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Google questions.

Well I am working on a project for school today. And I know, school = boring. So for all you hard core Orangers (Leaksters?) out there I have decided to throw up an interesting piece of information from my work. I am going to do a presentation on the HR process within Google. I thought this was interesting so here you go:  (EDIT: These are not my answers, just answers from the page I stole them from.)

I had a phone interview with Google today. I took notes; some of the questions they asked were interesting. We were allowed to ask questions. The interviewer didn't ask many questions in response to my answers, except to occasionally say "interesting". There's almost certainly more than one answer to each of these, and a few are probably wrong answers or could be improved in some way; I only include my answers for comparison. Any intermediate questions that I asked for clarification or otherwise have been omitted.

Q: "You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?"

(my answer): Take off all my clothes, wedge them between the blades and the floor to prevent it from turning. Back up against the edge of the blender until the electric motor overheats and burns out. Using the notches etched in the side for measuring, climb out. If there are no such notches or they're too far apart, retrieve clothes and make a rope to hurl myself out.

Q: "Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew."

(my answer): A database is a way of organizing information. It's like a genie who knows where every toy in your room is. Instead of hunting for certain toys yourself and searching the whole room, you can ask the genie to find all your toy soldiers, or only X-Men action figures, or only race cars — anything you want.

Q: "How many gas stations would you say there are in the United States?"
(my answer): A business doesn't stick around for long unless it makes a profit. Let's assume that all gas stations in the US are making at least some profit over the long run. Assume that the number of people who own more than one car is negligibly small relative to the total American population. Figure that 20% of people are too young to drive a car, another 10% can't drive because of disability or old age, 5% of people use public transportation or carpool, another 5% choose not to drive, and another 5% of the cars are inventory sitting in lots or warehouses that a dealership owns but which no one drives.

There's about 280 million people in the US; subtracting 50%, that means there's about 140 million automobiles and 140 million drivers for them. The busiest city or interstate gas stations probably get a customer pulling in about twice a minute, or about 120 customers per hour; a slower gas station out in an agrarian area probably sees a customer once every 10 or 15 minutes, or about 4 customers per hour. Let's take a weighted average and suppose there's about one customer every 90 seconds, or about 40 customers an hour. Figuring a fourteen-hour business day (staying open from 7 AM to 9 PM), that's about 560 customers a day.

If the average gas station services 560 customers a day, then there are 250,000 gas stations in the US. This number slightly overstates the true number of gas stations because some people are serviced by more than one gas station. [Actual number in 2003, according to the Journal of Petroleum Marketing: 237,284, an error of about 5%.]

You can see the full thing here.

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Back in the game.

Time: 0200

Date: April 6, 2006

Well I am done. I have finally finished all my homework for school. Wow I am so out of shape. I went to class on Tuesday (4-4-06) at 1200 or so. My last class was supposed to get out at 1000 pm. That means after a quick drive home I should be making it a 10 1/2 hr day or so. Well my professor let us out early and I was home by 900.

Well I sat on the couch that night and tried to read over my homework. After my wife went to bed I just fell asleep in front of the TV with a book on my lap. And this brings me to today. Well I worked on math ALL NIGHT. Seven full chapters of math on the first day!? Sigh what did I get myself into…

But with all that said I just want to say that you guys should get all over me if I don't update regularly. Just yell at me on a previous post or something.

PS: Happy birthday Dolores

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