How common to not be working with scalable systems?

Cisco IQVm25
Oct 11, 2018 20 Comments

I’m a developer (not at Cisco) who works on both front end and back end projects. I work for a big data company, but don’t actually work on the Hadoop/Spark projects themselves. I work on UIs and do some back end and systems work (doesn’t feel too algorithmic) that may consume the output of these jobs or support the smooth running of the Hadoop/Spark projects. The web products I work on are for enterprise clients only, so running at scale in this context isn’t ever a consideration.

Am I shooting myself in the foot by continuing to work on these types of products? I’m not getting the experience of building a product that 100000 simultaneous users will access, and wish I knew more about the considerations that go into developing these types of products.

At G/Fb/etc, are these considerations abstracted away into adjacent projects, or do newer engineers still have to closely consider these things?

Mainly I’m also concerned that I’m widening the gap between me and developers who ARE working on these types of products. I’m 2 years out of college now and scared future interviewers will look down on me for not having these experiences. I don’t want to have to apply for senior roles (since I’m going to be 2+ years out of school) and be totally unqualified.

That being said, my data structures and algorithms skills are solid. I can leetcode and sometimes solve DP problems lol. On the other hand, my systems design skills are almost non existent, especially in a production setting.

TC150k

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TOP 20 Comments
  • Symantec drthvader
    With 2 years of experience and with your concern you are on the right path. The moment started worry about that you are not learning scaling system you are preparing yourself for the next step. Good luck.
    Oct 11, 2018 7
    • Manager wanted a big team of people. We literally had nothing to do and if we did it was doing work no one else wanted to do. Somehow they were going to promote me to senior as well lol
      Oct 11, 2018
    • Also was on loan to teams after doing nothing for 3 months and they didn't want me there lol was a really weird situation so the teams would just use me to get their test coverage numbers up
      Oct 11, 2018
    • New / Eng poRd04
      Lol was it a big company?
      Oct 11, 2018
    • Cisco IQVm25
      OP
      Thanks! @symantec
      Oct 11, 2018
    • &poRd04 yeah it was. Essentially it seems like @IQVm25 outgrew his position and there's nothing wrong with that
      Oct 11, 2018
  • Google
    p7v88à

    Google

    PRE
    Microsoft
    p7v88àmore
    Lots of our internal databases, libraries, etc that allow our products to be so scalable are abstracted away and handled by other teams so I don't really think about it much. I just know if I use the right libraries and not write stuff from scratch I'll be fine.
    Oct 11, 2018 1
    • PyLadies iQea15
      @Big Head is your user name inspired by the Silicon Valley character?
      Oct 11, 2018
  • Apple Kim cook
    Only think you should be concerned about is your TC which is pretty low. What’s your yoe?
    Oct 11, 2018 3
    • Cisco IQVm25
      OP
      2. What’s your YOE and TC?
      Oct 11, 2018
    • Cisco IQVm25
      OP
      Feel like my tc for my YOE is almost on par with my FANG friends with 2 YOE. Higher than some even
      Oct 11, 2018
    • Google G987
      Terrible advice. I absolutely think he’s currently focused on the right thing- learning the correct skills.
      Oct 11, 2018
  • Google G987
    I was in a similar boat.. and I think you have the right idea. I tried to move to google ASAP (2 years after college).

    I gotta say, it was definitely worth it and I don’t think I’d feel very confident on being able to get to L6 as fast if I stayed in my old company.

    I think it’s very important to understand what’s happening at the scalability level if you’re in a field similar to mine (platform)
    Oct 11, 2018 3
    • Cisco IQVm25
      OP
      What was your interview like 2 years out? I’ve been badgered by recruiters but honestly have been too nervous to interview
      Oct 11, 2018
    • Cisco IQVm25
      OP
      Also what level did you join at?
      Oct 11, 2018
    • Google G987
      I joined L3.. so i didn’t have to deal with any system design questions. Although I believe those would definitely have been a strength for me. I spend a lot of time reading internals of different systems and architectures
      Oct 11, 2018
  • NetScout / Eng batua
    90% don't. 9% claim they do but use Spark/Cassandra/etc. 1% works on spark or Cassandra.
    Oct 11, 2018 1
    • Cisco IQVm25
      OP
      They work on the Spark and cass projects themselves?
      Oct 11, 2018