Monday, December 13, 2004

Never Again... Weird.

I graduated on saturday. The fact that I'm never going to be living like this again... it hasn't really hit me yet.
* I've had the same roommate for 3.5 years, and I'm probably never going to live with him again. weird.
* I've grown accustomed to taking naps after lunch, and I'm probably never going to be able to do that again. weird.
* I'm constantly messing around on my computer when I'm supposed to be doing homework, and I'd probably get in trouble at work for doing that... so I'll probably quit doing that so much... weird.
* This list could go on for ages.

I get this weird feeling everyone now expects me to be grown up. I've got news for you... NOT GONNA HAPPEN. I'm still going to do all the stupid stuff I've been doing in college for the last 4.5 years.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Senior Capstone Poster

Senior Capstone Poster
Originally uploaded by adamb0mb.
So, I've spent a sememster working with my senior design group on this one project. To show other people what we've done, we've summed it up in this poster (its full size is actually 40"x32", for display at the U of I Engineering Expo). To read the poster, click on the thumbnail, then click on "All Sizes", then click on the biggest dimension. Its really awesome, check it out.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Interviewing Tips from the Master(?)

Someone asked for a few tips on interviewing. Out of the 4 '2nd level' interviews I did, I only got 1 offer, so I don't know how qualified I am to give tips... but being unqualified has never stopped me before.

  • Study Up - At the end of your interview, you will always get asked "Do you have any questions?" You know you're going to get this question... so be ready to answer it. Appeal to their love of their company... ask them about a new product that is coming out, why its so much better than anything else.
  • What to drink - Once you're at their office for an all- or half-day interview, you're going to be doing a lot of talking. DO NOT DRINK CAFFEINE. This is going to be hard, because if you're like me, you were up the whole night before because you were too excited to sleep. But coffee, soda, etc will dehydrate you, and give you cotton mouth during your interview. Which instantly leads to bad breath (and if you had coffee your breath will kill small children). Drink water, or something that isn't bad for you. At my Expedia Interview I was fighting a sore throat, so when they offered me a drink... I had some warm tea (worked like a champ).
  • Study Up - When in the courtroom, a lawyer never asks a witness a question that he/she doesn't already know the answer to. You should put yourself in a similiar situation. Know what the interviewer is going to ask you. Talk to people who have interviewed there. Before I went to my Deloitte interview, I called one of my friends from high school who interviewed for the same job in Pittsburgh. He said he was asked to do an ER diagram from Video Rental store. I got the exact same question, and was unbelievably ready for it.
  • Don't Give Up - If you think you screwed something up earlier in the interview, and are sure you're not going to give you a job anymore... it doesn't matter... keep giving 100% in the interview. A good finish can cure a bad start. At my Navair Interview, one of the guys I was interviewing with started the day off, by greeting our would-be manager with his pant's fly open. He still got an offer.
  • Study Up - They're going to spend all day trying to find an excuse to not hire you. Don't give it to them. Whats the job you're being interviewed for? Make sure you've studied everything you've ever learned about that job. Are you applying for a Consulting job with an accounting company? Go over everything you've ever heard a professor say about accounting. Go over all your old tests. An interview is the ultimate Final Exam.

And read this 2 articles, they're hilarious and really informative.

Thats all I can think of right now.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

I'm watcing you watch me...

Being the nerd that I am, I look at the logs of the people visiting my site (actually visit the site, I can't track the people that subscribe to the RSS feed). And I'd like to hear from the people that visit my site often. There are a couple people who I don't know that look at it all the time.
*Someone from Australia
*Someone from Durango, Colorado
*Someone from Tukwila, Washington (I think), and
*Someone from Chicago.

It would be cool if you told me who you are, and how did you find my site... and why do you keep reading this crap? There are a few other people that check the site, but not nearly as often as those folks.

I really don't know who reads this thing... so, if you're reading this... you should leave a note in the "comments" section. I think this could be neat.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Almost there...

Graduation is exactly 7 days away. And I've got a lot of work to do before I graduate.
So, instead of doing my homework, I'm going to write on my blog about homework.

Through my whole CS student career, with only two exceptions, I've been required to work by myself. I think this is really weird because I'm probably never going to be working on my own when I'm "in the real world." So, I've been toying with the idea to post my whole homework set on the information super highway. Thus, in effect, giving everyone a little help on their homework.

"But people will just copy your homework and turn it in."
I will bet that will almost definitely not work, for a couple reasons. (A) Teachers usually switch up homework assignments. From semester to semester, most teachers will alter the previous version of the homework enough that it can't just be copied. Or, they give completely different homeworks. (B) I'm from the old school (literally), new CS students at my school are going through a completely different cirriculum, and thus, my homeworks don't apply to their homeworks. For example: in my Computer Architecture class, we had to design (and write, in Verilog) a CPU. These new pansies don't have to do that. (C) Teachers have access to my homework too. So, if someone tried to turn in my homework as their own, a teacher would be able to catch it and promptly throw the cheater out of school.

"Whats the point if no one can use it"
Its an invaluable reference. Finding good code examples in the interweb can be difficult. When/if I put my code online, you'll be able to see how to implement polynomial stuff with Scheme!
(cons (car aList) (cons (cadr aList) (add-to-poly (cddr aList) coeff exp))

One of the hopes that I hope when/if I put this up, is that people out of school will be able to look at the homework, and attempt it. Then, they can check to see if their solution is better than mine (not hard, I'm not very good at CS).

Anyways, I've got to go help a friend taking CS101 with her webpage.

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Final Act of the Career Search

I finally got word from Google today.

Unfortunately, we are not in a position to move forward at this point. I am sorry it has taken us so long to give you an answer.

Everyone enjoyed meeting you and we appreciate your interest in Google.


I've also decided that I don't want to work for Navair, so... after months of phone calls, interviews, cancelled/delayed flights, and missed classes... I'm going to be doing what I was planning on doing from the start. I'll be going to work for Boeing as a DBA. I'm wondering if it has 'been good' for me to go through all these interviews, or if I was just wasting my time. Was it worth sitting in airports and airplanes for entire days? Maybe. I just don't know. I got invaluable experience from all the interviews. And now I know how to pick a security line at the airport.

This is kind of good, because I accepted the offer from Boeing BEFORE I started all this interviewing nonsense. So, if I had gone someplace else... I would have had to explain that to my manager at Boeing.

So, I applied and interviewed for enough jobs to choke a horse. And only got ONE offer. I must suck at life (not really... just one of my favorite expressions). Anyways. Keep checking back, I guess the career search is over (for a while)... but I have a feeling a lot of crazy crap is gonna start happening after graduation (12 days away).

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Interview at Navair

I wasn't going to post today, but I got a little motivation.
After yesterday, this day seemed like perfection. I would definitely have to say that the best part of today's interview was the fact that we didn't actually have to interview. Today was just an overview of what Navair does.

The first presentation we got was from the HR department. No new information here, just stuff from the brochures and the website that I had already read. I think sleeping an extra hour would have been WAY more interesting. I almost fell asleep during this part, but that might have been rude. *shrug*

The second presentation was an overview of what goes on at the base. As this presentation unfolded, it became pretty obvious that everything they do advances the art of waging war. Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation of weapons. From the presentation, it seems like there are two different 'factions' in this company, the RDT&E people and the production people. Which is cooler? I don't know. They're all equally dweeby.

The third place we went was to this place where they can simulate battlefields. Then we went into a room with a simulator with about 120 degrees of vision in front of you. And they let us fly an F/A-18 in the simulator... it was unbelievably fun. They showed us some of the hardware they use. SGI machines everywhere. It was an impressive looking facility. Like I could play in the place for hours.

Next, for the fourth place, we went to go check out the SPIKE development. The base (Navair is part of the navy) sets aside some money every year for a competition that everyone can compete in. You can propose an idea, and if it wins, it gets funding. Well, some guy was sitting in a bar, talking with a Marine about how the people that America is fighting right now don't really have advanced transportation. They just roll around in cheap trucks. The Marines needed a weapon to take these trucks out with; they can't use the shoulder mounted rocket launchers because they cost $80,000 and $100,000 per shot... and it was way overkill. So they came up with the idea to make lighweight cheap missles for Marines to pack around. He won the competition, and ended up getting $4 million (not just from the competition, enough people higher up thought the idea was good, they gave him more funding) to go ahead with project. So, we saw these little missles they were designing. Really cool stuff.

Then lunch. A Thai buffet... I love food.

Then we went to the place where they test radars, and learned about all the simulations, and where 'in-the-loop' they can test at, what they can emulate, etc. They showed us some radar 'target injectors'. They can put targets on radar screen in the test harness... pretty sweet.

