My Path to Apple Software Engineer – Aygerim Sauletkhan.Featured

atibhiagrawal's profile thumbnail
Hi Aygerim ! I'm Atibhi, a third year undergrad student in IIIT Bangalore , India. I'm in a dual degree program. It's a five year course and I'll graduate with a Master's degree. For the internships right after third year, it's really difficult. Most companies do not recruit interns unless you're in your penultimate year.I've been applying on career portals, cold mailing people and requesting for referrals. Anything else you could suggest?Also, I feel like I always take too much on my plate. I'm doing college courses, an internship, and mentoring Juniors and member of the software club. I'm not making excuses but my GPA is not up to the level I want maybe because I don't get time to study enough . How can I manage everything?P.s - Thanks for posting on AMA. Appreciate it :)
Aygerim's profile thumbnail
Hi Atibhi. Thank you for the question!I learned that focus is important. Doing one thing well is better than doing few things half way. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, and I believe once you’re on a good career path you’ll be effective and helpful to others. An analogy that I can think of is amortized analysis: the extra time that certain priority consumes does not mean that the priority really takes that much time.Try to meet people in person, it almost always leaves better impression. Try to go to career fairs, company recruiting events, mixers etc. Try to be social, networking helps.Differentiate yourself from competition, sure GPA can be one way to show everybody how successful you are but there are certainly other ways. Try to highlight your interesting project and give them a good reason to invest in you.Take care of your mental and physical health. Workout, meditate, and read.
atibhiagrawal's profile thumbnail
Thank you so much. This is exactly what I needed to hear ! Best wishes .
klaidoja's profile thumbnail
I'm Kadi, a product + full-stack developer from Estonia. I'm curious about the hiring process in Apple. Which criterias do you assess while hiring engineers? Do you also care about product skills? Do engineers strictly do coding or participate in product work also?
Aygerim's profile thumbnail
Hi! Thanks for the question! == The most critical criterias that I use during interviews: 1.Problem solving - analytical skill, understanding of CS concepts2. Communication skill - collaboration skills3. Ability to learn quickly4. What you value, and passion for industry== I am more focused on learning about how / whys of the architecture, internal technologies and coding. I heard based on one’s goal (for example, learning more about product work) that gets communicated during performance review, you could work on projects that reflect it.
cadran's profile thumbnail
Hi Everyone! As a reminder, this is part of our ongoing series of conversations with experts in the community.Thanks so much for joining us, Aygerim :)How did you get into Computer Science? When did you start programming and how did you know you wanted to be a software engineer?
Aygerim's profile thumbnail
Hi @cadran! Thanks for the question! As a child I did not fully understand the economic struggle we had in Mongolia such as limited electricity and food scarcity. I chose mainly economics courses and read behavioral economics books such as “Predictably Irrational’ by Dan Ariely and ‘Thinking fast and slow’ by Daniel Kahneman. At some point, I wanted to learn more about how brain works on cellular level and was selected for several neuroscience internship programs from which I learned two things:1. I am sustainably motivated by short-term projects with immediate impact on people and feedback loop2. Impact and potential of computer science in computational neuroscience (and society) The idea that you can convert an idea into a reality without being constrained by physical material or scarcity fascinated me and hit core part of my background. I decided that my enthusiasm and interest was much better aligned with a career in software engineering and shifted my course accordingly.
katmanalac's profile thumbnail
What criteria did you use to decide which companies you were interested in interviewing with?
Aygerim's profile thumbnail
Hi Kat! Thanks for the question! 1. Alignment between mission of the company / specific team and what I genuinely value / excites me2. User facing product3. Cross-team collaboration 4. Mentorship
helenbui's profile thumbnail
I would love to know what it was like to decide to pursue CS being from Mongolia? What has been your experience given your background/culture and what is your advice to young women who are considering or have not yet considered this path from regions like Mongolia?
Aygerim's profile thumbnail
Hi @helenbui! Thanks for the question!== As a child I did not fully understand the economic struggle we had in Mongolia such as limited electricity and food scarcity. I chose mainly economics courses and read behavioral economics books such as “Predictably Irrational’ by Dan Ariely and ‘Thinking fast and slow’ by Daniel Kahneman. At some point, I wanted to learn more about how brain works on cellular level and was selected for several neuroscience internship programs from which I learned two things:1. I am sustainably motivated by short-term projects with immediate impact on people and feedback loop2. Impact and potential of computer science in computational neuroscience (and society)The idea that you can convert an idea into a reality without being constrained by physical material or scarcity fascinated me and hit core part of my background. I decided that my enthusiasm and interest was much better aligned with a career in software engineering and shifted my course accordingly.== There are more opportunities in US than in Mongolia. I think life in Silicon Valley is amazing, but at the same time it's far from the reality, rest of the world as we make 0.05% of the world. My background has been a great reminder for me to be aware and grateful in my fast paced life.As I've mentioned, I came into my career with some experience in computer science, but I didn’t have the same path as some my friends who knew they wanted to do CS for a long time. I think anyone can code given little exposure and practice. So starting with the right mindset should make one sustainably resilient towards self-doubts, failures and what not. Incrementally keep learning everyday and never giving up is what I would say!
