some@the significant coding IV xp

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 location IDE? firm Notes
C home IDE Thesys 2017
C webex IDE bbg P 2017 top N active stocks
C onsite paper BAML P 2017
C home IDE GS 😦 2017 TickEngine
C webex IDE bbg P? 2017 free windows
C webex paper bbg 1st round P 2017 tree serialization
Java onsite paper BGC P 2017
Java home IDE BGC P 2017 connected or not
Java home IDE HSBC P 2017
Java home IDE pimco P 2017 iterator again
Java onsite paper pimco-Zoltan P 2017
c webex paper Citadel 😦 2017 array shrinking
py webex paper Broadway P 2017 hashtable
Java home codility Qz FX options 😦 2015 too lazy
c home codility Jump 3rd 😦 2015
c home IDE jump 1st P 2012 order book
c home IDE Tetris 😦 2015 coding style
c webex paper bbg -London 😦 2015 unable to understand the Q
c# webex paper eikon P 2013
swing webex IDE Barx P 2012 swing
C home IDE Mac 😦 2 simple problems
java home IDE MS-comm 😦 too lazy
java onsite paper Barc SOR 😦
java onsite IDE RBC P 2010
C home IDE Amazon 😦
C onsite paper FB regex 😦
any onsite paper Goog 😦
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%%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
perm Nitin NYC java perm

[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!

## c++job offers I got

  1. 2010 Pimco
  2. 2011? eSpeed, With inside tip from recruiter
  3. 2011? (Sg) Citi eq-der
  4. 2012 BNP
  5. 2015 (sg) Art of Click
  6. 2017 ICE
  7. 2017 Pimco accrual accounting
  8. 2017 TradeWeb elite “core” team of 2.5 developers. Tough interviewer.
  9. 2017 BAML margin/collateral system — #1 pick, with “exception rate approval“.
  10. —-near offers .. at least 50% close
  11. 2015 Singapore Technologies Electronics
  12. 2017 Broadway technologies
  13. 2017 bbg Sep, when I passed two rounds of IDE coding tests
  14. ? order book coding assignment from small prop trading shop in Singapore. I feel my code might be good enough but they were not seriously hiring.

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.

Q2: c++ coding IV? Among the real offers I received, only eSpeed had a coding interview.

I feel the very selective c++ teams will remain 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.

Q: What statistics would make me feel confident about my c++ IV competitiveness?
A: I feel 3 more after May 2017

creative writing on CV

Hi Shanyou,

Sharing my observations…

Creative resume writing is an “art”. Over the years I have worked out some rules of thumb.

  • Be careful with the dates in the CV, as they can be used as evidence of cheating.
    • o I sometimes specify only the year without month. If recruiter asks for the month, I would say, it means entire year is on that project
    • o I don’t massage the dates in the last 7 years, but earlier than that, I’m more creative
    • o I’m more careful with *perm employee* project dates as the employer often has a compliance requirement to release the dates when requested
    • o Contract agencies may close down or change name. The account managers in charge of my assignment often change job. The dates they have in their system is less reliable.
      • Also, Under one agency, I could have 2 assignments at two sites, so the dates are fuzzy.
    • o Since I changed jobs too many times, I sometimes combine the earliest 3 jobs into one, when I know the employer is already gone, and it’s 12 years ago.
  • Job duty is really up to me to write, esp. with my contract jobs. Also jobs done 7 years ago are not so relevant, so the background checkers are less concerned. I often shift or copy my “job duties” section from one job to another job.
  • The technical experience or domain experience are up to me to write.
    • o I used to mention java swing in 5 out of 7 past jobs. This way, my resume looked like a java swing veteran.
    • o I used to mention connectivity in 5 out of 7 past jobs.
    • o I used to mention c# in all of my past jobs.
    • o I used to mention Forex in 4 out of 6 past jobs (To create an impression of “Forex focus” I delete all jobs that are unrelated to forex. If recruiter ask about the gap, I say it’s irrelevant or I say I was jobless). Actually, only 2 jobs had some forex element.
  • I keep 3 versions of resume. I create a temporary version when a job application requires it. I don’t spend more than 20 minutes creating each version, as the effort is unlikely to pay dividends.

This is a trial-and-error process. I sometimes become over-creative and test the market. If no one notices or questions me over a few (10?) job interviews, then it’s considered very safe creativity. If they do spot any inconsistency, then I back off and admit a typo mistake.

I now think some hiring managers are suspicious or very perceptive so they could see through my creativity but won’t say anything, so I am completely unaware.

I see the resume as advertisement. The goal is an initial interview. If I ace the interview, they basically accept the resume as is.

Victor

##[17]tips: quickly get into shape4algo IV

Q: how many days (immersion) do you need to get back to shape for coding interview?

This question becomes more relevant when you realize your proficiency is way off your peak level achieved x years ago.

xp: I was full time job hunting after layoff from BofA. At the same time Ashish was also trying. He took a few months to get into shape.

Note “shape” doesn’t involve advanced skills. It’s all about basic know-how. Therefore, this goal is a relatively low-hanging fruit and within my reach. Therefore, I feel motivated. I feel (including coding) interview preparation is my favorite sport. I fee like a prize fighter. When I prepare for this, I never feel spinning my wheel as I feel in other endeavors. My spare time utilization is highest in this area. In this area, I can more easily sink my teeth in, engage, and dig in my heels (as in tug-of-war)

  1. review my eclipse IV code in java and c++. Real code supposed to help memory more.
    1. review the tricky algo in my blog
  2. books like [[Elements of Programming Interview]]
    1. careercup? less ideal than EPI
  3. paste everywhere tiny stickers with Q&A? less important for pure algo quizzes
  4. self-tests like gaokao

 

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