CS career megathread / AMA

app
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by app » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:43 pm

recent amazon phone screen
Started out with the interviewer asking a few qs about the work i do, then drilling more into the exact nature of the work. i think they're developing some chips that do ML so they need someone to work on sw stack. spent about 25 minutes on these work-ex qs and they explained some of the things they do and how my work could fit in. last 20 mins they posted a problem on a shared screen where the task was to evaluate an arithmetic expr e.g. 2 + 5 *7. took about 5 mins to sort of limit the scope of problem to basic arith ops and suggesting an approach using a stack machine. then i coded the solution in the next 15 mins or such, before identifying that it may not work correctly for some - number cases, which i then fixed. thought was a tricky one to do in 20 mins but apparently it turned out ok.

app
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by app » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:52 pm

those who work in tech, how common is no response to slack message is at your work?

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haus
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by haus » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:57 pm

app wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:52 pm
those who work in tech, how common is no response to slack message is at your work?
In my experience it is all over the map. Behaviors towards slack varies both by company, teams, and even individuals.

I work on a security incident response team, almost everyone on my team will respond to messages fairly quickly, and for most even at fairly odd times. Although when you get to other parts of the company, many people pay much less attention to slack.

app
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by app » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:42 pm

my work got terribly busy during the last month that made interview planning a little out of whack. like this is p much the most fast-paced place i've worked at.

this industry pays well but work can be crazy demanding.

app
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by app » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:45 pm

i can't even keep up with the slack messages and channels based communication that's likely become prevalent at all tech places now a days.

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:23 pm

app wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:42 pm
my work got terribly busy during the last month that made interview planning a little out of whack. like this is p much the most fast-paced place i've worked at.

this industry pays well but work can be crazy demanding.


And this is coming from a guy who was a millionaire in his 20s.

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jingosaur
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by jingosaur » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:06 pm

I used to work at a big tech company and my first team out of college was me and 3 guys who were labeled "subject matter experts" who were all here from India on H1B visas. Within 6 months, they all got fired and deported, and their jobs were taken by fresh college grads with 0 experience like I was at the time. I have no idea how the government lets tech companies continue to get away with this. The job description for my role required so much crap that literally nobody who I worked with had. It also really sucked working for a company whose primary goal was to either replace me with someone overseas or turn me into a contract worker.

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suralin
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by suralin » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:14 pm

eh would take w a grain of salt. def has a bit of a personal vendetta, he's making tons from the interview course side gig, and his whole shtick is 'intentional' clickbait. but yeah the h1b process is fucked and fb can be stressful as hell

(i personally know techlead and joma tech (was on the same team at fb, close friends w the latter) and helped w the course)

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suralin
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by suralin » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:22 pm

relatedly i was talking with somebody else about this recently and i think tech is becoming increasingly bimodal (similar to law?)

once you've got your foot in the door at a big tech company you have it made and almost certainly won't struggle to find more high-paying jobs. the whole demand >>> supply that people think applies to everybody in CS does actually apply for you

but if you don't get the right break, it's maybe surprisingly hard to get that first entry-lvl job. and with big tech increasingly hiring contractors even for 'skilled' work (there are two on my team who are new grads with CS degrees), the disparity grows. to be clear the path dependence / chicken & egg problem exists for every career but the huge pay and opportunity disparity def doesn't

e: tho still think that it's probably one of the highest ROI paths you can take if you have the potential and the interview process is relatively 'gameable'

e2: also it's relatively easy to go from not-so-well-paying to well-paying, doesn't seem like that's as possible in law

app
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by app » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:25 pm

I guess ppl don't realize how sw eng doesnt have a long life purely in sw. There is v high Tc just a few years out of college but the stress becomes unbearable after some time. In the first couple of years a sw eng wouldn't mind going down the rabbit hole of futile sw hacks to please product manager or bosses, but after a decade or so, you realize how useless, opposite to laymen idea of sw engineering it is, and people just burn out.

Last 1.5 months of my life, i have no idea where they went due to work, and im underpaid wrt the industry.

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suralin
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by suralin » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:09 pm

not to downplay your experience but don't think that generalizes; the vast majority of my friends who are SWEs with 5-10+ YoE are happy and not burned out. i myself work maybe 40 hrs/wk and don't think i've ever worked more than 50 hrs a week. we have it good on the whole

app
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by app » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:32 pm

happy in what way? do they want to be changing some lines of code for some social media product, submitting git PRs until they retire?

