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To FAANG or not to FAANG?

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Anonymous User at Taro Community7 months ago

I live in orange county, CA. I have about 30 years of tech experience where I was a software engineer for most of these 30 years. I also had couple of jobs as manager leading a team of software engineers. For last 5 years, I have been working as a senior software support engineer for a local company here in Orange County, CA.

So I would rather be software engineer than be in a support role where I just do mindless support of enterprise software. And its not very challenging either. So when I started working for this company, 5 years ago, I started to teach myself angular and typescript. Worked on a project and deployed it live on the website and learnt a lot. And really enjoyed programming.

But then 1 year ago, I started applying for actual jobs in angular programming and got zero response. Zero emails from the companies. Zero interviews from the companies. That was very scary. So a friend who works at Microsoft, advised to prepare and apply for SWE job at Microsoft. She mentioned that MS would not care about lack of my latest/greatest experience. If I pass the coding interview, I have a good chance event to get an entry level SWE job which is better than what I am doing these days.

Another reason I would like to work at MS, is that all my 30 years I have worked for midsize companies. I would like to work at MS because I will be surrounded by really smart engineers and people.

I am lucky to have a job, Pay the bills and have health insurance for me and my family. A year ago I started the interview prep, leet code, algoexpert etc. But then for some reason for last 4 months, its really hard for me to study. May be its my age. May be I get very tired after all day of work, and just watch mindless TV and eat sugary snacks and waste my time and health away.

When I used to work on my angular skill sets I was really energized. I had small tasks already in my queue. I could easily get in the flow when programming.

But My highest priority right now is to get a job at Microsoft as a SWE so that I have job part taken care of. Then after that I could work on side projects so that is why I am focused on interview prep but that is not dopaminergic for me. If I work on interview Prep and work on a side project, that could be distracting and not very focused effort (I think)

I feel depressed about my career. Some of my friends are directors, VPs, CIOs for medium to large companies. Here I am still angling for mediocre DEV jobs.

Any how, here at Taro, I would like to meet, interact with engineers, and really find my passion back.

I would really like to join a mastermind here at Taro, where I could hangout with engineers where we could have a conference all once or twice a month, motivate each other, etc.

Thanks for reading..

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(6 comments)
  • 2
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    6 months ago

    Hey, I'm sorry to hear about your current lack of motivation. I think you have identified the "cure" so to speak: Just meeting with other people, finding solidarity, and (hopefully) discovering some inspiration. Here's some ways to do that:

    • Come to Group Office Hours - My next one is in 3 days! Group Office Hours With Alex - Job Choices And Career Direction
    • Opt into 1 on 1 member matching - Check the #general channel or the topic in the #member-matching channel for details. Opt-in period ends August 11.
    • Connect with people in the Taro Premium Slack - Reach out to folks in #intros and see if they're cool for a ☕ chat

    To FAANG or not to FAANG?

    In a vacuum, I generally recommend people work for a Big Tech company at least once in their career. We actually gave an entire masterclass about this very topic: [Masterclass] Should You Work At FAANG? - What Big Tech Is Like For Software Engineers

  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    6 months ago

    Also, I just want to say that LeetCode sucks. There's nothing wrong with you or anybody else who tries the DSA grind and loses motivation: It's completely normal!

    Here's one of the best discussions ever on Taro which goes deep into this topic and career direction in general: "I feel destined for mediocrity. Is there a way out?"

  • 3
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    6 months ago

    Big Tech (and Microsoft) is great, but I'd caution against assuming that it will be the perfect job. It won't be perfect, and I actually know many, many unhappy engineers working in FAANG.

    Observing that the grass is NOT always greener can help you relieve some of the depression/envy you might be feeling.

    Like any other job, working in Big Tech has pros and cons:

  • 0
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    Anonymous User [OP]
    Taro Community
    6 months ago

    Thanks Alex and Rahul for the feedback. I will look into the videos. I am asking follow up question here instead of starting a new thread.

    Going forward.. Lets say, I fix my resume and follow recommendations etc. what is the chance that MS would hire me? I have enough friends at MS that hiring managers would hear about me in person and most likely will give me a chance for an interview. But I am having doubts that they will give me an offer. Because....

    1. For at least last 7 years, based on my work experience, I do not have real scenarios that would help me shine in the interview. Like my work experience is not very relevant to day-to-day programming or very impressive that MS would be convinced to hire me.

    2. Even if MS wants to hire me, why would they hire me as SWE1 or SWE2 based on my background. Where there are plenty of a) fresh CS graduates that would better fit that role or b) recently laid of FAANG engineers that would better fit that role?

    So may be I should just pivot and do side projects as opposed to study DSA and try to get into FAANG?

  • 2
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    6 months ago

    Going forward.. Lets say, I fix my resume and follow recommendations etc. what is the chance that MS would hire me?

    It's hard to give a number, especially in the current market. But I do believe that once the economy improves, anybody living in a major tech hub (especially a metro region in the US) can increase their chances of getting in to 80%. It's just a matter of grit and playing your cards right.

    Even if MS wants to hire me, why would they hire me as SWE1 or SWE2 based on my background. Where there are plenty of a) fresh CS graduates that would better fit that role or b) recently laid of FAANG engineers that would better fit that role?

    You are 100% correct with this:

    1. Given your experience, you probably need to target a senior+ role.
    2. The current economy is brutal as Big Tech prefers to hire ex-Big Tech people, and there's tons of them right now due to layoffs. Competition is crazy.

    So may be I should just pivot and do side projects as opposed to study DSA and try to get into FAANG?

    You should 100% do that! Here's some good Q&As about this:

  • 1
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    Anonymous User [OP]
    Taro Community
    6 months ago

    Thanks Alex for feedback.