In this 40-minute session, hosted by SheCanCode, Lily Madar, Tech Lead, The LEGO Group; and Madison Caccese, Software Developer, Verisk, share the best place to get started, why practical experience through internships and work experience is so important, and tips on how to stand out from the crowd.
At SheCanCode, we have a close-knit community of women in tech who share their advice on our platform. We started as a women-in-tech blog and have evolved and grown our platform into an active women-in-tech support hub, providing tools and resources for women who are in careers in tech or are considering entering or transitioning into a career in tech.
How many internships do you think is good to have?
Madison: I would say the number of internships doesn’t matter as much as the quality of those internships.
Do you have any advice for balancing the need for a job with finding a great company to work for?
Madison: Remember that you are also choosing the company you want to work for, it’s not just the company choosing to hire you.
I’ve got my first technical interview next week – do you have any advice?
Madison: I would say to study the basics that you learned in the first two years or so in college. Knowing those will help you be able to then explain your reasoning behind your technical answers.
Lily: Practice, read up, review the basics, practice with a friend on the technical and non-technical questions. Remember, it is also fine to say you don’t know.
Obviously university is quite different to the corporate world – do you have any tips or advice for adjusting from the two?
Madison: Try to meet others you can relate to within you company — I did this this through an Early Careers Foundation Program and through joining employee networks within Verisk.
Any advice with coding interviews?
Lily: If you are sent the task in advance, take your time to read the set up guide and instruction. Take notes on your reasoning as you work things out (if you search for an answer because you were unsure, mention it: it demonstrates you were proactive in overcoming obstacles. If it’s a whiteboarding exercise on the day, look for prep tips online, maybe ask from the company a general idea of what you might be asked to focus your research and prep.
is networking important when you’re looking for your first job?
Madison: Networking is always important! The connections you make can help you get your foot in the door to an interview.
Lily: Yes, in my early career I attended as many meetups/hackathons/tech events as possible — there were always good opportunities to learn something new from the talks, and chat to possible future employers as well
I have just graduated from a coding bootcamp. I’ve been completing easy questions on code but I find that my knowledge of data structures and algorithms is not good enough to complete the questions. Should I try to learn more about data structures and algorithms to get my first role?
Lily: Everything is about data and APIs these days, so yes, I would advise spending a bit more time understanding how data might fit into an application
Would you advice applying for permanent roles as a recent grad?
Madison: It depends on your intentions and what you’re looking for — if you can see yourself with the same company for a long time, then go for it!
Is it worth taking on an internship after graduating?
Madison: I would say it depends on if what you studied in college matches what you’re trying to get a job in — if not, I would say internship experience would be very beneficial. If you’re getting traction with job offers, then going straight to a job could be the path for you.
This is a slightly different question but how would you recommend dressing for a tech interview?
Madison: I would recommend dressing business casual, such as slacks and a blouse or button up. If you want to dress even nicer, add a blazer.
Lily: First and foremost, dress comfortably; there are many other things on the day to make you nervous, worrying about clothes shouldn’t be on the list. To balance that, I would say it’s always worth considering which company you’re interviewing for and always worth asking the recruiter/HR beforehand if the company has a particular dresscode.
MEET OUR SPEAKERS
LILY MADAR, TECH LEAD, THE LEGO GROUP
Lily is an experienced software engineer, always trying to find new ways to make coding more accessible. She loves innovating and creating new things, a passion stemming from her non-traditional way into tech.
MADISON CACCESE, SOFTWARE DEVELOPER, VERISK
Hi, I am Maddie Caccese, a Software Developer in Casualty Solutions at Verisk Analytics. Before this full-time role, I had two internships with Verisk during college.