Internship at TinyOwl Mumbai!

Update: I didn’t really end up doing this internship because on January 12, 2016, TinyOwl revoked the internship offers that it had made to 7 people in IIT Kharagpur due to internal turmoil. I don’t have the heart to remove this post because this is exactly how I felt at the end of the interview, and I want this to be out there for other people searching about TinyOwl.


So, this post is long overdue. On 30th August, 2015, TinyOwl visited IIT Kharagpur to recruit interns for their internship program, during the months of May-July, 2016.

The first thing I noticed when I saw their intenship notification form on the ERP, was that they used Ruby on Rails! That got me excited. To top it off, there were some more things that I was totally excited about. They used Grunt, Bower, Yeoman, and that’s it. I was sold! I had to apply for this company.

It was the first non-core web-dev-related company that had opened for Mechanical Engineering. And I was excited about it right from the moment I submitted the CV. Before submitting, I sent the CV to @prudhvid, @ankeshanand and @light94 to get it proofread and corrected, and they gave some really awesome suggestions. Spending some more time tweaking the LaTeX file and finally, I was ready to submit.

I submitted the CV and waited. I had no idea that they were going to conduct an online coding round. In fact, I found out about the test at 1730, around 1733, when I recieved an email from HackerRank, which was the platform they were using to conduct this test.

I rushed to the CIC, as that was where we were supposed to give this test. I reached around 15 minutes late, but as it was a time-bound test, and HackerRank itself took care of the total time given to each candidate, there wasn’t much of an issue there. I sat down and started the test, and there was only one question. Hmm, taken aback slightly.

The question was to Find the number of k-subsequences from an n-array whose sum was divisble by the integer k. Integers k and n were given in the problem. The data acquistion from stdin was already done in the solution, we just had to fill out the function that found the number.

The first thing I did was fill out the function with a O(2^n) solution, that was linear in memory (I think). I didn’t expect it to clear more than 2 testcases, but surprisingly it cleared 4 of them before the other testcases started timing out.

I had to search for a more time-intensive solution. I tried a lot of approaches for an hour, and had to finally submit a O(n^3) solution that was n^2 in memory. It cleared only 2 test cases, but it was far better on time. (Other test cases were running out of memory.) So, I submitted the code. I later found out that I should have submitted the earlier code that passed 4 test cases, as that’s the metric used by most companies while evaluating such tests.

After all of this, I waited. Come saturday night, and the shortlist was released. 23 people were selected for hte Personal Interview. Come sunday, and about 12-14 hours from 8 in the morning to 8 at night, (most of the time involving waiting for my turn), I had given one interview.

The list was finally officially released around 2230 that night, and hell yeah, I was happy.

Perhaps the part that excites me even more about this internship, is that I am going to go back to Mumbai after two long long years! Yay! :D

And of course, per tradition, I posted about this on Facebook, the next night!