School

Cisco Presentation

Posted by Strainu on December 09, 2007
School / 1 Comment

About a week after Google, some folks from Cisco came to tell us about the jobs thez offered to graduates. Unfortunately I haven’t had the time to tell you about it until now.

It was quite different from Google. They talked to us about their technology a little, then they went directly to the subject: they wanted us for their “extraordinary” Amsterdam school. 😀 They only have a selling department in Romania, so they needed us to become experts in selling Cisco crap stuff. To get there, you have to be one of the 3 people (out of 500 applicants) selected for a year’s training in Amsterdam.

To good news was that you get to pass all their certificates (including the very rare CCIE) for free in this period. The bad news was that you had to work almost non-stop. 🙂 One of the guys there became amusing when he tried to tell us that you have to work from 9am to 6pm and then to work again at home, but you’ll still find it extraordinary. I personally don’t think you have much time to think after work, most probably you’ll just crash in the bed until the next morning.

Anyway, if it sounds appealing to you, try uploading your CV here.

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Evolved Interfaces

Posted by Strainu on November 07, 2007
School / No Comments

That’s the name of one of the courses taught in the fifth year at the my faculty (InterfeÅ£e Evoluate is the Romanian name). If the name doesn’t tell you much, don’t be alarmed. It’s about XML, HTML, CSS and other web technologies. While I haven’t chosen this course, I have to say I find it’s project to be pretty interesting: the students have to create a website and a blog and promote it. They receive points for their trafic.ro ranking and their PR (well, actually that’s dumb, because the last update was just before the start of most websites and the next one will probably be after the exam 🙂 ).

Anyway, let me show you some of the most interesting things I found while looking at their websites (all links are in Romanian, sorry for my foreign readers:():

  • the ZEIT team has some quizzes about XML and CSS; pretty simple, but interesting nevertheless.
  • this anonymous team (greetings Radu 😉 ) has apparently the best site and blog promotion. No wonder, link exchange is still a good way to promote yourself. Keep up the good job guys, and try to write more on your blog.
  • other teams have tried to get their own domain, from the free .tk to the more expensive .com, .net and .com again. 🙂

That’s it for now, when I’ll find more interesting content from my colleagues, I’ll post it.

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Google show..or was it a presentation?

Posted by Strainu on October 31, 2007
Geeks, School / 1 Comment

If you’d rather read this in Romanian, we have some positive and negative feedback for you 🙂

On Monday , our faculty had some guests… some of our former colleagues that now work at Google came to tell us how cool it is to work at Google no, actually, they came to talk about the Google FileSystem and about the employment opportunities they had. The presentation was interesting enough, even if someone said it was the same as last year. 🙂 A bad mark for the ppt itself, the links were outdated. There was also a short presentation about the system engineers that make google.com work 24/7.

Just before I left, some guys from my year started talking about their experience as google interns, and while I don’t agree with add’s opinion that they were “typical nerds”, I have to say they looked lame in their red shirts and Noogler hats.

About working at Google… well, nothing new compared with what you already knew from a Google(!) search: you get 20% of the working time for your own projects, you work with some of the smartest people in the world in some great cities, but… to get there, you have to pass through several phone interviews + at least one on-site interview, and you have to know your algorithms. You don’t want to exaggerate your skills; as one of the guys there put it: “If you say you’re an expert on Python, you might get interviewed by the creator of Python” 😀

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Stagii pe Bune – what a joke!

Posted by Strainu on June 18, 2007
Personal, School / 3 Comments

Stagii Pe Bune is a project started by former students from my university. The idea is brilliant: to offer students with a way to accumulate work experience IN ROMANIA during the summer in internships in some of the best known IT&C companies in the country. The site is quite well-designed (despite a few privacy issues) and easy to use.

The funny (or sad, depending on the number of options you have) part starts when you are contacted by get to deal with the companies. I personally applied to 5 internships, I’ve been called to 4 interviews and went to two of them (my apologies to the Adobe Romania team, I would have really liked to know you 🙂 ).

One of the companies didn’t even look at the position I applied for, they just made a big pool of all the CVs then started pulling from the stack 🙂 It was a matter of luck to get where you wanted, and most of us didn’t. I even ended up in a different division. However, I was the only one to clearly tell them the I was disappointed with the offer and I would prefer to work in the division I applied for. They told me that they’ll forward my CV and will get back to me if I was to pass a second test. The test passed and I had lost all hope. Two weeks later, they call to inform me that their employees decided the first test was enough and they had a position for me. All of my colleagues have a similar story. I wonder if they do the same with the CVs received for ordinary openings (which, btw, never appear 😛 ) or that’s a treatment reserved for students.

The second company had a much more developed company culture. You had to pass 3 interviews, each one weirder than the one before. At first we were impressed by the brand new company HQ downtown, but for the second interview I had to drive all the way to the middle of nowhere, in the “Romanian Silicon Valley” (aka Pipera). There was of course no parking space for the visitors and there was a huge difference between the inside and the outside of the building 🙂 But hey, if I were to have an interesting internship, the place would be less important, right?

So I went in and started the interview. By the middle of the discussion, I was making huge efforts not to laugh. I already knew that the discussion should be “by the (company) book”, but that was hilarious. A very young lady (younger than me, maybe?) was reading the questions and then tried to write down my answers in full, just like a little robot. The one question that I found the funniest was “Let’s do a little role-playing: Imagine that I [the HR person] am Daniel, your best friend. I kindly ask you to break your NDA and let me in your computer. How do you say no?” All that was quite all right, I was ready to put up with it so that I can get to the final discussion with the project manager. But when she told me I had to drive all the way back to Pipera the next morning in rush-hour for a 15 minutes talk with the “man in charge” (as she put it) and that it was my only chance, as he was leaving the country, I just said to myself “thanks, but I’ll pass”.