Then we went to the place where they develop software for the F/A-18. I mean, all the software for the F/A-18. The control systems, etc. They develop the software for every version of the plane, for every country that uses it (because other countries can't have our badassness). This group is at a SEI CMM Level 4, and they're going to be evaluated for the a Level 5 in a couple months. Level 5 is as high as it goes... and thats pretty impressive. (They'll be switch to the CMMI in a few months, and will likely have to climb the ladder back to the top.

And, in the end I actually got offered the job in Navair's ESDP (Engineering and Science Development Program). This is actually a really cool program. It's a 1.0-1.5 year long rotational program where you get to work on a bunch of different projects for 3 months at a time, so you can find the one you want.

There are more things to consider in my job options now. I looked up some info, and the offered salary at Navair is equal to almost $90,000 in San Jose (where Google is). And $60,000 in Seattle.

I still haven't heard from Google... and I can't seem to get my mind off of them. Since I'm back in Spokane, and visiting all my parent's friends, they've know that I'm looking for a job, so I get the same questions about "what I'm going to do" in the future. And, it sucks not being able to give them a definite answer. I guess I'm just hoping that Google will offer me a job...

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Navair Visit...

I just got to my hotel room, and today deserves to be highlighted as one of the worst days in my life.

I woke up at 6:46 this morning so I could drive to Spokane Airport to get on my flight to Salt Lake City. This was fine, everything went just fine. I had a layover in SLC for 2 hours. Then we left for Los Angeles. Just as the plane started to board, I looked over, and saw a really tall man getting on the plane. Here is what went through my mind: "Is that...?? no, it couldn't be.." I got on the plane, and sure enough, it was Phil Jackson. Wow. That was pretty cool. We got off the plane in LAX, and I had a 3.5 hour layover. So, I found a seat where I could read (but also "people watch", because I like looking at people). Airports might be the most uncomfortable places on earth... there is never a seat worth of sitting in. They're worse than the old wood school desks. I'm hanging out in my chair, reading Angels & Demons, and a couple of people come over and sit right in the chairs next to me. I keep reading, and kind of listen to what they're saying. Apparently they've hit some sort of snafu in the watertight airport security system, and they're waiting for something. Finally I look over, and get a decent look at who it is, and its Queen Latifah. Two celebrities in one day... WOOHOO.

Now is where things hit the downhill slope.

They tell us to come through the gate, and get ready to board. Which meant they were putting us in an outdoor coral, and it was pretty cold out (of course, I come to LA, and its like 60 degrees). We wait for 10 or so minutes, then they say we can board our plane. We board the plane and we're sitting there for a few minutes, and the captain comes on the speaker and tells us that there is 50 MPH wind at our destination (my final destination of Ridgecrest). So, we can't go.
The desk clerk gave us 3 options:

  • Wait for the 10:45PM flight, and hope the winds die down.
  • They'll get us a hotel room, and fly us in the morning (and hope the winds die down).
  • They'll drive us there (160 miles). Most people opt for this.

Little did we know, the guy driving us would be going 45-55 MPH the whole way (on a FREEWAY!!!). It took almost an hour longer than they had predicted to drive here. Luckily, the people on the shuttle were pretty cool (extremly conservative, but cool, nonetheless) and that made the drive go by faster.

So we (eventually) get to the Ridgecrest airport (actually called Inyokern), but the terminal is closed, so I can't get my rental car. So, my friends from the shuttle ride gave me a ride to the hotel.

Here I sit. Sharing with the world, my day of traveling pain.
I'm going to bed, and I'm going to leave this post "unpolished" until I get a chance to go over it. But, I thought people might want to read about this at work tomorrow.

Friday, November 19, 2004

The Anticipation is Killing Me...

I just sent a little note to Google to see if they had made a decision regarding me (because they said they'd probably get back to me Friday (today) or Monday (forever away)). So, I got a little not back, saying that they hadn't made a decision yet... and that I probably wouldn't know until after THANKSGIVING!?!?!

I thought waiting until Monday would kill me... but, now I have to wait another WEEK!?! Oh man... this could be a long week. (At least I don't have school... so thats a plus).

But, a look on the positive side: I must have done well enough to be a potential hire. Apparently I did well enough to not be an immediate "NO HIRE". I knew I didn't do as well as I could've in the interview... so, it doesn't suprise me that I'm not an obvious "HIRE".

Lets just keep our little fingers crossed. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Incompetence Undisciplined

So, I've had a few experiences with "customer service representatives" over the phone the last couple of weeks... and I'd like to tell you how I end up handling myself.

  • So, you call, and go through a few phone menus. This isn't frustrating at all... just annoying. It doesn't normally take more than about 3 minutes to get through all this.
  • Now comes the holding. This is where my mood ... "degrades". This is what the company thinks of you: "we want your money, but we don't want to actually pay anybody to take it... because we know you're a sucker, and you'll wait". This can take upwards of 30 mins. Now I'm pissed... and ready to kick some ass... and perhaps take some names.
  • Now the a-hole that is manning the phone comes on. And you're ready to just UNLOAD on him. But, they answer, and they sound SO depressed. And then it hits you... the person on the other side of the phone has the worst job in the world. You might think that maybe someone who has to clean poop up in a monkey cage has the worst job... but, at least they don't have to deal with inconsiderate people all-day. So... you're raging... and you can't let it out this poor guy, because you don't want them to go home and shoot themselves. So you have to just live with it.

So you live with it. I'm hoping I don't explode one day.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Shock & Awesome

I thought I knew what cool was... turns out I had NO IDEA!!
I don't even know where to start writing this post, so... I guess it will be chronological.

I had to call SuperShuttle to schedule a shuttle from the San Jose Airport to The Grand Hotel in Sunnyvale. I'm not sure... but the lady that was that was attempting to take my reservation was probably retarded. That was a PAIN IN THE ASS (the Google recruiter actually apologized about the Super Shuttle people today).

My flight was leaving Spokane at 12:30PM, so I decided that I should probably skip class on Thursday (Great decision on my part (Sorry Bruce :)). The really cool part about today was that while I was sitting in the terminal in Spokane, I got a call from Apple. I applied to be a student blogger about a month ago... but it turns out that it was only for Apple Campus Representatives... but she liked my writing enough to think that I should write for them anyways. That was a good little morale booster. I got to San Jose and had to deal with SuperShuttle again... not pleasant, but I'll spare you.
I met a couple pretty cool guys on the SuperShuttle on the way over to the hotel that were interviewing at Google too. Then at 7PM we had a 'BBQ reception'. Decent food, lots of really cool, intensly smart people. It was definitely intimidating. I was literally in a room full of people from: MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Cornell, and ME from University of Idaho. BUT I learned that the name of you school speaks almost nothing of your intelligence. I definitely feel like I was as smart or smarter than most people here (OH, there were about 60 people intervewing).
I tried to get to sleep at like 11PM, because I was really tired. I was WAY too excited to sleep.. so I didn't fall asleep until about 3AM.
Oh, and I almost forgot about a few important perks of coming to this interview: I checked in, and they gave me a $50 traveler's cheque... JUST FOR COMING TO THE INTERVIEW!. I get into my room... and I can't even see the other side of the room. My hotel room is as big as my apartment at school, and the bathroom is as big as my room at home. I don't know if you've noticed this or not, but in hotel rooms, the fan in the bathroom always turns on when you turn on the lights. Not this place... it was too nice for that. This definitly let me know that Google has a few buck to toss around. There was also a nice little gift bag in my room with: a pen, a hat, and a few other random things.

A bus picked us up at the hotel at 9:15AM-ish. We get a short little introduction, then I started my interviews.
Interview #1
This one started off by asking me how to find the depth of a tree. I gave a good enough explanation that he didn't have me code it up. Then he asked me to find the nth node in an in-order search of a tree. I had to code this one up. The coding for this had a few little gotchas in it. It was my first interview for the day, so I was still a little jittery. I still think I did pretty good. We started talking about how to represent an integer in a float. We didn't get to finish the question, but apparently I got the jist of what they were trying to get.
Interview #2
This interview was actually pretty good. It started off with a good, pretty simple question. Find the intersection of 2 sorted integer arrays. Then you expand on that: what if one of them is huge? what if one of them is so huge, it can't fit in memory, how do you minimize the number of disk seeks?
Interview #3
This guy noticed that I did DBA work this summer, so he asked me how I'd represnt a directed graph in a relational table. Then he asked me how I'd do it for an undirected graph (making sure there were no duplicates). Then he asked me to give an algorithm to reverse a character array in place, but... keeping the words spelled forward (i.e. "I AM TEXT" would go to: "TEXT AM I"). And this went decently well too.
The Rest of the Day
We went to lunch, and the cafe they have is actually pretty good. After that we had a tour of the campus... and I actually think this was kind of lame. I understand they're trying to sell the google workplace to us... but, at that point, I didn't care. I just wanted to get back to my hotel room, and recoup a little bit. But, they redeemed themselves. I got a massage. After that, they brought in an engineer and had a Q&A session. Then we headed back to the hotel.

