Apple interview

Interview with 2 different groups at Apple, and one manager from the third group. Everything went well.

10:00 Phil (
Manager/Not, what is “senior”
Describing the three groups small group, doing a bit of everything. On-call often, but less drama. Static site, more dynamic-ness coming soon. Quiet. About 250 servers.
Role of
Exposure to load balancers

10:30 Gary (mobileme)
mobileme: 1500 mail servers (guido’s team), 2000 everything else servers (Phil’s team). New effort, web2.0 “application-like”. Mail, contacts, calendar, to phone. Integration, qa, staging. About 50% effort on new projects.

11:00 Don (

11:30 Jim (
New to team.
Documentation/training/info sharing (e.g. new filer)

12:00 Lunch, Ed, Phil, Jim

1:00 Ed (itunes)

1:30 Mary (itunes)
Manager/IC role, what I want to do
Env. is growing/scaling challenges
General knowledge (wide) vs. specialized (deep), bit of each.
Crosstraining, subject areas (e.g. AltaVista training plan)
Project vs. services focus (e.g. sfly/reactive)

2:00 Ed, Hung (itunes)
Storage, what i’ve been exposed to
http 301? 500?
How do cookies work? (e.g. authentication problem across old/new domain name)
Cool threads? (no experience)
Threading in general? (e.g. global variables vs. passed reference)
Automation (described mmcopy)
Camaraderie, strong relationships, sharing knowledge
Confidence, contribution
Projects vs. services. Vision & resources. (e.g. sfly)

2:30 Bin, Alan (itunes)
How do you start ilom? start /SP/SystemInfo/Console?
Describe how jumpstart works (I was vague on this)
Difference between inode and vnode? (described inode, and said I didn’t know what vnode was) people, excitement, scaling, lots of subject areas.
Sfly morale issue: what could I have done differently? (informal/social networking could have been worked more aggressively)

3:00 Louis, Sean, Louis (itunes)
why leaving?
Strengths? (Perl, automation, nagios)
Mgr vs. tech
HW/hands on ok?
Documentation? (described sfly wiki, hierarchy)
How to deal with different mounts on different servers (automount, fstab sync, cnames for filers by function?)

3:30 Mark, Jess (itunes)
Sendmail, qmail, postfix
Spam/AV (chat about spam assassin, barracuda, postfix, rdns, SPF)

4:00 Nizam (itunes)
Feeling for the groups? (Leaning toward itunes)
Asked what the big challenges for this team will be for the next year? (Nizam: growth in size, scaling the architecture)

4:30 Dan (recruiter)
How Apple handles multiple offers

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