Landing a Full Stack Engineering Position

By Lz on December 20, 2020 · 6 min read

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This might have come unexpected to you, but I landed my first Full Stack Engineering position a few weeks ago. I am now a week into my new position, and am amazed with where I am. If you are looking for a position or interested to learn how I landed this position at 20 years old, continue forward. I will go over some of my skills, the interview process, and how the first week went!


My Skills


To start off, I am an iOS & Website developer. I have been working with both for a few years, and they are both apart of my passion. With this though, I am a huge fan of iOS development thus it is my ideal perfect position for work. Now, you might be thinking what these two skills have to do with being a full stack engineer. They are both included in full stack positions considering they work with frontend and backend which is what makes a full stack engineer.


So with my skills, I have been working on full applications solely for a few years now. This means I design, build the ui, work with the backend, and then ship apps all by myself. This may not seem like much at a glance, but looking at larger projects, it can take quite some time to build a product and ship it out. You may know one of my apps Habite, which is ultimately a calendar that helps you get tasks done and start habits all while providing detailed analytics. This app is particularly one of the reasons I was able to land a full stack engineering position. From the couple years of work to the constant updates, I am constantly improving my iOS skills one way or another, thus helping me stand out since I had something to show for all of my work.


Applying


I can concur, one of the hardest parts of applying, is 1) getting some sort of positive response back, and 2) getting an interview(s). About a month and a half ago, I began applying for iOS engineering positions across the US. Initially, I believe I recieved over 50 rejections after applying to about 100 different companies. I believe one of my main problems was that I did not have a degree in my resume, but at the same time, one of my positives was that I had experience in my resume. Truthfully, I do not think many of the recruiters cared about experience as much as they did about a degree. Personally, I do not understand that way of thinking considering people who have experience or some sort of practice are already ahead of someone with a degree and little to no experience especially in the tech world. This is where if you never tried to gain experience or never did some sort of practice, then you may not be as motivated to accomplish a goal as someone who is constantly trying to better themselves, but that is another topic. With this though, I will say that you should never let 10, 50, or even 100 rejections get you down because that one application after those numbers could be your winner.


From my perspective, I did my best to not become discouraged when I received rejection after rejection. It actually helped me, I became even more motivated to prove myself wrong that I could do it. After about 200 applications, I recieved a message on LinkedIn from an engineer. The day prior I had applied for a Full Stack Engineer position focused in iOS for their company, and they had reached out to me. You can probably imagine the joy rising within me when I first opened their message to see that they were interested in me and my skills. This small message allowed a seed to be planted and begin sprouting into a beautiful flower.


Interviews


Probably the best part before either receiving a thumbs up or a thumbs down for a position you applied to. Within this particular position, I was able to land both interviews, and a coding test! Now let's take a look at the break down: initial interview, coding assessment, and final interview. The initial interview consisted of getting to know me (background, experience, goals, etc), discussing what the position was, and questions. Honestly, this interview should have been only about 20 minutes, but it lasted for over an hour. Which in my opinion, was very a positive thing considering it showed that I had high interest. Next came the coding assessment, I received it a couple days after the initial interview. The assessment went well except for a few mishaps in which I was allowed a second chance to show my skills in iOS, but overall the problems were not too difficult. They consisted of standard small problems in which I had to write an algorithm to solve.


iOS & Web Development icons for Xcode and for React.js


A few days after the assessment, I received a message that I would move forward in a final interview with some more of the team. This interview ultimately would consist of some straight forward questions on different aspects of iOS development in seeing what I knew. Overall, it went well considering I was able to answer all of the questions exccept for a couple, and laid down a strong foundation of what I knew. Once the interview concluded, I put the position in the back of my head to not create more stress. Doing this helped, I did some things to occupy my mind while I awaited a response for the position. A few days passed after the final interview and I received an offer...


My First Week


Moving to a new city is one crazy adventure, especially when you are moving somewhere to be on your own. The adjustment from learning how to do everything on your own to planning your days can be a little difficult. Though, receiving help when moving is huge especially if your family and/or friends are helping! I found the process to moving to a new city to go pretty swiftly because of the huge help from my family with moving and getting settled in. Their help allowed me to prepare for the start of my new position.


Not to go into too much detail, but this past week has been incredible. From joining my company and already working on an app to exploring the city, I am extremely happy with what I have accomplished so far. This week has consisted of some learning in aws, building an entire ui for an app, and beginning models for the backend. With this just being the beginning, I am already halfway through having the application complete for the company. There has been a lot of new learning especially within iOS, and it has created new pathways for my future projects/apps. I am super stoked to continue sharing this journey and see where I go from here. The past month I have learned that you should never give up no matter the size of the road block infront of you because there is always something bigger on the other side. I will be sharing more of my journey through my social accounts, make sure to follow me on instagram to receive daily updates!


If you have any questions or need help, feel free to contact me!