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  • Hey, tackle it here and welcome back to another episode today.

  • We're going to talk about a very interesting topic coding boot camps.

  • We have here a special guest.

  • Clement Me Hi, Les que He went from a coding boot camp into becoming a Google software engineer, and I think that this is a very interesting path.

  • He essentially went from having very little Cody and experience and got into a large tech company Famous tech company.

  • So, Clement, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and give us your background?

  • Hey, how's it going?

  • Thanks for having me.

  • It's coffee time, and today I'm drinking instant coffee.

  • This is the good stuff, and I'm drinking regular black coffee.

  • You'll have to trust me that there's black coffee in here.

  • Is that instant?

  • It's not instant, so it's probably not.

  • That's good.

  • So my name is Clement Meal Sq.

  • I am 24 years old.

  • I'm a software engineer at Google, and I'm also the co founder of ALGO expert website that helps software engineers prepare for coding interviews, and I have a very unconventional background.

  • I actually didn't study computer science in college.

  • I went to a coating boot camp after college without having really done coding during college and in college, I was kind of all over the place.

  • At one point I was going to be a visual studies major, and at the very end, like middle of junior year, I switched to mathematics, and that's what I ended up majoring with.

  • I'd actually never wrote a line of code in college and coming out of college.

  • I didn't really know what I wanted to do.

  • I was very into, like entrepreneurship.

  • Product management kind of wanted to try to build my own company or build a product, but I saw that all these things required coding skills.

  • Either needed a coding co founder who could kind of build a website for me or I needed to have technical skills to get into product management.

  • So I decided, Hey, maybe I need to get into this field and I discovered these things called coding Boot camps, right?

  • Three months sort of immersive coating programs and rolled in.

  • One of them fell in love with software engineering, and here I am now, I think boot camps are very interesting there, a relatively new phenomenon and I think that even traditional people interviewers like on my side We're very curious about boot camps interested in knowing what do they actually teach?

  • How well do they prepare candidates?

  • And every now and then, I do see a candidate come in with boot camp experience, and some of them do surprisingly well, some of them not so well.

  • Maybe you can give us a little bit of information about what you're coding.

  • Boot camp experience was like and tell us about what they teach you.

  • I think that's a really good question.

  • My understanding of boot camps is that there really this sort of business or tool that wants to equip people either people who have no coding background or people who do have a coding background, even a computer science degree, but who want kind of more practical, up to date skills, give them those skills, equip them with those skills and then have them be ready for real life software engineering or Web developer or software developer jobs.

  • That's what happened for me at my boot camp.

  • That was the experience that I had.

  • The boot camp did a very good job teaching me the fundamentals that I needed the fundamentals of coding right things that CS Degrees or CS majors might even take for granted now and also teaching me some of these super practical tools and technologies.

  • Things like, you know, when we're talking about Web development, react angular, how to actually build and deploy a website.

  • What they do a bit less is they do a bit less of the theory.

  • You know, when you think of CS degrees or typical CS classes, you often think of compilers operating systems that you do a bit less of in boot camp.

  • So there's some of them now are starting to try to dump even more knowledge in the boot camp.

  • I felt like there was less of that.

  • Did they do much of time, space analysis and algorithms?

  • They The structure back when I did my boot camp there lacked a bit of that coating interview prep, right?

  • They made you go through some practice problems and all that.

  • But I quickly realized after the boot camp that when you're prepping for big tech companies, for instance, there's a lot of prep to do.

  • I think that now a lot of boot camps are realizing this, and they're sort of implement to get more and more in their curriculum, which has a really good thing.

  • But there's definitely a lot of practice to be done there.

  • How would you compare your boot camp experience to say, if you were to go off on your own and try to learn all this stuff?

  • It's just being self taught.

  • Do you think that camp adds a lot to it?

  • That's the key with boot camps is that when you're a newbie, things are very scary.

  • You go online and you start typing Who will, you know, how do I learn coding?

  • And you have articles that tell you you want to start with Python.

  • You have articles that tell you the first thing you gotta learn his version control.

  • Here's what get Hub is you've got articles to tell you, so you have to take a step back and read the fundamental theory of programming.

  • Understand how low level language is working to get so much information and you don't really know what to do, and it's really, really overwhelming.

  • A boot camp gives you that sort of.

  • Here's a curriculum that is correct.

  • Then we'll prepare you routine and methodical over, Let's say, three months, and that's that.

  • You don't need to worry about whether or not you're learning the right thing.

  • There's so many other things to worry about.

  • Let's not add on this other one a dental and think that's one good thing about quitting boot camps is that they can help guide you.

  • There's a professional who understands exactly what the field is trending towards, what the field needs, how to get a job out of that, and then they can help guide you on a path where you're learning is a very targeted towards that.

  • I also think that Colin boot camps can help at your set of qualification, so anything that you can add to your resume to show that can put you ahead in terms of competition.

  • Now, when you went into your coding interviews for these large tech companies, how did that go?

  • And how did you prepare for that?

  • Having a coating boot camp on your resume, especially a good one?

  • It does give you an extra qualification, especially if you don't have a CS.

  • Background is something like that, but to your other question and I remember when I scheduled a couple of interviews, a couple of on site interviews with a few big tech companies?

