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Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by kyky) | Reply
They might be referring to me, actually. A few months ago Brian from TopCoder contacted me to tell me about a small but stable firm specifically looking for someone with a pure mathematics background. I can get in at a very exciting time, but they need me right away, so I will finish off my last semester while working.

This is a company that is small not because it needs to be, but rather it has been very successful for decades, and sees no need to grow. With the clout that the major tech companies have, I have no idea how I could have found them without TopCoder.

The interviews were unique too. I still do not know what specifically they were looking for, as the discussion centered mostly on my ideas of what I could do for them, which they seem happy to let me do (this is certainly to my liking). Another part of the interview was the founder discussing how there is more to life than money, and how at some point more of the satisfaction comes from doing good things with it.

Oh and the compensation is as good as they say, even with just the guaranteed salary and bonus ;-)

So in short, it is good to keep an open mind about finance, recognize that this area in particular really values strong ability over all else ("the rewards go disproportionately to the best" as one manager said), and that Topcoder does know a thing or two about us and them :-)
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by d000hg) | Reply
It's on par with walmart.com :-)
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by Kawigi) | Reply
So you're saying it's on a par with, for instance, Wal-mart?
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by d000hg) | Reply
Perhaps because they employ a good number of people and it will still exist in 5 years?

I don't think they have the resume weight that MS or Google would (my impression is that people in the industry consider people who have worked for MS or Google as relatively smart), but it's also better than anything that no one has heard of or no one will remember in a few years.
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by Kawigi) | Reply
So why is it big in terms of programming career, like MS & Google?
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by d000hg) | Reply
Not really, but at a time (I think this was right around 2000) when there were lots of startup online businesses that had little hope of becoming successful, Amazon put together a viably successful and profitable online business based on more sound, traditional retail ideas. Basically like a massive brick-and-mortar department store that just happens to have its checkstand online :-)
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by Kawigi) | Reply
Judging by the [-] I'm getting I don't know what they do either. I don't see how Amazon.com is any different than loads of other websites. They must do some things unrelated to their main site?
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by d000hg) | Reply
Heh, I think my boss also interviewed with Amazon coming out of college. The impression I get is that he didn't really know what Amazon.com was, and so got the impression that they were "a little uptight for a website" :-)
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by d000hg) | Reply
They keep sending resume books ads to me for years after I already had bought one ;-) Stupid related book matching algorithms.
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by tolkienfan) | Reply
I'd never have thought of Amazon as a big-league programming employer. What do they do to require top-notch coders?
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by bugzpodder) | Reply
I had not heard that Google had more weight on a resume than MS or Amazon.

My point was that some companies have a very hard interview process, and that merely by getting through it you have demonstrated something companies definitely look for.

I don't think I implied that you shouldn't consider MS or Amazon...

Also, why do you think the rest of your resume will fail to impress?
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by tolkienfan) | Reply
Google competes for the exact same candidates as MS and Amazon. The fact that other companies sees ex-Googlers to be better candidates for a position just shows how it is over-rated. Personally I have little desire to use Google as a stepping stone if the rest of my Resume fail to impress the company.
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by bugzpodder) | Reply
I've never heard a put-down pitch, but then I was never pitting one interviewer against another - I'd consider that "not cricket" so to speak. Maybe that's been detrimental to my pocket book... but still.

If I heard one, I'd be put off, for sure.

I think a company has to sell themselves, just as the prospect does. If they can't deliver, no amount of put downs will help. If they CAN deliver, why would they need to put others down?

I personally feel that it has to be a good match. My current position seems like a near perfect one (thanks TC) - and none of my interviewers would have considered put downs as ethical or moral, I'm sure.

These days, I'd seriously consider asking why they feel the need to bad-mouth the most excellent opportunities on the market. Of course, it might merely be the personality of the interviewer.

On a slight diversion: Google would look really good on the resume or CV. Some companies have a serious weight on the resume - and the best companies look for that kind of thing... finance is not impossible to break into. Thankfully.
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by dskloet) | Reply
I thought I might open a can of worms here =) No he implied full-time. He was a very smooth talker and he definitely sold me. I think I will go for a finance option for this intern (but not with that company) , meaning that I will reject my Google offer :P
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by Stroker_Ace) | Reply
When I graduated (from Durham) a lot of recruiters wanted me to interview with investment banking firms. I didn't want to go to London but I'm now doing that kind of stuff in Newcastle. I reckon I could have had a good chance of a very lucrative career in London, with "only" my honours degree in maths+physics.
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