CS career megathread / AMA

app
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by app » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:40 am

Kodokushiest wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:21 pm
FuzzyDunlop wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:58 am
Guest wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:49 am
I think prestigious is Rhodes Scholar, PhD, some truly wxceptional softs. I don’t think working at a big tech company is really considered prestigious.
Yeah, aside from big tech company's amazing perks, great lifestyle, and large salaries (with total comp of seniors exceeding big law attorneys many times), and a "wtf is this dude applying to law school for?" reaction from the admissions department, it probably won't make a difference.

Most people have no clue how hard Facebook or Google is to get in as an engineer, how much their stock perks are worth, or how prestigious they are outside of the Bay Area. Most people outside of SV think software engineers don't make a lot of money and it's a dime a dozen job.
I really don't think this is true.
i thought it was the opposite that non-SV people think of FB/Goog as unicorns where only geniuses work. we know that Mck/Bain/BCG name makes difference in HLS. so why not goog/fb?
they're similar for bschools where goog/fb/apple name in tech or Mck/Bain/BCG name in consulting does make a big difference when applying to schools like HBS.

app
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by app » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:43 am

coffee_spoons wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:52 pm
I think it's somewhere in-between. I don't think FB/Google will give you that big of a bump because law school admissions are just number-focused. It might give you small leg up, but it's almost useless to wonder or worry about how much. The best thing to do, if you're serious about applying, is to have good numbers and let the chips fall.

And fwiw, I think that a good software engineer would easily knock the LSAT out of the park with some effort. It's all conditional logic. Like, I've heard that some bootcamps give out LSAT-esque logic puzzles as initial technical challenges.
imo the bolded isn't generally true. sections like RC can be hard to do well for many sw engineers without having done such type of reading before.

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:08 pm

app wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:40 am
Kodokushiest wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:21 pm
FuzzyDunlop wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:58 am
Guest wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:49 am
I think prestigious is Rhodes Scholar, PhD, some truly wxceptional softs. I don’t think working at a big tech company is really considered prestigious.
Yeah, aside from big tech company's amazing perks, great lifestyle, and large salaries (with total comp of seniors exceeding big law attorneys many times), and a "wtf is this dude applying to law school for?" reaction from the admissions department, it probably won't make a difference.

Most people have no clue how hard Facebook or Google is to get in as an engineer, how much their stock perks are worth, or how prestigious they are outside of the Bay Area. Most people outside of SV think software engineers don't make a lot of money and it's a dime a dozen job.
I really don't think this is true.
i thought it was the opposite that non-SV people think of FB/Goog as unicorns where only geniuses work. we know that Mck/Bain/BCG name makes difference in HLS. so why not goog/fb?
they're similar for bschools where goog/fb/apple name in tech or Mck/Bain/BCG name in consulting does make a big difference when applying to schools like HBS.

I think because at Mck/Bain/BCG they imagine white dudes from elite east coast schools in suits. Or that's the image generally portrayed. Whereas until recently, your average person envisioned programmers with Chinese or Indian guys, or nerdy white guys that were poorly dressed and awkward. Though in certain westcoast circles, people know better and know that can be a very educated segment of the population, outside those circles it's not "flashy" like working at McKinsey. They don't think working shoulder to shoulder with Vihaan and a bunch of sweaty guys in t-shirts in San Jose is as cool as having your own office, wearing a suit, and working in NYC with Mike from Princeton. I'm not even sure most people know Silicon Valley is San Jose, or that San Jose is very rich.

Until recently (The Internship, The Social Network, HBO's Silicon Valley), people It wasn't a very flashy job, and people thought of it the way Office Space portrayed it. It's not a job that many people understand and 10 years ago when I was in college, people still thought studying "computer science" was subject to the job being outsourced to India or that I would end up working for the next Pets.com.

I know a decent number of people who could have became good programmers but became actuaries or went other math-heavy engineering routes because they thought programmers didn't make as much money.

It's changed recently. I definitely haven't heard the title being used as much as software engineer. But from the people I meet outside tech circles, they don't know how much an Amazon dev makes fresh out of school. Or that the total comp for a Facebook engineer is higher than that of an Attorneys. Especially when many of those jobs are filled by english second language immigrants from China who choose not to live as flashy a lifestyles as Mike at McKinsey who went to Princeton.

