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What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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sgtpeppers Offline
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Post: #1
What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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Calling all seniors who have managed to secure great internships and great jobs!

What would be required for a CS guy to land up with an internship or job at Google or Microsoft. And how about companies like IBM, Cisco, Yahoo, Amazon etc?

In-depth knowledge of C/C++ and DS?
Breadth knowledge of all the basic courses in CS?
Research experience?
Publications?
Great projects?
Great GPA? (Considering that we won't even have completed our 1st sem/quarter when we start applying for internships).
Reputation of uni you are currently doing your Masters in?
Prior work experience?

It would be nice if these factors could be rated in order of importance. Something like this maybe http://www.edulix.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=52932 Smile

Do technical certifications like CCNA, SCJP, MCSE etc help? Are they worth acquiring or could that time be better spent elsewhere?

Also approx. what sort of compensation one can expect doing a summer internship at places like Micrsoft, Google, Cisco, IBM etc

There is a wealth of information available on Edulix about applying to universities, about universities themselves and even research areas but not much about jobs and internship so seniors please share! Smile

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11-21-2008 06:33 PM
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ritendra Offline
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Post: #2
RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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Here goes my CS perspective. Seniors with similar experience, please contribute to this thread. There is a definitive lack of consolidated information on this topic, in Edulix.

Quote:What would be required for a CS guy to land up with an internship or job at Google or Microsoft. And how about companies like IBM, Cisco, Yahoo, Amazon etc?
Google and Microsoft are still some of the hardest places to get internships. IBM rarely hires international students for non-research positions, but research positions typically prefer a PhD candidate. Yahoo! is not doing well, so I don't know how safe it is to desire to work for them. Amazon recruits on-campus in good schools, and your work will be similar to that of undergrads. Amazon's strategic OR group is I think very good, but they usually take in IE/OR folks.

Quote:In-depth knowledge of C/C++ and DS?
Breadth knowledge of all the basic courses in CS?
Research experience?
Publications?
Great projects?
Great GPA? (Considering that we won't even have completed our 1st sem/quarter when we start applying for internships).
Reputation of uni you are curren
1. Solid expertise in C++ or Java is in my opinion one of the most critical factors for getting CS positions. Speed is important because oftentimes you are asked to code things up over the phone, in Web terminals, or on the whiteboard.

2. Perhaps equally important (depending on the company and position/level) is an understanding of Data Structures and Algorithms, and the ability to sketch algorithms on the fly for challenging problems. Do your Cormen well, participate in online programming contest like TopCoder etc. to sharpen your skills on this front. Again, if you are fast at solving algorithm problems, you will make a better impression.

3. GPA, coursework, university/department reputation are important mainly for getting shortlisted for interviews.

4. Publications are only important if you are looking for research positions, and for that you need to be in a PhD program in most cases. Otherwise it is hardly a factor.

Quote:Do technical certifications like CCNA, SCJP, MCSE etc help? Are they worth acquiring or could that time be better spent elsewhere?
Even if they did help, it would be marginal. If doing these certifications will help you answer interview questions better, do them.

Quote:Also approx. what sort of compensation one can expect doing a summer internship at places like Micrsoft, Google, Cisco, IBM etc
Varies greatly based on company and level of education. Being in the PhD program, my offers have been in the $(7-9)k a month bracket. MS students typically get in the $(3-6)k bracket, with a median probably around $5k for the reputed companies. Local, small companies typically pay low, $3k type salaries.
(This post was last modified: 11-25-2008 03:04 PM by ritendra.)
11-25-2008 02:57 PM
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banerjee.abhik.hcl Offline
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RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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THis thread is really helpful and I wd like to thank Ritendra for the help and info he has put in the thread ,

A gentle request to all the other seniors to kindly provide their views about the topic.

@Ritendra , kindly also try mentioning some points about a full time job. ( like for the ones who have a prior work experience of around 2-3 years , like me from a reputed company , what all factorts do they need to concentrate on for the same).DOes it hold applicable for both internships and jobs......

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11-25-2008 05:31 PM
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ritendra Offline
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Post: #4
RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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Quote:A gentle request to all the other seniors to kindly provide their views about the topic.
I second that. Where's the gang?

Quote:@Ritendra , kindly also try mentioning some points about a full time job. ( like for the ones who have a prior work experience of around 2-3 years , like me from a reputed company , what all factorts do they need to concentrate on for the same).DOes it hold applicable for both internships and jobs......
The eligibility for internships and FT is roughly the same. Your work experience will help you both ways, but the extent of help will depend on the nature of your work and how relevant that is to the position you are applying. This may sound too formal, but that is exactly how they look at these things. I have witnessed hiring meetings in companies and I know that these are the things they talk about.

The main difference between internship and full-time recruitment is that for larger companies, FT is a more rigorous process and often there are fewer openings for full-time than internships. This is because from the PoV of the company, it is a bigger, more long-term investment to hire someone FT, and hence have to be extra-careful.

