Tech has one of the highest rates of job switching, making this skill incredibly high-leverage and vital to master. Understand what it takes to convince companies you are strongly competent.
I'm pretty good at leetcode (was able to pass some 3 to 5 rounds of interviews), I got good at by practicing and continuous learning. Now I want to be good at software engineering in general like debugging, building components, understanding complex things/systems, etc. I see one of the suggestions is to improve on fundamentals of software engineering, how do I do that? and What action items can I follow consistently? Any concrete suggested steps will be great instead of just some general bullet points. Thank you all.
Continuing from the post here:
Would the suggestions in that post be different for my scenario? I have added my details below.
I know that to get to the Senior level, I have to show influence at high levels. After reading the answer to some of the questions in the community, I am not able to decide whether I should focus on building web projects or should I start building an Android app. The advantage of choosing a web project is that I already have expertise in modern frontend frameworks. My initial years of experience is in legacy backend systems(mainframes) which I think is not of much use now in Silicon valley companies.
As far as my interest level goes, I am very much inclined toward the web. But I know that app development is definitely something that helps to attract users to your product. I am a bit lost on what I should invest my time on. Considering that I have 12+ years of experience, should I do both? Will doing both Android and web both open a lot more opportunities for me?
Should I focus on building something where I can show the impact with the number of users rather than thinking about the platform (android or web) for which I start building my side projects. Should I even care about doing side projects considering I have 10+ years of work experience?
Should I target full-stack roles instead of frontend roles ?
Looking for suggestions. Apologies if this question comes out as too broad and not very clear. I am open for discussion if that can help to narrow down the response.
Current TC: 220 - 240K
I was reached out to by a recruiter from a non-American, overseas company (1000+ employees, multi-billion). The company is doing cool tech work, but the division that I'd be working with has 3.4 on Glassdoor with people complaining about culture and WLB.
Based on that alone, I'm inclined to pass. I'm thinking that I want my next role to have 4+ on Glassdoor.
Is that reasonable? I know this depends on what you want in career, but good WLB and nice people are top 4 for me.
I've been reached out to by a recruiter to interview for a fully remote Senior Dev position at a seed stage startup, with around 50 employees per LinkedIn.
Ive only ever worked for larger companies before, what sorts of questions should I make sure to ask during the interview process to make sure there's no hidden problems/wrong expectations? What expectations should I have going into the interview?
I currently work in a large enterprise firm as a software engineer.
What do you think of moving into early stage startups at this time?
Given the economic climate and the possible transition to a more mature AI space (read organisation restructuring / layoffs), do you think its risky?
I am a backend engineer with 3 years of experience at a Fortune 500 company and I am planning to apply to Big Tech. I can fill the experience section with bullet points listing things I have accomplished on my team. Should I still include a personal project on my resume? Will it count against me if I do not include a projects section?
I initially looked out for an opportunity because I was not really satisfied with the role and compensation.
I landed an opportunity in a mature product company
My current org matched the compensation and the role.
Still, with yoe I have and the state of the team and product we are building I feel I deserve much better.
It's been just six months since I joined. I aim for MAANG and that's why I feel unsettled.
I had to do some firefighting at work the other day for a critical pipeline that broke.
I have interviews coming up and am concerned that I'll have another crisis to fight when my interviews are scheduled.
Are there any tips for handling these situations well?
I don't think anything will come up on interview day, but am worried.
I guess if something does, it all comes down to making the judgment call about what is more important, the specific issue, or my onsite, and then go from there.
Just wondering if anyone has anything to add to that.
Just want to say thank you to Rahul and Alex for creating this platform. I’ve gone through almost all of the free content and have found it very valuable in performing at my day job.
For my question:
I’m interested in getting into a Tier-1 company and have tried interview preparation on my own using NeetCode 150, Structy, etc., but am interested in a more structured learning approach. I have failed a couple of interviews and think half is due to anxiety/freezing up and the other half is inexperience with DSA. I have found it difficult to have the discipline to study after work and am interested in making a financial investment to facilitate this process. Also, I am looking to be more comfortable with the interview process through mock interviews.
I am currently trying to decide which platform to use to get an offer for a DE role at Tier-1. I’m deciding between Formation and Interview Kickstart.
Do you have any opinions on the quality of either program? For context, my current role consists of data engineering work but my role is a software engineer. Formation does not have any data eng specific content so I was thinking about IK. Do you think the quality of formation DSA outweighs the fact that I could learn some domain knowledge through IK? I’m currently enrolled to do to the trial with IK this week to see how the course is, but am still open to enrolling in formation. For DE roles, is DSA enough through formation and then I could supplement with SQL questions?
I know you guys just partnered with formation so you may be biased. Thank you in advance for your advice.
For context - I have recently left Amazon and I'm actively looking for another role that suits my lifestyle in terms of work/life balance as well as the interest during the job role. Given how the market is right now - I was wondering if it is better to get a contract role until you can get the opportunity that you find interesting or go for a full-time opportunity regardless?