  • I had a period of about 10 days.

  • That was it.

  • That was my interview prep window, the majority of it.

  • So I was using a couple of interview prep books, and I was also supplementing my study with the Internet.

  • So Wikipedia, YouTube random articles that I would find.

  • But there were a lot of frustrations that I found along the way.

  • The 1st 1 was that the books that I were using were all written in a couple of languages, namely Java and C plus plus, and I had never written or learned cholera C++.

  • I came from atop a script background on my coding boot camp.

  • It was really difficult.

  • Also understanding, like hard algorithms like dynamic programming algorithms, binary search trees and all that graph problems in a textbook format.

  • Tryingto find solutions to problems, and you go down this infinite path, and I'm sure you've been there where you know, you start Googling and Googling going Wikipedia article.

  • You end up on some obscure like got E T U P s and it's not really like giving you the answer that you need some of these young algorithm solutions that just get very technical and you start seeing mathematical formulas, and that's not really what you're looking for.

  • That's what I had, right?

  • And so for those 10 days, I really, really put a lot of effort into this and put a lot of practice.

  • And then, you know, it ended up pretty well for me.

  • The messy If you think that your background in mathematics, your major and that contributed to your being able to land the job together that that first fight skill set may help you add more to a team, I think definitely I think that the combination of the math major with the boot camp was a really good combination.

  • I think that people who come from completely non stem majors let's say an English major will have maybe a slightly harder time, even with the boot camp cracking into the industry.

  • But it's possible.

  • I've seen a lot of people close friends who have done it.

  • I think it really comes down toe being a good problem solver.

  • At the end of the day, you could be a good problem solver, regardless of the background that you come from.

  • And that's what these companies are really looking for.

  • Maybe you cut you.

  • You bring a very like, diverse perspective to a team.

  • So yes, think any background could be great.

  • Go.

  • OK, now I understand that you're also running a Web business on the side.

  • Algo expert.

  • Maybe you can tell us a little bit about this service and what's all about.

  • So I think that Al Gore expert is something that might be familiar to some of your viewers and f Y I.

  • If you're watching this, you can go toe algo expert on io slash Likely exactly for just Tech lead exactly for discount on the platform.

  • But let me tell you a bit more about it.

  • In the story behind outgoing Expert, you're given 65 for now, coating interview questions, and they're all accompanied by a coating workspace.

  • No liken editor, where you could write your code and run it against premade test cases.

  • Every question is accompanied by a really in depth video complexity analysis.

  • All that good stuff.

  • The idea actually came to me while I was prepping.

  • I had all these frustrations that I that I echoed two minutes ago.

  • You know, it's hard to study from a book.

  • I'm scrambling to find solutions.

  • There's gotta be a better way.

  • But I pitched the idea of a website like that to one of my best friends, Antoine, who's my co founder.

  • He's an engineer.

  • Uber, Um, and he was the idea.

  • He echoed the same frustrations, and we built it.

  • We've been working hard at it for the past two years, and now we've got a lot of very satisfied engineers who've used the platform and have really said it helped them a ton.

  • I think it's a great service.

  • I took a look at some of these solutions myself, and I was personally quite impressed that you go into many different alternatives of the solutions and give the time space analysis for issue one.

  • They seem optimal to me and well, thought out.

  • How do you go about developing the curriculum for these solutions?

  • My co founder and I kind of sat down and thought we wanted to cover all the categories of topics and you confined in these algorithm interviews, all kinds of data, structures, all kinds of difficulties.

  • You know we came up with our solutions, would talk about it, you know, write them out, have the other kind of re read them, make sure that it's good.

  • And then sometimes we'd be like, Hey, wait, there's another solution that would be really worth sharing here because, like, I would write the problem with an interim solution and he would write it with a recursive solution.

  • We're like, Okay, let's go give both solutions.

  • That's how we kind of went about it.

  • So wrapping a dollop Clement, what advice would you give to somebody like yourself?

  • If you were just starting out coding number one, I would really ask yourself, Are you certain that this is something you're interested in?

  • Is there Is there a goal that you have in your life where coding would help you recycle?

  • And if the answer is yes, then I really don't think more about it.

  • Go for it now.

  • The second piece of advice that I would give if you're in college, consider doing a computer science program.

  • It might be really helpful.

  • You could also consider taking computer science classes, maybe doing a boot camp during the summer and then doing Ah, more sort of, Ah, practical major, like a business or entrepreneurship major, maybe math if you're interested, but definitely learn coding wall in college.

  • If you're out of college either immediately out of college or in the industry and you want to or in another industry and you want to swap, I would go for a boot camp.

  • And some boot camps now have income share agreements where you can pay on Lee once you get a job.

  • That might be really appealing to you, but a boot camp will be an easier route than self teaching.

  • In my opinion, if you manage to self teach hats off to you, that's a really difficult thing to do.

  • But that would be my advice.

  • Okay, great.

  • Thanks so much for your tips.

  • Thanks for joining this show for sure.

  • Thanks for having me.

  • I hope that answers some questions for you guys on coding boot camps.

  • If you have any more questions for Clement, please put them in the comments below.

  • Thanks for watching.

Hey, tackle it here and welcome back to another episode today.

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From coding bootcamp to Google (for software engineers)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/28
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