Student Opportunity Lab:
LinkedIn Engineering Session
Title: How to get noticed and excel at technical interviews
Engineering Manager, [in]cubator
Principal Engineer & Open source
Join Engineering Manager, Prachi Gupta and Principal Engineer, Neha Narkhede for an interactive session of
personalized advice on technical interview techniques, resume writing skills and gaining extracurricular
experience that makes you stand out.
Prachi is a hackday master, and cofounder LinkedIn’s [in]cubator program. She leads engineering teams for
the Identity Engagement product suite at LinkedIn. Most recently, she led the development of LinkedIn
endorsements, the fastest growing product in LinkedIn’s history. She is also an experienced hiring manager
actively involved in the hiring process for both new college graduates and experienced engineers at LinkedIn.
An entrepreneurial software engineer at heart, she loves to conceptualize, design and deliver impactful
software and travels around the US/world to organize LinkedIn hackathons and meet with global
As an active contributor to the US State Department's TechWomen program, she has mentored program
participants and brought back program observations home to cofound LinkedIn's Women in Technology
Prachi holds a Masters in computer science, and has significant experience in working with startups to
explore innovative solutions to real world problems; from socially driven consumer websites to enterprise
business intelligence & analytics software.
Neha Narkhede is a principal engineer leading development of LinkedIn’s data pipeline serving billions of
events per day.
Neha is an active contributor to the open source community and is one of the original authors of Apache
Kafka, a highly scalable distributed publishsubscribe system used heavily at LinkedIn and across the
industry. She actively evangelizes Kafka through various conferences and meetups; resulting in its adoption
by industry leaders like Twitter, Netflix, Dish Network among others. Prior to that, she developed Oracle
Enterprise Search at Oracle.
Neha is passionate about encouraging and helping women build careers in technology and has served on the
panel of LinkedIn’s Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner.
Neha holds a Masters in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and is passionate about building and scaling
operable largescale data systems.
Specialties: Distributed systems, big data, information retrieval
Resources for preparing for technical interviews
● Introduction to Algorithms by CLR, book and videos
● Cracking the Technical Interview, Gayle Laakmann McDowell
● Programming Pearls, by John Bentley
● Stanford notes on linked lists
● Notes by MIT on Dynamic Programming
● Programming interviews exposed by John Mongan, Noah Kindler, Eric Giguere
Practice is not overrated
● Come up with designs for existing problems faced by companies in the area that you want to work
in. For example, how would you design LinkedIn’s PYMK feature, how would you design a Newsfeed
● Start by writing code for some of the example problems listed at the resources mentioned above. It is
often easier to start by writing code that compiles and passes tests before practicing on the
● After some reasonable practice on a computer, make sure you practice solving interview puzzles on
a whiteboard/piece of paper.
● Practice walking through a problem. How you get to the solution is just as important as finding the
● Talk to your interviewer so they can see your thought process. Silently eliminating approaches in
your mind looks exactly the same as looking clueless to the interviewer.
Dealing with pressure tactics
● Applying pressure tactics is just an interviewing style
● Try to focus on “what’s being said”, and ignore “how’s it’s being said”
Build your personal brand
● Open source your work or contribute to existing open source projects. Github is a good place to
start. If you already are active in the open source community, add your github account to your
LinkedIn profile. Open source contribution is very effective in conveying your coding skills to your
potential employer and interviewers.
● Maintain your personal blog and post your thoughts on new technologies you learnt, synopsis of
research papers, or just post a quickstart on how to get started on a new tool. Depending on your
strengths, blogging can be a very effective way of getting your future employers and peers to notice
your technical depth