I'm interviewing with a unicorn (1000+ employees) now and had my last interview on Monday which I passed. I'm now at the virtual onsite, which is 5 interviews totalling 2 hours and 40 minutes across 5 interviews.
I scheduled it for Wednesday and Thursday next week. My question relates to the timing and spacing of these interviews. They don't seem to mind that there are 9 days from my last interview to the onsite. In the interim, I interviewed with another company today (and made it to the next round).
For the onsite, I have to present a project I worked on in detail with slides, so I will need time over the weekend and weeknights to do this.
My question is, can/should I ask for more time until I do my interview, pushing it Monday and Tuesday of the following week? This would put 2 weeks in between my last interview and the onsite. The pros of this are a) more time to prep for it; and b) more time to get offers from other places.
I guess what I'm getting at is what is a 'reasonable' amount of time to ask for? Am I pushing too much if I ask to move to the following week?
I had an interview yesterday with the Head of Analytics at a unicorn, a senior product analyst, and a Data Eng team lead. They were all in the same interview.
I'd like to thank them for their time and to show my interest in the role. However, I don't have their email addresses. They are easily locatable on LinkedIn though.
Should I just ask the HR person to thank them for me, or is it better to send them a request on LinkedIn, thanking them within it? My intuition is the former, as the letter seems a little too pushy.
Open to any thoughts and suggestions!
I work at a startup hiring senior software engineers. I have less than 1 year experience but I was asked to take technical interviews. I explained that they have wide skill set and I might not be the best person to interview them. They told me it's not a problem and that I can ask them questions related to what I already know.
So I interviewed a PayPal software engineer today and he has 6 years of experience. I've asked JS/TS specific questions like "here's a sample code, tell me what's wrong with it?" and I noticed that the candidate couldn't answer these questions. He started to get defensive and said that I shouldn't be asking these type of intricate questions given that it's easy to resolve the problematic code by relying on code editors' intelligence or simply googling the bug. In the end, we gave him a DSA question which he solved in 15 min.
I want to hear opinions of engineers here because I was expecting a senior engineer to know the "gotchas" of languages they have experience with and not just be good at DSA. I know it's important to have confidence in interviews, but is it okay to straight-up tell the interviewer to not ask language specific questions? Is asking language specific questions not the right way to evaluate someone's knowledge?
I asked this question on chatGPT, nothing proper not found. I need your help guys, currently I am interviewing with some companies which their Glassdoor reviews are really low and there are pretty bad reviews in terms of culture and engineering. Just wondering what is important things can I ask them to get know more about that, or is there any technique that bring this kind topics during the interview?
I am a senior software engineer working primarily in Python. I consider myself a pretty good coder, being able to solve problems and deliver software on time at the necessary SLA. I understand and have worked with the major Python web frameworks such as FastAPI, Flask, and Django.
But I see a lot of things lacking in myself. I am not able to handle algorithms very well, nor am I able to efficiently use design patterns.
I see that all of these skills are part of FAANG interviews and much sought after.
I also understand that there is Leetcode, HackerRank, CodeSignal and that help better ability.
What is the best way one can upskill self given the many options?
I was fired from my previous company due to bad performance on the job. What to tell to potential recruiters about my employment status? Will letting them know that I don't have a job make them lose interest in pursuing with me? Will it reduce my ability when it comes to negotiating the salary/benefits later?
Is It insensitive/disrespectful to try to initiate conversations with employees at a company about your aspirations to join if there has been recent layoffs within their organization? E.g. I invite someone to a lunch and ask for advice on how to improve my prospects for a future position at this company? My aspirations to join has been quite constant during a year or so, but I don't know what's the right thing to do right now given the current circumstances.
The context: I am looking for a startup to join and realized that most of the opportunities are with NodeJS and TypeScript.
I've been working mostly with .NET for quite some time but JS/TS are not new to me. In fact, TS is written by Microsoft and probably because of that, the syntax is very close to C#. So, I don't see big issue here. But NodeJS is a different world. I have some professional experience with it but don't know it deeply.
I understand if you are a good SWE the stack doesn't matter that much. But we are talking about finding a job here. I will have to convince the interviewer I can do it. And the questions will go for sure deeply about Node env. My motto is if the interview is tough, there is a higher chance that there will be more talented people than usual. But tough interview will make it even more impossible to me.
What are the opportunities?
Or smth else?
I just got laid off from the startup I was working at with zero notice. I'm back on the job hunt. I've been working for about seven years now. I was a full-stack developer in my recent position. In the first five years of my career, I've worked in roles where I've had to carry out SRE work.
I'm looking at a job posting for an SRE position at a place I'd like to work.
What are the things that I should consider when before taking the call to apply for SRE roles?
I transitioned into a backend engineering role 1 year ago after working as a data analyst for 3 years. The jump was definitely big to me, as I had to learn a lot of new concepts (OOP, clean code, architecture, devops etc). The transition was done through internal hiring where they did a live coding interview (2 easy leetcodes), a live system design interview, and motivational interview. I passed all of those and ended up in a high-paced team.
