#LaidlawCareers: Software Engineering

Thank you to everyone who joined us yesterday for the #LaidlawCareers Panel on Software Engineering, organised by the Laidlaw Alumni Society! You can watch the recording of the panel here. Time codes below.

The Panellists

Gareth Reakes - Software Engineering Director at Facebook

Omar Haq - Regional Tech Lead, Citadel LLC

Claire McNamara - Software Engineering Intern at Google; Laidlaw Scholar

Abhimanyue Singh Tanwar - Software Engineering Analyst, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Laidlaw Scholar

Moderated by: Juwon Lee - Laidlaw Scholar at the University of Hong Kong

Time codes

3:15 - Gareth and Omar: What do you think are the hard & soft skills most in demand for software developers these days?

6:30 - Claire & Abhimanyue: Walk us through your journey of securing your first internships at Google & J.P. Morgan, respectively. How did you prepare for coding tests & interviews? Any crucial tips for those applying for internships or fresh grad jobs?

11:00 - Omar and Gareth: In tech, we always hear about the recent cutting-edge improvements, techniques, or applications being made in areas such as machine learning, blockchain, and cloud. In your opinion, what are the most exciting areas of innovation in tech with high potential of growth in the coming years?

14:20 - Abhimanuye: Based on your work experience, what are some important technical skills taught in university that students studying computer science should pay more attention to while they’re still in school?

18:15 - Claire: I noticed that apart from your internship experiences at Google, you have also worked for the ADAPT Center as a research intern. Based on your experiences, how do skill sets required for research differ from skill sets required for industry work? How did you know which one’s the right fit for you?

22:10 - Gareth: Given the rapid pace of innovation happening in tech, we as software engineers have to be constantly learning new skills as we go. What are some tips you have on staying updated with all the new stuff being developed?

23:35 - Abhimanyue: I noticed you first did an internship at J.P. Morgan before receiving a full-time offer from the company. How were you able to stand out during your internship? What is some advice you have for the incoming interns who are looking to get a return offer?

26:00 - Omar: How does the role of a software engineer develop as they advances further in their career? In 5 years after starting a career in software engineering, how would your day-to-day responsibility differ from when you first joined? How about in 10 years?

28:58 - Claire: Due to COVID19, a lot of companies turned to remote work. Could you share a bit about your experiences doing a remote internship? Were there any challenges you faced working remotely and how did you overcome those challenges?

32:33 - Gareth: Based on your experience, could you share with us the most striking differences in being a technical founder at a startup vs working as a software engineer at a big corporation? What are the pros and cons of each?

35:40 - Abhimanyue & Omar: Why did you choose to work in the finance industry instead of going to more traditional tech companies? What are some unique advantages of being a software engineer in the finance industry?

39:45 - Claire & Abhimanyue: How were you able to leverage your Laidlaw Scholarship when applying for software engineering roles? How would you suggest that Laidlaw Scholars can do the same?

45:15 [Audience question] There is a huge contrast between the technical interview rounds and the technical coding done at a company.  My question is, why are candidates expected to implement advanced data structures when most of those will be never be used? Alternatives I've witnessed/had to do: a short assignment to complete within a week.

47:35 [Audience question] What is the general recruitment timeline of the industry?

49:00 [Audience question] How do you transition from research to industry if you are trying to get your first job (and you don't have much industry/internship experience)?

50:25 [Audience question] I'm currently an engineering student interested in the financial side of the industry, but haven't worked on any projects yet. How do I break in?

52:10 [Audience question] How do you think COVID-19 will alter job prospects within the software engineering industry?

53:30 [Audience question] I was wondering how you found balancing a Laidlaw project alongside an internship in the same summer. Did it hinder your application at all already having 5 or 6 weeks set aside for a Laidlaw project?

56:03 [Audience question] How would you expect interns or graduates to approach you for guidance considering everything is done remotely now?