Now, I'm in the hotel room, blogging the occurances of the day. I'm suppose to hear back within 2 weeks, but my recruiter said that I'd probably hear by Friday the 19th.

Bad news: I heard from the Deloitte recruiter today, and I didn't get that job. So far, I'm 0 for 2 in my final round interviews. Hopefully that will change after this one.

Next weekend I'm going to Navair. The job at Navair sounds like it has to do with lots of cool technology. But, A) the technology kills people, and B) its in the middle of the desert.

Ok, this post is probably long enough. sorry.

Monday, November 08, 2004

I can't even express how happy I am

I just got an email from the Google recruiter... and I'm going to be flying down to Moutainview to interview.

I'm glad I had the Expedia interview first, because now I have good practice for a technical interview.

This might officially be the busiest week ever. I've got my Graphics homework due tomorrow. My senior design group has a release tomorrow... so we've got to fix everything for that by tomorrow. I've got a Genetic Programming assignment due on Monday. And I've got very little of all this done, because I just got my SCUBA certification last weekend.

Back to work.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Just got off the phone...

I just got off the phone... and I think I did pretty well.

Here are the questions that he asked me:
Given 2 strings (as character arrays) A and B, how would you determine if the characters in B were a subset of the characters in A.

Given that there are about 4 billion pages indexed by Google, how would you keep from indexing the same page twice?

What is a cool project you've been thinking about? (something you might work on in your "20% time" at Google).

I also found out about some pretty sweet perks at Google

  • Free lunch and dinner - great for people just coming out of College
  • 20% time - 20% of your time is spent working on any project you want
  • Free Massages - I don't remember how often you can get them... but, still...
  • The whole Moutainview, CA staff goes on a ski trip to Tahoe every year in Januarary... with skiing competitions :-D

Now, lets all cross our collective fingers... and hope Adam gets his dream job at Google.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Another With Google

I've got another phone interview with Google tomorrow (Thursday). With my recent technical interview practice... I'm hoping this one goes flawlessly.

I'm a smart guy... I've gotta let it shine through! :-D

Friday, October 29, 2004


After all that work at the Expedia interview, this is the message I get today: "After carefully reviewing your credentials relative to the requirements of our current available positions, we have decided to move forward with other candidates."
So, Expedia is out of the picture.

But, I had an interview with Deloitte yesterday and today, and it seems pretty promising. I'm not getting my hopes up too high yet though.

Maybe I'll put my nose to the grindstone, and get all my homework done... or maybe I'll go to the bar. I'm not sure yet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The big Expedia Interview

I had a screening interview with Expedia, and then they invited me over to Seattle to do an 'interview loop' there. They paid for me to fly over there, for a hotel room, a rental car, and some food. That was awesome, it felt like I was being 'courted' by a company... which is a friggin' great feeling. So, I flew over there on Sunday, interviewed on Monday, and flew back today (Tuesday).

Interview #1 - Prash
After filling out a bit of paperwork, Prash came and got me, and took me to his office. And so began the day. We chatted for about 20 seconds, and then he gave me a programming problem. The problem was: "Write the 'grow' function for a C++ vector class". Easy enough.
The second problem he gave me was a bit more difficult: Reverse a linked list. It took me about 15-20 minutes to come up with the solution and code it. But, I learned one important 'trick' to these types of interview questions. When you figure out an algorithm that takes a duplicate data structure, you can usually 'massage' the given data structure to get the solution you want.

Interview #2 - Mark The Lunch Interview
So, I got a free lunch at the Expedia cafeteria... but, that didn't mean I wasn't getting more interviewing questions. During lunch, I got the question: "How would you determine if someone has won a game of tic-tac-toe on a board of any size?". This really took me longer than it should have to figure out. The crazy thing is... no matter how big the board is, the solution is constant time.
Then, he gave me a pretty cool question: "The government wants cars to keep track of whether or not they are speeding. The unit to determine this is already able to determine the speed of the vechicle, how would you finish it". So, I spent some time rolling some ideas around in my head. Determined it wasn't feasible to 'read' speed limit signs reliably from a car. Then I thought if the car had a Mapquest-esque database of speed limits, and a GPS to report coordinates to the unit, you could determine if the car was speeding. And, the database could be updated once per year when you get your emissions checked (I know not everyone has to have their emissioned check... but its a good idea).
Then we went back to Mark's office, and the coding questions started. First, I had to write a binary search for a sorted array. I wrote it recursively, because thats the way I learned it. Then he had me write it iteratively... which wasn't too hard either.
Now, you've got an array of size 10^6, with the numbers 0 through (10^6)-1. The array has duplicate entries, so there will me missing numbers. Write a function to find one of the missing numbers. The solution should be in linear time.
Mark was a cool guy, and he'd be fun to work with.

Interview #3 - Ryan
Mark and I actually talked for quite a while about my senior design project. Then, he asked me to code for him (suprise!). Given a sorted array of integers, write a function to remove any duplicates (e.g. 1,2,3,3,3,4,4,5 would go to 1,2,3,4,5). I came up with a solution to this, but it wasn't that good... so we talked about a way to make it better. This was my 'worst' interview... but even this one wasn't too bad.

Interview #4 - Mike(?)
The first one he had me do was: write a function to find the 2 biggest numbers in an array, and return the sum. Then he had me write a function to find the K biggest elements in the array, and return the sum. Both in linear time. There were some good optimizations for this one too.
Then, I had to write a function the removed space from a given array of characters. I told him about the solution that me and Ryan had discussed and how it applied to this problem. Then we talked about a few of the finer points of this problem. I didn't end up having to write any code for that problem, which was good... because my shoulder was getting sore from writing on whiteboards all day (seriously... it still hurts).

Wrap-up with Recruiter - Katy
Then I went and talked with the recruiter about how the day went, yadda yadda. She told me I'd hear back in 5-7 business days.

I spent lots of mental energy coming up with the solutions to those problems... so, I'm not to just divuldge them (plus, I don't want someone to 'beat' my work :)

It was a long day. I got there at about 11AM to fill out some paperwork. I left after my talk with Katy at 4:30PM. It was 5.5 hours of almost pure 'testing'. It was F-U-N though. I learned a few new algorithms, and discovered a few too. It was also D-R-A-I-N-I-N-G... thats a long time to be constantly getting questions and pressure to come up with better solutions.

I've got a little interview with Deloitte on Thursday. So, maybe that means another post for the blog :)

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Job update for the day.

So, I had my screening interview with the recruiter from Google yesterday. And that went well, we just kind of BS'd for a few minutes. Then we set up a technical interview over the phone for today. I'm going to give a rundown of what today's interview was like, in case anyone cares.

First Question:
Write a function (in whatever language you want) to find the next prime number after a given number. I decided to do mine in C.
So, the function declaration was something like: int nextPrime(int num);
If you want to, you should write the function, and I'll tell you how you do. This question was actually pretty cool, because I learned quite a bit in it. My interviewer (Mark) was very familiar with C, and taught me a few thing. I came up with a decent solution, then we talked about it... and made it better.

Then we talked a little bit about the representation of doubles in memory, and, if they can misrepresent an int.

Second Question:
If I gave you K sorted arrays, each of size N, how would you put them into one big array, and what would the big-O of the procedure be?
The first solution I came up with was to use a minheap.
Then we talked about what if the arrays were so big, that only 2 of them could fit in memory at one time (there is 2N available in memory). My first solution worked for this, but would have been slow b/c of harddrive accesses. So, I came up with another solution that merged 2 of them together. then merge the next 2 together...
The big-O of both of the solutions was O(KN log K). But, the second was better, because it had less disk accesses.

I asked him about his job. He loves it. Everyone there loves it. Its the best place on earth to work. He said I did pretty well in the interview. We'll see how it goes.

Funny Sidenote:
Sometime during the interview, my cell phone rang twice. Both times, it was WSU Career Services trying to reach me. They called to set Deloitte up to interview me. This would be a decent job, because I think they pay extremely well. And, I want to get a higher pay job than my roommate, because he thinks Electrical Engineering is a more valuable degree. I guess Dan and I are just competitive :)

Thanks for playing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A pretty cool interview...

"Hi, I'm a recruiter from Google"... those might be the sexiest words anyone has ever said to me.

I got an email about 11ish this morning from a Google recruiter. Before I could respond to the email, the recruiter gave me a call. I'm gonna have a preliminary interview with Google tomorrow. GOOGLE! Did you read that? GOOGLE! Definitly a job I would look very seriously at.