The team was severely understaffed. The manager was managing 3 teams that decreased from 20+ people to <10 people and there was hiring freeze. There was no proper onboarding and all the seniors were too busy with tasks to help me properly. I did my best to read the documentations and set up 1-1s with more senior engineers from other teams that could help me. I finished several projects although carried over some to the next half.
My 1st performance review was "meet expectations". However, before my 2nd performance review, there was a manager change and this manager gave me "partially meet expectations" and then said that I would be put on PIP program. When I asked the manager what the program would be like and how many people completed this successfully, he/she couldn't give a definitive answer and said that HR would be in touch me.
I decided to quit and spend time to learn more fundamental concepts and take up a freelance project. It's been 2 months since then. Right now I feel like I'm learning a lot in these 2 months compared to my 1 year in that company, but I can't help but feeling very anxious with all these layoffs and the incoming tech winter. I don't have any self-confidence within myself that I would get any decent job, especially after getting an incoming a PIP, I'm just worried that when I'm interviewing at my next job, the career gap in my resume and the past potential PIP would deter me from getting any jobs. I'm also at loss on how to avoid potential PIPs in the future. Any advice to help me? Thank you very much.
Edit: For more context, I didn't come from a CS background (I studied Mathematics). My team was not a revenue generator. The company was especially hit really hard during covid and had 2 big layoffs. When I left, there are many products that are being shut down and a couple of senior-level product managers left as well without being replaced due to hiring freeze. During the talk of my PIP, the manager brought up his/her expectations on me that was 1 level (mid-level) above my current level (junior-level).
Lately, we have experienced this.
As a Talent Acquisition, I have experienced the pressure of balancing the two.
A fast process is excellent, but it isn't very sensible if the quality of candidates being brought on board isn't up to par.
On the other hand, a perfect process may take too much time and leave us missing out on top talent.
I’ve been at meta for about 6 months now as a new graduate and my team recently got re-orged. The project of the new team is very uninteresting to me and honestly I realized that I’ve chosen an “easy” work team.
I recently got advice that I need to do more meaningful work such that my skills develop and I can create credibility. I don’t think the work on my current team or the new team makes me excited or even happy in anyway.
I would love to explore the metaverse org as I was heavily involved in VR/AR development work in college.however, I’d have to wait until July to start this process+ this would mean I moved 3 teams in 1 year implying I spent more time ramping up than doing meaningful work.
I’m also considering switching companies. I am able to secure interviews from a few companies that seem interesting to me.
Does anyone have any suggestions ?
I'm a Data Engineer looking to break into FAANG. As such, my time outside of work right now is spent applying to jobs, asking people for referrals, and networking. When I have interviews, my focus shifts to Leetcode.
I really want to build a side-project though both because it's fun and because it will help me perform better at future jobs.
My (common) issue is this: where do I start? Not in terms of the problem I am solving. I have a super-smart friend who's a lawyer and an MBA who's into fantasy sports and he has neither the time nor the ability to create an app. I feel like I could just generate a bunch of different ideas with him and pick the one most interesting to me.
I mean in terms of tech area. Alex and Rahul are both mobile developers and that naturally lends itself to great apps. I know Alex has mentioned that in a vacuum, it's better to focus on front-end for side-projects. I have no experience with front-end or mobile, some back-end dev experience and a fair bit of data.
I could build a data eng project. Start Data Engineering has some great projects on his blog () and there's definitely plenty of examples online (e.g. ).
My question is whether I should build a DE project. I'm not particularly wedded to DE because I feel like I want to do more SWE work and less business analyst work. Above all, I want to get into FAANG for the boost to my learning, career, and comp. DE is prob the easiest way of getting there but again, not wedded to it.
So I see my options as a) doing a DE project (maybe using the projects above to get my feet wet); b) doing a full-stack project (hard to do a back-end only project I think); c) mobile? (Alex and Rahul are tempting me).
Is there any advantage to mobile over a web-dev project?
If I do b or c, I'm concerned about falling into tutorial-hell or at least taking too long to learn before building. I'm tempted by a full-stack course like Zero To Mastery's full stack course, but it's 40 hrs, and I know it's prob not necessary.
Just want to add that I'm a newb for side-projects and I'm aware that I can and will experiment with multiple project types once I get started.
Sorry for the unstructured thoughts here. My brain works on NoSQL, not SQL ;)
When an EM gives you the word that I'm willing to match the offer and the role. What should you ask the EM to make it official?
A revised offer letter or an appraisal letter, or something else?
I felt under-leveled and undervalued in my existing org so I interviewed in a top product company and landed an offer. Once I viewed the master class on Taro. I feel it's more than the compensation it's the team and leadership.
How do I politely deny the matched offer?
This is somewhat of a random question and I assume it can only help but do Github stars mean anything to big tech (1k+ stars) and is "gaming" it a good use of time? (By gaming I mean honest accumulation of stars where the project is popular but not technically challenging)
BookMyShow is India's biggest online movie and events ticketing brand.
