[svlug] interview questions

Alvin Oga alvin at mail.Linux-Consulting.com
Wed Oct 4 22:45:14 PDT 2006

hi ya sargun

> Sargun Dhillon wrote:
> Nice. Do you have a good page with retired interview questions?

everybody's interview questions are meant for different purposes
	- to hire you or to prevent you from being hired

-- endless list ...
	- there's no such thing as retired questions ..
	- in my book, most of these questions has "one correct"
	( best fit ) answer

stuff i like to ask or to be asked :

- if you had all the $$$ in the world, what would you be doing ?

	- wrong answer is doing anything else instead of the
	job you're seeking

	- if the company is beind in its deliveries to major
	customers, what do you do

	<fun or serious .. depends on your point of view>
	  fire the deadbeats, including managers and use their salary
	  to pay the ones willing to work to get the delivieries done

- i see you went to berkeley/mit/stanford/yale/cmu/..
	- who taught CS1, CS101, CS202, blah-blah class

- i see you list a vegetable soup of letters 

	- write a simple program in each of those languages
	( hello world, count from 1 to 100 in odd numbers, .. )

- i see you know redhat, debian, suse, slack, solaris, hp, aix, ...
	- what's the comand for:
		- install a package
		- test for dependency
		- list of contents of the pkg
		- which pkg has which binary
		- update or upgrade the whole box

	- name 10 good and 10 bad things about each: rpm, debian, tgz

	- where do you get the sources from
	( apache/MTA/php/perl/ssh/kernel/bash/libraries/.. )

- i see you do screw driver work ( can install/build PCs )
	- which cd's install on which motherboards
	- which cd's fail to install on which motherboards

	- how many systems you shipped that comes back for RMA
	( more than 1% is too much )

- i see you do admin work ..
	- how do you maintain 10 different distro ( simultaneously )

	- how do you maintain 5 or 50 or 500 "identical" distro/systems
	- how much time do you need to maintain those boxes

	- how many machines can 1 admin maintain 
	assuming the dont deal with windoze users and
	doesnt need to install/debug/deploy it

	- what is the most common hardware failures and why

	- what is the most common "people" failures and why

	- how to do make sure ( 99.99% ) that the www or mail
	never goes down ( up 99.99% of the time ) over a year period

	- dumb question ... ( no right answer ?? )
		- how to stop spam
		- how to stop virus

- i see you do tcp/ip 
	- what is the purpose of the bytes in the headers

- i see you do appliances and embedded systems
	- what is the boot sequence
	( what comes first, what does it do, what addresses is used )
	- what is the MBR ( in its gory detail )
	- what does lilo/grub/etc do .. ( in detail )
	( not how to use it and not what is in the config file )

	- what files, directories need to be writable

	- how do you make a standalone bootable image to run in memory
	( compact flash, usb stick, cdrom, .. )

- i see you can do hardware
	- how do you boost power from a 7805 to 5v @ 20A
	- how do you regulate a linear power supply to 0.01% accuracy

	- what is the address of com1, lpt1, .. and the decoder circuit

	- where do you buy resistors, capacitors, ICs, .. etc..
	- which simulators, schematic editors ..

.. blah .. blah .. lots o fun ..
c ya

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