Ishan Behoora

"I'll share my experience during the placement season. Before, I begin people should know that my selection process was atypical and so one can say its not a path you should aim for.

First, a little background. I was a student of the manufacturing and automation department, however as I had almost zero interest in the field I didn't really pay much attention to the coursework and had quite terrible grades. I believe my percentage without dropping was around 55% and with drops 57%. I also had 2 core supples in manufacturing 1 and 2.

However, I had some experience with algorithms and programming. During my school years I was quite active in programming contests and in the summer before the placements I had started to do some research work under Anand Gupta Sir. Although that apart, I was essentially looking at off campus placements, and hoping
that maybe one two companies like trilogy would come which used to have no cutoffs and based their selection on programming tests.

During the initial placements I could only sit for hcl which I cleared without much trouble. At this point as it seemed unlikely that trilogy would be coming on campus I called up their office to ask if I could apply off campus but they explained that they were only hiring laterally and had stopped hiring freshers. I had a friend who's brother was at adobe so I asked him about their off campus process and he said that it starts later in the year around December but they are normally particular about the percentage.

It was around this time that Yahoo! software and development was to come on campus. I wanted to apply off campus there but their site said they had no off campus process so I called up their office and asked to speak to someone from HR. I explained that they were coming to our college, and although i didn't meet the requirements I had awards and significant experience in algorithmic programming. The lady asked me to email her my resume and that she would forward it to the management.

Later, on a Friday, two days before yahoo's process on Sunday. I called up yahoo again and asked about my case. At this point another student Aseem Deodia was trying to get cleared for the process too. He was in a similar situation too in that he was an IT student with 55% percent and I think some supplies but he had worked for google's summer of code. They told me that they would take a bit more time and
when i called them after lunch I was told that I had been cleared to sit. Subsequently Aseem was also cleared.

I had that night and the next day to prepare, I asked my coe friends and read up online about the syllabus. They essentially asked questions from algorithms, c/c++, os, networks, linux and regular expressions. I took the book on OS from an IT friend. (The red one most people use) and spent that evening and the next day reading up the important topics in operating systems. My coe friends helped me with some parts.  I read a few linux commands and regular expressions online. I skipped networks completely as I didn't have time. I glanced through a few topics on algorithms but I was already comfortable with that and didn't really prepare.

On, sunday in the selection test, half the paper was on algorithms and c/c++ and the other half on networks,os,linux and regular expressions. I did well on algorithms and got some questions from os and the regular expressions one. I might have got some in c/c++ but i doubt i got any in networks.

The students were selected and depending on if you did well on 1st section or 2nd they considered you for software development or tool development. At this point the selected students had their first round of interview. I was asked a question on randomly shuffling cards, and then on sorting a sequence of 0s and 1s. After from the obvious method of counting the number of 0s, the interviewer asked me for a different method. I had done this question during my school years but I had forgotten the method. I told him that i couldn't quite recollect but he gave me time and I eventually got it. He then asked me a question of removing duplicate alphabets from a string (BANANA = BAN). He asked me if people were discussing it I told him that I had heard something about hashing and binary search trees but didn't really take part in the discussion. He asked me to try it. I told him the hashing
approach first  but he wanted a nlogn method. At this point, he told me he was happy with one of my answers and not with the other and so if i got this one I was thru. I thought for a while and then told him the method using binary search trees. He then wanted a no additional space method but i was unable to come up with one in the limited time left.
After this some students started being called for a second interview, but i wasn't. Ankit Sobti who got selected with me wasn't called either but Harsh was called for a second one.

The list was released later on students going to the programming round and we were taken to the lab.The students being considered for tool development were given some 4-5 questions to solve and the software development students (which included me) were told to essentially make a word complete helper. It's the menu which drops down when you type on google or yahoo providing suggestions. I came up with some basic sorting and binary search algorithm and started coding. I wanted to add error correction and such but I hadn't programmed in a while and so was rusty and could barely complete the program in time.However, I believe none of the others, apart from maybe Hemant, completed their programs although some others like Ankit had analyzed the problem better and come up with many really efficient algorithms.

The yahoo team looked though the programs and asked questions about the algo used and did a few test runs of the program.

After this, they took about half an hour and then announced that me, Ankit and harsh were selected for software development and Paras for tool development. Hemant was offered an internship. On, the whole I was very happy after the process. I was considering applying aboard for a masters but then felt that joining yahoo and working for a couple of years before applying was a good plan.

However, as things would turn out, I did an internship in Microsoft's Research lab in Bangalore later that year. The lab is different from the India Development centre students from NSIT go to. That is the development centre focusing on products and this is a research lab which works on basic research in areas such as algorithms,
cryptography, systems, networks and software engineering. After the internship I decided to resign from my Yahoo job and spend the year doing research work at Microsoft Research and under professors at colleges before applying for a PhD in 2010.

I hope my experience shed some light on the process and it will be great if people can benefit from it. My web page is up at http://www.nsitonline.in/ishan/ which includes my resume if you want to take a look. If you have any questions you can reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ."


Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology

Azad Hind Fauz Marg, Sector-3, Dwarka, New Delhi - 110078
(An Autonomous Institution of Govt.of NCT of Delhi)

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