How to quickly become an SDE after working at a startup

Aug 27 9 Comments

I’m currently employed as a data scientist for a startup in life sciences here in Seattle. Primarily I work on AWS architectures/pipelines with Python, using services like s3, ec2, batch, Lambda, etc. not too much data science, but a little here and there. I’ve been here for almost 9 months, have a BS in biomedical engineering, a certificate in data science from a local universities professional development program, and my first two jobs out of school (the startup is my third job) I didn’t stay for longer than a year. Those jobs also weren’t programming intensive at all. I am still a Leetcode newbie, need to learn a LOT about DS&A. The startup is running out of funding and I’m worried that we might not make it to the next round before going belly up in Nov. My questions are: how long would it take to get ready for a job as a SDE/SWE somewhere in Seattle after this experience, given that I don’t have a CS degree, I’m pretty good at Python and AWS, okay at SQL, and I have enough $ saved up to study full time for about 4 months. What would be the best steps to take if the company fails?

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TOP 9 Comments
  • Volvo CaHK02
    In fact, before the company tanks, talk to your supervisor and see if you can change your title to Data Engineer.
    Aug 27 2
    • OP
      I’ve discussed something similar with him before, so I’m almost 100% certain.he’s pretty well connected in the start-up scene (particularly in this industry) and has said in the past that he’d help me find a new job if things don’t work out.
      Aug 27
    • Volvo CaHK02
      Good, then.
      Aug 27
  • Volvo CaHK02
    With your background, I would probably look at data engineer roles first.
    Aug 27 2
    • OP
      Valid point: any advice on best places to start learning more abt data eng upon unemployment? It feels like a loosely defined field. Also, how great do you need to be at DS&A for roles like that?
      Aug 27
    • Volvo CaHK02
      No idea where to learn, usually it's on the job. Depends on the place, but people should be more lenient compared to an SWE role.
      Aug 27
  • Amazon newAz
    “Pretty good at python and aws” what does this mean? Like design a system on top of aws?
    Aug 27 2
    • OP
      Pretty much. How to string together a series of AWS services to transform some input data from one form to another. We work a lot on genetics related stuff, so we take some input data of a person’s genes, run it through batch jobs, send intermediary files to s3, do more transformations and data parsing, and the output is data that is clinically usable by a doctor. All strung together bash and Python (boto3) at different stages of the pipeline.
      Aug 27
    • OP
      It’s pretty niche but I feel like the experience might be extensible. I just don’t know how extensible it is, or what other knowledge I need to pick up to get a new job.
      Aug 27

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