##some@the significant coding IV experiences

Sugg: practice with additional (real!) cpp coding IV. No pain no gain. No shortcuts.

“webex” is shorthand for any form of remote screen sharing tool

Lang onsite? IDE? firm P/F
J onsite paper BGC P 2017
J home IDE BGC -connected P 2017
J home IDE HSBC P 2017
J home IDE pimco – iterator P 2017
J onsite paper pimco -Zoltan P 2017
c webex paper Citadel 😦 2017 ez question
py webex paper Broadway -hashtable P 2017
J home codility Baml – FX options 😦 2015 too lazy
c home codility Jump 3rd 😦 2015
c home IDE jump – order book P 2012
c home IDE Tetris 😦 2015 coding style poor
c webex paper bbg -London 😦 2015 unable to understand the Q
c onsite paper bbg -2nd time 😦 2011
c# webex paper Reuters – eikon P 2013
swing webex IDE Barclays – Barx P 2012
j onsite IDE RBC – Korean mgr p 2010

##%%offers 2017

$c2c co where primary tech other tech domain nlg duration
100 pimco NPB[1] c++11 🙂 🙂 🙂 java, possibly Hadoop 🙂 FI accrual math 🙂 3+
100 pimco NYC java framework 🙂 🙂 flexible
100+ bgc NYC java minimal cpp FX.. trading to perm 😦 😦 😦
below 100 😦 😦 Ravi Chgo 😦 😦 Qz 😦 😦 😦 java FI trading again flexible

[1] A bit hard to get next job in NY, but helps me get a next job in West Coast. However, in terms of buying a home, I just don’t know.

IV^CV is real battle

(Adapted from a Mar 2017 letter to Lisa Wang… )Let me share my observations and reflections on this tough job hunt. Another stock-taking. Focus here is non-finance jobs in the U.S.

For months I used a slightly tweaked CV for non-banking (“main street”) tech positions, but it’s not working — Out of the 30 to 40 non-finance positions I applied, precious few (15%??) recruiters were interested. Suppose 5 recruiters showed interest, I guess not all of them submitted my resume. Suppose 4 did submit. So far, no hiring manager was impressed with my non-finance CV. (Response from financial firms are better but not my focus today.)

So different from my prime time (from 2010 to 2012) when my finance-oriented resume was selling like a hot cake. I would estimate more than 50% of the recruiters were impressed and many hiring managers showed interest.

Of course, I’m comparing my “main street” resume against my Wall-St resume. Not a fair comparison but it does highlight these key issues:

Recruiter engagement is the #1 issue and hiring manager engagement is #2 issue. Interview competence is a distant #3 and not a key issue. Many people disagree — “you need no more than one successful interview.” They believe a 50-80% interview success rate is the silver bullet needed. Well, how long must you wait before you fire your silver bullet?

I feel much better if my interview pass rate is only 20% (or 10%), but I get 5 times more interviews! I learned from experience that my interview performance improvement is limited without sufficient interviews. So it’s far more effective and strategic to work on getting more interviews. I don’t want to be one of those guys who need 6 months to find a job. I see them starved of oxygen. Steady flow of interviews keep me motivated and focused, too.

In conclusion the key issue is crafting a compelling resume to engage recruiters and hiring managers. (A more pressing issue on main-street front than on the Wall-st front.)

Therefore, I count each interview scheduled as a success. In contrast, an offer is less significant an achievement. Analogies:
* as a singer, each TV appearance is a success; Winning a singing contest is less significant.
* as a growing basketballer, each time I get to play on court is a success; winning a game is less significant.

I have always told my peers that 90% of the job candidate competition is on the resume, and 10% on interviews. (Now I feel 95%/5%) Many candidates can pass interviews if given the chance. The chance is given to winning resumes. I say this to my friends because I learned from experience to invest much more effort improving the resume, until it can impress a large percentage of recruiters and hiring managers.