This could be cool!!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Dave Winer Says:

Don't tell the girl you want girls./Tell her you want her.

This is a bigtime rookie mistake in college. You watch lame chick flicks with a girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, whoever... and you see a guy tell a girl that he has a crush on her, and they fall in love... yadda yadda yadda.

For college girls, its all about pursuit, and challenge. In college, as with many things in life, the exact opposite of common sense is the truth.

Friday, October 01, 2004

The transition...

So, I think this blog may transistion from being about me at Boeing... to being just about me. Why? Because it turns out that I actually like to write stuff here. So anyways, the career fair here at school has now come and gone... and I guess I want to write about my experiences.

I've never really taken the career fair seriously. I've always just used it as an oppurtunity to get a years supply of pens and highlighters (and perhaps a frisbee). This year I took it a little more seriously. And, I think it worked out for the best. So, on Tuesday was the "Engineering" career fair... but most of the companies were construction companies and crap like that. The cool companies there? Boeing, Sandia National Labs, Navair, Navsea... and well, I think probably the coolest company was They had pretty cool recruiters. I talked to the guy in charge of the 'Cruise' section for 30 or so mins. I gave him my resume... blah blah blah... then kept walking down the hall to look at who else was there. By the time I had walked back down the hall (this was a horribly laid-out career fair... just FYI), the other recruiter from expedia had already called me on my cell phone to schedule an interview. HOLLA!

So at 8AM Wednesday morning, I interviewed with the people. It was a pretty decent interview. Until we got to the part where he was like: "i want you to write a program to find all the prime numbers between 200 and 400"... and I'm like... uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... ummmmmmmmm... ok. I definitly hadn't prepped for that. I was expecting this to be kind of like... a getting-to-know-me type interview. Anways, I came up with a decent solution. I atleast remembered Euclids Algorithm... so that saved me a little. He said that for the next interview (he said there probably would be one)... the programming questions were going to be harder. I hope its a data structures one, or something like that... I could write a linked list in my sleep! Anyways... it was a fun interview.

So, at some point on Wednesday I made it over to the "general" career fair. Which was like 140 companies I would never even imagine working for. There were a couple decent CS jobs being recruited there. I talked to a couple of 'em.

Navair called me last night, and wanted to interview me today. So, I spent a while last night reading about the company. And its just a part of the Navy that highers civilians. BUT! They're a RDT&E (research, development, testing & evaluation... that means they blow stuff up!) facility for the Navy. My interviewing skills are really getting "on point" with all these interviews. Anyways, it went well, and he said he was also impressed with the CS Department at U of Idaho. At the end of the interview, we were just kind of BSing... but, one of the questions on the little sheet he was filling out during the interview was: "What is the most significant thing you've written." So, I gave him a serious answer... something about a senior design doc I wrote (which was actually pretty decent (in my mind at least)). But at the end of the interview... I told him that for me, the most significant thing I've ever written is this blog. At least I like this site, and I guess I like writing too.

So, maybe in the future, I'll have a story to put here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Decision

Well, you wouldn't believe it... but... I think this site may stay live for a while! Anybody know why? Well, because Boeing made me an offer. But, there exists a dilemma... should I accept it? I think it may help me to lay out the pros and cons. Since I'm probably going to take this job... I don't know why I'm doing this. Well, at least it will give me a piece of mind.
  • Kinda Boring. Being a DBA isn't exactly rocket surgery. I just spent 4.5 years (I'm kind of slow... no suprises there) getting my college degree... I wouldn't mind exercising my brain muscle a little.
  • Boeing is HUGE. With just a touch more bureaucracy than communist China, Boeing is slow to do anything. Example: I was supposed to work on a tool to do workflow management. We had a meeting, and had a due date set. But somewhere along the lines, everyone involved decided to um... not do it. Everyone on the team was just like: "fuck it"
  • It's close to home. I kind of want to go somewhere other than Washington. I've lived there for a large chunk of my life. Granted, Seattle is a little different than Spokane... but, it's still Washington.

  • It's already here. I could not even have to LOOK for a job. There is one already sitting right here in my inbox.
  • Boeing is HUGE. There is oppurtunity to do a gajillion different jobs. Once I'm part of the company, I can tranfer around, and do other things. Perhaps thing than I enjoy more than DBA.
  • Great Benefits. There are literally more than I care to list here! Luckily, someone at Boeing did have the time to make that list.
  • It's close to home. It is nice to be able to head back to Spokane for a weekend up at the lake. Family gatherings will be cheaper to attend. And family emergencies more easily tended to (hmmm... maybe that means more responsibility... that could be a 'con' :)).

Anyways. Whatever. Drop your thoughts into a comment, and press 'post' or something. I'm willing to listen to anything (especially if you wanna offer me a job).

Just a few side notes: I just saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. If you've seen AI, or Battlefield Earth, you already know the feeling you'll get when you watch this. It's kinda like you've been sea sick for 2 hours, so you know you're gonna puke. But Montezuma's revenge is sneaking up... so you wanna take care of that. But as soon as you sit down for that... sure as sh_t (pun intended), here comes that Subway Turkey Breast sandwich (because, you've been on a diet for 2 years, but you're still a tubby little britch).

WHEW! so, now you know how I really feel about that movie. Time for bed.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Manager Handling

Well well... I bet y'all didn't think there would be another post... especially since I just said there wouldn't be. Well, I hung out with one of my Boeing friends last night, and it turns out he had written a feature article for the site... and just never given it to me. He was scared to save it on a Boeing computer (thats right... he wrote this at work... beautiful), so I only have a hard copy. So, please any excuse typographical errors.

My intership has taught me loads of totally useful/crappy information. I've learned that it's not how busy you are at work, its how busy you look. Considering the ethics training I've taken please disregard the unethical information you're about to read. Let me give you a typical scenario...

Say your manager makes the off-hand comment that when you get back from class/meeting/lunch that they'll "load" you up with work to do. Most people would say, "all right, sounds like a challenge" or some BS line like that. That's a nice answer but only digs your monstrous work hole even deeper. The real answer should be, "I'm already working on multiple projects (name/details would help cover your story) but I might be able to squeeze a little time here or there." In the most sincere busy sounding voice you can manager. This makes it look like you care and want to help on the project, but in reality it's the Boeing way to evade work.

That's the first of the basics that I've developed, a second more important scenario is in response to a question your manager asks:

Manager: "this info is all wrong, the numbers don't add up, I need it fixed" [Adam's Note: was that really a question?]

Something like this is sure to come along in one of your projects/reports/whatever you're working on. A typical intern answer would be "I'm sorry, let me get on that right away and rework the numbers." Thats not a bad response, but you take all the blame. Never take ALL the blame. If you're going down, take someone with you. A correct answer should be as follows: "huh, you're right, those numbers are wrong (even if you can't tell), Jim-bob and I were working those together, if I remember right he did those numbers..." The last part really points the blame at poor Jim-bob. You better be higher up in the company than him, or at least be able to take him out into the parking lot and show him who's boss.

The third, and last scenario I have isn't really a scenario at all. It's what people refer to as "facetime". Facetime is really great, if you know how to use it. I've found that facetime needs to be managed on an hourly basis if not more frequently. Never just site at your workstation for hours on end. Sure you'd be doing your job and everybody who saw you would think so. But nobody see you while you're at your desk. It's like the computer emits some sort of camouflage signal that masks you, effectively turning you into a faceless blob. To alleviate this faceless time, walk around some. Have reasons to get up and move about. My personal favorite is, "I'm so sore from (generic activity)[Adam's Note: I took this kid wakeboarding with me... boy he sucked], I can't keep still." Make sure that the right people know you're sore and keep a running dialogue for days at a time until the soreness has to disappear. Then reinvent the soreness with a new activity. Another idea I've discovered is to look up (whoever your trying to get facetime with) in the calendar and start attending the same meetings. John Does sees you at their meeting and probably won't take notice. Don't be defeated by this one meeting. Attend different meetings that they do. This doesn't mean that you have to keep attending every different meeting John Does has, just show up every once in a while. A couple times a week can't hurt you! Rotate the meetings, for maximum face time without getting "disovered".

