This blog post is about job hunting and interviews. As many students who do this program, I am sure their main goal is to find a job in the software (or maybe hardware) engineering field. It is surely my goal! I am graduating in June of this year, so in about 3 and a half months. I have slowly started to ramp up the number of applications I am sending out in pursuit of finding a software engineering job.
I was just thinking the other day that it would be a great idea if there was an elective at OSU that taught students about job search. Everything from the technical skills needed, to the mental fortitude that is required to go through the ups and downs of the process. Job search is a very stressful and tiring journey, something that I am still in the middle of at this moment.
Although I think that focusing and learning all the concepts taught in this program are great for helping one become a well rounded software engineer, I think it is not enough to excel in interviews. From my experience so far, most of the interviews I have done are 90% technical and focus on algorithms and data structures. Although all CS programs do include both of these classes, the algorithms and the data structures taught in the classes are more on the side of theory rather than practical use in a leetcode style problem. I was just thinking how great it would be for OSU or any CS program to have an interview prep 101 class where students spend the entire quarter trying to solve these leetcode style problems and performing mock interviews and sharing experiences.
I have talked about this in one of my other blogs but interviewing in this field is very difficult! I guess it makes sense because there must be some barrier to entry because so many people want to get into this field. Just this past week I completed two final round interviews. One was 3 hours long, the other was almost 5 hours! You meet with various people and they ask you to solve a problem on the spot. This is where the burn out comes. I think after doing multiple technical interviews, paired with the stresses of school or even a full time job, many people will feel burned out.
I think it is important to take a break from it all and just relax and enjoy the moment. That is where I am at, at the moment. I plan to take a few weeks off from applying / studying for interviews to reset, before I hit the ground running in late March or April. If anyone is going through the same struggles as me, there is a quote that I often look to for motivation. It goes “I have failed over and over again, that is why I succeed” – Michael Jordan