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.
Hi fellow Tarodactyls! I'm preparing for a call with a hiring manager which it'll be behavioral & my fit with the team; and, at my level (new grad), there are definitely work situations I haven't faced.
That said, I'm wondering how I should prepare for questions on things I technically haven't done (i.e., "Tell me about a time you built a cross-functional feature that influenced other teams"). How do I frame my answer so that it doesn't trigger my interviewer's liar detector, but also open doors for further conversation (instead of an "I don't know" response)?
Hi all. I am working at a contract role right now with a small startup that ends in less than 6 months. There is a chance to convert to full time, but they could also just end the contract.
I am confused about how to handle LinkedIn during this time.
Should I keep the open to work badge?
Currently I get a lot of reachouts on LinkedIn for interviews. I am not sure if that will change when I take the badge off.
I have a Codesignal Assessment to do for Dropbox.
The way I plan on prepping is to go through as many of Dropbox's questions on Leetcode as possible (there are only 25 for all time) and to look over Glassdoor. This is the standard approach and I think it works well here.
My small concern is that since this is a Codesignal Assessment, it's going to be more real-life-like and less Leetcode-y. I don't believe there's any way I can tweak my study, so I still think the standard approach is the optimal approach.
Can people confirm and offer their thoughts?
Am interested in some self paced online courses I can take from home, and one that ideally lead to some sort of certificate/badge/credential. Free resources would be best, but am willing to pay a few dollars for top quality.
Something like leetcode would be too advanced for me. I am familiar with programming but never formally learned it and have 0 knowledge of these topics.
This whole train of thought started after a coffee chat with a family friend who is an Engineering Manger at FAANG where she told me that she thought I was getting too comfortable and that I needed to start working on harder problems to keep learning.
In my current role (my first and only job since graduating college in May 2022), I work with prospective F500 Banking & Insurance clients to engineer small scale POCs that prove the value of IBM’s technology, and to hopefully convince them to complete the sale. I was originally hired with the title “Data Scientist” but noticed that my customers were largely uninterested in IBM’s Cloud Platform ML offerings and were already using other hyperscalers. Following the release of ChatGPT, client interest in IBM surged and we have had much more business as clients stand up our Generative AI Studio offering (watsonx) vs others (think Vertex AI, Azure ML, Sagemaker). In January 2024, the business updated my title to AI Engineer to reflect this change, and I work almost completely on LLM related deals now, and almost never with “classical” ML. The primary technologies I am responsible for are: Generative AI Studio, Data Lakehouse (including vector DBs), Data & AI Governance & AI Virtual Assistants (chatbots).
I would say that my role consists of 50% Business Development and collaborating with sales & account teams to develop and progress sales opportunities and 50% hands on the keyboard engineering. None of the POCs we develop are architected with deployment in mind, as IBM also has a consulting business that they promote for that. Ideally the client is billing consulting hours, and my team costs nothing so we should build as fast as possible.
For some context, in college I was largely unsure what I wanted to do afterwards, and joined IBM quite literally because I was a senior who was about to graduate with no job, and I knew someone who worked at IBM sales that offered to help me. That was the first time I ever thought I might go into tech. I went to an Ivy League school where I earned a BA with a joint major in a Social Science + Statistics. The stats I learned were much more applied than theoretical, and despite having the degree, I would say that I lack the necessary mathematical foundation that one would expect of an MLE or Data Scientist, including key topics like Linear Algebra, Stochastic Processes & Discrete Math etc. I did take one intro ML + NLP class, but it was extremely general and not mathematical (although it thankfully helped me fake my knowledge to pass my IBM interview). I also didn’t take any CS courses except one intro Java class.
I know what my classmates at FAANG earn, and their entry level base salaries are at least 50-60k higher than mine. I also do not have any equity in my compensation package, which I know will make the real difference in the long term. IBM is making a concerted effort to reduce our workforce size. Despite being a high performer with consistently good feedback from my manager & colleagues, I don’t think that I will earn that first promotion soon to close that salary gap between IBM & FAANG. Luckily, I don’t see myself getting laid off soon either, so there is no urgency to make decisions.
This company definitely gave me a shot when others probably would not have given my background and Data Science skills at the time. I feel like I have spent the last two years faithfully giving them as much as I can and also learning a lot for myself along the way, but now is the appropriate time to start thinking about where I really want to go in the future.
I feel like the Data Scientist position I was originally hired for required a certain level of mathematical foundation that I had, but that building with pre-trained models definitely does not require. I had skills that were relatively harder to develop and somewhat in value, but now prompt engineering can be taught in almost a day, and one can quickly learn the adjacent tech stack to build and deploy with LLMs without much math. I thus feel anxious about tying my future to this, as my market value would naturally be a function of how hard the skills I have are to acquire. The AI Engineer role requires more of a Software Engineering background to really integrate the LLMs into apps than a math background. I could also keep focusing on learning more math and get into the model training & research side, which is an option I am considering too.