On the other hand, for smaller companies, internships are typically few and far between. Internship programs are expensive investments and hence are only conducted by established organizations. So the pool of companies for internship openings is invariably smaller than FT openings.
11-26-2008 04:39 AM
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Post: #5
RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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see comments below:

(11-21-2008 06:33 PM)sgtpeppers Wrote:  Calling all seniors who have managed to secure great internships and great jobs!

What would be required for a CS guy to land up with an internship or job at Google or Microsoft. And how about companies like IBM, Cisco, Yahoo, Amazon etc?

In-depth knowledge of C/C++ and DS?
---> highly recommended
Breadth knowledge of all the basic courses in CS?
---> not necessary
Research experience?
---> helps sometimes if the company is looking for a candidate whose research experience matches that of their intern/job profile.
Publications?
--> nope
Great projects?
---> definitely yes
Great GPA? (Considering that we won't even have completed our 1st sem/quarter when we start applying for internships).
---> yes very much
Reputation of uni you are currently doing your Masters in?---> definitely yes
Prior work experience?
---> highly preferred. relevant ofcourse.

It would be nice if these factors could be rated in order of importance. Something like this maybe http://www.edulix.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=52932 Smile

Do technical certifications like CCNA, SCJP, MCSE etc help? Are they worth acquiring or could that time be better spent elsewhere?
---> they do add a lot of value to your profile. It helps you distinguish yourself from the general advanced degree pool of applicants. You may target specific job postns on basis of these certifications.

Also approx. what sort of compensation one can expect doing a summer internship at places like Micrsoft, Google, Cisco, IBM etc
---> ranges from $22 to $45 per hr

There is a wealth of information available on Edulix about applying to universities, about universities themselves and even research areas but not much about jobs and internship so seniors please share! Smile
(This post was last modified: 11-26-2008 05:36 AM by wordbot.)
11-26-2008 05:35 AM
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banerjee.abhik.hcl Offline
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RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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Thanks Ritendra and Wordy for the valuable insight provided .... I wd just trry to be more specific bcoz I am still looking for the answer for the question which is there in my mind......

Suppose a person who has a job experience in the QA domain (I mean testing) back here in india , and have worked for the past 3 years in good positions for reputed companies ( also some reputed companies of US) and also has been involved in manual , automation testing ( using C#.Net ., and other tools, also somewhat of networking concepts) and also performance testing.... but is planning to graduate in databases and wd try looking for a profile more related to database after his grad completion, like a database developer or databse analyst , or a designer.... what all things he shd be focussing on ..

I mean which all subjects , any other certifications he might concentrate on like the OCA , OCP etc...,...

Ritendra , wordy . .. I think u get what my concerns are .... I am thankful once again to have such great seniors in the forum... here ......
(This post was last modified: 11-26-2008 10:53 AM by banerjee.abhik.hcl.)
11-26-2008 10:48 AM
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Nix Offline
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RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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Data structures/ Algorithms
This is probably the main topic to concentrate if you are going for a core programming job. Even if you are interviewing for a specific profile, it is imperative to know the basic data-structures like linked-lists, Trees, Hashtables, graphs etc. Often times you would be asked to solve a given problem in an efficient way (complexity), so you need to have solid grip on algorithms too.

Research/Publications
Research and publications add a lot to your profile if you manage to get one. It shows your mastery over a specific area. But if you are applying for a generic position then it does not hamper your chances if you do not a publication.

Coding skills and practice
Mastery in atleast one programming language is very important. C++/Java are good for OOD and programming. Plus if you have any scripting experience then its good but not generally required.

GPA
Good GPA required for getting the interview call. After than it does not matter.

Good Univ.
A lot of big companies goto top ranked univ. and it gives the student to apply directly on campus which is a very good thing. So again its important to get to the interview phase and then what you do inside the interview is all that matter. Being from a unknown univ. does hamper your chances a bit in getting the first interview call but then again if you perform good then it does not matter where you come from.
11-26-2008 11:02 PM
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sgtpeppers Offline
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RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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Thanks a lot for the fantastic replies seniors.

I have another question - can someone who has worked in India and now is working in US contrast the experiences in both the locations. Stuff like job growth, work environment, appraises, working hours, type of work etc. Are there any distinct advantages working in US than India other than compensation?

-Cheers
Smile

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11-27-2008 07:16 PM
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ritendra Offline
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RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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Are there only 2-3 people in this forum who have any work experience? Or is it too much to ask you to share your experience? When this is such a critical issue for members of this forum, why are the seniors not contributing? And also, please be specific with your comments, not vague as some have done in this thread.

(11-27-2008 07:16 PM)sgtpeppers Wrote:  I have another question - can someone who has worked in India and now is working in US contrast the experiences in both the locations. Stuff like job growth, work environment, appraises, working hours, type of work etc. Are there any distinct advantages working in US than India other than compensation?

