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Give up on trying to find a programming job?

  1. Jul 17, 2013 #1
    I live in Seattle, so my opportunities are better than most people. Still I'm having trouble. My friends who graduated college and were able to get jobs at Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook or Google did so by getting job offers after interning for a year or 2.

    I have scored two different interviews at big companies like that, one at Big Company X and the other at Big Company Y. Those were encouraging because I know that it is possible to get an entry-level programming position if you're good with math, algorithms, data structures, and basically just the fundamentals. I've realized it's very competitive, though.

    I posted here about my nightmare interview with Big Company Y, in which the guy ended the interview early after being extremely condescending in response to me not knowing the fanciest way to find the median of two sorted arrays. My interview process with Big Company X ended on more polite terms, but of course they didn't tell me exactly what I did wrong on their questions (due to discrimination concerns, you never get any feedback these days) and now I can't apply there for another 6 months. Boo-hoo. I looked at GlassDoor.com through the software engineer interview stories at these places and I see it can be a very long and daunting process, with a lot of people only scratching the surface like I did, or getting further and then being shot down at the final step.

    The other options for programming positions are either software startups or some consulting construct. These are a lot more difficult to get as they usually require mountains of experience.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2013 #2


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    Are you using the job boards to get recruiters to come to you or are just looking for work on your own?
  4. Jul 17, 2013 #3
    Are you applying to some of the smaller companies too? Clearly a company like Google can afford to nit pick and turn away qualified applicants for small reasons. A smaller company might be more forgiving.

    Applying only to places like Google/Amazon/Apple etc. is like only applying to MIT/Harvard etc. for grad school. They're certainly places we all want to end up, but we can't all end up there. If you think it's not worth being a software engineer if you can't work at those places, that's fine. But it's not a reason to "give up on trying to find a programming job".
  5. Jul 18, 2013 #4
    My interview process with Big Company X was started after I saw a listing on Indeed and then applied on their company website. With Big Company Y, I applied through LinkedIn and was messaged by the recruiter shortly thereafter.
  6. Jul 18, 2013 #5
    The smaller companies, I've found, are actually more particular about what they're looking for in terms of experience. Unlike Google, they can't afford to hold these massive onsite interview sessions where they fly 500 candidates in from across the country and try to weed out everyone besides a few of the brightest who they want working on their new project. So I've found that the smaller companies are usually advertising positions for which they want 5+ years professional experience. Whereas the big companies hold these tryout sessions like the two ones I failed.
  7. Jul 18, 2013 #6


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    In other words, no, you are not using the job boards.

    Unimaginable to me that anyone could be looking for work in hi tech and not using the job boards.

    You should post your resume on all of the major job boards and update it (just to get the time stamp updated) at least once a week. When I'm looking, I update mine every day.

    Here's a listing of the major ones:

    Net Temps
    Job Circle
  8. Jul 18, 2013 #7
    Yes I've seen that, but it seems to be just common sense that the typical software engineer doesn't get into the industry by working at a company like Google. There are plenty of big companies that aren't tech companies but need programmers. They can certainly afford to fly you out for an interview, and presumably they don't automatically get that same flood of recent college grads hoping to get their first job.

    Of course, I could be completely wrong, I am roughly in the same position as you.
  9. Jul 18, 2013 #8
    We're gonna make it, brah
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