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CS Career Questions

  • Should I offer a more narrow salary expectation if the job listing already has a range?

    I'm doing interviews, and I wanted to get an idea of what other people are doing. Say a position offers a pay range between 50-65k. In my interview with HR (first interview), should I try to provide a more narrow range? for instance, " Based on my skills and experience, I'd expect a range between 56-60k" Or should I just tell them the range offered is good for me and let them actually provide an offer? This is of course assumes the entire range is acceptable to me. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • Lately I don’t get any reply to my CVs, how much would it cost me to hire a professional to write my CV?

    I tried to rewrite my CV on multiple occasions but nothing works; so I’m thinking to hire someone else to write it for me. I don’t know how much it would cost nor where to find such a person

  • Remote devs, how many breaks do you take a day?

    Hi everyone! I have a problem: I can code no stop for hours. Someday, I go for basically 6-7 hours a day without taking a break. I notice I exaggerated only when I’m basically drained after work, to the point I can’t do anything.

    How many breaks do you take? 10/20 minutes per hour? Do you take longer?

  • Question about potential career path (Technical Account Manager)

    I'm currently a Technical account manager at a company and I'm uncertain where to go from here. I currently make 150k, with some of my more experienced coworkers making 200k. I'd like to apply to other companies to make more money.

    But I'm wondering, is staying in this sort of role good long term?

    Some additional information on what I do, since I understand this role varies company by company:

    We interact a lot with clients post sales making technical recommendations on the products of ours to use.

    We sometimes help direct clients with integration, or do it ourselves which involves using our REST API.

    We also sometimes have to configure and customize our web application front end, which involves making changes to its HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

    We would sometimes also need to investigate and deploy bug fixes for production.

    Now, looking at potential jobs, I'm seeing Technical Account manager, Solutions Engineer, and customer engineer roles that seem really similar to what I'm doing now, paying about 150k average, maybe even a bit more. I'm uncertain what kind of progression there is though.

    On the other hand, as a software engineer (which,despite having a degree in CS, i have no work experience doing, other than what I'm doing now), it feels like there's an, obvious to me, career progression. The issue is that it appears that the average pay for what I think I could work as (junior/entry level software engineer) is closer to 100 - 120k.

    Should I keep trying to stay in my current job type? What sort of new positions should I aim for to make more money?

    Should I bite the bullet and go into software engineering, losing some short term income in exchange for a better career path with better pay in the future? Should I be applying for entry level positions? or staff/intermediate level Software engineering roles?

    any advice is appreciated!

  • How much does title matter when changing jobs

    I'm currently a Staff Systems Engineer (was promoted from Senior last year) and I'm looking at a position with the title "Systems Engineer", which had significantly higher compensation.

    Would going for this job be a bad move? Would it make it higher to jump to a Principal Systems Engineering role harder later on?

  • Is desktop development still a thing?

    I don't have a CS background (I graduated in Neuroscience) but now I decided I want to attempt a carrer in software development. When I looked at the possible different types of software developer I felt that the one I was most attracted to was desktop developer or system developer. In general, I like creating programs than run offline on a local machine, or even dealing with the low level operating system stuff.

    I altready know how to program in Python so I decided to start learning C++ as well since it feels like exactly the language that can be used for developing desktop apps or working with kernels. In general, I like the level of abstraction at which C++ works and I would like to keep working at that level.

    However, when looking around for some jobs or in general talking with people who work in the IT field, I feel like most of the work of a developer is polarised between two extremes: either creating web apps using tons of different front-end and back-end frameworks, or working with embedded systems for different kind of electronic devices. C++ specifically seems to be used nothing more than for gaming and embedded systems nowadays (according to my very subjective impression ofc).

    So my question is: is it still possible to find a job were the main task is to develop and/or maintain desktop apps? And if so, is C++ (or other languages that work at the same abstraction level like Rust) the right language to do this? Or maybe, given my lack of a CS education, it's easier to start as a webdev and maybe change later?

    Sorry if I said some nonsense or trivial stuff but I just started to enter the IT world and I still don't have a clear idea on how the job market for SWD works.

  • Do startups actually use agile/waterfall?

    I've been working at my tech startup for almost a year now and it's been pretty smooth sailing. Everyone does their own thing. You take on a feature in Jira, create a PR, address the revisions, merge and that's done. There's not really a "manager" as we work as a team towards the same goal autonomously.

  • The job market is actually bad because the tech industry is not unionized

    Jobs are being let go left and right because tightening monetary policy. Salaries are plunging because in the battle between labor and capital, labor has no saying power.

