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From Newbie Coder to Google Software Engineer in Just 6 Months With Clément Mihailescu (S6E17)

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Former Google software engineer Clément Mihailescu has a STEM degree…but his letter isn’t the T.

Clement MihailescuAfter earning a degree in mathematics and dabbling in a couple different fields, Clément made a connection. The things he was interested in—including starting his own business or getting into something like product management—all required coding skills.

So without ever having written a single line of code before, he took the leap and enrolled in a coding bootcamp. Then, he started applying for jobs, but found it surprisingly difficult to land interviews. He dedicated months to coding interview practice so he’d be ready when the opportunity came.

And it came. After contacting a recruiter on LinkedIn, Clément landed an interview at Google. The interview process took three weeks, but by the end, he had a job as a Google software engineer.

Disclosure: I’m a proud affiliate for some of the resources mentioned in this article. If you buy a product through my links on this page, I may get a small commission for referring you. Thanks!

While working full-time, Clément was inspired by his own coding interview prep frustrations, particularly learning data structures and algorithms, and he founded AlgoExpert on the side to help others navigate their own coding interview questions. (By the way, since we recorded the interview, Clément has changed jobs and become a software engineer at Facebook…so he clearly knows what he’s doing!)

freelance developer

In today’s episode, Clément talks about what it was like to work at Google, advice for landing a job at a top tech company, coding interview preparation tips, and more.

Listen below!

Key takeaways:

  • It is possible to land a job straight out of a bootcamp with minimal experience and a relevant degree. Not necessarily easy, but possible!
  • The more persistent you are and the more applying/outreach you do, the better your chance of landing an interview
  • Doing a side gig alongside a full-time job doesn’t just take up time, but mental energy too. You’ll need to be intentional about keeping balance in your life.
  • While you’re working on your side gig, try to eliminate all thoughts of your day job and vice versa.
  • Make sure you really value and want to do your side gig—if it’s not an obvious yes, maybe reassess because it’s a lot of work for little reward at first.

Links and mentions from the episode:

*Update (Nov 2019): Laurence mentions in the episode that you can get 30% off AlgoExpert. This has since been reduced to 15%.

Where to listen to the podcast

You can listen to the Learn to Code With Me podcast on the following platforms:

  1. iTunes
  2. Overcast
  3. Stitcher
  4. Spotify

If you have a few extra minutes, please rate and review the show in iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show. I would really, really appreciate it!

You might also like…

My free ebook 28 Ways to Earn a Side Income While Learning How to Code walks you through 28 different side gigs you can do to turn your tech skills into dollars—even if you’re just starting out. Download it for free at learntocodewith.me/sidegig.


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