OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Monday, December 23

#5617

QUESTION: For those froshies nervous about jobs in software: AMA. Upper year CS student here!

57 comments

  1. Not frosh, but where was your most recent placement?

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    1. (not my AMA)
      Why does it matter?

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    2. OP, and lol. Microsoft. Hi RL ^_^

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    3. @OP: Nice! I have the time right now to learn some stuff, maybe pick up a new language. What would you suggest?

      @RL: Why does it matter that I'm asking?

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    4. Eh, learning languages is a weird thing and it's almost impossible to do properly in a contrived way. I don't like doing "personal projects"... they're usually just exercises and not particularly useful. See, in my mind, everything is just pseudocode within a paradigm. Learning a language is simply looking up the relevant syntax and identifying its warts. If I want to learn something I fill a need of mine.

      Things I've done on break so far: augmented my spamfilter such that I now have some autoclassifying folders, looked into deploying backup mail relays for my mailserver, and started learning this neat administration tool called ansible.

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    5. @d: You've been seeing bad "personal projects". Write a game. Work on open-source. Design an app. I have no idea where you got that they're just exercises...

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    6. Open source is hardly a "personal" project, by definition. Writing an app in your free time, unless you're dedicating hours to engineering it, is pretty useless.

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    7. Yes...the entire point is that you spend more than 30 minutes on it...

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  2. What's a good Site to use to host ur personal brand website?

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    1. firstnamelastname.com

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    2. I use a VPS. Obviously I do more than host my website there.

      If you want a really cheap solution, host with the CSC. Buy your domain name, point it to caffeine, and it's all of $6/year.

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  3. Are you a virgin?

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    1. Nope, though I'm not sure how that's relevant...

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    2. LOL at RL trying to jump into all of these. I sense jealousy

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  4. How's your sex life?

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    1. (not my AMA)
      Pretty fucking great, actually. Extremely satisfied.

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    2. These days, nonexistent. Men are pigs, etc.

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    3. @RL Gay buttsecks?

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    4. There might be some butt sex coming up soon (within a few weeks) but it would only be gay if I magically turned female in that time.

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    5. Few weeks? Riding the dirt road cause the river will flow red?

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    6. Nah, she likes it. Just not in the same city right now =)

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  5. Why is RL commenting when it's not his AMA.. Nothing against the kid but, like, I don't even get it...

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    1. I'm also an upper year CS student and OP was slacking (or likely sleeping).

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    2. Get you're on RL. Rude to hijack somebody else's post

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    3. Nah, RL is cool. We go drinking sometimes and stuff ^_^

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  6. Did you ever have to do the whole cali/san fran/seattle thing?
    Did you have a gf? How did you deal? Did anyone cheat?

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    1. I did NYC and now next term Seattle. It's a very interesting experience... I suffered crazy culture shock in NYC but thanks to my global network of people I vaguely know, I wasn't ever too lonely. Lots of friends to go out with, and you just *have to* in the city. NYC is a fun, and very fast paced place. I found this particularly important there because it was really hard to connect with my coworkers, and I only knew one other Waterloo intern in the city.

      I'm an oddball in that I haven't done the bay area, at least in my circle of friends.

      Re: relationships... your bias is showing ;) I'm a chick. I'd rather not share personal details of my crumbling relationship after I left the country last winter, but I can say that I'm single now so the distance won't matter at all... I've somewhat given up on relationships. I'm lucky to know people in most major cities, and definitely in NYC/Seattle/Silly Valley, and these days I care much more about having friends to hang out (and brew beer!) with than a bedwarmer.

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    2. I guess I should also mention that dealing with that breakup took the life out of me for 5 months and that I never even considered cheating. ^

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    3. I'm on the same page as you OP.

      STEM girl, lost faith in the male half of humanity :(

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    4. You say "have" like the "cali/san fran/seattle thing" is some pilgrimage for developers.

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    5. It's the hip thing to do these days! ;)

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    6. Well, the jobs are good, and the pay as well, so it makes sense.