Now in movie streaming as well.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, they laid off 96% of the staff.
Post-COVID, record with highest-ever ticket bookings.
Will interviews for data-related jobs at FAANG companies be different from general software jobs? Given my most recent experience is in software engineering, how can I best prepare for behavioral questions for a data related job?
Can you share resources for data-related interviews (applied data science, data analysis, sql, big data, etc). Also, any tips that a former software engineer can best prepare for switching roles to a data engineer.
I read or saw a video a long time ago that when you negotiate, you want to have competing offers so that you can stack them against each other.
That being said because different sized companies have different pacing for the application process i.e. big tech can take a lot longer whereas startups might move a lot quicker, there are optimal times for when you should apply -- e.g. applying to big tech first and then applying to startups around the time you start entering your FAANG interviews.
Generally speaking, what is the correct timeline for applying to big, medium, and small sized companies?
All Big Tech including Google, Meta, Amazon have done one round of layoffs. Interesting to hear what is your opinion is on the severance packages in the subsequent rounds. Does it get reduced? Asking because I am in interview process with Google. If they do a layoff will I get very less severance than the 1st round? My friends at Google are certain that there will be more rounds of layoffs in coming months.
To folks who have been impacted by the ongoing layoffs, should we be transparent about our ongoing situation with regard to employment? Just wondering if that would tend to hurt one as the interview progresses towards the offer stage.
I've noticed that a lot of people don't put their graduation year for university on LinkedIn. I think this is because there's a strong fear in the tech world of being seen as old and out of date. I myself am wondering if I should remove my graduation year from LinkedIn. I graduated in 2018 and am aiming to break into FAANG.
I feel like as time goes on, it becomes more and more compelling to get rid of the year.
Eagerly awaiting people's thoughts.
Hi Taro community,
Seeking your help in evaluating two offers that I received from two start-up companies.
Thanks in advance for any kind of suggestions/comments.
My company recently laid off 15% of its workforce. I'm currently in the process of updating my resume, and plan on prepping for interviews again (doing LC) once I come back from vacation.
After my LI announcement of the recent layoffs, recruiters had started to reach out to me. I feel flattered by the response but I don't feel that I'm ready to take on interviews yet before I do some proper preparation.
Should I ignore calendly invites and wait before aggressively reaching out (to network/connect) with recruiters when I'm in a more ready position to apply?
Is there any value in starting these conversations at all at atm? Or would it be a waste of my time -- and I should instead focus my time and attention towards prepping for interviews instead?
Currently, I'm not really looking to rush the process and I feel like recruiters can be pretty pushy sometimes in wanting to fill in roles for companies.
I was under the impression that in the past (before Q3 of 2022), it was often possible to get exceptions to location-based comp ranges and to get an offer that was average for the role even if in a low-COL area working remotely. I've talked to other developers in my area who have said they experienced that.
Has this become more difficult in this market? I was evaluating an offer and the recruiter initially seemed optimistic about exploring going above the location-based pay bands in order to compete with my other offer and current comp, but then I didn't hear from him for two weeks (during Christmas) and then he got back to me saying it was entirely impossible.
After more than 20 years of IT experience across different areas (analysis, development, operations, architecture, management, ...) in various industries (e-government, healthcare, manufacturing, consulting, ...), how would you organize your CV well? Would you list all the companies you worked in since your graduation from college and what you did in each (and therefore make a relatively long CV)? Or would you detail only the most recent 3 or 4 companies/projects where you worked along the last 10 years and add a summary of what you did in the older years without listing company names and what you did in each one by one (and therefore limit the CV to round 3 pages)? Any other approaches?
My resume is below and a review would be great!
*Note because my most recent experience is Team Lead and where I don't directly ship, I did break the rules and use bold to highlight earlier impact. I also put skills at the bottom for visual balance.
Team Lead for Software Engineering, Company X ⁓ $450M startup ⁓ 1M monthly active users
Android Engineer II, Company X ⁓ employee #18 of 150 ⁓ engineer #4 of 25
May 2021-Mar 2022
Android Engineer I, Company X
Nov 2019-April 2021
Internships: Zillow, Undergrad Research
Skills: Kotlin, Java, Room/SQLite, SOLID, MVVM, Git, Design patterns, OOP, TDD
I think I could get an L5 offer now if I pushed for it, but is it fine to level myself at L4 to make things easier on myself? Then I'll try to perform at L5 anyway but it will be a-ok to not quite make it.