For the “main street” positions, I hope to engage 33% of the recruiters and 10% of the hiring managers. With that, if I were to try 30 opportunities, I could expect to get 3 interviews!

2017 hunt priorities

To optimize for income, I would leverage on my 1) analytics 2) threading 3) SQL (+ possibly algo) expertise. Importance of income:

  • health insurance — will need for kids for sure
  • first few gigs might be low rate, given the dry season
  • home purchase in 5Y — confirmed requirement. If I want short commute + Chinese community, then price will be high
  • might go without income longer, like a few months
  • initial set-up cost — 5k-10k, but at this level adjustment on wife’s part will be tough. Even a 20k relief fund is drop in a bucket. Need 100k.
  • tail risk — I might come back to SGP sooner (like end of 2017) and take a low-pay job
  • tail risk — if GC process goes astray, I may go back to SG without a GC, so the X years I spent here I need to earn enough.

May not have much of a choice, given the slow c2c market right now.

My 2017 priorities:

  1. avoid churn? so avoid web, javascript, in-memory DB, spring/hibernate and most of the new technologies I hear about the west coast
  2. muscle-building contexx? so avoid java/sql? Better to deepen my c++ as a 2nd front. Willing to take lower salary? LG2 can postpone this to 2018/2019. See post on re-enter c++
  3. my c++ learning is reaching a critical mass
  4. —- unsorted lower priorities —-
  5. income to keep me feeling secure and self-respecting. I got this from the offers!
  6. flexibility to work from Singapore. Can spend more time with wife, parents and kids.
  7. location for upcoming home-purchase
  8. unlock new markets — west coast, c++, data science ..
  9. commute?
  10. chance to impress manager
  11. leisure time to exercise, improve c++, call home, learn driving etc

My ideal (yet realistic) 1st project:

  • slightly below (like 80%) my capacity. Chance to impress manager due to my specialty knowledge. “These managers could make things happen”.
  • has spare capacity to check out the potential homes
  • salary? LG2 like $65/hr
  • c++ or java
  • possibly west coast but the high rate is usually for FTE.

Alternatively, a temp contract to try c++ again, but only after I clear some high-end java interviews to build my confidence in earning capacity.

  • low salary like 120k
  • hands-on c++ (not C) on a large codebase to build mileage
  • NY or west coast or anywhere else

hackrank tips for coding IV

  • chrome (not Opera) supports Alt-R
  • chrome F11 to toggle full screen
  • chrome can zoom out 80% to show more lines in editor, if you can’t find a bigger monitor.
  • I guess we need to parse stdin, so get familiar with getline() and “cin<<“
  • How (fast) you type and erase …. is all recorded, so better use the scratchpad
  • add comments to show your thinking

Here’s some code we can copy-paste:

#include <iostream>
#include <string>
#include <vector>
using namespace std;
int i1, i2, i3; 
double f1, f2, f3; 
string s1, s2, s3;
int main(){
}

## c++real jobs offers I got

  1. eSpeed
  2. Pimco in 2010
  3. (Sg) Citi eq-der
  4. BNP
  5. Pimco accrual accounting 2017
  6. (sg) Art of Click
  7. ICE

Q1: Assuming past performance is an indicator of future success, how did I fare in past successful/unsuccessful c++ IV?

Outside the very selective (mostly HFT) c++ jobs, I had a pass rate around 30% on the technical front. A subset of these became real offers.

Q1a: c++ coding IV? Among the real offers I received, only eSpeed had a coding interview.

I feel the very selective c++ jobs will be difficult for me, but the majority of c++ coding IV I would have a chance. These questions usually cover recursion, array/string/primitives + perhaps some map/set.

Q1b: C++ QnA IV?
My c++ knowledge will be as good as before, after 1) reviewing my blog and 2) studying the past questions again.

If I consider my learning in Macquarie, I would say my c++ know-how is potentially better than before.

Q: What statistics would make me feel confident about my c++ competence? 10 real offers in history?
A: I feel 3 more