Career Reboot after Break

Hi All,
I have worked as Front end engineer for 6+ years. I have mostly used Angular. I never got chance to use any other front end library at work. I am on my maternity leave from last 6+ months. I want to start looking for jobs soon. I want learn new technology and challenging work(like e-commerce site, data visualization, acceablity etc…). I am looking for an advice on where to begin and skill set required for SSE.

Thanks in Advance,

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Hi @vandanabhat!

Welcome to the forum!

FCC teaches the MERN stack. So you could just dive into the front end library certificate and learn react and redux.

Since you are an experienced dev you will probably pick up on it pretty quickly.

You can also go through the other certificates on testing, node.js and all of that fun stuff too.

From there you could build some solo projects or even contribute to open source projects.

Thank you @jwilkins.oboe . I will check.

Honestly, with that experience I wouldn’t worry too much about learning a different stack first apply for Senior positions that interest you. If they are a React (etc) shop, then just disclose in your interview that you have been working in Angular for 6 years but that you are confident in your ability to learn a new framework quickly. If you’re still on maternity leave, you can go through documentation, projects (like freeCodeCamp’s, but maybe something that interests you more) or start dabbling in contributing to your favorite Open Source project – just to brush the dust of your skills and regain that confidence.

As someone who has recently made a similar change (minus the maternity leave), my personal advice would be to do some research on current interview tests. They’ve changed since the last time you were job hunting, but if you dig around people share them on forums and such. I suggest practicing the specific job-acquiring skills because you already know that you have the skills to do the job.

TLDR: I think you’re in a pretty good position. You have several years of development experience, so if employers think that you’re a “good fit” they’ll usually be pretty hand-wavy about technical qualifications.

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If your main focus is to get learn on landing senior swe, then I would say break down the circumstances and what is targeted field or company first. And you could have a study plan setup accordingly.

Here are my two cents if I am in a similar situation:

  • In terms of framework, React is dominating in the U.S, while Vue is very popular in Asia. It will be worthwhile to do a bit of research on which stack is most in-demand in your local region
  • As a Senior frontend, a more architectural standpoint would be to have proficient knowledge on server-side rendering, single page application with your go-to framework, if you haven’t already
  • Assuming you are using Angular so TypeScript should be in your toolkit, if not then definitely worth it to have TS on your list as well
  • The frontend layer of the server are often managed by the frontend team as well, so as jwilkins mentioned, node.js, nginx could be a great plus to be having in your toolkit
  • These are the softer things, but also worth diving into as a senior person, like fault tolerance, Frontend UI automation testing besides unit testing, Scalability on the frontend, various performance optimizations like CDN, knowledge on some of the popular AWS tools and the list goes on.
  • again have a targeted field will boost your chance to land a job successfully, for example, there might be SEO concerns for e-commerce, or you will have different sets of challenges if you are targeting the video streaming industry, or social/messaging application where websocket, pub/sub tools come into place. Knowing these specific skills prior to the interview with your targeted companies could be a deal maker/breaker.
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Hi @ArielLeslie!

Out of curiosity, what would an interview look like for senior developers.

I would imagine you guys would get more questions about previous projects, or how to effectively manage a team. And less on implement bubble sort type questions.

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Yeah, I don’t know if it was typical, but even as a mid, switching jobs after two years on another job, I interviewed for two jobs (got the second). I didn’t have to code a single line of code or answer any language specific questions. Everything was talking about patterns and coding philosophy and methodologies and what I’d done in the past. That contrasts sharply with the entry-level interviews I did where things were mostly coding tests and language specific questions. Again, I don’t know if that is typical.


Thank you for detailed comment. Its very informative . I want to learn about scalability, performance optimization, security etc… from Front End perspective. Do you have any blog, course recommendations for that.

Really depends, in general, even for a senior position, enterprise type of companies or unicorns loves to put some sort of algo test whether in the first round and in person onsite, mixed in some system design problem. Since they got so many applications, it made them easy to filter out applicants brainless without much of an effort. But if you are talking senior position as of manager/director level, one of my former-colleague have went through the interview process in facebook for a manager position, not a single question on algo.
On the other hand, start-up would put more emphasis on the ability of “getting your hand dirty” type of things. So more often swapping the first round of algo with mini-project. And leaning more on the architectural, scenario type of problems. Even if you see algo problem, those algo problems would be on the easier side just to prove that you could think and write programmatically.


I feel like edX and coursera would have some good courses to choose from.

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No problem :), unfortunately, I don’t have dedicated resources for those topics. But there are often tech blogs created by companies themself, to document and present the challenges and the resolutions. These are also great resources to take a glance into their inner working and gain some insights as case studies. It comes in handy if you want to study for a specific type of company that matches your area of interest.

For examples:
netflix medium

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It varies. Some of the larger, more established companies are using automated coding tests using tools like HackerRank. That’s usually a screening process before you even talk to someone beyond a recruiter. Some will send you a take-home sort of test mid-process. I ghosted companies that asked me to do work on my own time because I think it’s a BS way to do things. Still pretty common is some form of “whiteboarding” or live coding. Either in person or online you talk through problem solving. As a senior engineer you may be looking at some actual code (often an example version of their actual project) or writing code for an algorithm type challenge but you are likely to also be talking about higher level stuff that you sketch out on a whiteboard or text editor – things like “how would you design this?” or “what would the API look like and what does that mean for the database?” or “how would you choose to implement this feature?”

Entry level positions will often have a lot more technical pop-quiz type questions in the interview portion. After your first job in the field it’s a lot more of the “tell me about a time when you…” sort of questions.

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