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  7. @ RL (not your AMA)
    Does the girl(s?) you're sleeping with know you're RL? Does she know about OMGUW?

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    1. I think...one of them knew me? We met first IRL (briefly) and then she found me here on chat and asked me out. She enjoyed my posts.
      The rest of them either didn't know or knew (because I showed them some funny (imo) OMGs but also couldn't care less.

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    2. how many are you sleeping with right now?

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    3. Currently none. One is coming back early Jan so there's some stuff scheduled.
      Might be meeting another one around the same time but it's less certain.

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    4. Do they know about each other?

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    5. No, we're not exclusive, I also haven't done anything with the second one yet.

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    6. Where are these girls coming from, RL?

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    7. The latest ones from OKC.
      A few previous, more serious, relationships were with women I met through friends.

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    8. Both in Waterloo and other places.

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    9. Maybe I'll try OKC then.

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    10. It's a bit dry in Waterloo, good luck =)

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  8. Do employers care if you have bad marks, but you have a few side projects you did for fun?

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    1. (not my ama) Generally employers don't care about marks. Side projects are everything. Provided that they are actually useful or significant (ie. Not something you just slapped together). There have been countless instances where I've gotten triple or quadruple the number of offers than a person with much higher marks than me but with little projects. Employers recognize applicable experience much more than marks.

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    2. My marks have always been "good" (e.g. average above 80), but my first employer did say they pulled my resume for good marks. Some places like Google, despite their own data that shows otherwise, will not hire you unless you have great marks. I know people with demonstrated excellent work recently out of school they wouldn't hire because of a low 70 or less average. Despite the courses being much more challenging than average.

      As I said above, I don't really do personal projects. I dabbled in a startup thing one summer, which appeared to help a lot. I'm also involved in an open source project, and I run my own mailserver... when people say personal projects, they usually point to, say, some silly game they wrote where the source is posted on github. That's nice for a high school student but I'd honestly rather see you spending your free time doing something to be more... well rounded. I'm almost certainly in the minority though, sigh.

      The involvement in the startup really pleased interviewers. The open source stuff can scare some away, but luckily my project would never compete with something commercial.

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    3. @9b. Google does give internships to people with bad marks, some people I knew had < 70 Average. I have a low 70 average and received a FT offer from Google after my co-op.

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    4. ^ I was referring to FT interviewees having not co-oped there. Also, low 70s are still a B average... I'm talking about C students.

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  9. What would you recommend doing if someone already had bad marks?

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    1. Demonstrating you're not retarded before they can see your marks. If you look good on paper, jobmine is great. If you don't, and you know your stuff (lol make sure you do), go to career fairs and the like. Chat up technical recruiters. If you can demonstrate in conversation, you're very likely to get an interview, and they usually only want your transcript after an offer's been made.

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  10. This sounds pretty stupid, but what would you normally talk about with technical recruiters? I can approach people and talk about things, but for technical recruiters, I don't know what to talk about or what they are looking for in general.

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    1. I dunno, I usually just listen to what they're talking about and join in. Though sometimes they do this to me... a Google engineer overheard me bitching about mail and offered me an interview on the spot. Sometimes they'll read your resume and ask questions. Sometines they'll ask what you know about the company... (hint: if you have any experience using a NetApp and you're talking to the recruiter, talk about the darn thing. even better: if there's an EMC booth beside them, ask who would win in a fight ;)

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    2. Are you talking about at a career fair or an info session or something? I usually ask how they like the company culture, what it's like to live in whatever city the company is located in, whether the co-op roles are more general software engineering or specific, etc. This is for the case that they are just some HR person.. If it is a technical person, I'd ask about how long they'd been working there, what kind of projects they're working on currently, etc. If you're really interested in their stack, you could ask more specific questions but I tend not to go into that if it's not an interview.

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    3. This advice applies to both.

      All the questions above you mentioned are super generic. They won't help you be remembered or stand out. Take the lead in the conversation, figure out what the other party is interested in, and pleasantly steer it in that direction.

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