Posts by Kevin Simler

How to Rock an Algorithms Interview

Comic courtesy of XKCD, via Creative Commons License We do a lot of interviewing at Palantir, and let me tell you: it’s hard. I don’t mean that we ask tough questions (although we do). I mean that the task of evaluating a candidate is hard. The problem? Given a whiteboard and one hour, determine whether [...]

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The Hedgehog Programming Language

One thing about being a developer on the Palantir Finance product that doesn’t get nearly enough publicity is the fact that we have our own programming language. I’m pretty excited about it so let me repeat, with emphasis: we have our own programming language. Yeah, it’s awesome. All those late hours you spent in the [...]

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I used to think I understood MVC. In undergraduate CS programs, MVC is taught as an off-the-shelf pattern, explained once and then ready for use in the real world. Wikipedia also makes it seem pretty simple: Model–View–Controller (MVC) is an architectural pattern used in software engineering. Successful use of the pattern isolates business logic from [...]

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Palantir: so what is it you guys do?

I often ask candidates if they’re familiar with what we do at Palantir. Most people think they are. “Oh, you’re that data viz. company,” or, worse, “You guys do data mining, right?” At least they’ve heard of us and at least they’re on the right track, but I cringe anyway. We aren’t just a “data [...]

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Fully Interactive JTables (aka Mouseover Editing)

What sucks about JTables? Everything, of course—but that’s a developer’s perspective. To the user, cell editing is rough around the edges: when and where to click, and how many times—it’s never perfectly clear. Cells in a table just don’t provide the mouseover feedback that regular components do. If only a JTable behaved like a bunch [...]

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