I can try to answer very generally. As a thumb rule, American company experience entails less politics in the workplace for things like promotion, appraisal, type of work you do etc. This is a big plus. Nepotism is far more limited in good companies. Work hours are flexible (unless you are doing shifts), because what most good companies believe is that as long as you get the job done, when you come in and when you leave, or if you did the work remotely from home, don't matter. This sort of flexibility is believed to be good for workforce morale.

People who are very smart can finish work early and leave early, while some others may have to spend long hours. Except if you are doing clerical work, there is no such thing as the "five o-clock bell".

But I think the biggest advantages of working in a progressive US company or a startup is that creativity is encouraged and considered a big plus, and your opinions matter, your ideas are heard by the management and colleagues.

Job growth I think is very company-dependent. Annual salary raises are also relatively low. Unlike in India, salaries do not go up by leaps and bounds.
(This post was last modified: 12-08-2008 01:07 AM by ritendra.)
12-08-2008 01:04 AM
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RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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Thanks a lot Ritendra , for taking some time out and answering our queries . I wd request other esteemed seniors to also express their views.

Ritendra , can you specifically let me know the skillset required to get a Database related job ( As asked in my previous post ^^^^) specially when a person is coming from a testing background. What he might be concentrating on ( I mean the specific courses which he might take up and put more emphasis.) Also what designations and kind of jobs available at the software companies ( I mean google , yahoo , Oracle ,amazon ....etc.) if any idea . As i do have some of my friends who are working as Database developers here in India in some of these companies but that is more specific to writing procedures and packages .

It wd be great if u can let me know abt the work profile for the companies there , with related to databases , any research oriented jobs in the core labs of these companies ( though I strongly feel that those jobs wd be reserved for the PHd candidates and the US citizens , may be seniors can help out here ).

Thanks ,
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12-08-2008 12:25 PM
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Post: #11
RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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Generally, GPA matters a lot. Some people having high GPAs may tell you otherwise but it is just a popular thing to say GPA does not matter. I am sorry it does. You need that call to come through.

After that, it's all about how you perform in the interviews. Yes, sometimes they throw out erratic results too. Didn't we all see erratic results from top univs?

Algorithms and data structure matters and ability to code on the fly is required. Mostly competent projects in C and Java would get you calls.

A major point - Take up challenging courses. If you have same course handled by two professors in different sections, DO NOT take the professor who is easy and lenient. This often happens here in every univ. Take the prof who has a more challening coursework. Try taking courses that interest you but at the same time doesn't have all the 300 students of the university taking up. If you are in such a place. Dare to be different. Look for special topics courses offered by the university. Take up advanced level courses once you've settled in, go beyond the graduation requirements a little bit. These things matter when you are in a place that gives out loads of admits.

But it does make you feel miserable when everything comes down to your performance on that single day!

I am not an expert coz I am still looking for a job Wink but these are my 2 cents.

Important Note: Everything counts! If it is there(work exp, CCNA etc), it counts! Nothing will be thrown out of the window.

12-09-2008 09:47 PM
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Post: #12
RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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Thanks for the reply, Legolas! Big cheers! All the best for your job search Smile

If any else would be to share their two cents it would be welcome. Maybe the non-CS guys can also share their insights to diversify the thread as well as questions could be posted by juniors for non-CS streams Smile

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12-14-2008 12:40 AM
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RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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"Programmer Competency Matrix"
could be a checklist for an interview

http://www.indiangeek.net/wp-content/upl...matrix.htm
(11-26-2008 10:48 AM)banerjee.abhik.hcl Wrote:  Suppose a person who has a job experience in the QA domain (I mean testing) back here in india , and have worked for the past 3 years in good positions for reputed companies ( also some reputed companies of US) and also has been involved in manual , automation testing ( using C#.Net ., and other tools, also somewhat of networking concepts) and also performance testing.... but is planning to graduate in databases and wd try looking for a profile more related to database after his grad completion, like a database developer or databse analyst , or a designer.... what all things he shd be focussing on ..
Certainly the regular and advanced database courses that expose you to design/sql/system related aspects of a DBMS and related project work (good projects that actually make you work with internals of a db system highly recommended). I don't think a DB-Admin position can come without good experience. Finding jobs as a database dev (and I mean the person who understands SQL, database frontend, can make code talk with the db, has good design skills, and some knowledge of dn backend -- parser, optimizer, executor components) would be easier (relatively). Also it helps to have operating level knowledge of unix for such positions
(12-09-2008 09:47 PM)Legolas Wrote:  Generally, GPA matters a lot.
It hurts you if it is really low. I never had a very bright GPA, but then did my thesis well and that helped me land up with a good offer.
(This post was last modified: 12-14-2008 11:14 AM by dopemonkeyman.)
12-14-2008 10:27 AM
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RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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Thanks dope , That was great info to start off with, and thanks to all the seniors for their suggestions.

KIndly keep adding to the thread.
12-15-2008 10:36 AM
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Post: #15
RE: What matters most - Jobs and Internships!
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This thread sank deep , It was real great to have such precious views from the seniors . It shall be real great if others who want to share their experiences can also write a few lines .

Thanks
02-12-2009 12:30 PM
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