Success after 8 interviews

Dec 18, 2019 39 Comments


I’m not here to boast, but just want to share my experience, frustration and finally the success.

I applied for Sr Full Stack Engineer roles.

Starting in Aug 2018, I decided that I needed to make a switch. At the point of time, I was not confident enough to even solve basic Two Sum problem as well. I worked at my current company for 4 years and my experience is technically not that strong. I realized that my career was stagnant and I needed to move my ass.

First 2 months, I was able to solve heardly 20-30 algos. Even easy leetcode problems used to take 1hr minimum to understand. I started feeling depressed and decided to continue with the current company and stopped studying.

Massive lay-offs came-by around same time. I was lucky enough not to be in that list, but felt it was the wake-up call.

Again started my prep in Nov 2018. By dec 2018, I started seeing decent progress. I was able to solve leetcode easy in 20-30 mins and mediums are taking around 30-40 mins. I started learning Trees/Graphs and backtracking problems. It felt like greek and latin for first 2 months. By Feb 2019, I was doing okay with basic Binary Tree recursion problems. But still struggling with Graphs/Backtracking problems. anyway, I decided to start applying for the companies in Boston. Even though I was interviewing at the companies I never really stopped practicing.

Job experience

Feb 2019 - Constant Contact

Constant Contact - Did well in the phone found, but failed in the peer coding round.

Result - Rejected

March 2019 - Cengage and Kayak

Cengage Learning - This is comparitively smaller company. Interview process was easy. My minimal algorithemic experience was more than enough. But I failed in a round where they asked me to do TDD(test driven development) on a laptop. My mind went blank. I told the interviewer that I never worked in TDD environment, he still insisted me.

Result - Rejected (stacking)

Kayak - This opportunity helped me to understand where I stand. The interviews are based on your fundamentals with Java and Javascript languages along with 3 algorithemic rounds. I did comparitively well, Solved all the 3 algorithms (Stacks, Javascript polyfill and DFS problem).

Result - They did stacking, interviewed 15 other folks. Narrowed it down it 5 devs and then I never received any reply for 2 weeks and then recruiter told me they had some re-orgs and they removed that role.

May 2019

Cargurus - Similar experience to Kayak. Asked me 2 algorithm questions, 1 js round and 1 system design. Didn’t do so well in here as one of the interviewers asked me do build a project using html/javascript/dom. I completely failed to remember any DOM methods like append child, what is a node etc.

Result - Rejected because of the last round.

June 2019

Hubspot - Takehome, pretty complicated project. I was able to solve it in 2.5hrs and got selected for onsite. 6 Onsite rounds, 5 went really well all the rounds are DS/algorithms, along with Javascript polyfills. One final round with the Architect, again messed-up with javascript DOM related question.

Result - Rejected

Now I decided to spend sometime on brushing up javascript. spent 2 weeks regorously strengthening up my JS skills again.

July 2019

Amazon - Take home went well. Next was phone round, asked me question on Graphs and I was not able to solve it. Its based on Dijkstra’s algorithm.

Result - Rejected

July 2019

Akamai - Did really well in the interview. Sorted out all the mistakes that I did in previous one’s. Javascript building app with DOM, Building quick app in Angular, Algorithms on Trees, Stacks, Arrays. My confidence levels got boosted at this phase. I was fairly confident that I nailed it and going to get the offer. But again they have interview stacking policy. They interviewed multiple people for this role and recruiter called after a week and told me to provide my immigration documents. I was really happy and assumed I got the offer, but recruiter told me that it was a tie between me and another guy. I told him that I’ll submit my immigration documents after I receive the official offer. Couple of weeks later recruiter calls me and tells me that company went through reOrgs and that role was removed and new role got opened, asked if I was interested. I decided to skip it.

Result - Ghosted

Even though my confidence was boosted, I felt reallt depressed at this stage.
I decided to take little break from constant studying. I took a vacation for 2.5 weeks and came back really fresh and energised. If it was not for this vacation, I was at the brink of giving-up.