Despite landing here by accident, I learned that I really like big tech, and I think I actually want to end up in a Sales role as well. I am told by my manager that clients give positive feedback about working with me, but I observe that the best sellers who earn the most money in IBM are the ones with deep technical expertise AND who also have the soft skills to become trusted by the clients. These people often worked on product teams or in highly technical roles before finishing in Sales, which is what I think I should do too, as my knowledge base is too broad to really become a technical expert, and the POCs I build are too short to have any knowledge of how to actually deploy these technologies into production.
I would thus like to end up at a FAANG company and make more money, and probably work on an AI product team either as a SWE/Data Scientist or potentially even as an AI researcher (though I’m not interested in a PhD, which I know is important). My question for you all is what would be the best path for me to get there? Should I focus on studying more math and to try for a Data Science/MLE role, or should I try to focus on learning Software Engineering & patching up my math with supplementary self-paced courses.
My initial hunch is go back to school for a 1 year Masters in CS, and take a few math courses beforehand & maybe some more math based deep learning or transformers focused courses while there. This would ideally make me suitable for SWE or DS/MLE/AI Engineer roles, and expand my chances of success. Most American schools require CS bachelor’s degrees and their applications have closed, but this masters program in the UK at Imperial seems open. Does this program look like useful material for someone in my position to learn ()?
I feel like I have half the math and half the programming experience to succeed, but am not knowledgeable enough at either to really do as much damage as I know I am capable of. I would be keen to hear from some of you more experienced veterans out there how you think I should proceed. I have been living at home with my parents and saving money, so I could pay for the masters and assuming I make it into FAANG the extra salary would mean the degree pays for itself in 1.5-2 years. I could go on educational leave and my job at IBM will likely be there for me should I fail to get recruited somewhere else (IBM recently stopped paying for masters degrees unfortunately). I also know that there is opportunity cost of not earning for 10 months while at school.
Given my context and situation, the main questions I want help thinking about are:
I know this was long, thank you so much for reading, and thank you in advance for your help. Hindsight is 2020, but I am young and I don’t fault myself for not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up. I know with hard work and patience that I will get there.
I have been working as a backend engineer for around 6 to 7 years, splitting my time between India and the UAE. Recently, I've come to the realization that I don't derive much enjoyment from software engineering. Also, I don't plan to stick to current startup for long as I don't see much future ahead. Consequently, I am contemplating pursuing an MBA with the aim of transitioning into either product management at major tech companies like FAANG or management consulting at firms such as McKinsey. I don't have a strong preference for either career path; my primary consideration is which one offers higher compensation in Europe.
After obtaining an MBA from a top business school, which role typically commands a higher salary: product manager or management consultant?
If I were to continue in software engineering and attempt to transition to a position at a FAANG company in Europe, which role would likely yield the highest income: engineer, product manager, or management consultant?
Can I get breakup of salary?
I acknowledge that these questions may seem unconventional, but at this juncture, my main focus is on maximizing my earning potential as I navigate my career path.
One of the disadvantages of working at Amazon is that I don’t have enough experience working with Docker and Kubernetes anymore and frequently asked during recruiter calls if I know the technologies. I wrote a few Dockerfiles couple of years ago and I am pretty confident I will be able to pick it up if I have to use it on daily basis again.
Hi! I got a call from a Meta recruiter a few weeks ago, and I scheduled my phone screen for this coming week. However, my Practice Screening Interview did not go very well and uncovered certain gaps in my preparation.
Should I tell my Meta recruiter that I am not prepared enough for my actual screening interview next week and ask for a postponement? Or should I just go ahead with my interview and potentially squander a good opportunity?
In hindsight, I think I should have only scheduled the interview after (a) having done a decent amount of preparation, and (b) having assessed myself through some mock interviews. That's certainly a learning for the future, but I am not sure how I should navigate the current situation I am in.
Any advice, suggestions are most welcome. Thanks!
I work for a consultancy company. The client I was assigned to recently changed to another service provider and all my team (7 contractors including 2 project managers) were put on the bench.
The staffing team is looking for another project where I might be a good fit and they say there's no deadline to assign me to another project, but I'm not sure of that and every day it feels like I will be fired in any moment.
My motivation went from 100% to literally zero. I don't know what to focus on now and I feel lost. It is an odd feeling.
What can I do now?
Things I've done so far:
How do they differentiate between senior and Staff in the interview process. What areas of STAR I should focus on while answering these questions and how to prepare for this round?
I see some companies have the first round where they decide on this
Any pointers on existing recording would help too.
Hello, my background is in full stack development with c# and Typescript stack and I’m 2 years into my career after college graduation in CS degree, all with the same team.
I’m interested in a role that is focused on C++ embedded low-level programming which requires experience in C++ and understanding of hardware / memory / pipelining / registers / semaphores, because my interest and work style might be more suited for these type of engineering work.
How should I create a study or preparation plan to get myself ready for the interview so I am able to cut into this area? I have around 3-6 months to prepare. What projects and experience can be beneficial?