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suralin
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by suralin » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:56 pm

lol that’s uh a pretty uncharitable take, but actually yes for some of them. for others they don’t necessarily need to find intrinsic meaning or fulfillment in their jobs, ie they can find happiness in their hobbies or relationships or traveling etc outside of work. having the privilege of making a lot while working not that many hours makes much of that possible

for yet others they do find happiness or at least satisfaction in becoming better at what they do, solving usually interesting problems, engaging in stretches of flow, being surrounded by usually smart people, and having quite a bit of freedom to work. cf daniel pink re autonomy, mastery, and purpose in driving motivation. esp relative to almost all other well-paying jobs, tech does well there

and finally, if you are seeking to change the world and don’t buy into SV-style ‘changing the world at scale’ and won’t be happy otherwise, there’s plenty of nonprofits and social good companies starving for tech talent. you won’t be paid as much as in big tech but you’ll def still be living a v comfortable lifestyle. nobody’s stopping you from using that optionality

you’re asking kind of an existential question but personally i think it’s more or less a fool’s errand to try to find all your happiness in a job. but if i had to locate some meaning in a career, i feel p fortunate that i’m in a position where i can do that (via flow, craftsmanship, etc) and still do other things i enjoy

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:54 pm

suralin wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:14 pm
eh would take w a grain of salt. def has a bit of a personal vendetta, he's making tons from the interview course side gig, and his whole shtick is 'intentional' clickbait. but yeah the h1b process is fucked and fb can be stressful as hell

(i personally know techlead and joma tech (was on the same team at fb, close friends w the latter) and helped w the course)
I saw you in the Jomatech interview. Why do you think there are so many depressed Asian/Asian Americans in the tech industry? Jomatech did a video about him being depressed and deleted it. Seems like a big issue in Silicon Valley, and Techlead is just pointing it out.

Did you read that Medium post about how awful Snap's culture is?
e2: also it's relatively easy to go from not-so-well-paying to well-paying, doesn't seem like that's as possible in law
It's very possible if you're good at business development. Problem is most lawyers do not it or have terrible business sense (look at the many posts on this forum).

There's another difference too for those that want to go the salary/worker route, there are many auxiliary tech jobs that aren't titled SWE/SDE, but still pay very well such as PM, Solutions Engineer, Data Engineer, Data Analyst. I've even seen former devs go into chill but comfortable paying careers as recruiters or bootcamp instructors.

There aren't that many JD advantage jobs out there that don't require very specific experience, like there are PM or solution engineering roles you can get fresh out of college.

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suralin
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by suralin » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:24 pm

uh weirdly assumptive / racist-adjacent q

1) that’s not the case 2) if it were the case it’s bc some asian ethnicities are relatively overrepresented in tech, not that asians are uniquely dispositioned to be depressed (??) 3) selection bias and 4) i do think that people are more and more realizing the importance of mental health and the prevalence of stress or burnout but i don’t think it’s unique to the tech industry (see any consulting, banking, med school or uh law forum) and it’s probably becoming more a topic of conversation partly as an implicit pushback against the narrative that all tech jobs everywhere are unicorns

also that snap post mainly didn’t reflect well on the author, but wrt culture generally it’s almost always dependent on the specific team. i think snap’s overall culture is probably one of the best in the valley

e: reiterating that it’s seriously bizarre to point to my friend’s mental health as some overall indictment on tech

app
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by app » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:50 pm

i read your earlier post as the first invoking happiness in general in conjunction with work. if you're ok coding as long as you get paid enough go for it ride it. the issue i raised is that the wave may not last forever if all your goal from work is to do code changes to a sw for money.

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Hambone
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by Hambone » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:25 pm

Not CS related but this seems like a good place to ask about tech startups

Have an interview with the COO of an early stage tech startup (they recently completed series A funding round) for in house counsel position. The role is really exciting but I have no idea how to evaluate the chances of the startup itself at such an early stage. What sort of things should i ask/look for in the company when determining whether it has a chance of sticking around and being successful??
wiz wrote:
suralin wrote:
call-in

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:14 pm

Hambone wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:25 pm
Not CS related but this seems like a good place to ask about tech startups

Have an interview with the COO of an early stage tech startup (they recently completed series A funding round) for in house counsel position. The role is really exciting but I have no idea how to evaluate the chances of the startup itself at such an early stage. What sort of things should i ask/look for in the company when determining whether it has a chance of sticking around and being successful??
wiz wrote:
suralin wrote:
call-in
Are the investors Sequoia Capital or Andreessen Horowitz? Any big names from Y-C or former Y-Cers?

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