Kodokushiest
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by Kodokushiest » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:54 pm

People who distinguish MBB from other management consultants definitely know that that FANG+ programmers are making good money.

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wizzy
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by wizzy » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:13 pm

FB and Google are definitely comparable in prestige to MBB (or GS/MS/JPM or PJT/Evercore or KKR/Blackstone/Apollo)

And FB/Google > MBB once you factor in on-hire stock and refreshers for total comp (plus FB's stock is about to 🚀)
Last edited by wizzy on Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by wizzy » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:15 pm

I've literally never met somebody who thinks it's easy to get hired at Google or that a Google employee doesn't make good money. If somebody knows about MBB's legendary case interviewing, then they also probably know about how selective FB and Google are.

And if anything, I would think that the CS background would be a nice kicker for patent bar eligibility (although lmao at doing FB/GOOG -> law school)

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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by haus » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:48 pm

wizzy wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:13 pm
(plus FB's stock is about to 🚀)
Looking forward to FB being the recipient of a series of multi billion dollar fines related to the GDPR. Should do wonders for their stock.

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wizzy
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by wizzy » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:50 pm

haus wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:48 pm
wizzy wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:13 pm
(plus FB's stock is about to 🚀)
Looking forward to FB being the recipient of a series of multi billion dollar fines related to the GDPR. Should do wonders for their stock.
Yeah, the EU really crippled Google ($700B market cap) with their multi-billion dollar fines.

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haus
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by haus » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:54 pm

It is not the one that really hurts, it is when they start stacking up like cord wood.

app
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by app » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:33 am

FuzzyDunlop wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:08 pm
app wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:40 am
Kodokushiest wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:21 pm
FuzzyDunlop wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:58 am
Guest wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:49 am
I think prestigious is Rhodes Scholar, PhD, some truly wxceptional softs. I don’t think working at a big tech company is really considered prestigious.
Yeah, aside from big tech company's amazing perks, great lifestyle, and large salaries (with total comp of seniors exceeding big law attorneys many times), and a "wtf is this dude applying to law school for?" reaction from the admissions department, it probably won't make a difference.

Most people have no clue how hard Facebook or Google is to get in as an engineer, how much their stock perks are worth, or how prestigious they are outside of the Bay Area. Most people outside of SV think software engineers don't make a lot of money and it's a dime a dozen job.
I really don't think this is true.
i thought it was the opposite that non-SV people think of FB/Goog as unicorns where only geniuses work. we know that Mck/Bain/BCG name makes difference in HLS. so why not goog/fb?
they're similar for bschools where goog/fb/apple name in tech or Mck/Bain/BCG name in consulting does make a big difference when applying to schools like HBS.

I think because at Mck/Bain/BCG they imagine white dudes from elite east coast schools in suits. Or that's the image generally portrayed. Whereas until recently, your average person envisioned programmers with Chinese or Indian guys, or nerdy white guys that were poorly dressed and awkward. Though in certain westcoast circles, people know better and know that can be a very educated segment of the population, outside those circles it's not "flashy" like working at McKinsey. They don't think working shoulder to shoulder with Vihaan and a bunch of sweaty guys in t-shirts in San Jose is as cool as having your own office, wearing a suit, and working in NYC with Mike from Princeton. I'm not even sure most people know Silicon Valley is San Jose, or that San Jose is very rich.

Until recently (The Internship, The Social Network, HBO's Silicon Valley), people It wasn't a very flashy job, and people thought of it the way Office Space portrayed it. It's not a job that many people understand and 10 years ago when I was in college, people still thought studying "computer science" was subject to the job being outsourced to India or that I would end up working for the next Pets.com.

I know a decent number of people who could have became good programmers but became actuaries or went other math-heavy engineering routes because they thought programmers didn't make as much money.