Wow, so, I used to think this guy was somewhat smart... but I seriously fixed like 100 grammatical errors in there... and I probably let some slip by, because you're not really suppose to read what you're transposing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The end of the summer

Sorry it's been so long... but, the last few weeks on the job were a little hectic. Then I spent a week in the middle of nowhere North Idaho at my parents lake cabin. Now, I'm back at school.
Well, I guess it wasn't so much that the last few weeks on the job were hectic... it was more like... the stuff I was doing after work was hectic. The job was as easy as ever. But, it was cool because I did actually have some work to do, which meant that the days went by way faster.
I have a few comments about the major components of my summer: Seattle, Boeing, and Miscellany.
Seattle: rules. Living in Seattle whilst attending UW wasn't nearly as fun as living in Seattle whilst making money. The cool thing about a big city is that its easy to blow your money. Although, I did save more money this summer than I made at my job last summer. What did I spend most of the money on? Food.
    Reasons to Love Seattle:
  • Food. SO many awesome restaurants. Aladin's Gyrocery. Thai Thom's. Jai Thai. Blue C Sushi. The 5 Spot. The list could go on for days... b/c I went to 1000 different restaurants while I was there.
  • Lakes. While there, you can meet at least one person who lives on a lake (Jo, you're the greatest!). And, lakes are where fun was born... and still resides to this day.
  • The People. Growing up in a quasi-big city (Spokane), you end up thinking that the only thing more people will do in a town is clutter it up. WRONG. More people in a city means that there is cooler stuff to do. And, people that grow up in Seattle are willing to go out more often too. The small-town folk are used to... um... doing sheep.

    Reasons to want to shoot Seattle in the f**king face
  • Traffic. There are not enough explitives in the languages of the world combimed to explain Seattle traffic. Would you think that you can could stuck in traffic at 8:30-10:00PM? PM!? It took me 30 mins to move a mile IN THE DARK! I've never even knew such atrocities existed!
  • Cost of Living. Microsoft must've really hosed us on that one. Everything is honestly like 3x more expensive than it should be. I'm trying to think of a specific example of something that was stupidly more expensive that it should have been... but I think my rage may be blinding me... time to move on.
  • Street Layout. Here is the meeting for the initial city planners of Seattle.
    Planner 1: I've got this excellent idea for the streets. This will make finding everything super easy, and no body will ever have any problems?
    Planner 2: You wanna go smoke some drugs?
    Planner 1: Yeah... let me grab my 'peace pipe'
    Planner 2: I'll go get my crayons so we can come back and make this city as f'ed up as possible
    Planner 1: Jolly good.

    Reasons for loving it:
  • Benefits. They're pretty gosh dang sweet out of school. A pension, a 401k, and a decent salary. Health/dental/dismemberment (no kidding)/life insurance. You know, the normal ones... then we get to the good stuff. The Learning Together Program, but since its at Boeing, its the LTP... and its referred to as nothing else. Since I'm on an educational leave of absense (ELOA) right now, they're going to reimburse me (read: my parents) for this last bit of school. Then, they'll end up giving me 100 shares of stock (worth $5077 at the moment). And, they'll pay for whatever degrees I may want to get too. As many of 'em as I want (as long as they're different degrees). Can you say 3 masters' degrees and a Ph.D.... b/c... why not! Being smart is fun.
  • Oppurtunites. About 60% of the Boeing workforce is going to be retiring in the next 10 years. There are going to be lots of cool, high paying jobs coming open. And, I think I'd do a bangup job make! (Apprently the ISCFP doesn't think so though).
    Another cool thing about Boeing, is that it's loaded with OTHER jobs that I may want to do. I want to go work on Boeing's unmanned stealth bomber

    Reasons why someplace else might be cooler than Boeing
  • Boeing is HUGE. We have only slightly more beaucracy than the government. It can be hard to get anything done when you've got 20 page documents to pump out every day explaining the other paperwork you did last week, which explained the 15 minutes of actual work you got done a month ago.
  • The atmosphere. Boeing is loaded with old people. I got in trouble at Boeing for posting some completely innocent material in my email away message (it was something like: "funny comments from people's performance evals"). The material was barely even funny... because I didn't want it to offend anybody... yeah... talk about a failure. Someone called the HR dept, because apprently it was in violation of some Equal Employment Oppurtunities thing... but whatever... my manager was totally cool about it.
    I had the oppurtunity to go to Microsoft and talk to some people about their jobs, and whatnot. You could literally feel that this place was different. High energy. It was incredible. I was talking to a program manager there, and he said something interesting: "You need to decide what kind of career you want. You can have a job to finance the fun you want to have on the weekend. Or, you can have a job where you want to work on the weekend, because its fun and you love it. Everybody here is the latter." I think it could be cool to work for a place like that.

People that need to be thanked and explained. Last names are dropped for anonymity.

  • Jo. She took me wakeboarding. But, not only that, she was unrelently nice and unbelievably fun to hang out with. Oh yeah, her boat and house are amazing... It might sound wrong, but... she was definitely a friend with benefits :)
  • My mentor. Another incredibly giving person. He was definitly more than just a work mentor, he went out of his way to make my personal life easier. An all-around amazing guy. Plus, he got me really drunk one time. Then we went to the Mariners game, and blasted Michelle Branch really loud.
  • Ronald. I was listening to Dave Attell's stand up (extremely funny). And he said something like: "have you ever had a friend that you made so much fun of, that you thought you should thank him for all the good times?" Well, here's to you Ron. You know we all loved you and your wild and zany antics that left you more open than... well... lets just say a barn door.
  • My email buddies: Kristin and Kara. I think combined... I sent almost 600 emails to these fine young ladies (in probably a 2 month span). I already miss the 'envelope of awesomeness' popping up in my system tray, telling me that I've got an email from them.
  • Everyone else. This post is already about 5 times longer than it was intended to be, but... if you're reading this... you know who you are. HOLLA!

Anyways, I don't know if there will ever be anymore posts. But, there may be... especially if I decide to go back to Boeing. It's been fun, thanks for reading (for now!)

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Summer Dreams, Ripped at the Seams (But ohhh, those summer nights)

Here we go folks. A guest column by the lovely <unnamed girl> (she doesn't want to deal with any possible crap generated by the post).

A little over a month ago, when I started my internship at Boeing, my expectations were of: gaining great finance experience, networking with top business execs, and adding the oh-so-prestigious Boeing name to my resume. Time has passed now and I have since received a roundhouse to the face from reality. It’s to be expected though, right? What young, average looking female with sub-par intelligence [Adam's Note: previous statements, untrue!] doesn’t fantasize about her summer internship? If I can’t dream ambitiously about an esteemed internship, what can I dream about? (mmmmmmmm Justin Timberlake....)
Once I sobered up to reality, my Boeing hangover began. I began to see Boeing, and especially the internship program, clearly. Although this may come as a shock to the majority of you out there on the information super-highway, the Boeing internship program is a farce [AN: good usage!]. Appalling as it seems, the program is nothing but a front for a geeked-out dating service.
Since working at Boeing I have been asked out four times. That may not seem like a lot to girl who’s half-attractive, but to us ladies in the Boeing internship program, that’s the most attention I’ve seen in years. The first 2 invitations for a night out were flattering. After all, who doesn’t like a free meal (I would say something about Mary-Kate right here but I’m more sensitive than that) [AN: I don't get it... do you?]. Once the third intern asked me on a date, I began to suspect that something was afoot. Then my suspicions were confirmed last week when the forth guy asked me to have lunch with him [AN: oh crap, was that me?] At that very moment I felt like the most gullible dope in the world. How did I not see this before? Of course this isn’t a real job; this is just a singles mixer.
I, myself, have a couple of theories why every intern function feels like an episode of the early nineties classic, “Love Connection” (side note: Chuck Woolery is a golden god). My first hypothesis is so far-fetched that even Adam wouldn't print it. My second and more realistic postulate is that engineers, IT “specialists” (emphasis on special) [AN: yup, I'm special], and business aspirants in general, are desperate for action [AN: Was that suppose to be a revelation? Sit in a CS class, see how many guys talk to you. 0, thats right, we're dorks... we can only dream about sex... never attain]. How else can this phenomenon be explained? It seems as though all these highly qualified students have a little extra confidence when it comes to the opposite sex this summer. Everyone’s coming out of their shell and putting out the vibe. On top of that, these engineering and IT kids are walking around like they’re the Zack Morris’ of the company. Only at Boeing are engineers cool. Only at Boeing are IT kids funny [AN: she's cuttin' me deep]. Only at Boeing can these guys score dates [AN: Not I!]. Only at Boeing can a girl like myself rant about how annoying it is to be asked out by guys with real jobs. Only at Boeing, I guess.
I accepted this internship because I thought I'd get invaluable work experience. Not because I'd get innummerable date invitations. If I get asked out one more time... I'm gonna dry heave... trust me. I don't need a date; I have VH1 (A wholly owned subsidiary of MTV).

She told me to edit it, and make it a little funnier... as you can see, I failed. These aren't her exact words, but I'm gonna guess that those were 98% her words.

