I'm trying to move from a software QA role to a SDE job at (hopefully) a FAANGPAULASDF. I've got 10+YOE, out of which I'd say a total of 2-3 are in SDE-like projects (mostly test automation, side full stack web apps and the like). But I do have tons of experience in making judgement calls as to what's a deployable product, managing 15-20 person teams, typical Software Engineering stuff that's not necessarily writing code.
Two main questions:
1. Do I fall into the group of applicants for whom a cover letter would be beneficial?
2. What level should I try for, and how should I try to justify it to <recruiter|hiring manager>?
In terms of prep, I'm focusing on CTCI and leetcode, about 10-15 hours a week for the last month and counting. Gonna start the applications once I can get optimal solutions without peeking at most Mediums, hoping that happens in a few weeks. If I get any onsites, I hope to be half or most of the way through leetcode Hards by then.
Due to my location (SoCal), my targets are Google, Snap, Amazon. Any others I'm missing? My priority is to challenge myself intellectually, and maximize expected TC over 5 years, with a decent WLB (I'd be happy to work up to 60 hours/week but not more). I'm ok coming in lower as long as I can quickly find my own level, so to speak, so I'd be looking for a place where they promote based on merit, as opposed to time in level.
Any feedback on any of the above is much appreciated.
The challenge is that tho you claim you don't have that much YOE in dev, but during the interview, they will judge you by mid level bar.
Another bad news is that, even if you pass the interview, they will downlevel you because you aren't from dev track
(wtf? and you wouldn't let me apply for jr level at the first place? Yes, wtf and live with it)
So I'll say if you pass, you might get a low end mid level offer.
But the bright side is, you make it. And after 2 year, make another jump.