It's changed recently. I definitely haven't heard the title being used as much as software engineer. But from the people I meet outside tech circles, they don't know how much an Amazon dev makes fresh out of school. Or that the total comp for a Facebook engineer is higher than that of an Attorneys. Especially when many of those jobs are filled by english second language immigrants from China who choose not to live as flashy a lifestyles as Mike at McKinsey who went to Princeton.
one thing to note though is that MBB probably offers better exit opps than Goog/Fb. A goog/fb sw eng can't do much else other than sw engineering some place else, and career growth flattens out relatively sooner than consulting. still, i thought that in law admissions, skills of an engineer from G/Fb could be as prized as skills of consultants from MBB.

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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by app » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:42 am

.
Last edited by app on Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by Guest » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:37 pm

one thing to note though is that MBB probably offers better exit opps than Goog/Fb. A goog/fb sw eng can't do much else other than sw engineering some place else, and career growth flattens out relatively sooner than consulting. still, i thought that in law admissions, skills of an engineer from G/Fb could be as prized as skills of consultants from MBB.
Usually the jobs are so cushy I don't know people who leave. They typically try and make management or more often climb their SWE seniority ladder (usually 5 to 7 levels).

The people I know who have left often go to startups to try and make it big financially, once as you say their growth flattens or it becomes evident they're not reaching the upper levels of the seniority ladder. I know a lot of big company software engineers that want to go to much smaller companies and diversify their work depending on their RSUs.
FB and Google are definitely comparable in prestige to MBB (or GS/MS/JPM or PJT/Evercore or KKR/Blackstone/Apollo)
Do you think the average person thinks anyone that works at FB or Google are prestigious? Or just the actual software engineers? Or is anyone with an engineering title considered prestigious, because FB hands out "engineer" titles like candy.

What about people with sales titles? What if their sales title is something like "Solutions Engineer" or "Partner Engineer" or "Solutions Architect"?

Do you think the average person knows a Solutions Engineer isn't a Software Engineer and didn't go through near as tough an interview?

What about the recruiters at Google or Facebook? What about PMs? I've also seen sourcers/recruiters inflate their titles on LinkedIn.

I'm curious how you guys view that. Because I know sales people at these companies with "engineer" in their titles, but do almost no actual software engineering. But they say they're "engineers at Facebook." And even though internally, people know they're not software engineers, a lot of people outside don't know.

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:00 pm

Looking forward to FB being the recipient of a series of multi billion dollar fines related to the GDPR. Should do wonders for their stock.
I see FB stock volatility as an opportunity. When it recently dropped, I bought more. It's been doing great for me. If the stock drops significantly (below $150) due to government regulations, I'll buy even more.

One of my investing strategies is, if a law student or lawyer tells me it's a bad idea or I shouldn't invest, I immediately take it as a sign I should invest. It's been working fantastic the last few years. My friend takes a similar strategy to his business ventures and he'll be set to retire before he turns 40.

guest

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by guest » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:28 pm

Guest wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:37 pm

Usually the jobs are so cushy I don't know people who leave. They typically try and make management or more often climb their SWE seniority ladder (usually 5 to 7 levels).

The people I know who have left often go to startups to try and make it big financially, once as you say their growth flattens or it becomes evident they're not reaching the upper levels of the seniority ladder. I know a lot of big company software engineers that want to go to much smaller companies and diversify their work depending on their RSUs.




Do you think the average person thinks anyone that works at FB or Google are prestigious? Or just the actual software engineers? Or is anyone with an engineering title considered prestigious, because FB hands out "engineer" titles like candy.

What about people with sales titles? What if their sales title is something like "Solutions Engineer" or "Partner Engineer" or "Solutions Architect"?

Do you think the average person knows a Solutions Engineer isn't a Software Engineer and didn't go through near as tough an interview?

What about the recruiters at Google or Facebook? What about PMs? I've also seen sourcers/recruiters inflate their titles on LinkedIn.

