Friday, September 01, 2006

technical interview for an enterprise job

Two days ago, I went for an on-site interview at a major media company. The lobby is similar to Google's in that you have  their namesake news channel  on a big LCD TV instead of a big screen showing all the current buzz words people are searching using Google Search. The schedule seemed a bit rushed than Google's, since it is 1.5 hours instead of 3.  Of course,  I flew from ATL to SFO just for the Google interview, thus they'd want  to ask any/all questions they have at one shot.

At this point of my life and career, I am really interested in a technical lead or hands-on manager type position, as a transition to move up the ladder, so to speak. I have advanced degree (MS/MIS) and broad exposure to major IS/IT components such as OS, RDBMS, network, security, etc. Over the course of the interview, I started to get the feeling that this position was purely technical thus no upward opportunity would be there. That said, the group is sizable and currently has no manager or lead, plus the job description in the ad requires tech lead experience. So, we'll see. Before he took off for another meeting, the director asked me a PM-type question and told me that my answer was a good one though a little bit too detailed. Is this a hint ?!

Two potential peers showed me around the working places and introduced me to the other three guys/gals. A classic textbook hint that they view you as a potential peer (a good thing). Or, I could have read too much into it, since they could have been just showing off their manners.

On my drive back to work, I thought of a couple of cons:
  • The cube is tiny though private
  • The drive would be bad and I don't think telecommuting would be an option.
  • On-call duties would definitely be rotated.
  • Money won't be so great either, since the high end of the range is lower than what I make now.
  • could be pigeon-holed into an OS-only type person
  • could be victim of outsourcing or politics in a large organization
And, of a few Pros:
  • The name recognition of the group
  • The enterprise experience you definitely won't have from working with SMBs.
  • opportunity to specialize & get deep onto topics of interest
Working with SMBs are more stressful, since you are the ONE, plus very limited resource to address same type of concerns that large enterprises pour money/man-hour into.

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