When I first heard about programming bootcamps, my assumption is that they were scams—the slightly more modern version of ITT Tech (which has now been shut down). They had the same characteristics: for-profit, not well-regulated, targeting people who are eager to turn their career around, etc. I figured it had all the same pitfalls. Even if the founders had good intentions and weren’t trying to take advantage of people, that didn’t mean the results were any good. Plus, they were only three months long; how could the education even come close to a four-year program? But then...Read More
Your algorithm was correct, your code was correct, but you still got rejected. This is not only possible, but incredibly common.
Candidates are routinely surprised when it does because they don’t quite understand the interview process and how they are evaluated.Read More
FizzBuzz might be a "classic" coding question, but it doesn't make it a good one.Read More
If you want an A+ career in technology, you should move to the San Francisco Bay Area. The same argument can probably be made of finance and New York. It’s not that you can’t do it in another city, but your odds are just much better in your industry’s hub. So if you want an A+ career and your industry has a clear hub, go there.Read More
Accept that invitation to do a talk that you don’t really you’re qualified for. Go meet that person for coffee, even if you don’t really see the point. Throw together that website that will almost certainly never lead anywhere.
Opportunities start from saying yes.
Say yes.Read More
Like friendships, mentorships — the ones that actually exist, not the ones that exist in name only — rarely start from a formal request, and certainly not from a near stranger. It doesn’t work for mostly the same reasons. It’s artificially trying to create a personal relationship.Read More
The "Google-style" interviews is the one people love to hate. It's broken, good candidates fail, bad candidates just memorize the answers, yadda yadda yadda.
That's all true.
But this is also true: all processes are broken.Read More
The best programming interview book just got better.
Cracking the Coding Interview: The Sixth Edition -- now with 70% more content.
This is a huge expansion. You know that thing that many professors do, where they create a new "edition" that's not substantially different but forces you to buy a new version? I don't believe in doing that. This is actually a huge change (as was the 4th->5th edition).Read More
FizzBuzz is not the basic, sanity-check interview question that many presume it to be. Use it and you might just end up filtering out some of your good candidates who, unfortunately, suffer from the Smart Person's Mirage.Read More
Cracking the Tech Career is the job seeker's guide to landing a coveted position at one of the top tech firms. A follow-up to The Google Resume, this book provides new information on what these companies want, and how to show them you have what it takes to succeed in the role. Early planners will learn what to study, and established professionals will discover how to make their skillset and experience set them apart from the crowd. Author Gayle Laakmann McDowell worked in engineering at Google, and interviewed over 120 candidates as a member of the hiring committee – in this book, she shares her perspectives on what works and what doesn't, what makes you desirable, and what gets your resume round-filed.Read More
I support Hachette because, frankly, I don't trust Amazon. Amazon throws its weight around to the detriment of authors and publishers, and offering the company more power is not a good thing. Amazon has repeatedly disregarded my concerns (multiple departments, multiple issues) and has shown that it does not in fact value its authors/publishers.Read More
We need to talk about this new... pivot. I know you're getting a lot of "positive" reviews in the press. But let's be honest: most of these reporters aren't digging beneath the surface about what's really happening.Read More
I'll get to the fifteen pieces of advice. But first, let me explain what awesome careers look like.
They don't look like nice linear graphs, where you're moving up a little bit each month. (Heck, even so-so careers don't look like that. You don't move up every month. You get a bit better at your career every month, but you move up in big steps.)Read More
After coaching hundreds of people through coding, behavioral, and product manager interviews, I’ve distilled some of my core advice into some handy prep sheets.
Study these sheets before your interview. Really understand them. Email me questions if you have any.
As you prepare for interviews, use these sheets. Walk through your next coding problem closely following the procedure below. It’ll help you — I promise.Read More
In theory, culture fit is a great thing to look for. Teamwork is vital, and high functioning teams produce better products. Culture fit is also more than just the do-you-get-along-well with the team. Culture fit can also be about moving rapidly, taking risks, speaking up, being creative, or not micromanaging.
You do want people who fit in well with your culture.
However, in practice, "culture fit" is often discriminatory, especially against asians, women, and older people.Read More
Getting acquired by a big tech company is a dream for many start-ups. That dream comes with caveats. The acquiring firm may love your product but they still want to assess the skill of your technical team. As a result, they will often interview them just as they would “normal” candidates applying to software engineering and PM roles. For the last year, I've been semi-secretly offering a new service -- what I call "acquisition consulting". People found out about me from word of mouth mostly, and word spread. Now that I've got quite a few successes behind me, it's time to announce publicly what I've been doing.Read More
Despite what many assume, I do not think the so-called "TopCoder-style" software developer interviews are perfect. In fact, they're very flawed (more on this another time -- and a bit in here too). However, companies have a variety of reasons for doing this -- some good, some bad.Read More
Justine Sacco made an offensive comment. But, frankly, the reaction to her comment is far more concerning. The internet hate machine -- the explosion of tweets, blogs, articles, and inevitable rape and death threats -- it's too much. How long until the angry mobs result in someone being hurt or killed?Read More
I am thrilled to finally announce that Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology is available for purchase! Cracking the PM Interview is my third book, and a follow-up to my earlier book (and Amazon's #1 best-selling interview book), Cracking the Coding Interview.Read More
There’s a trend among start-ups (and some larger companies) that worries me: giving candidates “homework” assignments. Homework assignments lead to candidate abuse. Knock it off (or at least be reasonable). I’ve seen many friends and clients go through this. As a pre-screening round before an onsite interview, a company gives them a “homework” assignment.Read More