I know that all companies have their own way when recruiting new employees and the process can seem weird or difficult, but it seems to me that they don’t take the students they accept for internships too seriously. And that’s too bad, because today’s students are tomorrow’s employees and we will remember our experiences. So, a little piece of advice for my younger colleagues: if you feel strong enough to quit at the end of the summer, find yourself a real job. You’ll be better off both financially and professionally.

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New blog – Coder Tricks

Posted by Strainu on May 01, 2007
Geeks, My Projects, Personal, School / No Comments

With the help of some colleagues, I just launched a new blog. It’s called Coder Tricks and it will contain programming tricks that the teachers don’t usually bother to tell you in programming courses. Hope you like it!

If you wish to offer any kind of feedback, you’re more than welcomed to contact us at codertricks@strainu.ro.

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Programming pays!…

Posted by Strainu on April 23, 2007
Gadgets, School / No Comments

… even in the romanian faculties.

Long time no posts on this blog. Now I’m back with an idea on how to win a black ipod Nano. IXIA has trown one in as a prize for their by-annual challenge. This time you have to make a Linux kernel module that implements the PITIX filesystem. Good luck to all of you!

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Despre laptopuri şi politică

Posted by Strainu on March 16, 2007
Personal, Romana, School / 2 Comments

În mod excepţional, am decis să scriu acest post în română. Consider că nu am suficiente cunoştinţe de engleză care să-mi permită să exprim tot ceea ce doresc.

Cred că lumea a cam auzit de scandalul provocat de decizia lui Tăriceanu de a implica România în programul OLPC. Nu o să comentez motivele politice ale premierului, a făcut-o cu ironia-i îndoielnică însuşi CTP. Nu o să zăbovesc prea mult nici la zbieretele penibile ale altui “specialist” în IT, numitul Pambuccian, care pretinde că “A-i invata pe copii cu asa ceva poate sa-i faca pe cei care au avut sau au acces la un PC sa creada ca cineva face misto de ei, sau pe cei care n-au avut sa aiba o frustrare intensa fata de ceilalti” (frustrare pe care probabil că acum, fără nici un fel de calculator, n-o resimt) şi nici la scuzele idioate ale maghiarului de la Ministerul Comunicaţiilor, care se laudă cu informatizarea a – oh doamne, numerele astea îmi dau vertij 😛 – 500 (cinci sute) de case de maghiari dintr-un sat oarecare. N-o să vorbesc nici măcar despre meritele (neîndoielnice ale) proiectului – despre asta în alt post.

În schimb, o să vorbesc despre omul care de 2 ani se chinuie din răsputeri să aducă laptopul acesta în România, dl. prof. Adrian Petrescu. Dl. Petrescu a fost un susţinător al proiectului încă de la începutul său, considerând că este singura metodă prin care copiii săraci din România vor avea acces la calculatoare în acest deceniu.

Şi cum vorbele fără fapte nu valorează 2 bani (se aude pe la palate?), domnul profesor a început să se agite pentru a face cunoscut proiectul pe la diverse instituţii ale statului. De multe ori venea la cursul de Calculatoare Numerice pe care l-am avut cu dânsul supărat ţi obosit fiindcă fusese făcut să aştepte câte jumătate de zi pe holurile MEC pentru a fi primit până la urmă de un secretar de stat. A încercat apoi la parlament, fix la sus-numitul Pambuccian, care, din ce am auzit, ar făcut iniţial niscai promisiuni pentru ca mai apoi să se dea lovit.

La sfârşitul anului şcolar trecut s-a terminat cursul de Calculatoare Numerice, dar nu şi eforturile dlui. Petrescu şi am fost fericit să aud că în cele din urmă a reuşit să se facă auzit acolo unde trebuie. Sper ca în cele din urmă să ajungă să-şi vadă visul cu ochii ţi “calculatoarele-broască” (un nume destul de amuzant de altfel) să ajungă în mâinile copiilor din satele României.

P.S. Stilul “Corneliu Vadim Tudor” al acestui post este intenţionat.

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New goodies

Posted by Strainu on February 02, 2007
My Projects, Personal, School / No Comments

I’ve uploaded some new stuff on the site: two management projects, some OS homeworks and a new article (actually another school project). By the time the exams end, I’ll upload some more homeworks (including a new programming language, Python) and another article.

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Blogs roundup

Posted by Strainu on December 07, 2006
Gadgets, Geeks, School / 1 Comment

Well, since Andressa seems to have a good time in Poland and she doesn’t bother with the blog any more, we all have to find alternate sources of fun 🙂 Here are my nominations:

  • Entering the IT industry from Tudor Damian – some common sense pieces of advice for the future IT professionals
  • Bash tricks: comparing floating point numbers by Petre – an somewhat old post about BASH. Interesting because that’s one of the problems in my homework for the Operating Systems course 🙂
  • Yahoo! fights messenger spam by evolve – fact or just messenger trouble? We’ll see…
  • Metro etiquette by Just me – an excellent idea! There is a good reason for the yellow footsteps on the Bucharest metro’s escalators. Ever wondered what’s that reason?
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Imagine Cup

Posted by Strainu on November 16, 2006
My Projects, Personal, School / No Comments

imagine2007

Yep! I’m in. In the “Information Technology Challenge” for now. And if I get an idea and some partners, maybe more… Anyone interested?

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