Getting a job at Google: Coding Bootcamp Experience (Clément Mihailescu)


hey everyone I have a special guest here
today Clément Mihailescu and we’re going to compare and contrast our coding boot
camp experiences so Clement if you want to introduce yourself yeah for sure
so my name is Clement and I graduated from a coding bootcamp in New York City
back in late 2016 after that I worked for a couple of years at Google as a
software engineer and I’ll be starting at Facebook as a software engineer soon
I also run a business algo expert algo expert io it helps software engineers to
prepare for coding interviews and I’m happy to be here today we’re going to
talk about our coding bootcamp experiences and we’re going to break it
down into five different steps so we’re going to talk about the application
process the learning phase the projects the job search prep and the final job
search Clement what was your application process like yeah so I applied to a few
coding bootcamps I think it was three or four coding boot camps with no prior
coding experience I wrote my first line of code when I was applying to them and
preparing for the sort of you know interview process there and overall I
would say it took about 3 to 4 weeks from the day that I applied to the day
that I got my results I spent about 3 weeks preparing learning the
fundamentals of programming practicing the sort of you know easy to medium
coding interview questions and with full-stack Academy the coding boot camp
that I ended up attending I had two parts of the interview process one was
an online quiz and the other was a Skype interview and then I got accepted so for
me I ended up deciding on going to hack reactor and I wanted to go all-in for
just a single coding bootcamp I saw that there were a bunch of others but I
reached out to a handful of people on LinkedIn and I talked to some Hack Reactor grads and they said it was a great experience so ultimately I wanted to go
all in on this and then if that didn’t work out I would apply to others so they
basically gave us 150 questions that we had to answer in the first two weeks and
these were a lot of you know there was no context so we just had to go in and
attempt these questions and see how many we could get through and then what they
did after that if you passed that phase they had a six-week prep course that you
could take so it took about six weeks we went through more
script fundamentals and also some higher-order functions and after that
they had an interview that you take yeah pretty much over Skype and with that
they gave you three times to take that and if you couldn’t pass after the third
time you weren’t able to apply again so next we’re going to talk about the
learning phase for our coding boot camps so Clement what was your learning phase
like yeah so there were two parts to their learning phase the first part
actually happened before the immersive part of the boot camp actually started
and by immersive I mean the in-person part of the bootcamp and that was about
a month of pre-work foundational work which was sort of self-paced following
their tutorials online I was doing about two to four hours of coding per day
nothing too crazy there and then the first six weeks of the in-person
immersive part of the program was the the main part of the learning phase and
that was you know eight hours a day and I would typically put even more
afterwards and you know though in the mornings we tended to have lectures on
topics you know new topics like as an example in asynchronous JavaScript and
then during the second half of the days we would have these sort of pair
programming sessions where we would do these sort of you know courses or
modules in pairs that typically involved completing some sort of miniature
project if that makes sense you know so we would build maybe a Twitter clone in
one day to learn about a specific part of JavaScript as an example so that was
sort of my learning phase cool so for us at hack reactor we had technically the
application process was also like a prep work for the learning and then once we
got into the coding bootcamp at least for the first two weeks it was kind of
like a probation period so if you couldn’t make it past these sprints they
had two days sprints which were the projects that you do throughout the
first six weeks of the coding bootcamp if you couldn’t make it past it in the
first two weeks they would kick you out so a handful of people left after the
first two mechs because they weren’t able to complete the sprints
they for us they did different subjects they did data structures and algorithms
they did jQuery we would build some projects we did algorithmic projects
they had works so for the first six weeks me
basically every two days had a brand new topic and finished that all the way up
through the midterm so next let’s talk a little bit about the projects that you
did in the coding bootcamp yeah so after that learning phase right there were
still about six or seven weeks of the bootcamp left of the in-person part of
the bootcamp and that was literally titled the sort of project phase of the
boot camp and so we had a few projects that we were working on either alone or
in groups the first one for us was an Amazon clone or a Shopify clone
basically like an e-commerce website I didn’t end up putting that on my resume
because I think it was sort of the very first project big project that we all
did together and I didn’t think he was that great but then we had a bunch of