I’m considering leaving a startup because of 2 things I’ve seen on Taro:
2019 Goal of Joining a Startup
Learn a lot about how to be a good software engineer
Be an early employee at a startup that makes it big
Quickly become an Engineering Manager because I like working with people, helping others
2023 Thoughts on Staying as an Eng Manager or Joining Big Tech
Dream of being an EM, is happening on small start up scale with a growing number of reports who like my management so far
The dream is to be early at a unicorn and that is close, but
The new standard should be 10B not 1B
Doing this with a first job is not necessary and high risk
In 2-4 years I’d likely still be a engineering manager from a no-name startup
L5+ engineer in big tech may fit well with my personality right away based on Taro, where I love collaboration, helping people, product and technical challenges
Getting a 2 FAANG+ badges on my resume over the next 4 years would be more way more worth it than even a million dollar payout from a startup
Could have many doors opened for high level roles at startups OR faang depending on what I feel like at the time
Big tech stock offer may also easily be worth 1M in 4 years
Supportiveness of team
Maximum outcome (Risk)
Supportiveness of team +0
Work-life balance +7
Company prestige -1
Growth opportunities -3
Company ethics -2
Remote work +6
Product space -5
Technical space -5
Maximum outcome (Risk) -10
Taro priorities video is
150 people, 25 engineers (doubled from a year ago)
Fall 2021 had 50% investment at 250M valuation
Dec 2022 450M valuation
Revenue has since doubled in last year to 125M
Profitable per years with 20% gross margin
Not venture backed, so not expecting 20x growth
Estimated in 2-4 years to sell for 1-2B
How to evaluate a startup video
Current job stats
Team lead for a year after 2.5 years as Software Engineer
0.1% equity, 100k cash
18th employee, 4th engineer
Dream of being an early employee at a unicorn, seems close
Would lose all stock if I leave before acquisition/ipo
Biggest point for discussion: ***2-4 years of being manager at a small startup may not qualify me to be an EM in big tech***
190k cash, 350k stock over 4 years, 60k sign on bonus
Work life balance is supposed to be great
Great food, big tech lifestyle that I’ve always heard/dreamed about
Would work to be promoted to L5 in 1-2 years, then manager a year after that.
Being a new person at a fresh company sounds very exciting now, I know the business fully and the tech stack of the current place to the point where many things Ive see before and feel stale/boring
Based on my write up about values, priorities, liking collaboration, would I like being an IC L4 coming from being a manager where I have solid tech skills but strong soft skills that I enjoy using.
If I stay at the start up would I be able to get a big tech EM offer with 3-4 years of management experience at the start up? Note this question shows what I’m learning now as a manager.
Should I down level myself from L5 to L4 if I think I could get the offer at L5 but am not sure about the certainty of success? (Question asked separately )
I had a final interview with a small startup yesterday and now they are requesting a manager reference. I would rather not do that until I have an offer that I've accepted. What is standard practice here (if there is one) and is this itself part of the negotiation process? I think I will just tell the recruiter that I am not comfortable giving the reference out since I don't want my reference bothered.
What sorts of reasons make people leave big tech? I recently received an offer from a tech start-up is super interested in my candidacy and they're moving what they can to try to match compensation. The move includes a promotion. It also seems like I'd have access to career growth and learning due to people there wanting to work with me to help me succeed.
However, no matter what they do, they won't be able to match the compensation I'd receive within a few years, assuming I grow into a senior engineer role and stay at a big tech company. I see driven, career-focused individuals moving out of FAANG-like companies to start-ups and non-FAANG companies, so I'm curious: what drives people to do so? When is this the right career move?
I find myself in this confusion as to how and when should I spend time in
How should one spend time in making sure they are doing deliberate practice for the interviews, but also are in "sync" with the market with all the new tools and technologies out there? Where does one stop? I know my priorities, but I also feel i might loose focus on my interview prep if I start multitasking.
How do senior engineers or mid-level engineers keep themselves uptodate? or do they only learn "whatever is required to get my job done"?
Trying to decide about taking an IC role I received in big tech (my first one! Thanks, Alex and Rahul!). I'm very excited about it except that I'm concerned about whether I'd still have the option to be an EM again someday, if I took this offer (I am an EM in a very small company now).
Do you think someone with this resume/background would still have a shot at EM roles? Doesn't need to be FAANG or big tech, but EM roles in at least mid-tier companies.
My resume would look like this, in this order:
There are actually lots of EM roles requiring experience with distributed systems, microservices, large-scale consumer-facing products, modern tech, etc. I don't meet the basic requirements for these roles now but would meet them after working as an IC in big tech.
Say a recruiter from Series C reaches out to you for a SWE role.
What all are the questions that one should ask in order to do the understand the potential of the startup so that there is less risk of layoffs when joining there, given the uncertain times.
I am aware of crunchbase website and looking at the news article that are linked there. What other homework one should during/before/after the interview process in terms of questions to ask, information to collect?
The limitation that is usually is the startups have very few employees so it is difficult to get concrete answers about the culture, WLB, actual work unless you are in their network.
So I had an on-site this Friday with a company, and the recruiter returned saying that feedback was positive, but they didn't make an offer. So I asked for individual interviewers' feedback, and the recruiter read it out, and it was all rounds, yes. But still, they didn't make an offer.
She said I was the first candidate who got through positively, and they have others scheduled this week and the first week of January. So they would like to see them through. And decide by Jan 6.
She asked me for timelines and if I had another offer with an exploding timeline. I don't, but I may not have one in a few days. And she scheduled a call again within a few days to check if have an update.
