Monday, October 5, 2009

PSP Programming Progress

Hello World.

That phrase has never looked so good to me. Those 12 tiny characters in the top left corner of my PSP (Playstation Portable) screen represent, to me, a level of achievement I have been (mostly half-heartedly) trying to reach for over 3 years.

In 2006, I first began my interest in PSP Programming. I downloaded Cygwin (the Linux environment emulator for Windows), but had some trouble when compiling the PSP toolchain. I put it down and didn't resume again until 2008. I tinkered and read about it for a couple of weeks, then the same thing happened, and I again brushed it aside.

This time, I dug really deep, researched the exact problem I was having, and found a way around it. Apparently, the toolchain is broken, and I had to either download someone else's entire Cygwin setup, which already had the PSP Toolchain compiled, or download a precompiled solution. I opted for the first, then read a quick "Hello World" tutorial, and was up and running!

I know "Hello World" is generally hardly a means for celebration, but this has truly brought me some joy lol. . . . it's the little things. I'm especially happy that I got this accomplished just after one day of REALLY deciding to put my mind to getting this done. My goal for this week was to have a PSP development environment set up. Now that I've gotten that accomplished on MONDAY, I have to set a new goal lol.

Now to make it do something useful!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Microsoft Interview Preparation

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to fly to Redmond to interview with Microsoft for an SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test) position. To prepare, I read a couple of books, reviewed my materials from Cem Kaner's Blackbox Software Testing course, and went over some technical programming examples. This was the most intense, brain-squeezing, mind-bending interview I had ever been on. . . . but it was really fun! And although I performed what I thought was exceedingly well, I was still not offered a position. I was disappointed, but not discouraged.

My Microsoft recruiter consoled me and said that sometimes it takes people upwards of 3 tries to get hired. She said that I should work on my skills and try again in six months or so. I made it up in my mind that I would have that job, and that next time around, I would be more prepared, and give an even better shot than the first time.

Last week, I was scheduled for another phone interview (YES!!). Since that time, I feel that I have gained some very applicable knowledge directly pertaining to the type of positions I'm seeking. In addition, I've decided to take on some other projects. Among them are:
I should have a firm grasp on (at least 2 or 3 of) these things by the end of this week. In addition, I'm going to read peoples' blog posts of their experiences dealing with the grueling SDET interview and what skills they chose to polish and highlight during the process. I have a couple of friends who work there too, so I'll try to get some of their input as well.

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me, but I'm determined!