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Postby S.R.G. » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:34 pm

Hello IW OCM,

You seem to be very knowledgeable in the CWE requirements and selection process. I have sent you a private message hoping to get some information from you as an officer/CWE candidate.

Thank you,
Sam
S.R.G.
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Postby breimer273 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:14 am

I am currently in ROTC and have been selected for COSR. I commission in May and I have also heard that we have to go through an interview. Although I have not heard any information about this interview. Can someone provide me with some information on when this interview will be/what kind of information will be covered during this interview?
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Postby S.R.G. » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:22 am

COSR? Sorry not familiar :o :p

Anyways, officer I am talking to said interviews some time in January for CWE...if you make it to that point (which I've not yet...).
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Postby breimer273 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:25 am

COSR is just the NROTC way of saying that I will be a CWE when I commission. So I'm already in I just have to pass the interview... January does help. Do you know anything else about it?
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Postby S.R.G. » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:30 am

Wow, lucky! If you don't mind me asking, what are your creds? Age? Only reason I am asking is board for us civilians not in ROTC is October/November.

And it will be with the 10th fleet at Fort Meade (hope I spelled that right, tired so don't care too much :p).

But anyways, interviews are conducted by a panel. Not sure on the exact questions, but will be about general knowledge of the field, personal evaluation, and ethics evaluation. Officer I am dealing with said he was going to learn more about it (currently out of state at a "conference"/meeting) and will fill me in. But, interviews he was told would be held around January after this next board.

We shall see...
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Postby breimer273 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:47 am

Ah, well I am 21 and I am a Senior in CS at the University of Illinois. I was selected back in January after the Navy produced a list of 7 ROTC students in my graduating year that were potential prospects for CWE. I was one of the seven and from that list they selected 3. I was one of those 3. Other than that when I was selected I had a GPA of ~2.5. I am not sure what all they looked at because to me that seems like a really low GPA but I know of at least one other person from Carnegie Melon who was also on the list of 7, expressed interest in the job and was not selected. I have had no real experience in the field. Although I did spend a month at NCDOC this summer as a result of being selected.

That is good info. Keep me updated on the content of the interviews. Also, if there are any previous people who have already done an interview that we could contact that would be awesome as well.
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Postby S.R.G. » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:54 am

Nicely done you lucky son of a gun you!

Just a little about me:

20
Senior in IT at Arkansas Tech University
High School GPA of 4+
College GPA of 3.96
3 years IT at a K12 school district
IT Networking and Security seminars taught

And yet...no board...no selection...no calls/contact of any sort...

I will let you know everything I learn about it.

I also give a shout out to anyone who has had one of these interviews or has more information for us! = me and breimer273
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Postby OmegaMan » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:49 pm

S.R.G. wrote:Nicely done you lucky son of a gun you!
20
Senior in IT at Arkansas Tech University
High School GPA of 4+
College GPA of 3.96
3 years IT at a K12 school district
IT Networking and Security seminars taught

And yet...no board...no selection...no calls/contact of any sort...



I think the IW OCM summed it up well here:


Based on the last couple rounds of applications, the applicants who had IST or Info Tech Management degrees simply did not have the technical bona fides or practical experience to be competitive. We're really looking for folks with computer engineering academic/work backgrounds (hence the CWE title).

ISTs can still apply if they think they have the requisite knowledge and abilities. They may find that they are better suited for one of the other Information Dominance communities.


I'm not sure what your knowledge of Computer Engineering entails, but that seems to be the key element to being considered for this career path. Not saying you have a poor record, just that it may not be the right fit. Have you considered other IDC designators?
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Postby CNO Guy » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:58 pm

I have conducted a few rounds of the interviews as have a few others who monitor this site so will provide a little insight into the interview. And here is some guidance we provided up front:

1 - We first try to gauge personality in the first session, noting specifically:
- Can you answer questions about yourself in a short concise manner?
- Are you confident in your answers?
- Is there work experience or only academic experience?
- Are you honest ?
- Do you enjoy this type of work and academic learning, if so what periodicals, forums, blogs, etc do you frequent to stay up to date on current news?
- Time permitting we may give a logic based question or scenario to gauge maturity of thought.

2 - Your transcript says a lot, we take a snapshot of the candidate's chosen specialty(ies) and courses taken such as networking, security, operating systems, etc and tailor the questions toward that. For example, if the specialty was networking we would ask basic networking questions such as:
- Describe the OSI model, give an example of its use if one exists, and explain what model the internet uses.
- Describe the three way handshake, ways it can be disrupted from an attackers perspective and the follow-on ways to prevent the attacker from being successful.
- Describe firewall vs IDS vs IPS and ways of defeating each device from an attackers perspective, likewise show how proper network configuration can thwart such attacks (applies to both network vs host devices).
- Using your favorite language write a function that establishes a server that accepts incoming TCP connections to authenticate the user and then establishes a UDP session for a follow-on function.
- Describe security flaws that exist in the code you just wrote and ways to address them.
- Now write that same code recursively and explain what is happening on the memory stack.
-- Clearly there are several follow-on questions to each of these and these are simple examples.

3 - We don’t expect every candidate to answer every question, so if the answer is "don't know" simply say so, we will either ask for a best guess or move on ourselves.

4 - This same approach is taken for each candidate based on his courses to gauge his/her ability to apply what he has learned, determine if he learned it vice regurgitated it, and see if he is capable of going to the next level...i.e. from computer programmer to actual software/firmware developer.
- The questions will start at a high level of abstraction and get deeper and deeper until we reach an "I don't know" point, if that point happens to soon it shows two obvious traits to the interviewers, (1) the candidate may have gotten an "A" in the class, but he/she clearly doesn't understand, (2) the candidate will struggle to apply what he/she learned to real applications without significant investment.

**********

It is very important to understand that the CWE will be expected to develop actual software/firmware vice be a program manager. Several of the early candidates had academic success, yet failed to show any ability to doing the work themselves. A key example was when we asked directed, "Go to the board and write psuedo code for a binary search" only a handful of early applicants could do it.

There will obviously be growth change with the CWEs, but hope this at least helped a bit. If you have more questions PM me and I will either answer or get you in contact with the person now coordinating the interviews...and point of clarification there is a technical interview and a flag interview.
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Postby CNO Guy » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:39 pm

One last thing.

For you COSR guys: There is no guarantee that you will be a CWE, the interview is not a trivial matter (or at least wasn't). You get a CWE option, but if you fail the interview you will have to find another community and if you like this kind of academic work I would encourage you to do your homework on the other IDC communities, and in some cases before the interview as there are very few assessions into CWE (5 per year I believe).
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