I'm curious how you guys view that. Because I know sales people at these companies with "engineer" in their titles, but do almost no actual software engineering. But they say they're "engineers at Facebook." And even though internally, people know they're not software engineers, a lot of people outside don't know.
A different guest. I am not sure the notion of "cushy" job exists in Silicon valley. i've seen the word "cushy" used only by people who are mainly work in government or large bureaucracies where change is slow in which individualism is relegated in favor of collectivism. In tech if a worker doesn't produce work worth his value he is out. also, ageism is a thing in tech, in some ways the more experience you have the worse it gets, as change is so common.

in fact level 5-7 is not that high even in FANG. Many big companies SW engineers go to startups or smaller places because sometimes there is nowhere else to go. Since you have to produce work to justify value, people burn out. Startup work can be very hard on comfortable life too, about 90% of startups fail. Among the remaining that succeed (or at least justify their investment), idk is a mere engineer (at least in biz totem-pole) makes enough profit that makes it worth it.

Guest

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by Guest » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:28 pm

app wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:43 am
coffee_spoons wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:52 pm
I think it's somewhere in-between. I don't think FB/Google will give you that big of a bump because law school admissions are just number-focused. It might give you small leg up, but it's almost useless to wonder or worry about how much. The best thing to do, if you're serious about applying, is to have good numbers and let the chips fall.

And fwiw, I think that a good software engineer would easily knock the LSAT out of the park with some effort. It's all conditional logic. Like, I've heard that some bootcamps give out LSAT-esque logic puzzles as initial technical challenges.
imo the bolded isn't generally true. sections like RC can be hard to do well for many sw engineers without having done such type of reading before.
(On a friend's computer, this is the OP with the point about SWE/LSAT ability). True, but that's one section out of three. Logic games would be a joke to a programmer and unless they are completely allergic to words (or English is their second language, which is a very valid scenario), the logical reasoning section is basically more conditional reasoning puzzles.

Even the reading comp section is really just being good at ploughing through dense, technical material. I can see how that would require some practice, but only having to really work on one out of a three-section test is a pretty substantial edge, to my mind.

(Note, not a SWE, but I studied for and did well on the LSAT and now after a stint in law, have started self-teaching myself programming to see if I'd be interested/good at it. I think without having to learn the LSAT and teach myself conditional reasoning from scratch, I'd be terrible at programming. As it is, I find it pretty enjoyabe, and have trouble imagining that a programmer would struggle with at least LR and LG sections).

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Tue May 01, 2018 1:18 am

guest wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:28 pm
Guest wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:37 pm

Usually the jobs are so cushy I don't know people who leave. They typically try and make management or more often climb their SWE seniority ladder (usually 5 to 7 levels).

The people I know who have left often go to startups to try and make it big financially, once as you say their growth flattens or it becomes evident they're not reaching the upper levels of the seniority ladder. I know a lot of big company software engineers that want to go to much smaller companies and diversify their work depending on their RSUs.




Do you think the average person thinks anyone that works at FB or Google are prestigious? Or just the actual software engineers? Or is anyone with an engineering title considered prestigious, because FB hands out "engineer" titles like candy.

What about people with sales titles? What if their sales title is something like "Solutions Engineer" or "Partner Engineer" or "Solutions Architect"?

Do you think the average person knows a Solutions Engineer isn't a Software Engineer and didn't go through near as tough an interview?

What about the recruiters at Google or Facebook? What about PMs? I've also seen sourcers/recruiters inflate their titles on LinkedIn.

I'm curious how you guys view that. Because I know sales people at these companies with "engineer" in their titles, but do almost no actual software engineering. But they say they're "engineers at Facebook." And even though internally, people know they're not software engineers, a lot of people outside don't know.
A different guest. I am not sure the notion of "cushy" job exists in Silicon valley. i've seen the word "cushy" used only by people who are mainly work in government or large bureaucracies where change is slow in which individualism is relegated in favor of collectivism. In tech if a worker doesn't produce work worth his value he is out. also, ageism is a thing in tech, in some ways the more experience you have the worse it gets, as change is so common.

in fact level 5-7 is not that high even in FANG. Many big companies SW engineers go to startups or smaller places because sometimes there is nowhere else to go. Since you have to produce work to justify value, people burn out. Startup work can be very hard on comfortable life too, about 90% of startups fail. Among the remaining that succeed (or at least justify their investment), idk is a mere engineer (at least in biz totem-pole) makes enough profit that makes it worth it.
A tech worker just has to produce enough work to keep his job. Actual software engineers (not the support engineers or sales engineers) that are good are rare. Usually companies have to poach from each other or reach overseas.