xuanyue's profile thumbnail
I run an organization that provides support to women and under-represented engineers in the interview stage. I'm really curious to know: 1. What are the options when an interviewee goes through 80+ technical interviews and gets the feedback that they "don't show enough senior signal"?2. What are some different career paths for new grads and bootcampers? How can they differentiate themselves?3. Which companies you think are friendliest to new grads? What should they be looking for in an employer?Thank you, and I hope to catch you at your algorithm meet-up!
Aygerim's profile thumbnail
Hi @Xuan, thanks for the questions! I think giving a reason why the company should invest in one is critical and is one way to differentiate oneself from the competition. As a new grad, I thought about what I genuinely value and excites me and found companies that align with it. I am sure that there are certainly other ways to differentiate oneself from the competition depending on the stages: landing phone interview, technical phone interview, on-site etc. From my personal experience, the technical skill (problem solving — leetcode, reading about design questions, performance and UI issues) and the ability to clearly articulate thought real-time are most important to land an on-site which is where authenticity, communication / collaboration / problem solving skills, enthusiasm gets assessed. I used different sources including https://www.keyvalues.com, reddit, techcrunch to learn more about companies. I really hope it answers some of your questions.Of course, looking forward to meeting you in person!
AnitafromFLEEKY's profile thumbnail
My name is Anita Grant and I am the founder of a beauty booking platform. I am currently seeking a CTO or technical lead for my startup ! Do you have any recommendations of any groups or communities of software engineers that I could reach out to?
Aygerim's profile thumbnail
Hi @Anita! Thanks for the question! I use these platforms to meet other software engineers Systers mailing group http://systers.org/mailman/listinfo/systersBrunch Work https://brunchwork.com/Female Founders Conference https://www.femalefoundersconference.org/Stanford Graduate School of Business https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/events Good old fashioned networking, know someone who knows someone
amy's profile thumbnail
I am FASCINATED by the little I know of your story. Mongolia is one of the places I'd like to visit most in the world, actually! Where did you study CS and what first made you interested in engineering? Why did you/your family move to the US? What made you choose Apple when your were job-hunting, and what other places did you consider? What kinds of projects do you work on now at Apple?
Aygerim's profile thumbnail
Hi @ami! Thanks for the question! == As I've mentioned above, as a child I did not fully understand the economic struggle we had in Mongolia such as limited electricity and food scarcity. I chose mainly economics courses and read behavioral economics books such as “Predictably Irrational’ by Dan Ariely and ‘Thinking fast and slow’ by Daniel Kahneman. At some point, I wanted to learn more about how brain works on cellular level and was selected for several neuroscience internship programs from which I learned two things:1. I am sustainably motivated by short-term projects with immediate impact on people and feedback loop2. Impact and potential of computer science in computational neuroscience (and society)The idea that you can convert an idea into a reality without being constrained by physical material or scarcity fascinated me and hit core part of my background. I decided that my enthusiasm and interest was much better aligned with a career in software engineering and shifted my course accordingly. I graduated from North American University.== The fact that Apple owns both hardware and software and it's ability to set technological standards was one advantage. I was specifically interested in user facing web applications. Two things about iCloud made me choose Apple. 1. iCloud's mission of the providing the best user experience and the value it provides through syncing and securely storing one's data across devices was perfectly aligned with what I valued and wanted to invest my time in.2. Not only everyone from my team but a lot of people from different teams under iCloud came to lunch during my on-site. That was surprising and was a great opportunity for me to get to know the organization more. Now I can see that iCloud is one of the most cross-functional collaborative teams and I have already worked on different projects with different teams without having to change my manager or team. As a new grad, I think it's the best learning experience I can get. :)
cadran's profile thumbnail
Thanks to everyone who asked questions and thank you Aygerim for taking the time to talk with us!
Aygerim's profile thumbnail
Thank you @cadran @zari for taking time to organize very insightful AMAs!
honeylakhani's profile thumbnail
I have been trying a lot to apply for a job in Apple via their careers page. The opening and job description completely suits my profile. But it never gets processed. Can you please elaborate the process? If you can refer that would be higy appreciated.
Aygerim's profile thumbnail
Could you please send me your resume ?