Any advice for a new grad looking to be a Software Engineer?

In summary: It should be something you are really interested in but has relevance. I got one job (long long ago ) because I was building a goofy chess playing arm for my 8086 PC parallel portBe interesting and interested. I once recommended a British guy largely because he used the term "liaise" as a verb (of course that set us off in the right direction...it had been very stilted until then and I was pretty new at the interviewing thing)Be confident and grateful.Keep in mind, there could be better options than FAANG, but one thing that helps is practicing in an environment that's more like
  • #1
Riman643
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Recently graduated with a degree in Computer Science. I have been sending applications daily and got to final rounds with a FAANG company but they went on a hiring freeze. I recently again got a final interview with another FAANG company at the end of the month and have an online assessment with an aeronautics company this Friday. Right now I have just been grinding on leet code but I feel like I should be doing more and getting more opportunities. After graduating it has been much more difficult than I thought to land a job as a new grad. Any thoughts, tips, or advice on how/where I should be applying and what I should be studying or practicing on would be greatly appreciated.
 
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  1. You should attempt to make yourself attractive to the people with whom you would like to work (this will help you find the job you want).
  2. You should always answer yes to any "would you want to" or "can you" question but of course you will need to be honest about present skillset (you are probably better than you think).
  3. Of course do all the hokey networking stuff...people are, in fact, hokey as are you.
  4. Do some interesting ~related project in your spare time and weave it into your patter. It should be something you are really interested in but has relevance. I got one job (long long ago ) because I was building a goofy chess playing arm for my 8086 PC parallel port
  5. Be interesting and interested. I once recommended a British guy largely because he used the term "liaise" as a verb (of course that set us off in the right direction...it had been very stilted until then and I was pretty new at the interviewing thing)
Be confident and grateful.
 
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  • #3
Keep in mind, there could be better options than FAANG, but one thing that helps is practicing in an environment that's more like the interview. For that, you can try www.pramp.com to do mock interviews for free. You can also look at Amy Miller's YouTube channel for an inside scoop on the recruiter's point of view.

You could try AngelList for other places to apply to.

For networking, I would say go to every possible software-related meetup on meetup.com as much as possible.
 
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  • #4
Riman643 said:
Recently graduated with a degree in Computer Science. I have been sending applications daily and got to final rounds with a FAANG company but they went on a hiring freeze. ...
Some more background would be helpful.

* Are you a US citizen looking for a job in the US?

* By "recently graduated" do you mean this past May or June?

* Prior to graduation, were there any career fairs at your university? Any on-campus interviews? If so, how did they go?
 
  • #5
My son graduated with his SW degree right as the Pandemic hit the US. Needless to say job hunting was extra challenging for him, but he kept his head up and did all that he could to search and do well in the interviews that he got.

While the job offerings were especially hard to find early in the Pandemic, he had the very smart idea to volunteer his time at coding workshops and similar for young people (younger than himself, LOL). That looked pretty good on his resume, especially given that all companies and hiring managers understood that job openings were scarce early in the Pandemic. And in my son's words, the volunteer work helped him to stay sharp in his subject matter.

The good news is that berkeboy is very happy at his new SW job, where he's been working for about 6 months now. :smile:

Maybe that volunteering thing is an option that you could consider during your job searching time. Best of luck, and hang in there! :smile:
 
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  • #6
CrysPhys said:
Some more background would be helpful.

* Are you a US citizen looking for a job in the US?

* By "recently graduated" do you mean this past May or June?

* Prior to graduation, were there any career fairs at your university? Any on-campus interviews? If so, how did they go?
1. I am a US citizen looking for a job in the US

2. Yes, this past May and June

3. There were career fairs but no interviews came as a result.
 
  • #7
hutchphd said:
  1. You should attempt to make yourself attractive to the people with whom you would like to work (this will help you find the job you want).
  2. You should always answer yes to any "would you want to" or "can you" question but of course you will need to be honest about present skillset (you are probably better than you think).
  3. Of course do all the hokey networking stuff...people are, in fact, hokey as are you.
  4. Do some interesting ~related project in your spare time and weave it into your patter. It should be something you are really interested in but has relevance. I got one job (long long ago ) because I was building a goofy chess playing arm for my 8086 PC parallel port
  5. Be interesting and interested. I once recommended a British guy largely because he used the term "liaise" as a verb (of course that set us off in the right direction...it had been very stilted until then and I was pretty new at the interviewing thing)
Be confident and grateful.
Thank you for the tips! I will make sure to keep these in mind.
 
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  • #8
Why the big attraction to huge companies? Throughout my SW career, I only wanted to work at companies between 100 (enough for basic benefits) and 1or 2 thousand employees. That way, I could know know most of what was going on, and maximize my contributions. I also think, while young, it is worth at least once participating in a startup where you are the only or one of less than 5 developers. Mine didn't pan out, but I learned so much and never regretted it.
 
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  • #9
Many of the candidates I've interviewed don't ask any questions. It gives me the impression they will accept an offer from any company. You want to interview the employees as much as they interview you.

Are there any training programs or mentors available for new grad hires? What kind of software environment do you have? What kinds of hard problems do you need to be able to solve in this role? Who would I be reporting to? What is the team structure? Ask follow-up questions to show you are deeply interested in the responses.

I've done this for every tech company where I got an on-site interview, and the vast majority of the time, I got an offer.
 
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1. What skills are essential for a new grad to become a successful software engineer?

To become a successful software engineer, a new grad should have a strong foundation in programming languages such as Java, Python, or C++. They should also have knowledge of data structures and algorithms, understanding of software development principles, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, being able to work in a team, communicate effectively, and continuously learn and adapt to new technologies are crucial skills for a software engineer.

2. How should a new grad go about building their portfolio as a software engineer?

A new grad can start building their portfolio by working on personal projects that showcase their coding skills and problem-solving abilities. They can also contribute to open-source projects, participate in coding challenges, and internships to gain real-world experience. Additionally, attending hackathons and networking events can help them build connections and show their passion for software development.

3. What advice do you have for a new grad looking to apply for software engineering jobs?

First, it's essential to research and understand the company and the job requirements. Tailor your resume and cover letter according to the job description and highlight relevant skills and experiences. Practice coding challenges and be prepared to showcase your problem-solving skills during an interview. Additionally, be confident, show enthusiasm, and ask questions during the interview to demonstrate your interest and knowledge.

4. What are some common challenges a new grad may face as a software engineer?

Some common challenges a new grad may face as a software engineer include adapting to a new work environment, learning new technologies, and managing project deadlines. Additionally, working in a team and communicating effectively can also be a challenge for some new grads. However, with dedication, continuous learning, and seeking help from more experienced colleagues, these challenges can be overcome.

5. What are some resources that can help a new grad improve their skills as a software engineer?

There are several resources that can help a new grad improve their skills as a software engineer. Online learning platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, and Codeacademy offer courses on various programming languages and software development principles. Reading books and blogs, attending conferences and meetups, and networking with other developers can also provide valuable insights and help improve skills. Additionally, working on personal projects and contributing to open-source projects can also enhance skills as a software engineer.

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