What would you do in this case? It seems she will make me an offer if I have another offer or they don't find a better candidate. I haven't had this situation before.
I feel like I'm doing this wrong. When I want to see what jobs are available, I go on LinkedIn, hit the "jobs" tab, type in "frontend jobs", and scroll through the search results. But that's often unproductive because nothing looks enticing. I scroll past companies that I don't know (because I assume the pay or the benefits will be mediocre), past companies that I've heard negative things about (which is a lot of them), and then I'm left with no options at all.
I wanted to work for a FAANG company, but after all the layoffs and hearing stories from my friends who have boring work and teams, constantly feel anxiety around their jobs, and feel like code monkeys, I am a bit turned off from applying to FAANG-type companies. I work for a well-known fintech company now but I don't have a good manager and the upcoming changes in upper management don't look promising. Plus, I've been here for 3+ years and I want to know how other companies operate, know more people, and just learn more within software engineering too.
Here's what I'm looking for
Location doesn't matter and I'm ok with a remote job too. One tactic I thought of was to look up "great places to work" and apply to companies from that list.
But in general, how should I look for jobs and companies to apply to when I'm not targeting a specific company? Plus, is applying to FAANG level companies worth it for the resume boost and the experience?
Appreciate any insight into this! Thanks!
I unfortunately missed this event last evening: .
I would really appreciate someone highlighting the biggest takeaways.
I'm especially interested in the question "Switching jobs in the poor economy: good or bad idea?" but key points from other topics would be helpful too.
Thank you so much!
I haven't touched leetcode yet and don't have a CS background. I'm not sure whether to use my free time to work on a personal project or if I should use the time to take up a DS & Algos udemy course, Algoexpert, etc and just leetcode until I can apply for the big G. I guess where I stand with that is I'm wondering if there is more value in it than a skill that just vaporizes after passing the leetcode interviews.
YOE: 10 months remote at an AWS Partner (DevOps/AWS account remediation stuff)
Hello, I’m in my early career and in need of some career advice. I would like to get into a SRE-SWE role at Google, preferably in Zurich (I’m a US citizen) for better career growth and new life experience.
Currently I work remotely at a tiny AWS Partner where Terraform and AWS Cloud remediation is my main work. Though I had no intention of giving up coding, the job I got into pays well but is not exactly what I was expecting...
After the first couple months of trial-by-fire with terraform - my job stopped being challenging and I have tons of free time (which I used to get 4 AWS certs so far.) Terraform hasn’t been difficult once I got the hang of it, and most of it I don’t consider actual brain-exercising coding work like I had done when learning to code (i.e codewars). Lately, I feel my only growth has come from the knowledge I’ve gained from self-studying for my AWS certs. Though I have enjoyed studying for my AWS certs and gaining depth about cloud services (I really enjoy research and distributed cloud architecture to make things work on a mass scale is amazing) and I just cleared the AWS Certified DevOps Pro exam which was a significant milestone for me. BUT…
Also I really love working remotely but I would go to the office if it meant Google and a new life experience in Switzerland.
And I would really love any insight you can give about such SRE-SWE roles and if that sounds like the best fit for my current cloud specialization and interests. Thank you
Given the following email:
Please follow the link to select a date and time that works for you.
The last step of the interview process will involve meeting with the leadership team, who are the leaders of each department (HR, Operations, Marketing, Product, and Strategy). This will be an informal session where you can get to know each other better and discuss topics such as what motivates you, your strengths and weaknesses, and your understanding of our product offering. We encourage you to review our website to refresh your knowledge before the meeting.
How would you approach preparing answers for the questions?
In applying for jobs, how do I strike the right balance between prepping for the few interviews that I have, while also trying to get more interviews? There is a temptation to go heavy prepping for the interviews I have with mocks and leetcode so that I can ace them. However, if I only prep for my 1 or 2 interviews, if I end up getting them, I won't have as much leverage as I would have by having 5+ offers like Rahul and others got. I know that that's the ideal. I know that there are unique circumstances for everyone in terms of how many interviews people can get from a bunch of applications based on where they are in their career and how well they've done. Still, I don't think I'm managing my time properly and I'm focusing too much on prep right now and don't have enough simultaneous interviews.
Part of it is that I'm focusing too much on getting referrals rather than just applying, while part of it is that job apps are often more than just uploading a resume and submitting. Often, they want you to answer some questions about why you think you're a good fit for the role and what made you interested in the company and other such questions. Even if they don't ask these questions, the mere process of applying to multiple roles on the same site can take a few minutes of filling out the same checkboxes and text fields for each position.
I feel like I should just sit down on a Sunday and pound through the ~80 Big Tech companies on my list, and then this will be a moot point. Prob the solution right there.
Lastly, I know this is a terrible time to apply to Big Tech, so I know that is a factor in getting interviews.
