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It’s time to work on Facebook

Ankur Dahiya and Radhika Mittal, who were among five IIT students hired by social networking website Facebook earlier this month, talk about their experience and expectations

education Updated: Dec 21, 2011 10:32 IST
Panna Munyal
Panna Munyal
Hindustan Times
facebook,silicon valley,ankur dahiya

Ankur Dahiya, who hails from Rohtak in Haryana, and Radhika Mittal, who grew up in Kolkata, may come from different backgrounds – his is a family of doctors, hers is involved in various streams of commerce – but they also have a lot in common. They are both class toppers, BTech students at IIT (Delhi and Kharagpur, respectively), and both will be working with Facebook. The 21-year-olds cannot wait to finish their last semester because the first step in their post-IIT careers is a job that will take them to the world’s computer engineering hub, Silicon Valley.

What is your job profile at FB?
Ankur: We’re going to be software engineers at Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. They have not outlined a profile, but it will be related to infrastructure maintenance and designing new services.

Radhika: I hope we get to work directly on ideas to improve the site, which is still at a growing stage. It’ll be unfortunate if we end up doing only small modifications, while seniors get to do all the exciting stuff. I'd like to have the freedom to contribute directly to the new features.

What about the money?
Ankur: I don't know where reports of R65 lakh came from because the final offer has not yet come through, and even when it does, I will not be allowed to disclose the sum.

Radhika: I think the figures of R65 lakh and R77 lakh are based on an approximation of the offers made by international companies last year. Even I am yet to get the formal offer letter, but I believe the minimum pay bracket is between $100,000 to $125,000 (approximately R53 lakh to R65 lakh, respectively) a year.

What was the interview procedure like?
Both: Long!

Radhika: A month ago, FB gave us an online test in which we had to write a programme that would compute results efficiently and quickly. The shortlisted candidates then had to write two exams and undergo three rounds of interviews on the day of the placements.

Ankur: I was given just one written test on Day 1 of placements at IIT-Delhi and then after each round of interviews, people were eliminated till it was just me. I was asked questions about algorithms and programming. They were mainly concerned with my problem-solving abilities.

Did your course help you during the selection procedure?
Ankur: The course is mainly theoretical, and the questions FB asked have not been taught because they were application-based. So we had to come up with the solution and design them ourselves based on the theory we learnt at college.

Radhika: I think the tests, interviews and even the job are all directly related to my course. What I’ve studied in the past three-and-a-half years and the projects that I’ve done will help me solve problems and come up with code and programming solutions.

Did other companies make you offers?
Ankur: I was shortlisted by seven companies, but I could only interview with four because there was an overlap. I got offers from Google India, an investment firm in Gurgaon called Power Research and Facebook USA.

Radhika: I was shortlisted by Microsoft and IBM India Research Lab and got an offer from IBM in Delhi.

So why Facebook?
Both: It’s in Silicon Valley!

Ankur: To be able to work there is any computer science graduate's dream come true. I feel my profile matches FB because it's an internet startup and has only 2,000 to 3,000 employees as opposed to say, Google’s 30,000.

We’re going to be software engineers at Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley Ankur Dahiya and Radhika Mittal

First Published: Dec 13, 2011 16:42 IST