Silicon Valley

Well, it took me a week to get around to it, but here, finally, is a post about my interview trip to Intuit in San Jose, CA. The interviews themselves went pretty well. Out of five timeslots, I had three interviews. One purely technical, writing some code, answering some questions about C++ and Java, designing test cases for a function. Then I had one that was behavioral, but all the questions were really tough; Tell me about a time when you failed to meet the expectations of a project. Tell me about troubles working with a team member. Tell me about a time when you did your best but the result wasn’t good enough. I mean, wow. Tough. The last interview I don’t know what to make of. I basically just explained the Maquina project in detail for 20 minutes, and then asked questions about Intuit. I have no idea what the recruiter was looking for, or what I presented of myself. So we’ll see how the interviews went.

The coolest part though, was just being in Silicon Valley. We stayed at the Cupertino Inn, which was literally three blocks from Apple’s corporate headquarters. Check it out: (The inn is actually the quadrilateral building just southwest of Google’s green marker, the one with the weird angle due to the on-ramp)

Wow. Awesome.

The first major clue of this good fortune was walking over the overpass on the direction of the shuttle driver to find something to eat for lunch. Going around a strange corner in the sidewalk, we encountered this:

Turning to look across the street, we see this:

There it is: Apple’s corporate headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA.

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit any closer, needing to get some food, take a shower, iron clothes, and catch the shuttle to Intuit, but it was still awesome to be right across the street from Apple.

Later in the day, some unfortunate miscommunications that caused the hotel to have to call us a taxi to get to Intuit… half an hour late, so we missed the CTO’s presentation. On the upshot though, the taxi drivers had no idea where they were going, so instead of taking us to building 11 on the Intuit campus, they drove us right through the Intuit campus and into Google’s. So in one trip we saw Apple, Intuit and Google. Silicon Valley is awesome!

Of course, the one downside to having a trip to California last Monday is that we arrived in the middle of a storm. Now granted, 60-degree weather is nothing for me to complain about, but its a bit harder enjoy a stay in an open-air hotel when the weather looks like this, and when an outdoor picnic table blew over in front of my eyes during my final interview:

And finally, just because I love flying and the view was awesome, here’s a lame attempt at photographing the Rocky Mountains through double-paned plastic airplane windows on the way from San Jose to Tim’s house. I thought about trying to photograph as much of Denver as possible, as well, just to see if I could get Tim’s actual house by any chance, but they had already said to turn off and stow all electronic carry-on items. Boo.

I think that’s all for the Intuit trip. Since then I’ve had 3 midterms and another job interview, this time at WPS, where I worked last summer. Next Friday is my final job interview, onsite with Microsoft. I hope that goes well, but unfortunately if I get any more job offers (I have only one right now, from Heartland Business Systems), then I’ll actually have to make a choice, and I’m horribly slow at making choices.

That’s it for the time being. Now I have to decide if I’m going to try and get some decent sleep tonight, or stay up anyway… it’s a tough call because I have no homework to feel guilty about not doing, which usually sends me to sleep earlier. At least, I don’t remember any homework that I should be doing, which is pretty much the same thing.

3 thoughts on “Silicon Valley

  1. jeni

    Hey, I like your airplane picture. I never thought they were talking about cameras when it’s time to turn off all electronic devices. Well if my plane crashes someday you’ll know why. hahah.

  2. Jon

    Well if you have a non digital camera you can use that since they aren’t electronic.

    Nice pictures Colin. The mountains turned out pretty well.

    Also if you were looking for food the second building up from where your blue line turns is a decent bar/grill even if it is a bit expensive (trendy).

  3. kate!

    hiiiiiii colin!
    um, i have a blog. and though my life is just about as interesting as it always is (despite being in france, which tricks people into thinking that i’m having adventures CONSTANTLY), being around a whole lot of french makes me crave being able to manipulate words, making my livejournal entries (a good 60% of the time) amusing (so i’ve heard).

    read it when you’re bored and have time on your hands, because i get a bit loquacious some days.



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