I waited a little while to post this, but as of January 7th, 2019 I am finally a Software Engineer at a reputable company [Insert cheesy"new year, new career" quote]. For the past year I have been working my butt off learning to code, learning about algorithms and how to apply that knowledge to building actual applications... and after countless applications, finally I was able to land a job. I've been at the company a little over three months now, so I will walk through my experiences. Luckily, they've all been relatively positive so far.
The Interview Process:
For me, the interview process for my position had little to do with my coding skills or pumping out algorithms. Obviously this will vary company to company and even more so on what the company is looking for in an engineer. However, in my case I was looking for an entry level position and they were looking to hire an associate level engineer, so it really worked out.
Round 1: Phone Interview
The initial phone interview was with one of the companies recruiters to see if my experience aligned with what the company was looking for. He made it clear that he was not a very technical person and asked about my basic knowledge. He asked if I knew how to code, if I knew C#/ Dot Net and what I was looking for in a company. The interview was definitely more of a screening process and there were no technical questions asked. At the end of the call, we scheduled a 2nd phone interview with someone from the development team.
Round 2: Second Phone Interview
About a week later I had a second phone interview with my now manager and the same HR recruiter. This phone interview wasn't extremely technical, but more so just asking how familiar I was with the technologies they are using (ASP.NET Core 2.1, C#, Angular, etc...). I made it clear that I did not have prior experience writing code in C# however I did know Java. The company informed me that was perfectly fine and that they were mostly looking for someone eager to learn. I fit that bill, so at the end of the interview we scheduled an in person interview.
Round 3: In Person Interview
During the in person interview I met with 3 people. One principle engineer, a senior engineer and my current boss (the director). Going into the interview I knew that there wasn't going to be very many technical questions and that the process was more to see if I was willing to learn and had a passion for programming. Honestly, this added a lot of relief to the process and I was really eager to make the interview happen.
There were some technical questions about RESTful APIs, C# and general questions about what I've done in the past. I answered to the best of my knowledge, but I wasn't entirely prepared and it showed. At the end of the interview, one of the engineers asked if I had a few moments to go over some of the questions I had answered wrong on the whiteboard, I took it as a chance to learn, and happily accepted. This really stood out to me, as in all my other interviews, there was less of a willingness to teach me what I was doing wrong.
After a few weeks, I got a call back from the original HR recruiter and a job offer. Obviously (if you couldn't tell from this blog post), I accepted.