The hiring process for Software Developers isn’t necessarily broken, but certainly has room for improvement. Regarding the rankings we discussed in class, I think every company hires according to these components differently. I believe no matter what industry you are in, connections always prove most important. After that, I think companies really differ in how they hire, which I think is a really good way for the applicant to also see if a company is right for them. While I don’t love coding interviews by any scope of imagination, I understand their value and the importance of technical skills. If a company only offered technical interviews, however, and didn’t do anything behavioral, I would know it wasn’t a good match because I want to be in an outgoing and collaborative environment. The same token applies reversed if you love technical work but only have behavioral interviews, it may be an indication that this isn’t the company you want to work for.
To prepare for this process, I plan to do a lot of coding prep. I plan to read Elements of Programming and do a lot of practice problems to refresh data structures. I also plan to do a lot of practice interviews and construct a clear guide for how to solve a problem. I also plan to go through all of my projects, review their structure, and take notes on best vocabulary to use when describing my strengths. I also plan to prepare a list of questions to ask the company. While I love Notre Dame, I really don’t think they have helped me in the process. I went to the career center to ask about jobs to apply for and I was basically told to google the role. Almost no tech companies come to Notre Dame or recruit here. I feel that during this process, I have had to take the complete initiative of applying coldly to the majority of jobs I applied to. I really think the biggest way to improve the process from Notre Dame would be to have more large tech companies come to recruit. They could also contact alumni to possibly match with seniors and get some industry advice. I also really wish along the way some professors mentioned the importance of being on top of job items the summer before senior year and tips and tricks on how to land the dream job.
If I had to give my younger self advice, I would definitely say to start studying for coding interviews at the beginning of summer. I would also have told myself to keep refreshing on data structures throughout my undergrad even after the course itself. I also definitely would have networked more with people at big companies to build relationships. While I am still going to undergo the interview process, I really don’t love the fact that my value as an employee will sometimes be based solely on my ability to traverse a tree or reverse a linked list. I would rather the interview evaluate how I engage with their team.