re: I switched careers to Software Engineering in my late 30s while nursing a newborn, Ask Me Anything! VIEW POST

re: I am so blown away by your story! I am a person who's been programming for a while. I think my problem is that I don't study algorithms and data st...

Thank you Grant!

I'll confess: I truly do not enjoy working on algorithms and data structures, unless they're in a context of some possibly real-world problem. Otherwise they feel so detached and conceptualization is everything to me.

I had 2 awesome onsite interviews (and one crappy one). The first interview (which led to my current job) took about 3.5 hours and only 25 mins of this was spent on algorithms. Whats more, they didn't actually want me to code everything out - they cared more about my thought process, how I would approach solving it, and my ability to talk through my thinking.

For my second onsite, I'd completed some homework in Rails and Javascript. So the technical portion of the interview was a review of my homework. I've never felt more relaxed in an interview - explaining why I coded the way I did, and receiving their feedback on different ways of achieving the same effect.

So to answer your question: yes, many companies use algorithms/data structures to evaluate potential employees, so you should practice. However, I sought a company which would understand that I was at the start of my journey, in need of training and mentoring, and hire me for my technical potential and prowess in other non-technical areas. And not many companies are like this.

Let me know how else I can help. I wish you all the favor in the world - good luck!

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