Usually from what I've seen, the people in the "cushy" jobs are good to excellent software engineers that I would say are purposely underachieving. The ones that I know that this totally coast at work - they're in their car to happy hour by 3:30 and they're definitely not in early. They're talented enough to work at FB or Google. But they work at large, big name companies slightly below those in terms of programming ability required (they still get excellent perks and pay). They usually reach senior level and cruise -- they work no more than 40 hours a week and that's including their paid-for lunch and other time messing around work. They could easily be a higher level but they don't do enough work, but they definitely do enough to keep their job.

Not enough talent to fill Senior SWE positions at these companies, so if you get rid of them it could take you a long time to find a replacement. Even when they're "on-call" they don't necessarily go into work and nothing has happened to them. Also, unlike in law, most of the SWEs I know aren't that competitive with each other or out to get each other's throat - it's not an up & out policy like at McKinsey or many big law firms. A lot of SWEs are foreign, really chill and smart people from Asia that aren't there to come at you, yell or create un-necessary drama.

There are others at FB/Google that do the same. They're 10xers that just don't work that hard and they've reached their senior level, but they don't want to work hard enough to hit distinguished/principal/partner/fellow. They're perfectly fine being Senior and keeping their work week 40-50 hours a week.

As for startups or why SWEs with great salaries and job security leave for them, it's difficult to explain to attorneys. There's a different mentality within people who participate in startups versus the mentality of most lawyers, especially ones on a forum like this (appetite for risk, willingness to bet big to win big, wanting self-determination, working in small teams with friends) that many lawyers just don't get. If talented SWEs had the mentality of typical lawyers, companies like Uber, Amazon, Facebook and the whole "move fast, break things" mentality wouldn't be prominent.

There are other exit options for the risk adverse though aside from startups, some can go to banks and become quants if they want (a more boring option, I'd just rather climb the SWE seniority ladder). Better options can include becoming a PM (you might be able to coast because you don't have to solve as difficult technical problems but you have to be better with people) or try to get into management. Some SWEs I know from elite companies went back to China to start their own company in that unique startup environment or moved into Management there whereas they thought they were being hit with the bamboo ceiling in the SV. When you're good at math, you don't have to worry about exit opportunities too much.

Kodokushiest
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by Kodokushiest » Tue May 01, 2018 2:14 am

Man, being talented sounds awesome.

Guest

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by Guest » Tue May 01, 2018 10:13 am

What are the options available to a lawyer who wants make a career switch into CS and has a year+ of living expenses saved up? I' work too many hours to make enough progress studying on my own after work to actually make a career switch. I've considered bootcamps, but I've heard such mixed things, and seen some pretty scary career paths afterwards, such as people graduating and then working part-time for their bootcamp for the next 4 years, graduating and "freelancing", graduating and working for a series of two-person start-ups that nobody has heard of.

Are there more traditional degree options available, and do those produce safer outcomes?

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Tue May 01, 2018 12:24 pm

Guest wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 10:13 am
What are the options available to a lawyer who wants make a career switch into CS and has a year+ of living expenses saved up? I' work too many hours to make enough progress studying on my own after work to actually make a career switch. I've considered bootcamps, but I've heard such mixed things, and seen some pretty scary career paths afterwards, such as people graduating and then working part-time for their bootcamp for the next 4 years, graduating and "freelancing", graduating and working for a series of two-person start-ups that nobody has heard of.

Are there more traditional degree options available, and do those produce safer outcomes?
There are good, reputable bootcamps, you just need to find the right one. There are even bootcamps that will refund your tuition if you don't find a job. I wouldn't worry about career prospects if you can actually code. If you're good then most reputable bootcamps will give you the info necessary to pass a technical interview. If you can't pass a technical interview, that's really not your bootcamps fault but your fault. Your "traditional degree" isn't going to save you if you can't code. There are tons of people out there with traditional CS degrees that are worth very little on the market.

Also, startups usually aren't "heard of" until they've made it big. This doesn't take away from the startup. No one knew WTF Zappos or Whatsapp were until they sold for over a billion. I'm sure most Attorneys would have told you they were both dumb, high-risk ideas bound for failure and lost money.


