It’s a weird time to be job hunting as a software engineer. The overall stock market, which includes the equity of many tech companies, is down significantly overall. At the same time, numbers around the job market still appear strong. Similarly, there is news of layoffs, rescinded offers, and delayed IPOs – yet many companies are still actively hiring, with some even accelerating their recruiting efforts.
I’ve gotten dozens of emails in the past few weeks asking what to do in various scenarios. Questions like: should I stay put at my comfy but low-paying job, or move? Can I still negotiate salaries to the same compensation as last year? Should I be scared of being laid off?
I’ve decided to summarize my answers here. First and foremost, the biggest principle behind my response has always been to draw a hard line between what’s in your control, and what’s not. Focus only on what you can influence, and let the rest fall where they may.
The economy will always go through boom and bust cycles, but that shouldn’t affect your larger career objectives. Worrying about the state of your employer, industry, or government will not make things better. With that said, you can do things that make sure you’re putting yourself in a good place in this environment, regardless of what happens.
First, if you’re looking to move– heavily research the health of your current company and prospective companies. You can’t shape how their businesses are affected by the greater market conditions, but you can avoid companies that are burning through cash reserves or funding at an unsustainable rate.
Second, keep your interviewing skills sharp: Be ready to move or find a new job, if necessary. It’s not hard to do: get daily problems via our newsletter, watch a video, or review flash cards– all these things keep your head in the game. Many premium members have used AlgoDaily for nearly four years now, refreshing their skills as needed.
Third, keep your relationships in the industry strong. This is something we all know to do, but it’s easy to lose touch. Reach out to old managers and coworkers to see how they’re doing. Congratulate them on their recent wins. Meet folks at conferences and in your company. You never know where people end up, or how they may influence where you end up!
Finally, leverage your skills as a software engineer to create a backup stream of income. There are programmers who’ve gone freelancing, who’ve become YouTubers, and who start side projects. These could be good platforms to build off of should the worst occur, and they strengthen your engineering and communication skills for your day job regardless.
Feel free to reply directly to this email if you have questions about your personal situation. In closing, while times seem scary, you aren’t able to change the luck that you might have. What you can do is always improve your skills and yourself, so no matter what happens, you’ll turn out fine.
I wish you continued success in your software development career!
It’s almost the New Year, so I’d like to give you a quick gift! From yours truly, here’s the exact steps to take to break into a top software company next year.
I’ve always wished there was a definitive guide on how to break into FAANGMULA (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Uber, Lyft, AirBnB) as a software engineer. Let the following be an attempt.
Now of course, FAANGMULA is just a proxy– it could be any other large software company not in the above (now very long) acronym. I’ve spoken at length about the benefits of working at most top software companies: interesting work, smart colleagues, incredible compensation, great benefits, prestige, etc.
In 2022, let’s make it happen for you! Here’s a plan of action, based on my own experiences and having seen what works for others.
We are going to use a target date of the end of March to land your dream job. This is because the entire application cycle usually takes around two to three months. Also, many people's bonuses arrive towards the end of February or March, so timing it this way ensures you maximize your earnings.
This also assumes that (though understandably not true for all) you have 15–20 hours a week to dedicate to interview prep.
Without further ado, here’s our game plan.
Steps for FAANGMULA
Crush technical phone screen:
Crush the on-site interviews
End of March: Get offers and negotiate
As the pandemic continues to stretch on, we've seen some reverberations from it in the tech hiring landscape. Software engineers, previously already in high demand, are witnessing unprecedented numbers of companies and recruiters reaching out. They come offering some transformational roles, often with life-changing pay.
Be aware of some trends that are occurring. Staying on top of the industry's practices can help you prepare accordingly, and land the job that could make or break your career. Imagine landing a job at Amazon in 2000, or Google in 2005-- where could you be now?
Some Recent Trends
What to Make of This?
The consensus is clear: there's no better time to find a new job. In the month of December, activity usually drops since people are on vacation. After the New Year, expect a rebound in recruitment and interviews.
However, also expect a more dynamic environment. There will be fiercer competition, rejections out of your control, and companies changing their open roles and policies at a greater frequency.
At AlgoDaily, we have a plan in the works to help students streamline their interviewing even more in January-- this is to be announced soon! But in the meantime, here are things you can do to bolster your chances:
You can accomplish all of the above with the help of AlgoDaily Premium, our membership offering that includes all material and tools acrosss algodaily.com-- currently on sale.
Get 50% Off AlgoDaily Premium Today. Deal ends shortly!
Here at AlgoDaily, we've been busy. This year, our team of amazing content creators has added over 200 new lessons to the site, covering ways to conquer coding interviews, as well as things you should know to level up as a developer.
We recently ran some analytics on the new guides published in 2021 that our students have found most helpful. This was discovered by crunching time on page, number of completions, and general qualitative feedback.
Here are your favorite lessons on algodaily.com in 2021:
Coding and Algorithms
Systems Design/Operating Systemms
We know that the AlgoDaily's courses are great when you have at least a few weeks or months to prepare. But what if you're scheduled for an interview, say, tomorrow?
How can you prepare with just a few hours of free time?
The answer is in our cheat sheets. Did you know AlgoDaily.com has 20+ cheat sheets that provide the most common questions asked during technical interviews?
Here are our most popular ones:
Roles and Technologies
I hope you check out some of these cheat sheets. If you find them helpful, I would appreciate it if you shared this amongst friends or on social.
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Welcome to the most accessible guide to technical interviews. AlgoDaily was created to be a gentle, visual introduction to patterns around solving data structures and algorithms challenges.
We believe that technical interviews are a matter of practicing well. We've referenced hundreds of resources on habit change, education design, and algorithms to design the best and most streamlined learning experience.