I don’t have a CS degree. I did my bachelors in Marine Engineering, realized it’s not what I wanna do, and started pursuing a programming job. A small, but well-established firm picked me up based on a remote interview and a measly portfolio (no actual client-work, though I’d some of those, by then, they weren’t worth showcasing), and it’s there that I really learned web-development.
Three years on I am in a much larger company with an international user base in the millions (15, at last count, I think), managing several backend services.
But the funny thing is that I haven’t given an interview in the last three years. I’m here at my current job coz my company got acquired. And although the kinda work I do should make me feel confident in my skills, it doesn’t.
I was reading this: https://workingatbooking.com/blog/india-to-amsterdam-my-booking-interview-journey/ and the whole process sounds very algo heavy. I’m not good at that kinda thing. If I have to use a sorting algorithm, I wouldn’t implement it by hand, I’d look for a popular library to do it for me. Same goes for any kind of algorithm.
I think that if I practice on hackerrank and the like, I may build up enough proficiency to give these kind of interviews but I just don’t know if I actually can. I’m not sure what to feel or to do.
It’s a very weird place in my head, right now, my experience at work telling me I should have no reason not to do good at another job of a similar nature, yet my inexperience at interviewing telling me I probably won’t even get another job to start with.
I just…don’t know.
I had a friend that was terrified of talking to girls. He was desperate, but just couldn’t build up the courage. I finally talked him into going to a mall in the next town over every weekend and not leave until he’d gone up and talked to at least 10 girls. It was 30 miles away so he was never going to see them again. What was the worst that could happen? It took months, but he started to get better. Eventually we decided that he couldn’t leave until he’d asked 10 girls for their phone numbers. You see where this is going.
Just do it. Don’t worry? What’s the worst that could happen? So, you don’t get the job. There’s no master file where they’ll record this to ward off future employers.
Yes, some interviews are going to be algorithm/whiteboard. Some are not. Why not just tryout a few to get the gist? Yes, things like hackerrank and codewars can be good. Have you tried to solve them on a whiteboard?
Just do it. Accept that you may fail. So what? You’ll try again and be a little smarter. But if you don’t take the interview, then you definitely won’t get it.
Interviews are terrifying! If it’s any consolation, my experience has been that once you’re an experienced programmer there is less focus on algorithms in technical interviews. Also, the algorithms used in technical interviews tend to be repetitive and something that you can really study for. Reverse a string/array in-place, implement a linked list, count all the words in a string starting with each word of the alphabet, etc.
@ksjazzguitar @ArielLeslie Thanks for the advice guys. One other thing that worries me is that, say I go out there and start applying to places. And I expect being rejected as part of the process, but then say I do get accepted to a place while the application process at some other place is in process (say I want that more), what does one do in a situation like that?
I’m sorry if this is moving away from specifically tech oriented stuff to more career advice territory.
Sheesh, first you’re worried that you don’t have enough job offers, now you’re worried that you’ll have too many.
You wouldn’t be the first person that that would happen to. Companies know stuff like that happens. They know that you are seeking more than one job, just like they are interviewing more than one candidate. Just like they may decide not to hire you, they know that you many not accept their job offer. Until they offer a job and you accept, you are under no obligation whatsoever. Period. Taking an interview is no commitment, anymore than a girl agreeing to a cup of coffee means that you have to get married now. You’re just feeling things out.
And even if you did accept an offer the day before you get a better offer and get stuck with the lesser of two jobs, so what? It’s better than having no job. Build up that resume and start applying for jobs in a year. That’s life. But it’s better that sitting around worrying about it. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Don’t let fear of failure (and apparently also fear of success) paralyze you into inaction.
I think you have hit on something quotable here. I guess I’m just being a scaredy cat, afraid of change as a whole. Thanks for taking the time to reply