So, in the interest of making this post longer... I must defend the prestigous Boeing Intern Program!

to us ladies in the Boeing internship program, that’s the most attention I’ve seen in years
I would say that a good percentage of the girls in the program are actually really attractive. In the words of my roommate: "I'd do stuff". The author of this article included. AND, she's got a great personality (I'm laying it on thick, so she feels bad about making fun of IT guys :)

Appalling as it seems, the program is nothing but a front for a geeked-out dating service.
I have a few problems with that sentence. First off, its hard to read... but, I think thats my fault for not paying attention K-12. Second, most of us doing internships are really cool. Seriously. I know its not saying much, but most of the interns here are way cooler than me. Third, I still don't have a date... and aside from like 3 or 4 unconfirmed couples (I hear things), nobody else is getting any action.

“Love Connection” (side note: Chuck Woolery is a golden god)
Lay off the VH1. I think you've seen enough for everyone.

Only at Boeing are engineers cool. Only at Boeing are IT kids funny.
Thats not true. Engineers are cool at schools like Purdue apparently. And, the IT kids aren't funny... ever or anywhere... she made that up.

Adios Britchs!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Should Food Be THIS expensive?

So, the enigma known as corporate cafeteria, must know be exposed. The food tastes like ass. There are only a couple of explanations that I can think of. They are the only 2 logical iews to take, and I'll examine both of them... because, I take food seriously.

View 1
The corporate machine wants to take as much money as possible from me. They charge ridiculous prices because I have to be at work at 7:30, and they know that its next to impossible for me to get up early enough to put on clothes... let alone make a sammich and other crap for a lunch. AND, if they have me chained to my desk all day doing work, and I don't have time to drive off campus to get food... I'll have to go get a $6.00 cupcake, and a $4.00 for a Reese's Piece (just one, the pack is like... $20).

View 2
Local Businesses pay Boeing to keep crappy food on-campus so we're forced to go out to lunch. I mean... I work in Renton, and for a city of this size, they have an incredible number of restaurants. For a city with one movie theatre, would you expect there to be 1000 restaurants? What kind of ratio is that (well... actually its like my CS classes... but, lets not talk about that). If you want Teriyaki, get ready to walk half of a block. If you want to watch a movie... well... you've got a 15 minute drive. Anyways... I digress.

No matter which view you believe to be correct, I know we can all come together, and agree that corporate cafeterias don't serve food worth eating. Luckily, if they decide to give it to me for free, like... at a morning meeting, or a special event... it tastes better. Wait... no it doesn't. But, I will eat it... because free food is awesome.

And, for the end, a little note. I really do enjoy working for Boeing.

Monday, July 12, 2004


Some of you have expressed interest in this video. It is me and some of my friends from last summer (trying) to wakeboard. Enjoy.

Crashes Movie

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Are You Serious?

I've got a guest columnist this week, because some people thought it would be cool to have me post something about someone other than myself... go figure. With out further ado, here's Joe.

      My first impression of the Boeing company was that to be desired of. I was offered the opportunity for employment back in March of 2004. My PEP [Adam's Note: wouldn't you know it... another acronym. Pre-Employment Paperwork] session was “tentatively” scheduled for May 19th and orientation the following day. From March on, I hadn’t heard a thing regarding any forecasted problems that might interfere with my starting date at the Boeing Company. School then culminated at the beginning of May and off to Hawaii I went for a week. When I returned, I headed for Washington to start my new summer job. I checked my email and phone messages religiously for the week I was on vacation, just in case there was something I had forgotten in the application process and would have to take care of. No news is good news right? I drove up to Seattle and arrived on the 17th of May. This was ample time to get acclimated with the land and Renton so I could navigate. On Tuesday the 18th, I had the inclination to call Cheryl Coleman, the woman who offered me the job, just to double check that everything was set in place. The conversation was very disappointing. Cheryl informed me that she was so glad I called, there was some misunderstanding with my background check. It checked out okay, however Cheryl either didn’t make a note of it on my account, or she wasn’t notified. Either way, that meant unpleasant news for me. My start date was moved up, and I was never notified. So in other words I basically drove up to Renton to sit around for a week. Needless to say I was very disappointed in the way this situation was handled. It wasn’t so much the fact that I wasn’t starting work as scheduled, it was the fact that I wasn’t notified when the employment ball had been rolling since March. Mrs. Coleman informed me that she had been doing her job for 14 years, kind of sad if she doesn’t have it figured out by now. She made the same mistake to several other interns as well this year. My opinion at that point of a world renowned company was hitting a low. I thought things couldn’t get much worse, however I was wrong.
      I come from a background of actually having to bust my sweet ass to earn my keep. I have fought wildland fires for the last 5 summers before this internship, and before that I used to farm A LOT! When I was top hand (and the only hand) on the farm, I was making $1500 a month, worked 7 days a week, and at minimum 12 hours a day. Firefighting wasn’t much easier, it wasn’t uncommon in the busy season of the summer to accumulate 200+ hours in two weeks. It does feel very good though paying for a semester of tuition in two weeks. When I arrived to my first day of real work, I had breakfast with my level 1 manager, he explained how things worked around here and that basically sounded like blab la bla to me. He then said let me show you your desk. We started walking and headed into the 10-80 building, the cubicle sea. Cubicles as far as the eye can see, columns with numbers on them, people walking around, it was all confusion. All I could think was, please don’t make me work in here, please. “Ok, here it is”, he said. Goddamnit. I don’t want to be stuck at a desk for the duration of the summer, I want to be out in the factory solving problems, I’m a manufacturing engineer, that’s what we do. Or at least that is what I was taught in school. Well now that I was there, what do I do? My mentor was on vacation, didn’t know where to go for information, and I didn’t have anything to work on, even if I did I wouldn’t know how to do anything anyways.
      So for two and a half weeks I read WebSPOT training on the internet, trying to learn how the planner works around here, this particular department had a lot of legacy history that was critical to the knowledge of today. So there it was, I was getting a fluorescent lighting tan, staring at a computer screen all day, and I was making more than I had ever made per hour before. Corporate America at its finest. Things have gotten progressively more interesting, gotten involved in some projects that have peaked my interest for about five minutes, but for the most part it is pretty slow. One of the hardest transitions was being inside all the time. That still drives crazy on nice sunny days. We’ll see how the rest of the summer goes, until next time…Joe out.

Joe forgot to mention that we can't even SEE a window from where we sit, let alone what it looks like outside. For all those kids at work at Boeing right now... get back to staring at your screen and looking busy! For all the managers reading this: all this was done from home... we didn't spend precious screen-staring hours for this :)

Monday, June 28, 2004

Acronyms and Marriage

      So, I've got the motivation to put up a new news post. Let’s see if this one will be good. Let me give you a brief overview of what this post will be about. First, and foremost it will be about acronyms. Boeing let them out of their cage, and they're literally EVERYWHERE. Second, my first friend got married this summer, and I've got 2 more good friends tying the knot this summer, and I want to talk a little bit about this marriage phenomenon sweeping my age group.
      If, for the sake of this article (and for a little bit of comedic chutzpah), I have to go the bathroom. If while at Boeing, you speak concise normal English, you receive 5 lashings. So, I would have to say that "I'm working on the Tile-Urinal Interface". But, this again would incur lashings. In proper BG (Boeing Gibberish) I would have to say: "I'm reestablishing the uplink in the TUI." And for preparation, I need to spend at least 50 minutes drinking coffee (or water out of my coffee mug, so I still fit in) and BSing (Bull Shitting) with other employees. Of course, I could say: "I-H-T-G-T-B," or, I could even try to pronounce it: "I hot got b." While, no one would understand what this means... 90% of the people I said this to, would just smile and nod like they knew what I was talking about. And, there are 2 possible explanations for this. 1) They don't want anyone to know that they don't know EVERYTHING. No one there wants to admit that. I think my project leaders are impressed when I ask what an acronym means... because they're used to people just using the acronym without knowing anything about it. 2) This acronym actually has some meaning other than what I've assigned it (in my head at least). Some quick math leads to 308,915,776 unique 6 letter acronyms. Which, I'll admit... is a metric shitload. But, there are almost 200,000 Boeing employees (not really... but there are a crapload of them too). Each employee only has to come up with 1544 (and some change) acronyms. And, if Boeing steals 25 years of your life, you only need to come up with 61 acros/year. Sound hard? pshhh, I could do that in my sleep (ZZZZZZ... only 60 left to go).
      On to marriage. I'll admit I'm a little jealous of my friends getting married. I think it’s because most of them are marrying their best friends. So, that said: no, I will not marry you. I'm not ready physically or mentally (I have no idea what I mean by that...). But, I know this: Bachelor parties rule, and so do receptions. We went up to Vancouver BC for this particular party. We stayed at the YWCA. It’s just kind of fun to stay that, but basically it’s just a Hotel that’s run by the YWCA. It’s just a normal hotel that is pretty cheap to stay in. Strip clubs rule, I love boobies. Alcohol rules, I love not remembering stuff. That’s all I've got to say, mostly because that’s all I remember, boobs and alcohol.
      I grew up catholic, so I'm used to catholic weddings, and this wedding was definitely not a Vatican sanctioned event (VSE). The pastor was a woman! And to kick the pope in the nuts... she was a lesbian. She did however give one of the best weddings I've ever seen (and believe me... because I've seen like... 3). The best part was when she told the story of how the couple met. She left out the drugs and alcohol, and the fact that the first time the groom talked to the bride, she was topless and playing strip poker (and apparently she's not very good at it. and... um.... boobies).
Then came the very catholic portion of the wedding. Free booze. 3 kegs, like 150 bottles of wine, and a gallon of vodka (for Cosmos).