    Capital will layoff and rehire at a discount and the glass ceiling is left pristine. Capital also owns all of the media and being gas lit the pass year about 'over employment' and 'do nothing engineers'

    Labor has no say/power at the negotiation table and this is why we're getting fucked

    edit: spelling

  • Don't know what I'm doing wrong

    Hi everyone,

    I just recently graduated from university this past May with a BS in Computer Science, and I really have to ask the question: is the hiring market for the tech industry in the U.S. really as screwed up as it feels right now? I've been job hunting since before the start of my senior year of college and I've put out WELL over 100 applications by now (probably nearing 200) and I haven't even been able to get a freakin' interview. Not. A. Single. One. I'm at the point where I'm about ready to give up and just go back to applying to retail jobs, even though the reason I went to college was to escape those positions. I know that late last year and early this year there were tens of thousands of layoffs at major tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon, and so all of those people with industry experience flooding into the job market really outshines a new-grad like myself. However, I keep asking myself if that's actually the source of my problem or if it's something wrong with my approach. One thing that I know for certain is a bit of a problem is that I'm applying to positions in the Seattle area as well as remote positions, which are both fairly saturated with comp-sci people. This is because I'm going to be moving-in with a group of my friends there in a couple of months.

    To give an idea of the position I'm in, here are some details about my experience level so far:

    • I graduated Cum Laude with a GPA of 3.64.
    • I had 2 internships during college, both of them writing code for small, local web development companies.
    • My second internship turned into a 5 month contract position developing a mobile app in React Native for one of their clients.
    • Though my school I did some projects for both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and my state's Parks and Wildlife department to help prototype some projects. Neither of these were paid positions, but they were projects that I wanted to help with to make my resume stand out.
    • During my last two years, I worked with my university's biology department by writing small programs to help their undergraduate research projects. Again, this wasn't a paid position, but I thought it would look good on my resume (and my biology teacher was cool).
    • I participated in a summer research program to work with machine learning algorithms and see how they can be useful for data analysis. So even though I'm a new-grad, I feel like I have a pretty good amount of experience to offer.

    Now here are some details about how I've been job hunting:

    • I've had my resume looked-over by 2 of my teachers, someone in my school's career services department, 3 of my friends who are in the tech industry, and also ChatGPT (just for good measure). All of them said it looks really good and professional. Also, I have 3 different versions for applying to different types of jobs, each of which highlights different skills more prominently.
    • Using ChatGPT and help from a few of my friends in the tech industry, I created a very professional cover letter template that I've been using when applying for jobs. Each section highlights specific skills and experience, so I can quickly rearrange and tailor it to fit the job that I'm applying for.
    • I use my GitHub account very frequently to show details about all of my major projects and to demonstrate that I know how to use code repositories for backing up and documenting my work.
    • I created a Wordpress website to act as my portfolio, which I've been keeping up-to-date with all of the notable projects I've worked on since going back to school. This includes lots of pictures and detailed breakdowns of what the projects are for and what the biggest problems were.
    • I've reached out to all of my friends, family members, classmates, roommates, teachers, former co-workers, and acquaintances to see if any of them might know of an entry-level position I could fill. Unfortunately, all of the non-tech people in my network came up empty-handed, and all of the people who were in the tech industry said "my company has a hiring freeze and are only laying people off right now." I should also note that I've reached out to these people a couple of times each since the start of this year, and the responses have been exactly the same.
    • I've set up profiles on LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, Handshake, Jobot, Microsoft Careers, USA Jobs, and probably a couple other job hunting sites I can't remember. All of them are up-to-date and I use them all very frequently.
    • When I apply for jobs, I'm not just throwing out an application at every single position that I find. I specifically target ones that I actually have a chance at, which are 0-3 years of experience and where I have about +40% of the skills listed. I just wanted to clarify that I'm not being an idiot, applying for mid-senior positions, and then complaining that "nobody will hire me!"

    With everything I've listed here, I honestly have no idea how I'm failing this horribly at my job hunt. I'd understand it if I had gotten some interviews and people said my coding skills weren't up to their expectations, but I haven't even made it that far. Not only can I not get my foot in the door anywhere, it doesn't look like there are even open doors available for me to try. All I get are automated rejection letters over and over and over. Is there anything I can do to fix this? Because this constant failure is really breaking me down, and I'm at the end of my rope here.

  • project engineer vs software engineer

    Hi, I'm a new grad who's been looking for jobs. I've seen some project engineer job postings which seem to need very similar qualifications to swe jobs. I only have internship experience as a sde. Is it possible to go into entry level project engineer jobs with only sde experience, and if I do go into it, would I find it hard to get general sde roles in the future?

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