We’ve moved!

There have been some exciting changes in the department over the past few semesters, and the Tufts ACM has been adapting to the changing needs of the students.

First of all, we’ve changed our name! We are now the Tufts Computer Science Exchange. We think the name change will encourage involvement with students from all backgrounds, and make the group a more open and welcoming environment.

Second, we’ve moved our internet presence! We now have a Facebook page http://www.fb.com/tuftsCSX that is updated regularly and an elist https://www.eecs.tufts.edu/mailman/listinfo/acm for Tufts students to stay up-to-date (this link can only be accessed from a Tufts wireless network).

If you are a group or individual with an interesting event idea for the CS students at Tufts, you can contact our executive board at acmexecs [AT] eecs [DOT] tufts [DOT] edu. We love to hear your ideas!

Keep on coding!

Technical Interview Tips

Looking to land an internship or job at that company you’ve had your eye on? Slaying a technical interview will undoubtedly be a major step toward getting your foot in the door. Tufts’ Ming Chow has plenty of advice for you.

See the original post with comments here

First things first, be yourself.

Here are questions I and many interviewers will ask:

1. So tell me about yourself.
* The reasons for this question: to check if the interviewee has a pulse and can communicate clearly. Also, I love it when the interviewee speaks about his/her experiences in the field and why he/she wants the job!

2. Tell me about a project that you have worked on.
* If the interviewee talks about a side project or a research project, great! Look, there are lots of smart people out there. But passionate developers are another breed, very hard to find.

2A. Why did you choose to work on this?

2B. Did you use revision control for this project?
* A yellow flag if the interviewee says “No.”

2C. Why did you choose this algorithm / data structure / framework for this project? Why didn’t you use this other algorithm / data structure / framework?
* I want to understand the interviewee’s rationale and thinking process. I also want to see if the interviewee can make tradeoffs. Also, if the interviewee says “I don’t know,” that’s not a bad thing! Admitting to not knowing something is always better than bullshitting through the response.

3. This gem.
* The reasoning for this question: to check if the interviewee can actually program! You do not believe how many people interview for a programming-related job but, well, don’t know how to program! Last spring, a number of students thanked me for stressing this question as this question was asked on their interviews!

4. A data structure / algorithm-related question. Some questions I’ve asked interviewees in the past include:
* Given a sorted array of integers, how would you search for an element? Also, what is the time complexity and can you do better?
* What is the time complexity (in Big-Oh) of traversing (preorder, postorder, or inorder) a binary search tree?
* Given a recursive function, can you make it into a non-recursive function?
* A singly linked list is filled a character in each node. Write a function to determine if the linked list is a palindrome.
* How can you create a queue using two stacks?

4A. More specific tech questions depending on the job position:
* What are the differences between C++ and Java?
* Tell me how you can design…

5. Do you have any questions for me?
* Serious red flag if the interviewee does not have any questions. This is the question to identify who really wants the job!

One last thing, and this is very important about job interviews these days: I (as the interviewer) will know a lot about you, the interviewee, before you come for the interview (thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.). The job interview should confirm everything that I already know.

2 Upcoming Events

On Saturday, October 13th collegiate hackers from the Boston area will assemble for the Boston Preliminary Programming Contest at Harvard. Teams of 3-4 will compete to write C, C++ or Java programs that solve a variety of puzzles and challenges. The winning team from this contest will qualify to compete against other regional winners in the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). It’s a fun event with free food and an opportunity to show your problem solving skills. If you are interested in competing, email Hashem.

Also on the 13th, the OWASP Boston chapter will be hosting the third Boston Application Security Conference (BASC) at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center (NERD). It’s a free event with breakfast, lunch and evening social time but in order to get these benefits you must register here.

Tufts CS Research Speaker Series, i = 1

Following the success of the first Tufts ACM Speaker Series talk will be a presentation from Professor Sam Guyer. He will be speaking about one of his current projects, HeapViz, software that offers developers a visualization of the heap–a large chunk of memory used for data allocation–and navigation tools to go with it. Once again, meet in Halligan 108 on Tuesday, October 2nd from 3:00 to 4:15pm to enjoy food, drink and a closer look at CS research happening here at Tufts.

Startup Bootcamp 2012 at MIT

Want to learn more about startups? Or just hear talks from startup founders of all kinds? RSVP for Startup Bootcamp at the MIT Kresge Auditorium. The event takes place on October 8th and begins at 9:00 a.m. with breakfast and coffee and closes with an afterparty from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center (NERD) and Women 2.0.

Tufts CS Research Speaker Series, i = 0

Tufts ACM kicks off a brand new series of presentations catered to undergrad CS students next week. The first such talk will be given by Professor Ben Hescott on computational biology. Come to Halligan 108 on Tuesday, September 18th from 3:00 to 4:15pm as we launch into a exciting lineup of professors and graduate students excited to share their diverse CS research taking place right here at Tufts. Food included!