In prepping for interviews, how do I find the right balance between mocks and Leetcode? I just interviewed with a company this week and got feedback that my communication was good, so that's a relief. Also, of the 2 questions I was asked, one I had already done exactly, while the other was a variation of one I did (n-ary vs binary tree post-traversal). So that suggests I should keep doing Leetcode, but I'm still aiming for at least one mock a week. Wondering if I should up it.
Also, is it better to mock with the same partner consistently or have different partners? Is it better to only mock with FAANG engineers (since that's my target) or people in a similar position as me or even less experienced than me?
Additional insight is always appreciated :)
I recently encountered an interview. The interviewer seems not quite willing to cooperate at the first beginning, like hiding the camera, not responding to my answers, and just shooting another question right after. Within 1-hour interview, the interviewer spend 40 minutes around behavior questions, most likely: "what's the most critism feedback you recently received?"/ "what's the biggest mistake you've done?"/ "give an example of when you think you received unfair criticism?". The interviewer also asked questions like "what's private cache/ global cache"? "What's the replacement for sharding?" still I do not have any clue about this sort of question. The rest of the tech interview, it's a dp question which I think it's quite challenging to accomplish in 20 minutes. I wonder what is this interview about. Is this kind of a high-pressure interview? Is this kind of interview that we should expect?
I’ve come to realize more and more that the greatest thing holding me back by far as a software engineer has been perfectionism. By perfectionism, I mean the mental attitude that says that what I have done isn’t good enough so I need to spend more time on it, or that I’m not ready to do something. This attitude is pretty much the opposite of Meta’s “Move fast and break things”.
Here are a few of the ways that this mindset has hobbled me throughout my career:
I believe perfectionism is particularly harmful in tech compared to other industries since things change so fast.
Maybe this is better answered by a life coach or therapist, but what are some things I can do to limit the pernicious effects of this mindset?
Recently I learned that some interviewers may be biased against candidates who appear as "job hoppers", i.e., have worked for several companies in a "short" period of time (whatever short means is likely subjective).
Have my first interview coming up with a big tech company and want to do some leetcode-prep to get my problem-solving muscles warm before the interview. I've gone on Glassdoor and seen some of the questions people have posted that they’ve gotten from the company in the past year. Should I practice these questions? The obvious answer would be “yes, you’d be crazy not to!”, but I can think of 3 reasons not to:
if I am asked if I have seen the question before, many people advocate answering truthfully, in which case, I kind of negate the advantage of studying-company specific questions. There are actually 2 reasons people have for telling the interviewer you've seen a question. One, because they want to know. This is the principle-based reason. Two, because they can tell if you're pretending not to have seen it. This is the pragmatic reason for disclosing that you've seen the question.
there’s an argument to be made against studying for any one-specific company and instead beefing up my DS&A skills in general – this would argue for studying questions that are the most common across all (big tech) interviews, not specific to the one I’m interviewing with.
This company is very big, and Glassdoor combines questions from multiple teams and departments. The chance that I'll see a question from the team I'm interviewing with is small.
I'm applying for jobs now and am concerned that I don't know enough languages. I have a few years of work experience as a Data Engineer, so my bread and butter is Python and SQL. I'd like to get an entry-level role as a software engineer, but am concerned that I don't have the right languages. From what I can see, Java and C/C++/C# are the main languages asked for in job apps. Do I need to do a side project using these languages so I can add them to my resume? Or should I only apply to Data Engineer roles?
I don't hate my job but not interested in overly performing as I am not happy with my compensation.
No motivation to prepare for interviews in the current market
I just want to do whatever is assigned to me. I have no leadership skills, no confidence. No motivation to put lot of efforts and make an impact due to low compensation to fix my leadership and communication issues. It typically takes 2.5-3 years to get promoted to next level as an average engineer like me. I have been stuck due to immigration issues. Manager has too many reportees. Hiring freeze everywhere.
Do you have any recommendation on what to do in this case?
In a coding interview, can you explain the approach first and then when you move to code, not explain or talk?
I tried to talk while coding in an interview. But I found writing code fast and well was difficult then.
What does an ideal interview look like, in your opinion?
I recently just got back a take home project for a start up, and the feedback I got was I don't deal with ambiguity well enough. I can't do anything actionable with this advice. Should I be asking more questions? Less? Better? Have a better understanding of what to do? What did you guys do to handle ambiguity better?
When it comes to describing your projects, what are the things you should emphasize vs. not? I want to be able to paint myself in the best light when talking about projects at work and during behavioral interviews, particularly those of Big Tech.
How do I demonstrate that I am seasoned in a way such that if a Big Tech company decided to give me a chance, I can put them at ease and show that I'll be successful? How does that look like across various levels?
I’m currently working as a Data Engineer for a mid-sized (1500 people) investment-services corporation. The company has been around for a long time and makes money, but it definitely isn’t a tech-first company (e.g. it refers to the software side as “I.T.”, has tons of meetings, approvals needed to install almost anything on my computer, including VSCode).
I want to get into FAANG as a software engineer because I want to move away from the business/data side of things and closer to the engineer side of things. On my current team, I’m the lone data-engineer (will be joined by another in a few months) and as someone with <3 years of experience, I know that my growth is being stunted.
