Tech Interview

These are actual exchanges from a technical interview I conduced recently. The person had 2 years experience in an MNC, in what they described as DevOps

Me: You have mentioned “Troubleshooting problems on unix platform. Which platforms have you worked on ?”

Candidate: Unix

Me: Which one ?

Candidate: SunOS. I think Solaris. It was UNIX.

Me: Why are you leaving this job ?

Candidate: I want to grow technically.

Me: What steps have you taken to do that.

Candidate: I learnt Django on my own. I created a small app. (Goes on to describe, album cover art, music file, songwriter etc.)

Me: Which database did you use ?

Candidate: SQL

Me: Which one ?

Candidate: NoSQL

Me: Which one ?

Candidate: I don't remember. I think it was mongodb.

Me: Did you have to use any plugin, or was it supported “out of the box” (From what I remember, Django ORM does not support NoSQL, hence the question)

Candidate: No plugin or extension

Me: …

Candidate: I don't remember.

Me: Can you explain kind of automation you did, as part of your job ?

Candidate: We have 100s of servers each with different authentication. We deploy via ansible playbooks. We do not store the username password in the playbook.

Me: Since you mentioned 100s of servers, where do you keep all the auth details ? (I expected them to say “Spreadsheet”)

Candidate: It is stored in git

Me: … (Wha….)

Me: Isn't this a security risk ?

Candidate: No, this repo has “read-only” permission.

Me: I hacker only needs to “read” the password, isn't it ?

Candidate: Only my team has access. Developers do not have access to this repo at all.

You Are a Writer


You are a writer. (So start acting like one)

I started reading a book by Jeff Goins, with the same name as the title of this post.

In his book, he compares his relationship with writing to his relationship with his girlfriend. How initially everything is exciting, and how later the excitement dies and both people are in a relationship because they “can't get out”

He mentions that he “divorced” his first blog, for the same reason.

This resonated with me immediately.

This blog has been neglected for entire of 2018, except for one post in January. (I have been writing more on my other blog)

So I reflected on “why that is ?””

I realized that my old blog was “boring” (Or may be it was just an excuse)

So I decided what any geek like myself might do : “Give the blog a make over.”

My old blog was in pelican - and it does not have good themes.

Yes. I have read several blogs which are in (essentially) plain HTML, but have a lots of content. But decent looking blog does not hurt, right ?

My other blog uses hugo. So I knew that hugo has host of great themes.

So I am excited again to start writing.

This time I am considering writing without thinking to much. A lot of writers whom I admire say, start generating content (volume) - quality will improve eventually.

Photo by Christin Hume

2017 : Another great year

Looking Back


Programming Language

In the review of 2016, I had written about “learning go”.

Well, that didn't happen.

But instead I picked up “elixir”. I loved it. I did several exercises from codewars.

Initially, the exercises looked too “amateurish”, but once I hit a road-block, where I was required to use recursion instead of loops, I realized that “simple” exercises are important to get my head around the functional paradigm.

I also purchased my first Udemy course to learn Elixir + Phoenix.

I had hoped to use it in a “real” project, but that didn't happen.

and towards the end of the year, I again picked up “go lang” (This is for a project I will be working on in 2018) This time, I took another udemy course, by the same instructor.

Non Programming Language

I've started learning Esperanto, after learning about it on one of the freakonomics podcast. I'm using Duolingo.

The language is simple (as claimed) so far. But I am worried that without regular practice, I might forget it.

Visual note taking

Completed Visual Note taking 101 course by sunni brown Completed “Notes a like a genius” course on Udemy

While doing the Udemy course, took “visual” notes based on what I learnt from sunni brown course.

You can look at my new (and old) sketchnotes on my other blog.


In late November, early december, Started journaling.

I'm still figuring it out.

I'm applying some principles I learnt in the visual note taking course. I'm making it “interesting”


I started using “Insight Timer” app.

As of today, I have been meditating continuously for 279 days since I began !

What I liked about it was variety it provides, but it would have been nice if there was an option to download the “favourite” ones, rather than having to be connected to listen to same one daily. (Recent version has this as a paid option)

Eventually, I started using just the timer without any guided meditation.

I'm not really sure how it impacted me (positively) but at least I got a good habit out of it.

Lately (early/mid December) I have started doing “Isha Kriya”. I start the insight timer when I do it, since it is a form of meditation, and allows me to record my timing.


Didn't happen as much as 2016

Drawing - Sketching

I've been much more deliberate this year. I created an instagram account to share my sketches.

Ohh, I also purchased flume, an instragram app for macOS

Plans for 2018

My current project has come to an end.

I've started learning about blockchain, smart contracts and Solidity development. This is the new area I wish to explore.

Since “core” development of both bitcoin and ethereum is in go lang. I may get a chance to put my go-lang skills to practical use.

I also want to blog more regularly.