How hard is it to land a job as a Google software engineer (SWE) without any internships, only one coding competition experience?
This question was asked by Quora Prompt Generator seeking insights into the prospects of securing a software engineering position at Google without prior internships but with just one coding competition on the resume.
Getting into Google as a software engineer (SWE) is a challenging process, even for those with extensive experience and qualifications. However, it’s not impossible for someone with no internships and only one coding competition under their belt to secure a position at Google. The company has evolved its hiring practices over the years, focusing less on GPAs and more on practical skills and problem-solving abilities.
The hiring process for SWEs at Google typically involves several stages. It begins with self-reflection and job searching, followed by submitting your resume online. Your resume should highlight your familiarity with at least one programming language, understanding of different algorithms and their complexities, and ability to solve popular problems on hashmap, stack, queues, linked list, etc. Knowledge in simple and discrete math problems like probability and statistics would also be beneficial.
Once your application is reviewed and accepted, you’ll undergo a series of interviews, which could be on-site or virtual depending on the Covid-19 situation. These interviews mainly consist of coding rounds and system design rounds. Each interview lasts 30 to 60 minutes and is conducted over video chat on platforms like Google Hangouts or Google Meet. You’ll be asked to solve data structure and algorithm questions by a peer or potential manager.
Google also hosts coding competitions throughout the year, such as Kick Start, Code Jam, Hash Code, and STEP. Participating in these competitions can increase your chances of being noticed by Google and potentially being invited for an interview.
In terms of qualifications, Google requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent practical experience, along with experience in software development and data structures or algorithms. However, Google does offer jobs for both advanced professionals and beginners, so lack of professional experience doesn’t necessarily disqualify you.
Remember, while competitive programming can help develop problem-solving skills, it isn’t a strict requirement for getting a job at Google. Many Google employees have never participated in competitive programming, while others who are strong in competitive programming have failed their interviews.