other projects one of them that I did alone was my pathfinding visualizer
project which I’ve mentioned a couple times on my channel where I basically
visualized pathfinding algorithms on a web app then I had a Chrome extension
that I worked on with a few other people then I had a programming language that I
sort of invented you know the fundamentals of that programming
language and a sort of interpreter for it I worked on in a pair with somebody
else and finally after the coding boot camp ended I did another project which
was a visualization tool not for path finding algorithms but for sorting
algorithms like merge sort and quicksort and that was also sort of a web app nice
yeah for us we had after the midterm we had a project the first project was our
first full stack project they called it on the green field so you’d build it
from the ground up we built a Facebook clone they broke us out and all these
four groups of me to choose a project and I said we had to choose a product
that emulated a you know real-life popular app so we chose Facebook and we
had I believe like a week and a half to to build this project so we kind of each
you know we had the planning phase and then we split up the technologies and
tried to figure out where each of us would go so I focused on the database
portion we had a few people who focus on the front-end portion and focus focus on
the backend specifics so that was a really interesting project we
do code reviews and really learn the basics of getting everything during that
and then the second project was a project that we inherited so we
basically took another team’s project from that first phase and we had to
build upon and add new features so we took someone else’s reddit clone and we
had to add a bunch of features into it and kind of transform it into our own
app so that was a really interesting one I think it was you know the first
inherited codebase project and that’s that’s a huge skill that I didn’t
realize that’s really big in the industry and I’m kind of happy to
introduce that to us back then yeah that’s so that sounds really cool we we
didn’t have that that does sound very cool because in the industry you’re
pretty much almost always working on the inherited project yeah and then I think
the last and final project were the last four weeks of the coding boot camp and it
was basically free form there wasn’t really much direction what they said
here is the the main requirement is you have to build an app with micro services
so you have a team of four and each person builds a different micro service
and again you have shoes you know a popular app so what our team did we
chose specifically YouTube viral search and we had to split out each of our
different microservices and figure out how to you know relay information to
each of them so now let’s talk a little bit about the job search prep so what
was your job search prep experience like so there were a few components to my job
search prep the first one was to kind of get stuff like my resume and my LinkedIn
all settled and that happened pretty soon after I graduated from the coding
bootcamp I spent a couple of weeks and just made sure everything was good then
I have to admit that I was a little bit overconfident at first thinking that I
might not have to do that much coding interview question practice because I
had known a lot of a website called code wars during my coding boot camp and I
thought okay I’m pretty well-versed in algorithms and data structures I’m gonna
exist jumpin I got kind of a rude awakening with one of my first phone
interviews with a company so then after in about you know early to late January
2016 I really jumped into the coding
interview prep and I remember I had a period of about ten
days between the time that I scheduled my google interviews and the time that I
took my Google interviews where I did really the grand majority of my coding
interview prep and my job search prep if that makes sense I was just doing like
14 hours a day of algorithms and coding questions and that was really the bulk
of my job search prep huh yes I think for me we ended up doing leak hood
questions pretty much every single day at the coding bootcamp every morning
from 9:00 to 10:00 you would just do a question and failed
pretty much all of them but I think it was really good preparation for the job
search eventually the last week of our coding bootcamp they really focused on
refining our resumes and making sure our LinkedIn accounts were you know on par and we
also all endorsed each other on LinkedIn which is really ridiculous but you know
what are you gonna do so then in the job search itself I pretty much focused on
it it was overwhelming with the amount of topics that were out there but I
still focused on doing algorithm questions and also working on one side
project I tried to only do one side project with react and redux and not do
too much else but I just wanted to focus on at least about half of my time
studying and the other half just applications and networking so that was
kind of the majority of my job search prep gotcha cool and now the last part
is what was your job search like so the job search I’m not gonna lie was pretty
brutal for me I had no work experience actually had no internship experience
and coming out of the coding bootcamp it was just very difficult most companies
that I applied to just seemed like they didn’t really want to give me like a
