Ritesh Kumar

Ritesh Kumar

Hey! I am Ritesh,  recently graduated from IIT-Kanpur with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering. Currently, I am working as an SWE in Google Cloud. I like playing football and cricket, but for the past 2 years, I was mostly engaged in playing online games and watching web series like most of you. I will be sharing my journey and some key takeaways, which hopefully will be helpful for your upcoming placement season.

Currently, I am working on improving the user experience on the Looker platform, which is a part of Google Cloud. Looker is a BI tool that provides data-tool to businesses and helps them grow.

Past experiences:

Luckily, I had internship opportunities in all the 3 summers.

In the 1st year, I got an intern from SOC which Prof. Sandeep Shukla had organized. I learned basic web development.

In the 2nd year, I got an intern through SIP in ShopX. It was a business-to-business firm. I was given the task of automating the onboarding process and generating a recommendation system for their customers. Most of the work was to explore the various State of the Art Recco Systems and then try to implement them. I enjoyed the work here.

In my 3rd year, I interned at Adobe. I was a research intern. My work was related to creating an AutoML model for recommendation and time-series data. It was a great experience, and I got to learn many new things.

Preparation timeline:

I started my prep after my intern season. I was preparing for software and quant roles.

Initially, I focused on programming. After July, I started focusing on quant and other essential topics, as discussed in the next section.

For making my resume, I spent around 10-15 days accumulating resources, looking through project descriptions, asking for reviews and reiterating. I also prepared my projects a day before the interview.

Preparation Details:

For software roles, I used to practice 10 medium questions daily from a chosen topic from Leetcode. This helped me cover all the topics with sufficient practice. After this, I went through the ‘100 frequently asked questions’ section there. I was not very active on InterviewBit, spending a day or two exploring the questions, although I used the site for giving a few mock interviews. I was very regular on CodeChef and Codeforces at this time. It helped me in increasing my speed as well as accuracy. Also, a few good contests gave me some points to mention in my resume. I also tried to give Codejam and Kickstart whenever possible.

For quant roles, Brainstellar was necessary and sufficient. 50 CP is another really great source I would recommend. Logical Reasoning was also asked in many tests, and you should prepare for these as well if you are aiming for quant roles.

Some companies like Oracle also question your knowledge about DBMS. Unfortunately, I didn't prepare for that, luckily they were very few in number, but if you are targeting these companies you should prepare for it.

Apart from these, I also prepared for OOPS, Networking, and OS. For OOPS I followed YouTube videos and GFG. GFG is a great resource for all of these topics including Networking. Course CS425’s lecture notes were also helpful.

During test days, I used to refer to the questions asked in other IITs or previously asked questions by that company. Most of the times questions were repeated or there was a slight variation. Also, I had many mock interviews among my peer group as well as took help from seniors. I recommend taking at least 3-4 mock interviews before going for the D-day.

During test season, most of the weekend and evening slots of your weekdays are occupied. So it is important that you utilize your free time on weekdays to keep up with your academics.

Placement season:

I had interviews for 10 roles on 1.1

Google:  45 min + 45 min+ 45 min (selected)

Each round had one main question with 2-3 subparts. Depending on the time taken to solve, there were follow-up questions on time complexity or implementation of data structure used. I was able to solve all three round questions.

Alphagrep SWE: 1.5 hr (selected)

Mainly asked coding questions, based on Heaps and Binary Search. I was able to solve two out of three.

Alphagrep Quant: 1 hr (selected)

Was asked mainly quant puzzles, solved many, and missed many as well. Though the approach I discussed with the interviewer was helpful even for unsuccessful attempts.

Quadeye: 2 hr

It had Quant, Probability, OS, Data Structures everything. The Probability and Data Structures part went well. The rest of the sections were not so good for me.

Cohesity RE(US):  Round-1 (1 hr)

There was only one research problem. I thought I was not able to do well, but the interviewer was happy with my approach and I was pushed for the next round. But due to time constraints, I could not attend the next round.

Uber- (Did not attend)

Alphonso - (Did not attend)

Uber - (Did not attend)

Sprinklr - (Did not attend)

Graviton - (Did not attend)

Morgan Stanley- (Did not attend)

In the end...

Having good prep is no doubt the key, but some other small things might be useful. Having a supportive peer group is helpful. Many times I overslept, my peers used to call me.

There are times when one feels everything is going wrong, but patience is the key.

The joy you get after placement, your parents thrilled, not sleeping for days, but still looking for the schedule for your friends. This feeling I cannot express here in words. Just put in your efforts here. You will get there. All the best for your placement season, feel free to reach out if you have any more queries.