Mid Sep - Oct 2019
Studies my ass off. Spent over 30hrs -40hrs/week. Covered all algorithms, data structures, OOP concepts, System Design and Java/JAvascript language fundamentals.

Nov 2019

Salesforce - These guys moved really fast. Manager round, Tech Screening, Takehome happend in 1 week. After takehome they again asked me that thir architect want to interview me again, cracked that as well. In the meanwhile another tesm from Salesforce contacted me and got selected for onsite for that team as well. Salesforce decided to go with Split interview onsite at SF. Did really well with both the the teams. Questions on Trees, System Design, OOP, Stacks, topological sorting, TRIEs. solved all these with ease.
Next day, got offers from Both the Salesforce teams. This made my day. I was not expecting anything after my back to back failures my expectations were really low.

Result - got offers from both the teams. Accepted one of them.

Akamai again, Went for the interview and did really well again. They are still interviewing more candidates, I kept my hopes really low. Luckily got the offer this time.

Result - declined the offer.

TripAdvisor - Cleared first round, got take home assignment. Notified recruiter that I wont be attending onsite.

Resources I’ve used to study

1. Leetcode
3. Youtube
4. Udemy
5. Pramp

I feel these resources are way more tha enough in making you from an ordinary developer to an excellent developer. Total time it took for me was 6-8 months to land in a job. I’ve accepted the role at Salesforce with 112% hike. Take breaks in the middle. Plan and stick to it.

Stay Focused and all the best for your Job hunt.


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TOP 39 Comments
  • New zwnE34
    Yours is a very genuine story.
    Dec 18, 2019 0
  • Uber bbjvv
    True to blind sprit. Congrats op!

    Part of me think you should keep going and get to tier 1 faang+
    Dec 18, 2019 1
    • Optum / IT hellBoy11
      I'm going to target that soon :)
      Dec 18, 2019
  • EMC / Product 2cloud
    You must be a bachelor for sure ;)
    Dec 18, 2019 1
    • Optum / IT hellBoy11
      No I’m not. Thanks for my loving and supporting wife 😊
      Dec 21, 2019
  • Yelp DvFm80
    Could you share your YouTube and Udemy course and some videos like their channel names etc?
    Dec 18, 2019 1
    • Optum / IT hellBoy11
      Youtube Channels
      1. Tushar Roy
      2. iDeserve
      3. Gaurav Sen (System Design)
      4. Tech Dummies (System Design)
      5. Kevin Naughton Jr

      1. Imtiaz ahmad (DS Algos course)
      2. Loonycorn (DS and Algos course)
      3. Mosh hamedani (DS algos course)

      Hope that helps
      Dec 18, 2019
  • Amazon IxHt50
    Congrats OP!
    Dec 18, 2019 0
  • Love it! Congratulations.
    Thanks for sharing
    Dec 18, 2019 1
    • Optum / IT hellBoy11
      hah Thanks :)
      Dec 18, 2019
  • Aruba Networks / Eng rotfl
    You are a rockstar. Sit back and enjoy that TC bump which you deserve.
    Dec 18, 2019 0
  • Wow, congrats OP! Thanks for sharing your journey and your story. How many breaks did you take normally other than the vacation? I’ve been studying for the last 2-3 weeks non stop 8-10 hours a day and I will take a two day break this week. I can feel my energy slowly going down and want to make sure I can still learn new information. How did you schedule your breaks?
    Dec 18, 2019 3
    • I am a full time student
      Dec 18, 2019
    • Optum / IT hellBoy11
      Nothing specific. I used to take a day break in the middle except from Set-Oct after my post vacation. If you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, bored, tired, its a sign that you have to take a break for a couple of days and come back again.
      I also followed this technique explained by byte by byte code - to learn things in a productive way.
      Dec 18, 2019
  • Kaiser Permanente / Eng Elho50
    Congrats! How much yoe?
    Dec 18, 2019 1
  • Seattle Children's Hospital yPvA34
    Genuine story. You are an inspiration!
    Dec 18, 2019 0


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