Transitioning from avionics embedded software to Microsoft

Esterline chriggle
Aug 24, 2017 18 Comments

15+ years experience developing embedded software in C. I have dabbled in other languages and platforms but have no extensive experience other than C. I can design/architect, code, debug, write requirements, etc and I bust my ass and work so much I never found time for learning on my own and I'm starting to feel like wasted half my career and I need a change.

On here I see salary and benefits at places like Amazon and Microsoft and I'm amazed at what I'm missing. I currently make 125k base and i think it is pretty decent for the industry but the benefits suck compared to these tech companies. No bonus, stock, etc.

I'm not sure what skills and/or languages I need to learn to get in the door somewhere like Microsoft. The interview process is a little intimidating too. I'm prepared to start learning so I can land a better, more satisfying, higher paid job! What should I focus on?

Thanks in advance!

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TOP 18 Comments
  • Microsoft bCPJ46
    Don't go for "start at lower band and work your self up" BS. Take time and solve all leetcode from easy to medium to hard and crack interviews. For design related questions search GitHub and you'll get good repositories with design practice problems. If you are willing to shell some bucks get a subscription of one of those interview cake type websites etc and practice at home. This industry is full of posers, never sell yourself short. Ask more than you should.
    Aug 24, 2017 0
  • Check Amazon PrimeAir for example, maybe your skills can get you a better compensation package and a better starting position than going for entry-level web service software engineering. You can then learn and move inside the company.
    Aug 24, 2017 0
  • Microsoft lxx
    There's a lot of online code test portals. You can test and build your skills there. However, your interviewers will look for knowledge about systems and technologies their team works with, so choose teams where the gap is minimal. You can try and learn in your free time but the practical experience is always different from reading about these systems.

    You could also consider starting at a lower band and accepting you'd be learning while working, if that particular team is OK with it. Your base probably wouldn't go up right away but if you're experienced, you can work your way up much faster than a real fresh hire. It's just the matter of learning the specifics of that technology and systems.
    Aug 24, 2017 0
  • Microsoft
    Reallynear

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Accenture
    Reallynearmore
    Avionics? C ? You kick 99% of all the asses in the bay . Just apply for some serious position on ML in Google or Ms or Amazon , we all need experienced people on hardware related coding
    Aug 26, 2017 1
    • Microsoft backprop1
      Agreed 100%. I would kill to hire someone like you. I work in robotics and I can assure you that your worth is far more than $125k. From self-driving car companies to drone startups you can make a killing if what you said is true regarding your skills. If I had a headcount open I would be sending you an onsite invite right now.
      Aug 26, 2017
  • Microsoft lxx
    Children building software?... So it's not only my impression? :-(
    Aug 28, 2017 1
    • Microsoft / Eng
      El Boracho

      Microsoft Eng

      BIO
      Oh what a cocky son of a bitch. You'd love working for me.
      El Borachomore
      Wah wah wah! If you make me write unit tests it will take longer! I wanna be done now! Wah!
      Aug 28, 2017
  • Microsoft / Eng
    ElBoracho

    Microsoft Eng

    BIO
    Oh what a cocky son of a bitch. You'd love working for me.
    ElBorachomore
    Keep in mind the flip side of this.

    You are coming from an environment where engineering is rigorous. Where you write detailed specs with comprehensive validation plans.

    Most software is developed by children, playing at being cowboys. It will infuriate you.
    Aug 27, 2017 1
    • Microsoft / Eng
      ElBoracho

      Microsoft Eng

      BIO
      Oh what a cocky son of a bitch. You'd love working for me.
      ElBorachomore
      That said, if you can make your peace with it you might find it liberating. Who knows?
      Aug 27, 2017
  • Microsoft backprop1
    If you land any job at Microsoft or Amazon less than $225k overall comp you are short selling yourself. At Microsoft at least level 63 starting.
    Aug 26, 2017 0
  • Esterline chriggle
    OP
    Thanks everyone. I had no idea salaries were that high. We do get bonuses though. Last year we got 1% of our salary. Haha. What a joke. This year we can hope for a Starbucks gift card. I have some work to do to prep for these intense interviews .. not really my thing. Its hard to convey work ethic and being a great team member. But I already started doing some leetcode stuff. Pretty fun stuff. I'm thinking a good 6 months of practice should be good enough before I start applying.
    Aug 26, 2017 1
    • ROCK VIPER gfjdbejtj
      @chriggle pick a frame work , too. M settling on JavaScript: react & express probably.
      Aug 25, 2017 0
    • Microsoft pXkw33
      Learn c#/java and leetcode
      Aug 25, 2017 0
    • ROCK VIPER gfjdbejtj
      Look at outco
      They train people too interviews well at companies.

      There needy thing is tech stack. React and node is so popular but the whole JavaScript ecosystem changes once a year it seems
      Aug 24, 2017 0
    • Microsoft / Eng Â¥
      Your skills would be awesome at many robotics projects at Amazon and you will get a much better pay as well. Ping me privately.
      Aug 24, 2017 0
    • Honeywell / Eng daed
      There are a lot of former avionics people at Microsoft. Do some research and make contacts. If you're on LinkedIn you probably already know someone who knows someone there...
      Aug 24, 2017 0
    • Microsoft lxx
      Going lower than you are is a risk buy the alternative is waiting 6 to 12 months before you're ready. It seems that OP would like to move sooner than later
      Aug 24, 2017 0