You sound like you have the mentality that's better fit for law.

Guest

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by Guest » Tue May 01, 2018 12:33 pm

(Different guest)

Good points above, especially about bootcamps.

On the start-up point, it's less the fact that they're unknown until they make it and more that there are a lot of them who don't offer equity and either don't pay or offer $10k stipends. Great for the founders if they make it, possibly necessary for bootcamp grads who should be open to anything that let's them put more programming on their resume/portfolios, but if I see a lot of bootcamp grads going to small, unknown start-ups that haven't even gotten a first round of funding yet, I would suspect that a lot of them couldn't find anything else, and factor that into the bootcamp's placement claims.

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Tue May 01, 2018 1:05 pm

Guest wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 12:33 pm
(Different guest)

Good points above, especially about bootcamps.

On the start-up point, it's less the fact that they're unknown until they make it and more that there are a lot of them who don't offer equity and either don't pay or offer $10k stipends. Great for the founders if they make it, possibly necessary for bootcamp grads who should be open to anything that let's them put more programming on their resume/portfolios, but if I see a lot of bootcamp grads going to small, unknown start-ups that haven't even gotten a first round of funding yet, I would suspect that a lot of them couldn't find anything else, and factor that into the bootcamp's placement claims.
The programmers that "couldn't find anything else" were not going to find anything better anyways, no matter where they went to bootcamp or got their degree from. Until they get a better understanding of algorithms and data structures, that's just the way it is. They're just going to fail their technical interview rounds over and over. Again, it's much different than legal hiring - not sure why people don't get that concept. You don't magically just luck out into whatever is the equivalent of a Vault 10 software firm because of your degree and OCI. You have to pass technical interview rounds. Your bootcamp or degree won't do this for you. Plenty of people bomb these. Many PhD holdovers bomb these, but college dropouts can pass.

As for the startups, "small, unknown start-ups" don't take away from the quality of the actual startup. Depending on the startup and what their tech is, they might actually require extremely talented software engineers. You're betting on the startups tech, not the immediate payoff. If you want immediate payoff, then go to an established company like Amazon.

And if you're a good SWE and the startup has sophisticated tech, you'll get your equity because they need you. So many people got fired from Uber after their scandals, except for Thuan Pham. If you're responsible for and drive a sophisticated startup's tech, you're close to as irreplaceable as can be in today's job market.

If they're not paying you and not offering you equity, even after funding rounds then sorry you're just not that important to them and you're just not that good. Even the Masseuse at Google's stock was worth over a million and the dude who painted FB's walls got hundreds of millions worth of equity. Maybe the Founders don't even really like the people you described. If they're in the situation you described, that's not the bootcamp's fault, that's their fault.

It's easy to make excuses (blame the bootcamp, blame the university, blame the school ranking, blame oversupply, blame OCI, blame false bootcamp placement numbers, blame startup founders, blame the startup) because it's a very, very common thing that law students like to do. The great and awful thing about something so math based like programming is, it's really on you most of the time. Clear as day when something you've done doesn't work because the compiler will tell you or people will stare blankly at you during your interview.

If you want to play the blame game like typical law students on law forums do, go ahead. Maybe write a blog about how awful the placement numbers are and how expensive bootcamp tuition is. Maybe create a website called ProgrammingSchoolTransparency.com. Or whine about it on a CS forum somewhere. Not going to help you get paid or your equity though.

Guest

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by Guest » Tue May 01, 2018 3:32 pm

The precise criticism of the bootcamp model is exactly the scenario that you're describing below - that you can't learn enough programming in three/four months to pass technical interviews. Raw talent and aptitude is a huge part, but there's also a large amount of raw knowledge you have to get through. I've heard that bootcamp are notoriously bad at covering algorithms and data structures that traditional degrees just have more time to cover. I'd be that even college dropouts who can pass these interviews didn't just magically know everything - they probably spent more time self-studying this stuff than the average college student spends studying for their classes. (Probably more than three/four months).