Monday, June 07, 2004

A NASA Intern

One of my friends from Idaho is doing an Internship for NASA in Virginia. He wrote me an email about his orientation. I thought it was good enough to post here. So, enjoy:

Today was my first day at NASA. Langley Research Center is a quite impressive place. It's also right next to Langley Airforce Base so we see F-15 fighters fly by all day. There were 164 Scholarship students, about 30 Fellowship students, about 10 interning professors, and about 20 high school students all at the orientation. We sat through a mostly boring 3 1/2 hours of safety and security lectures. The most interesting part was the part where they talk about past, present, and future research such as the X-43, a new civilian jet/plane that can reach mach 10! That's about 7,500 mph! They also have a flying car that has been finalized for years now and ready to replace regular automobiles - the only problem is the software. The flying car needs real time networked software that works anywhere in the world and is 100% guaranteed never to fail. Good luck with that.

The funniest part was the presentation by the head IT guy. He was talking about viruses and worms and computer security and he didn't even know how to work a computer. He was pressing the right mouse button (instead of the left one) the whole time to access links on his website. A menu would pop up and he would choose "open in new window" (he's trying to go from one slide to another). He eventually had something like 40 windows on top of each other and he didn't even know it because the windows were maximized. He then wondered why the computer crashed...dooh!

I met my group and we talked a little about the project. Basically we're going to be using Python, html, Zope (which uses dtml), and Postgresql to create a web-based application to enhance SRI's Prototype Verification System (PVS, a formal methods prover) by allowing for adding, editing, and accessing of mathematical theories, functions, formulas, lemmas, etc. directly from PVS itself. Researchers from all institutions will have public access and can submit new math formulas anytime. The goal is to eventually have at least 1 million formulas in the database. So far we have about:

- 20 libraries
- 465 theories
- 1179 functions
- 3966 formulas

with the current libraries being:
prelude, bitvectors, finite sets, algebra, analysis, arrays, bags, calculus, digraphs, div, fixedpoints, graphs, mod, nat funs, number theory, powersets, reals, series, trig, and vectors

Our group's goal is to finalize the application by the end of our
internship. That's about all I know pertaining to my project. At the end we
have to submit a research paper for publication. I'm sure you're all looking
forward to reading that...


Good Luck Neil. I hope you have fun. NASA Rules (Because they buy Boeing stuff).

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The Fastest Week Known to man...

      This last week went by SOOOO fast. There aren't many things better than 3 day weekends, followed by 4 day work-weeks (I guess a 7 day weekeend followed by a 0 day work week would be pretty sweet too).
      This weeks post shan't be about as much about work, as it will be about everything else. Here is a listing of this post's goodness: Being Evicted? Going Out! I know that was a lame attempt at a thesis statement for this... essay? but, I like lists, they keep me going in order.
      The weekend I moved in to my apartment over here, there was a "comply or vacate" notice on our door. Because Ben (my roommate) had installed a locking door on his bedroom, the battery in one of the smoke detectors was almost dead (which doesn't matter, since the smoke detectors are all hard wired to the power in the building), and Ben had asked her if he could be in the apartment whenever she was, because he suspected her of stealing some cooking pans from him. So, we're like: "I guess most of those are actual violations, no biggy, we can get two more of these notices before they can do anything."
      So, I come home from my first day of work and there are already like 10 people in my place and everyone is like: "We're going to a party in a little bit.." So, I'm like: "cool, let me change clothes." What a waste of time/energy/clean clothes that was. Nobody ever went to any parties, about 20 people just chilled at my place and we played drinking games and whatnot, it was actually pretty damn fun. There was a birthday party for a sorority girl on the floor above us, so there was about 50 hot girls roaming our halls. Some of them came and hung out (and spent the night... way different story though), so that was pretty cool.
      Next day: "Comply or Vacate" notice is on our door again. We were "Using a common area" or something like that, because some people were out in the hall and the stairway "talking." Some people were smoking out on our balcony, which is stricly verboten. And, someone had damaged the building a little... but we honestly don't think any of our friends did it, because we knew everyone at our apartment, and the party the sorority girls had was WAY huger than our party. That was like 2 weeks ago now... Ben and I are going to try to be good tenants for the next few months, so we don't get kicked out.
      In Moscow, my friends and I go to the bars with some regularity. But here, my friends and I hadn't really been going to the bar, or drinking at all. Well, I think we fixed that problem. I went to a bar with some Boeing interns last night, it was pretty fun. Although, they wanted to dance... and I'm fat, white, and lazy. Which are mutually exclusive (WOOHOO! set theory) properties. Thursday night, I went out to a couple bars in the U-District (where I live, so we walked). I met up with some friends that I hadn't seen in a while. They said they loved this page, and that I should mention a mangina on here. There you go girls, I said it.
      There was going to be so much more to this post, but... I'm really running out of steam. I need... FOOD! YAY! Lets go get some Thai food. Buh Bye.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

The First Week (+1)

Thanks for checking in, and here's the newest update:
      So, here's what happened in the first full week: I met my manager's manager's manager, Alan Johnson at a status meeting; I went to ethics training; I got an actual project; I made more friends; I also did a handful of other things.
      Alan Johnson is a pretty cool guy. I went to a status meeting for some of the the BCA-IS ID&S (Boeing Commerical Airplanes - Information Systems, Information and Data Systems) projects. That morning, there was a breakfast for the BCA-IS interns. I won a vibrating pen (don't ask). Then, later that afternoon I went to the status meeting. Alan introduced himself, and said: "I'm sorry I missed the breakfast this morning." Then, I said: "Yeah, me too." If you don't know me that well... I'm a little on the sarcastic side. So, when I said: "Yeah, me too" it was just dripping with saracasm. Because I didn't actually know he was my manager's manager's manager. So, everyone goes silent... then they all bust out laughing.. and Alan says: "I like a guy with balls, come up and sit at the table next to me." So, my typical fresh intern mistake turned into a miraculous office politics coup. I went to another status meeting later that week, and Alan remembered my name (keep in mind, that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of people in his group).
      At the end of last week I had Ethics training. I was kind of sad that I had to go, because it sounded like it would be 2 hours of: "blah blah blah ethics blah blah blah don't do that yadda yadda." But, I talked to a few people who had already taken it, and they all said it wasn't too bad. So, I rounded up the Renton intern troops , and we went to it. We got a video lecture that was really interesting. Did you know that 99% of people think they're the most ethical person in their workplace. Isn't that insane? Which basically means if you think that you're the most ethical person in your workplace... YOU'RE WRONG! haha, sucker. The video was filled with a bunch of other awesome little factoids, and it was awesome.
      The Oracle Standards Development Team gave me a project. I got some requirements, and I did a logical data model and drew an ER diagram (woohoo! CS360 - Databases has some applicability to a real job). The SDT just wants a small database, so they requested it to be done with Microsoft Access. They also requested that I make a form so they can do data entry with some prettiness. I've been working on that, coding up some Visual Basic for the form to do some cool crap. I've got a meeting with a person from the SDT tomorrow to see what Data Model they want to use, and what the form should look like. Today, I got a couple more projects, these ones are for an actual Oracle database.
      The interns that work in the 10-80 and 10-18 are getting to be pretty good friends. We meet for lunch everyday... a standing date. One of them had his 21 birthday this weekend and they took him out, and got him h-a-m-m-e-r-e-d. Unfortunatly, I was back at Priest Lake because it was also my birthday (I'm 22 now). I heard some good stories, and I hear there are some good pictures... I can't wait. We're planning on going to Leavenworth (Washington's little Bavarian village). $10 beer garden... :-D
      I'm also learning about about a million miles an hour. By the end of the summer, I suspect that my brain will be about 110% full.
      Thats it for this week. Band of Brother is on HBO, and its like one of the best shows over. Peace.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

