Got into a GANDFAADU company as SDE2, what next?
(Google Amazon Netflix Dropbox Facebook Apple Adobe Doordash Uber)
YoE : 3
TC : 65k USD
Location : India
Goals - $1mil TC in 5 years, making Director in 10(or a director level IC - Distinguished Engineer), or some really kickass research papers.
(Stretch goals are a thing)
Will be joining Google India soon as L4. From what I've read it seems that I would need 40h/week to maximise my career growth within Google. I can see getting to L5 as straightforward however progress beyond that seems more unclear/ambiguous.
This still leaves me a lot of time(20h/week let's say) that I could devote to -
1. Working on research in algorithms/distributed systems(can get professors who would be willing to collaborate), with the end goal of joining a great PhD program. Googlers and Xooglers - would you suggest using company resources instead to transition into a more 'researchy' role? I believe there's not much scope for applied research as an SWE outside of ML and ML engg domains.
2. Doing part time online courses(GaTech OMSCS, etc.). However given I went to a reputed school for CS undergrad, I do not see much value in a purely coursework masters and I think any research papers at all via 1st option(highly ambitious/optimistic) would better demonstrate academic chops.
3. Gunning for elite HFTs and quant hedge funds(JS, 2s, HRT, etc.) to maximise dat TC in the short term. My concern is how the finance industry is making the market more efficient and shrinking. If I aim for a quant role, I might have to gain skills that might not carry outside the industry. If I go for a pure software dev role this concern does not exist so much however I'm still concerned that there is not much of distributed systems/planet scale engineering in these places, which is the sort of thing I'd eventually want to do as an IC.
Also, if this industry does happen to be short lived, I believe I'd have to get in ASAP to mine the remaining gold.