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The Top 5 Questions Students Ask Me on LinkedIn

Many students contact me on LinkedIn about what's it's like to be a software engineer at Twitter and how to become one. Though I'd like to respond to everyone who gets in touch with me promptly and thoughtfully, that's simply not feasible. So, instead, here are my answers to the top five questions students ask me on LinkedIn.

1. How did you get a job as a software engineer at Twitter?

I attended #FirstFlight, a two-day event for historically underrepresented third-year undergrad students interested in CS. On the first day, I met former Terns (Twitter interns) and Tweeps (Twitter employees). I also got to participate in technical and professional development workshops. On the second day, I interviewed for an internship.

I got an offer and accepted it. I interned, I interned again, then I converted to full time.

Students who ask me this typically also ask me general questions about the hiring process for internship and new grad roles. The best place to find answers to such questions is Twitter's careers website. Here, you can also learn how to connect with Twitter University Recruiting and stay informed about special events they're hosting.

2. Can we chat about your experience working at Twitter?

The question is quite broad. If I have time, I might ask if you have any specific questions. In general, I recommend reading some articles with the "machine learning" tag on the Twitter Engineering blog to learn more about the area I work in. I also recommend listening to the #BuildingCharacters podcast by Twitter University Recruiting to hear stories from Tweeps and Terns about what it's like to work at Twitter and why they "joined the flock."

3. What was your path to becoming a software engineer?

I became interested in software engineering when I took my first computer science class during my last semester at Columbia University. It was an experimental CS + X style course that taught an introduction to computer science and programming with liberal arts applications. I absolutely loved that class! It was so inspiring to learn how to blend my passion for languages with technology. Just six months after graduating from Columbia, I enrolled in Hunter College's undergraduate computer science program.

4. What's the best way to prepare for interviews?

A lot has been written about preparing for interviews, and I don't have a unique perspective to add to this discussion. That said, here are some resources I've found helpful:

I'd also recommend checking out the careers websites and blogs of the companies you're applying to to learn about their hiring processes.

5. Will you review my resume?

No, thank you! I'm not a recruiter or a hiring manager, so I don't spend a lot of time reviewing resumes for work. Additionally, this isn't something I enjoy doing in my free time.

Are you a student with a question that isn't covered by this list?

Ask away! But please do your research first and ask specific questions.