I’m currently grinding AlgoExpert to prep for interviews.
How should I think about the circumstances under which it would be worthwhile to quit in order to prep (full time) for FAANG interviews? Here’s what I can come up with in terms of current pros/cons of quitting:
Pro’s of quitting:
How does the answer change (if at all) if I manage to land interviews with a bunch of different FAANG companies (say 5+) and I’m struggling to schedule all the time for interviews, prep for them, and do minimal work at my current job?
Thoughts are appreciated!
I’m about to start applying for jobs. I’d like for my next job to be at FAANG for all the reasons that Alex and Rahul mention it’s good to begin your career at FAANG. This is my third job out of school, so I’m a little late, but better late than never :)
I believe what Alex and Rahul said about working at FAANG is that it’s good because you:
My crude approach to getting into a FAANG/FAANG-equivalent company is to look at levels.fyi, and run down the list of companies and apply. This approach certainly satisfied point 2 above, and is also very good for getting 1 and 3 as well given that all 3 points are highly correlated.
I know that referalls are important, so I do plan on tapping my network as well.
But I wonder, am I thinking about this the right way? Is there a better approach? If I could in theory get super-amazing 1 and 3, and get less 2, I think I’d be willing to do that. But I’ll never come across such an opportunity if I’m just using levels.fyi
All thoughts are welcome 😊
I'm a self-taught, aspiring Android engineer, looking to land my 1st full-time role. I have around 4 hours a day to learn software development, and I'm wondering how I can spend my time the most efficiently. Here are the 2 core things I want to understand how to balance my time between:
I got contacted by a Big tech recruiter recently to interview for Sr. SWE/L5/E5 level. The recruiter said they can skip the phone screen round for me and advance me to virtual onsite interviews directly, probably due to my relevant experience for the team/role.
My question is regarding how to know how much time to buy for interview prep. Since one hurdle (phone screen) is already cleared and this company is one I would like to join, I want to buy enough time to prep well and give my best shot. At the same time, I don't want to give an absurd number of months for this opportunity to go away, and for me to lose momentum which I can use for other companies too.
Sorry I know this is a very non-generic and personal question depending on my skillset to clear this interview. Just sharing some info if it helps you answer -
My current situation - I started preparing for interviews in general a month ago. So I started with brushing up on DS concepts + Algorithms and learning Coding Patterns, and about to start Leetcoding soon. I have not done any preparation for System Design and Behavioral rounds as of now. I have not interviewed since a long time, so my interview skills are quite rusty. I'll probably need to take some mock interviews/practice interviews with other companies as well before this Big tech company's interview.
I'm in the initial stages of a job hunt right now and recruiters seem to have the perception that I'm more qualified than I actually am (especially at non-FAANG companies). I'm E4 at Meta (mid-level) and not performing exceptionally well at this level, but recruiters are trying to push me for 'Senior' roles. Should I just go along or push back?
I know this is a bit of an unorthodox question since most people have problems with downleveling, not the other way around. I'm somewhat confident of passing the coding/systems design rounds for Senior/E5 positions at these companies, but I really want to avoid a situation where I join and immediately start getting overwhelmed by the actual job responsibilities.
Context: ~2.5 YoE
If your organisation is not promoting you, what can be the possible reasons? Does it make sense for one to join another organisation at a higher level or is it a recipe for failure?
Part 1: Before Joining an organisation
Part 2: After joining an organisation
I'm an earlier-in-career engineer currently working at a quickly growing startup. Things are going well, but I do think I want a Big Tech name on my resume someday.
Right now, Big Tech hiring is frozen, but it will open up again eventually. I'm wondering how can I make sure that I'm prepared when it all opens back up - Should I be regularly studying Leetcode in the meantime or something?
I feel like everyone's talking about getting into FAANG all the time, and I've been thinking about it as well since I haven't worked at a FAANG company yet. I see people with really short stints on their resume - Is that really okay? Overall, it's all a lot to take in and I'm just wondering how to best think about my career and get away from all this job switching noise.
Here are the 2 main options I’m thinking about:
I want to know if I'm ready to start interviewing. Here's some additional context:
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?
I’ve seen this a lot with smaller companies like startups. It’s just not likely that I’ve worked with the particular tech stack of whatever the question is about, so I can’t really answer them a lot of the time. How can I respond gracefully to these types of questions?
Before I was at Amazon in Cambridge, England. I came to enjoy the quality of life there, but recent changes made me switch to Salesforce in India. The work-life balance here is good, but even as a staff engineer, I’m having trouble finding scope - I own just a small piece of the overall system my team’s responsible for.
I was able to recently get an offer from Spotify for a UK office, which expires in a month. However, it’s for Software Engineer 2, a level below their senior level. This isn’t ideal as one of my goals is to be a Staff engineer at a reputable company.
Should I stay at Salesforce where I’m already a Staff level and have solid work-life balance or move back to the UK to work for Spotify?