Monday, 15 July 2019

After getting a CS degree from a Tier 3 college in India, which had no resources, how should I hone my programming skills and knowledge within 6 months so as to secure a job in a good company?

Here is what I would do if I were you:
  • Build a solid foundation in data structures and algorithms: almost any company these days has a round of data structures and algorithms. Without DS/algorithm knowledge, you just can’t crack interviews and so, it becomes absolutely important to sharpen your DS/algorithm skills.
  • Do a bit of competitive programming: this is in addition to the first point. Build a decent CodeChef/HackerRank/TopCoder/CodeForces profile.
  • Learn Python: Python developers are in extremely high demand these days. Knowing how to code in Python is sure to fetch you a good job.
  • Learn the basics of AI/ML: AI and ML are both hot in the Indian market. The trend is likely to continue for the next couple of years.
  • Solve problems from InterviewBit: InterviewBit is a great platform to crack software engineering interviews.
  • Write a blog: write a blog about what all you are learning. This will help you get some visibility and also credibility. Medium is a great platform.
  • Build a great Github profile: take up good self-projects and upload them on Github. You can then showcase it on your resume.
  • Build a great resume: spelling mistakes, typos, poor punctuation, bad grammar - all of these are simply a no-no. Nobody in tech cares about the fact that you organized the cultural festival of your college. Showcase your projects. Talk about your internships. Talk about your skills (programming languages, tools, frameworks, etc). Talk about your college. Put them all in a systematic PDF format. Don’t use word format for resume.
  • Create a great LinkedIn and AngelList profile: Put the content of your resume in these 2 platforms. AngelList is amazing if you want to join a startup. They have listed lots of startups.
  • Improve communication skills: no, I am not saying you should improve your English. Improve your ability to convey what is going on in your mind. Yes, you are smart enough to figure out solutions to various problems quickly. But unless you are able to convey the solution clearly to the interviewer, you are in trouble. Improve on that part. I am saying so because many programmers are known to be introverted/silent. This won’t work in interviews. Silence will be treated as ignorance/lack of knowledge.
  • Build connections: Float your resume to your friends. Take help from them to get referrals in companies they are working in. Utilize your network to reach out companies.

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