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pterjan's diary


2010-06-24

  London Calling

Few months ago, when Mandriva situation started to be very bad again, I decided to give a try to the Google interviews I had been invited to over the last few years.

Phone interviews went fine enough (even if it was not my impression and I thought afterwards to many ways I could have improved answers), and in May I was invited to on site interviews in London offices. This was a good experience, everyone was friendly and questions were interesting and challenging (and the night in 4* hotel before was nice even if I did not use much of what the hotel offered :) ).

Three weeks ago I got a job offer that would be very hard to reject, so I resigned from Mandriva and sent back the contract last week. My last day at Mandriva will be July 23rd, so I can attend GUADEC and I will start at Google as Site Reliabilty Engineer in London on September 6th.

Statuette
Brick walls, I'm coming

It will be quite a change for me to work in good conditions, for a company trying to avoid most hassles and letting you concentrate on your job.

Mandriva was a great experience. I have worked here for almost 6 years (and contributed for a few years before), met a lot of great people, and worked on a lot of different kinds of software.

This experience also had wrong sides, like commercial side where most motivated and competent people have left quickly or became demotivated. Engineers tend to resist more but for some reason it seems that top management has always tried to demotivate everyone.

Some changes are happening in Mandriva now but I have no idea if that will mean that Mandriva (the company) will now have a clear goal and people willing to reach it, and if it will include the Linux distribution as we know it.

I hope Mandriva distribution has a long life and that I can still use it and contribute to it but feel quite pessimistic currently.

Today's TSUKKOMI(Total: 28) [Add a TSUKKOMI]
  blino (2010-06-24 12:08)

Sad to see us leaving :(

  reinouts (2010-06-24 12:16)

The distro has been through good and bad times, I'm still hanging on.<br><br>Anyway, your decision is very understandable, good luck in your new job!

  oden (2010-06-24 12:18)

I second that.

  misc (2010-06-24 12:28)

Did Google know that you are in zarb.org root team ? And if so, did they check our reliability :) ?

  Ahmad (2010-06-24 12:33)

Best of luck with your new job. (It's damn sad to see someone I knew go, but then again that's life I guess :( ).

  John (2010-06-24 12:34)

Congrats, Pascal. I hope the change in atmosphere does you good!<br><br>Blino: "us"?!?!

  Eugeni (2010-06-24 12:51)

Best of luck to you Pascal! May the google force be with you! :)<br><br>All best!

  Emilie (2010-06-24 13:33)

Bonne chance à Londres!<br>J'espère que travailler pour Google est aussi génial qu'on l'imagine.<br>@blino : Suggestion de cadeau de départ : Un bon parapluie!!! ;)

  gr8k (2010-06-24 13:55)

Best wishes of success in London !

  Robert Fox (2010-06-24 14:28)

Sad for Madnriva, great for you! Wish you all the best for your new job and ventures . .

  Supp (2010-06-24 14:31)

Sad, but understandable. Best of luck Pascal!

  Vincent Untz (2010-06-24 18:31)

Je suis sûr que tu vas bien t'amuser à Londres !

  SinnerBOFH (2010-06-24 18:36)

SAd for Mandriva, good for you and google.<br><br>All my best wishes, Pascal!<br><br><br>Salut,<br>Sinner

  ashledombos (2010-06-24 19:23)

us ??

  Adam Williamson (2010-06-24 19:50)

Good luck with Google, please try not to be too evil ;). You'll find working for a company which actually has things like 'weekends', 'holidays' and a 'travel budget' a fascinating and strange experience :P

  killer1987 (2010-06-24 19:52)

sad to hear you leaving, anyway i wish you all the best with your new job (and take care about chrome OS!)!<br><br>bye<br>Marcello

  liberforce (2010-06-25 00:58)

Ah, I understand better your previous message... Well, it's a little bit of a sad ending for your collaboration with Mandriva (and for us users who liked your work :-p), but for sure you can't forever think that things will be ok and see no change in management... Moreover, 5-6 years in a company is a significant amount of time, so I understand it's time for you to see something else.<br><br>So thank you for the great job you did there all those years, I wish you the best for your new job !

  Stéphane T (2010-06-25 03:41)

Bon courage pour la suite Pascal, et bon séjour à London ! La vie est semée d'embuches, mais là tu pars pour mieux. Il en te reste plus qu'à convaincre Google que Mdv c'est mieux que *buntu sur leurs terminaux, et hop, le tour est joué, d'une pierre deux coups.<br><br>A bientôt !

  Vincent P (2010-06-25 10:19)

It was an excellent opportunity for you, so it's quite logical. Good luck. I hope I'll read you again on this blog. You've made an awesome work @ mandriva.

  Stormy (2010-06-25 11:17)

Congratulations on the new job! Best of luck and I hope we still see you often around GNOME!

  Peter (2010-06-25 11:47)

Hi Pascal, found out your blog from Planet Gnome. Can you share a little bit about the interview questions ? I know there's NDA with Google, but maybe you can share on the topics only. I have Google interview coming up next week, so I need to know which topics do I need to focus on.

  Pascal (2010-06-25 11:59)

Thanks everyone :)<br><br>Peter, some questions can be found on the internet<br><br>I suggest reading http://courses.csail.mit.edu/iap/interview/materials.php that I had found afterwards and contains few of the questions I had.<br><br>I found http://placementsindia.blogspot.com/2007/09/google-top-interview-puzzles.html with questions that I did not have but are of similar kind and would be good practice.<br><br>I think that an important factor (if candidating for SRE) is to be ready for both algorithm questions (and being able to write correct code to implement it) and system questions showing some experience on servers.

  John (2010-06-25 12:11)

@Emilie: à mon avis, il fait plus beau plus souvent à Londres qu'à Paris... surtout ces derniers mois.<br><br>Alors Pascal, profites-en bien et au revoir à la grisaille interminable (à l'exception de cette dernière semaine) !

  bogdano (2010-06-25 19:26)

Nice to know you are going to a good company. Good luck with the new challenges!

  Peter (2010-06-26 20:10)

Thanks Pascal :)

  Fitzcarraldo (2010-06-27 18:28)

@Emilie: A sunshade, more like!:<br><br>Daily Telegraph 24 June 2010: Hosepipe ban could hit north-west<br><br>Daily Telegraph 26 June 2010: Lawns suffering from drought<br><br>Daily Telegraph 27 June 2010: Forecasters predict hottest day of the year<br><br><br>The weather has been fabulous here over the past few weeks, and the last two weeks in particular have been scorching (literally, as my lawn is brown).

  shikamaru (2010-06-28 01:04)

Congratulations, I hope you'll still be around, but we will miss you a lot anyway.

  Guerini (2010-07-02 16:16)

Lourde perte pour Mandriva.<br>Bon courage et bonne chance !


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