chance there’s always you know either either automatic rejections or sort of
immediate rejections where they would be like oh you know we’ve reviewed hundreds
of applicants and unfortunately you don’t quite fit or what we need right
now it was very frustrating so I think I applied to a total of about 300 plus
jobs most of them were via online applications which probably was a
mistake a few of them were you know I would contact a recruiter
directly on LinkedIn or something like that but then I ended up interviewing at
a total of about seven companies and then the job offer that the main job
offer that I ended up accepting was at Google as a software engineer and so it
ended up being you know really perfect for me but with a sort of brutal
backstory if that makes sense yeah I think for me it took me when I
was applying for industrial engineering jobs it was really really challenging
before the boot camp and I think it’s because I really wasn’t invested in it
so when I was in the coding boot camp I knew that I wanted a job because I I
hadn’t had a job for nine months since my last one as I was ending the coding
boot camp so what I really focused on was okay the six weeks are done the
midterm is done I’m just going to start applying right now and I don’t really
care I know I have all these other products during the second half of the
boot camp but I just really want to stay focused and try to get a job so what I
did is I spread out all the different kind of methods you could go getting a
job whether it’s like indeed angellist LinkedIn recruiters you know college
connections I tried to list out everything and then I just chunked it
down and I used every single Avenue I could to just get my name out there so I
think with the first job search I applied to about a hundred and fifty
jobs and I actually got pretty lucky on the first job search there was a person
who came to the cony bootcamp and kind of advertised one of these
apprenticeships so what I did is I applied for the apprenticeship probably
about two to three weeks before the coding boot camp ended so during the
last week I had the first phone screen and then after that they pretty
basically came back and wanted me to do a project so that was the point where at
a coding bootcamp the job search coach or whatever he told us you know don’t
put all your eggs in one basket like you want to be applying get tons of jobs and
at this point I had something in the funnel and I submitted a product so I
was like you know I’m just gonna take this week off of job searching and go
all in and do whatever I can to go above and beyond English stuff so with every
step I took the code refactor it set it back in and then I made videos for the
projects that I did and just tried to make everything as perfect as possible
but I got tons of rejections so it was pretty pretty right here as well
but I think that’s the sort of common theme with bootcamp grads and to be
honest I would argue even with most computer science grads is that that
first job is a very difficult tool and once you landed it gets easier after
that it is in fact sometimes it gets super easy like my I recently switched
jobs and my second job search was literally like a breeze it was uh at
least like landing the jobs was just an almost like a joke you know people come
to me asking me to apply rather than the the opposite but that first job this is
pretty pretty pretty difficult you just have to kind of grind through it and and
and do your best you know it’s ridiculous once you have at least like
some experience yeah people do just come to you you get tons of email messages
and like you know link to messages it’s just I think it’s kind of like a twisted
thing you know it’s like when you don’t have experience you don’t get anything
but when you have experience you get tons of opportunities yeah I had friends
who took them anywhere between you know three months and a year and a half to
get a job after the cooking boot camp so it definitely varies for everyone and I
think the you know ultimate messages just don’t give up you have just keep
going and be you know resilient totally agree totally agree so we felt like both
of our coding bootcamp experiences had similarities and differences and we
thought that we would share them with you to show you know the realities and
the expectations and the different avenues you can go to get into the tech
industries so we also were talking about the different myths of a coding bootcamp
experience before this video and we made a video on that on Clement’s channel so
make sure to check that out the link is in the description below and also make
sure to subscribe to his channel awesome thanks for having me Matt hey thanks so
much Clement

7 thoughts on “Getting a job at Google: Coding Bootcamp Experience (Clément Mihailescu)

  1. Hey, came from Clements channel. Thanks so much for making these videos. I'm starting the Hack Reactor extended immersive on Monday and I'm super nervous. I did the premium prep and feel like I forgot most of it!

  2. great video. I found your channel from Clement's video. subscribed. I'm currently attending Lambda School and am glad I did it after 2 years of college. I'm enjoying the bootcamp experience much better. I think it's interesting to compare my journey to your journeys.

  3. Learning to code? Want to connect with other like-minded people who you can relate to? Join our growing Discord Community here: https://discord.gg/9RGdMcF

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