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System Design Q&A and Videos

About System Design

System design is the process of determining the optimal high-level technical approach to a problem. It's a staple in both the interview process and actually doing your job as a software engineer. We have created a video series to act as a system design primer for software engineers.

How to navigate career after layoffs

Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community profile pic
Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community

I recently got laid off working as a developer working within an agency. I currently have around 5 years of experience working in the agency setting utilizing React, Next js, Vue, Liquid, and the Shopify API to create custom eCommerce sites. During my time at these agencies, I also had the opportunity to act as a lead, interact with clients, set timelines, and cross collaborate with designers/projects managers to meet deadlines.

I have been looking for new opportunities since January and I've been able to secure a couple of interviews, technical challenges, and one onsite. Most of my interviews have been coming from agencies, but my preference is to join a tech startup or maybe more on the brand side of things within the Shopify niche. Below are a couple of questions:

  1. Will working at another agency hurt my career in the long run? My ultimate end goal is to work for a bigger tech company if possible.
  2. If an agency does want to hire me right now, should I take the job for now or just wait for one of my preferences?
  3. I notice a lot of developers within the agency space freelance after their 9-5. Does studying for interviews or future jobs provide a higher ROI instead of freelancing?
  4. Lastly, I just finished (super helpful!). It seems like the best course of action for me is to apply a lot, work on side projects instead of grinding leetcode, and study system design. Does this seem correct?

Thanks in advance!

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How do I prep for Frontend job interviews? Do I apply for Fullstack?

Mid-Level Software Engineer at Mastercard profile pic
Mid-Level Software Engineer at Mastercard

Hello!

So, my job's getting outsourced this summer, and I'm deep into figuring out my game plan for interviews. I'm mostly a frontend engineer, working with Angular, SCSS, and ngRX for our app. I've dabbled in backend too, even went full-stack in my team, but my backend skills aren't great. My manager supports me marketing myself as a full stack person, but I'm wondering if going all-in on full stack jobs is worth the effort during the interview prep, especially since I'm not a big fan of backend work.

Then I wonder if the downside of applying for frontend jobs is that there are not that many and the barrier for frontend is lower (maybe because of coding bootcamps and it can be self-learned) so competition will be higher.

Now, I'm drowning in prep work - data structures, algorithms, frontend know-how, and system design. Recently got hit with a surprise system design coding round in an interview (an internal position I arrogantly thought I had in the bag) I thought was all about frontend and DSA. Did okay, but not stellar, and now I'm feeling unprepared for every interview. I feel crippled to even apply to positions. It's a bit of a mess.

So questions:

  1. Any tips on tackling system design questions, especially the coding part? Most online resources seem to focus more on design rather than coding specifics.
  2. How should I balance DSA, system design, frontend prep? What topics and how much time should I commit to each of them?
  3. Also, am I on the right track leaning towards applying for just frontend roles?

Appreciate any & all feedback!!

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