make someone understand your solution for a problem.
Q5. What all activities were you involved in college?
I participated in many activities. Apart from competitive programming, I participated in sports events. I play cricket, football and table tennis. I have also organized events at cultural and tech fests and have taken many lectures on algorithms and data structures for juniors.
Q6. What’s your advice to students, who are aiming for similar placement offers as yours?
Many people will tell you that do an internship only if you have to go for the PPO. I have a conflicting opinion. I would suggest doing an internship from anywhere which gives you an exposure to technical culture. Yes, you will have to work harder to manage between the internship and placement preparation. But the exposure you get is worth the hard work.
Also, I would suggest that GeeksforGeeks is a must for interviews. Whether or not you are good at algorithmic programming, you must do it. You don’t get to solve many problems on linked list and trees in algorithmic programming. Doing questions on GeeksforGeeks will add confidence while handling pointers.
Please don’t ignore your academics. Try to maintain a percentage above 75 and make sure it is above 70. It reflects how well you can do something in which you lack interest. Also, being just below the 70 border, it adds up a lot more pressure before the placement season.
For placement preparation, I would suggest doing questions on Geeksforgeeks. Apart from this, practice on online judges and participate in contests like ACM-ICPC, Facebook HackerCup, Google Code Jam, etc to refine your programming skills. Do increase your knowledge in Operating Systems, Database Management and OOPs.