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Keep grinding until someone notices you.

David Hew-wing
February 13th, 2020 · 2 min read

Looking for jobs this summer has been rough for me. I applied to over 200+ SWE Intern positions and am currently 0/4 when giving me an interview. In each case, it seems like I have done well in the white-boarding interviews, with developers actually saying I did an excellent job in the interview.

I have acquired necessary knowledge of data-structures and algorithms to allow me to succeed in the Whiteboarding interviews. However, the things that are holding me back are the applied knowledge of Software Development. For instance, I am to solve relatively difficult LeetCode problems quickly, but I am unable to write an End-To-End application.

My rejection emails are a long the same lines, one being: “You don’t seem to have enough Full-stack Development knowledge, even though you really impressed the interviewers. I’ll ask hiring manager if they can open up a specialized role”. Which further verifies my lack of skill.

From now until the next recruiting season, I will work hard on my side projects and try to get a V1 out. Which will not only help me acquire more interviews, but help recruiters and developers be more confident in picking me for their role and become a more well rounded developer.

I will still do LeetCode questions, but since I have a strong base I don’t have to do one every day. I plan on doing one or two a week, then doing the online contest. When I get an interview, I will schedule it for two weeks in advance and no-life LeetCode to sharpen my skillset once again.

Even though I have nothing to show for the past months of hard-work. These months allowed me to develop a better mindset and it has re-ignited my passion for Software Engineering.

I have failed a lot this past season. I am not as smart as Harvard, Waterloo or MIT students. However, I have to remember that success is not an output of talent, rather success is an output of talent multiplied by grit. Therefore, I have to work 2x, or even 10x as hard as more talented individuals, as my talent is average or mediocre. I also have to remember that failure isn’t defined as when you don’t achieve one of your goals, failure is defined when you give up on achieving your goals.

It will all build up and I will keep grinding until one day I acquire my dream SWE job.

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