I am currently seeking to transition into a career as a compiler engineer, a field I find deeply fascinating. The interdisciplinary nature of compiler engineering, bridging areas such as computer architecture and graph theory, intrigues me greatly. Additionally, the sector offers promising financial rewards, especially with companies like Meta, Nvidia, and AMD that are at the forefront of hardware accelerators experiencing significant growth. I am convinced this growth trajectory will continue, making this career path an ideal blend of intellectual fulfillment, professional growth, and competitive compensation.
Due to recent layoffs, I find myself unemployed, and I am seizing this moment to pivot towards compiler engineering. However, I acknowledge that there is a steep learning curve to becoming an ideal candidate for such positions. The required skill set typically includes:
Previously, I worked as a senior backend engineer, specializing in tool development using functional programming languages such as Scala and Ocaml. My experience spans across FAANG companies and two startups.
To bridge the gap in my skill set, I have been actively contributing to open-source projects similar to LLVM and honing my C++ skills through consistent practice on Leetcode. Despite securing a few interviews for compiler engineering positions, I have not been successful, primarily due to difficulties with compiler-specific questions.
I seek advice on the following:
Any guidance or insights from those who have navigated a similar path would be immensely appreciated.
In the next couple days (2-3 days) will be the deadline for my current job offer (let's call it "Company 1"). I already asked them for extension twice and they said next Monday (02/12) would be the final date and the offer cannot be extended further. The best thing about this offer is the company is fully remote, but it's a startup with unknown plan for IPO.
There is another company (publicly-traded company - let's call it "Company 2") that I already finished the interview with good feedbacks, but HR told me the hiring manager literally interviewed me as the very first candidate and would want to have 2 more weeks to interview other candidates too, but I'm in the pipeline for consideration.
Should I accept the offer from "Company 1" (the startup above)? WLB seems to be better than the "Company 2". Both companies offer "Unlimited PTO" (for better or worse) but at least the 1st is fully remote.
For comp number, the publicly-traded "Company 2" definitely has higher total comp and their stock is skyrocketing in the market right now. "Company 1" has higher base salary but paper stocks.
I wonder if the hiring manager for "Company 2" is interviewing further, does that mean my positive feedback was good but not great? Should I keep interviewing or just accepting 1st offer? Any thoughts on what to do next?
I had an initial call with a recruiter for an opportunity. She followed up with a call specifically asking for my salary expectations.
She initially provided a range in an earlier call, and when she asked me to narrow down, I did, to the 50th - 75th percentile of that range.
I'm upset that I did, as I believe best practice is never to share a number, even when they tell you they can't move forward without one. E.g. see .
Can people confirm that the right move is not to share the number, even when the recruiter asks you specifically, repeatedly?
Hi all, I'm currently job searching after being laid off (junior engineer with 2.5 years of experience) and I know after browsing around here that side projects are heavily encouraged (especially Android apps) to boost up your portfolio and chances of getting an interview.
What are your opinions on doing certifications? I am making my way through an AWS Solutions Architect course while doing side projects - is it a complete waste of time or is it worth balancing along side project work?
So I wanted to ask the opinions of hiring managers or anyone who had to hire someone for a technical role.
Could you possibly talk about some of the characteristics of candidates that made not want to move forward with interviewing/hiring them? And if possible, could you also talk about if you'd hire Junior Engineers and if not, why not?
I spoke with a hiring manager about a software engineering opportunity after passing technical interviews. One thing he told me was this split between configuration and hardcore development. When trying to clarify the HM's use of the terminology, I got the impression that the HM defined "configuration" as building on top of an existing platform and "hardcore development" as building things from scratch, which the HM appeared to confirm.
However, I'm still unsure if I presented my clarifying questions correctly. Should I try and probe for more details if the HM feedback is positive, or is my impression accurate enough?
In particular, I am about to have a team fit call with a senior manager at Google for an L5 role. The corresponding team/job description from the careers page looks a bit ambiguous (it's a role in google distributed cloud hosted).
I am already HC approved post my interviews.
I wish to gain understanding for the following topics in the role:
Of course, I do realise that its a fitment call and I need to leave a strong impression on the manager.
But need advise as to how can I balance the two aspects given its a short 30min call. Thanks!
I have been at my current organisation for a year and i just received a good performance rating and a raise. I have been doing pretty well overall. However, over the last two months i have felt that this role doesn't fulfill my intellectual needs and I am not challenged enough. I would like to widen the tech stack that I work on and have more flexibility in impacting the product (it's a big tech company and has a lot of hierarchy). To continue to be good at my work, I need to spend a good amount of time (~50% of the time) doing non-challenging/repeated/admin work. I have started taking courses and my attention has derailed from office work quite a bit.
I realise that if i want to get promoted here, I need to continue to do what I did to get the good rating and do it even better perhaps. But at the same time, I yearn to work on a broader tech stack and take on more challenging work which may or may not come my way at my present org. The reasons to not switch would be : it's just been a year here, I have vested RSUs (spread out over 4 years) and a promotion would be good for my career (and good for my self confidence), also the work life balance is decent. But I have the urge to switch my attention to side projects and eventually to a role and company where I'm challenged more and hopefully make a lot more impact (startups).
Do you have any advice for me?
I am not that efficient in switching language (afraid I might mess up the syntax for Eg