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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 Effectively Divide Time Studying Between DS&A and System Design

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

I'm currently studying for software engineering interviews, but I'm having a hard time deciding how to divide up my time between doing LC problems and going over system design concepts. It can feel overwhelming since both categories have so much to cover. I also have a family, so most of my studying gets done after my kid goes to sleep at around 7 PM. Since my team is in the west coast and I'm in the east coast, I do get some extra time in the morning to work out at the gym and go through some LC problems. I'm currently going through Neetcode's course as a refresher. For those of you who have aced your interviews, how did you divide up your time on different topics? Did you mostly spend your time on LeetCode? I'd be happy to hear any recommendations.

My main goal: I want to be interview-ready no matter what. I currently work at a big tech company and I've been there for 4 years now, but I haven't seen much growth and now I'm seeing that I could have negotiated more when I first got my offer. I was asked 2 LC-type problems, and I feel I got lucky with them because I hadn't extensively gone through all the different patterns and data structures. It was my first time getting RSUs and I wish I had known more about negotiation tactics as well. I feel that if I be ready for interviews, I can apply and definitely increase my comp by a lot. The motivation is for me to overcome the fear of DS&A problems and not stop myself from applying to positions just because I'd be asked LC-type questions. I also know that I can double my comp with the right negotiation tactics and with my years of experience.

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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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