The First Day

"So, how was the first day?"
      I woke up at 7:00AM, S(hit), S(howered), and S(haved). I got to work about 8:00PM. But it wasn't as simple as "getting to work." The building I work in is the largest one story buildling I've ever looked for a cubicle in. Luckily, my mentor had the foresight to call me on Thursday to tell me the grid location of my cube. So, I figure I'm going to walk in, and I'll magically know where my cube is suppose to be. I walked into the building, and all I could see is a hallway that was about 600 yards long, if not longer. Where the shit was the grid? There were doors off the hallway, but I was scared that I was just going to walk into some dudes offices. It turns out, I found it about 30 seconds later, and the grid system was a piece of cake.
      So, I get there, and I meet my manager, Paul. He's SUPER nice, he gets me a laptop and a cell phone (apparently, only DBA interns get cell phones). We talked about a few logistical thing, then me and my mentor, John took off towards my desk. I set my stuff down, and I went on a journey through four rows of cubes. Luckily it was a Friday and a lot of people telecommute on Fridays. So, I only had to meet about 10 people right then. Over the course of the day, I think I probably got introduced to about... 1000000 people. I might remember like... 5 of them. Luckily, I get to meet them all again like 10000 times. You do the math.
      So, all day I got deluged with information... it was kind of hard to remember it all. A lot of it was just "HOWTO" stuff about getting setup. Luckily, we didn't really cover anything pertaining to my job. Of the stuff pertaining to my job: I've got 40 hours of Oracle DB Administration training, and about 5000 pages of Oracle Concepts to cover, then I've got another couple hundred pages of SQL*Plus to read about. There is probably some PL_SQL to cover too.
      Over the course of the day, me and the interns I had orientation with managed to plan dinner at Red Robin at 8:30PM. I got there about 8:40. I walked around, and didn't recognize anyone, so I left. I got out the door, and recognized a few people, so I went back in with them. Then I realized that I had walked past a group of like 14 interns, and not even noticed (didn't I feel like a genius). I think we ended with a group of like... 22 interns. Everything from Aeronautical Engineers to Supply Chain Management. And again, they were all so nice and I couldn't even believe it.
      So, I think this post is good enough... And, I keep getting distracted by watching Sex in the City. Just FYI, this show rocks.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The Orientation

      Today was my first day on the payroll. I had to go to intern orientation. I was in a group of about 20 other interns, they came from North Carolina (NS State) to Seattle (U of Washington). I knew all these kids were smart, because Boeing's intership program is somewhat exclusive. I had no idea they were all going to be suprisingly nice, and outgoing. I'm usually the only person in a group to speak up, and make friends, but everyone was being a Type A personality. So, how exclusive is Boeing's intership program? In the Puget Sound there were 10,000 internship applications and they only accepted 250!
      So, what was the orientation about? In general, it was about what is on, and how to use Boeing's intraweb. More specifically: How to use the Employee Timekeeping System (ETS), how to select a health care and dental care (Benefits), Boeing Ethics, Boeing Employee Credit Union, Travel Expenses, and other general things.

  • The Intraweb - This system is incredible. There are like 1000 different sites that let you search for EVERYTHING. In fact, there is a thing called BLUES (Boeing's Look Up Everything System). There is information about everything, the health clubs, and fitness centers, info about the parapyschology club, the beermakers club, and about 1000 other clubs.

  • Employee Timekeeping System, ETS - They have a pretty sweet timekeeping system. During this part of the orientation, we learned about the different types of common "baseline work schedules." You can do the "4-10s": work 4 days a week, 10 hours a day for 40 hours total a week, which means you get one off. Or, the "9 80s": work 9 out of 10 days, 9 hours a day. Or, the standard 8 hour work day. I think the 9-80 is pretty sweet, I want to see if my manager/mentor will let me to do that one. Having every other friday off sounds like something my lazy ass would love.

  • Benefits - There is a HMO plan, a traditional plan, and a hybrid between the two. The hybrid, a CCS (I don't remember what it stands for) is totally free, which is pretty cool. There is also a free dental plan, but, I don't really care, because I don't think I'll be needing any dental work this summer. I was planning on getting in some bar fights... but I think I'll skip those this year. When you're out of Idaho, the bars just aren't the same :)

  • Ethics - They really place a huge emphasis on "doing the right thing." The orientation leader said we were going to watch a video of an example of a good ethics. I'm thinking: "ummm.... riiiight, this'll be a great time to catch up on that sleep I missed out on this morning", but it was short, interesting, and it was an ACTUAL example of someone reporting an incident, and how it saved a satellite launch.

  • Boeing Employee Credit Union, BECU - A pretty sweet credit union. They basically sign you up for free, and give you free checks. They actually are a pretty sweet bank... maybe I'll get an account. I've got to talk to my accountant/financial advisor/bankroll/lawyer first, but I think she might agree.

  • Travel Expenses - I get money for moving over here... solid.

Monday, May 17, 2004

The Paperwork

      I just had to go down to Boeing, and do my "Pre-Employment Paperwork." I had to drive all the way to Boeing Field (its a 15! minute drive), and wait for 30 minutes to get a Visitor Badge.
      The reason it took so long to get the badge was because a bunch of interns were there to do the same thing as me... fill out 3! sheets of paper. And it turns out, there are 3 people from the University of Idaho that are here as interns too. I'd actually heard about one of them, from some of my friends. Everytime I said I was going to be at Boeing this summer, someone would say: "OH! My friend Brad is going to be there too." It turns out that Brad is even going to be working in my building. But, he's doing accounting or something. It seems like almost all of the interns that I was there with today are doing some sort of business type intern, not technical. They also had to go through a formal interview process... and as I said before, I only had to talk to Paul for 6:48 before he gave me a job. Anyways, there is also some girl that is from U of I too, but I already forgot her name.
      It took a total of 5 minutes to fill out the paperwork. And it only would have taken 5 seconds if the "leader lady" hadn't been giving us instructions: "Put your birthday in the box marked birthday, and the date in the box marked date..."
      So, I don't know why we just didn't mail this paperwork in, its wasn't complicated or anything. But, they did have to photocopy my passport to verify that I was a citizen.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The Beginning...

How it started:
      I went to the Career Fair over at WSU. Talked to the guys at the Boeing booth. They gave me a pen with the Boeing Employment website address on it. A few months later, I checked the website out. I just counted, and it turns out that I've applied for 33 individual positions.

      A few weeks ago, I got a call from a lady that worked at Boeing, and I talked to her for about 30 minutes. I was interviewing for a job developing a website for a maintence documentation product that Boeing has. It didn't sound like that much fun, but hey... it was Boeing! I had another interview with Suzanne and a couple other people from her team. I got a call back a few days later... I didn't get the job. But Suzanne said she would give my resume around to other people in her office because she liked me... and I'm thinking: "Yeah right."

      Well, I got another call, a week later from Paul. I talked to Paul for 6 minutes and 49 seconds (literally), and he had offered me a job. I'm going to be a DBA intern for Boeing.
    Paul warned me, but the deluge of paperwork was about to start:
  • Application for Employment, 10 pages
  • Post-offer Health Questionairre, 4 pages
  • Export Control Compliance Verification Form, 1 page
  • Employment Eligibility Verification, 1 page
  • Intellectual Property and Confidentiality Agreement, 3 pages
  • Ethics Acknowledgement Form, 1 page
  • Code of Conduct Certification, 1 pages
  • There is more too, I have to fill out some more forms to get my relocation money, and for getting per diem while moving over.

      I have to go get a urine analysis drug test on Friday too. I think that is most of it. I know that all of this work doesn't just apply to Boeing... but for the love of Pete, show me some compassion people. And the worst part is? I have crappy hand-writing. So, I have to write really slowly so that it looks half decent. Writing slowly lasts for the first half of a page then I get too impatient, and it turns to crap.

      Luckily I know some people in Seattle from when I lived there. One of my good friends from my years at UW just happened to have a room available in his apartment. So, I'm moving in with him on Sunday. I have to go fill out some of that paperwork at Boeing on Monday, then next Thursday I have "orientation." Which starts at 7:30 AM. At least the day of orientation is paid. Oh yeah, this is also the best paying job I've ever had: $17.09/hour. Hopefully I won't blow it all on crack and prostitutes... but, I've got the self-control of a hungry lion with a zebra dangling in front of its face.

      But, before I do anything for Boeing, I have to survive finals week. I definitely need to quite writing, and study for my finals.


I'm going to need something to do...

Well, I'm moving to Seattle in a couple days (after finals). So, I figure I might be a little bored when I first get there, before I reestablish friendships that I had while I lived there a couple years ago... and also, before I make new friends (which I usually do pretty quickly).

Since I'm going to be bored, I figured I'd start a blog... since I'll have all this time to kill. Plus, I've never had one, so I figured I'd see what all the fuss was about.

This is all the first post will be. buh bye.