If you're a bootcamp grad, you're probably not an extremely talented (or experienced) software engineer yet. So when I see a bootcamp grad working at a small start-up, I think it's more likely they couldn't find work and attached themselves to anything that could give them some experience.

Sort of irrelevant who's to "blame" and at the end of the day, probably the responsibility of the potential career-switcher to realize how much they'll have to learn to get up to speed, but I do think that it's worth it for people to have a clear understanding of what the bootcamp is going to cover and how that stacks up against what they're going to need to know in their first year on the job in order to be a hire-able, let alone good developer. Or conversely, a good idea of how much more time they're going to need to self-study, in order to factor that into their savings/expected time spent not working.

As somebody considering the switch, the above is exactly what I'm trying to figure out as I start self-studying before seriously looking at bootcamps. It's promising that you think a reputable bootcamp should be able to teach you what you know to pass technical interviews though!

FuzzyDunlop
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Wed May 02, 2018 12:39 pm

The precise criticism of the bootcamp model is exactly the scenario that you're describing below - that you can't learn enough programming in three/four months to pass technical interviews. Raw talent and aptitude is a huge part, but there's also a large amount of raw knowledge you have to get through. I've heard that bootcamp are notoriously bad at covering algorithms and data structures that traditional degrees just have more time to cover. I'd be that even college dropouts who can pass these interviews didn't just magically know everything - they probably spent more time self-studying this stuff than the average college student spends studying for their classes. (Probably more than three/four months).
You're going to have to self-study a lot for technical interviews even out of a PhD program. A university program itself won't make you a good enough programmer to pass high level technical interviews. Even working software engineers at good companies will study on their own before a technical interview. They also learned most of their applicable programming skills through projects and on their own time, outside of 1 or 2 classes.

You've heard people say it's "notoriously bad" and I've heard people within industry at major companies say they're great. Bootcamps have plenty of supporters within industry too (https://haseebq.com/farewell-app-academ ... nb-part-i/). But do what you want, frankly it seems like you've already made a decision about traditional programs versus bootcamps.

Expecting a college program to make you adept enough to pass higher level technical interviews is akin to me saying I'll be a good trial lawyer out of law school.

You know how in law school, the law students feared or hated the curve? Oh, you're going to be so thankful it's there in computer science to save you. It'll be a good experience for you, where unlike in law school you're mostly competing against Americans, in CS you get to take math classes with students from China, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Russia and India. Have fun with your math 300 linear algebra class with the students from China who will cruise through it and your data structures class with people who have been programming since high school. Wang Lei and Zhang Jun in your math classes are going to make that law school gunner you thought was smart, look like a joke.
https://blog.codinghorror.com/why-cant- ... s-program/

coffee_spoons
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:18 pm

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by coffee_spoons » Thu May 03, 2018 2:53 pm

FuzzyDunlop wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 12:39 pm

You know how in law school, the law students feared or hated the curve? Oh, you're going to be so thankful it's there in computer science to save you. It'll be a good experience for you, where unlike in law school you're mostly competing against Americans, in CS you get to take math classes with students from China, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Russia and India. Have fun with your math 300 linear algebra class with the students from China who will cruise through it and your data structures class with people who have been programming since high school. Wang Lei and Zhang Jun in your math classes are going to make that law school gunner you thought was smart, look like a joke.
https://blog.codinghorror.com/why-cant- ... s-program/
I have no doubt you're right about this, but in considering whether you should make a switch to CS (which seems to be the purpose of this thread), if you can't compete with these people in a CS classroom, how the fuck are you supposed to compete with them for jobs after spending 4 months learning to code from scratch?

Guest

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

Post by Guest » Fri May 04, 2018 12:03 pm

Interesting discussion going on!

FuzzyDunlop, you mentioned "reputable". What criteria do you use? Other than some obviously terrible no-name ones, there seems to be a general cluster of decent bootcamps (Flatiron/Fullstack/Hackbright/Galvanize/General Assembly etc. etc.). And then there's HackReactor and App Academy, which everybody seems to consider the best of the best. They also seem to boast higher salaries.

I ask because I got into the Galvanize bootcamp and I'm trying to decide whether to go, or to hold out for HackReactor/App Academy? Are those two really going to give you that much more preparation?

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