How do I show that I'm at a SWE 2 level when interviewing?

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Solutions Architect II at Amazona year ago

I have ~3 years of work experience, but it was spent working a non-SWE role within Amazon. Because of this, companies consider me between SWE 1 and SWE 2 when I'm interviewing.

What’s the difference between SWE 1 and SWE 2 on the job, and how can I show that I'm in the latter camp in interviews so I can get a SWE 2 offer instead of being set back with a SWE 1 offer?

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(1 comment)
  • Alex Chiou
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    a year ago
    • The core difference between a SWE 1 and a SWE 2 is an extremely high level of technical proficiency. A SWE 2 needs to be able to execute on any small to medium size task with minimal hand-holding.
    • A SWE 2 can still ask a lot of questions, but they need to do deeper in nature. Instead of asking "How does this code work?", it should be questions like, "I have 2 approaches to make this code work with these tradeoffs, which one is best?"
    • On an interview, the main signals for leveling are the behavioral and system design round. Leetcode rounds are just a basic coding check.
    • For SWE 2 behavioral, have stories about solving complex technical problems with a high degree of independence.
    • For SWE 2 system design, just have system design skills in general. Be able to understand the system at a very high level holistically, understanding how different pieces come into play (e.g. database -> back-end -> API -> front-end).
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