The Product Switch

If you are in tech, the most exciting work happens at Software Product companies. They are also the ones with much-coveted compensation packages and not everyone gets in. The bar for entry in these companies is set at a high level.

Most graduates in our country join service-based companies as their first job from campus placements. However, after few years in their career, they feel that the magic is happening in the product companies. This is where they should be playing.

Software Product companies are a better employer choice for the following reasons:

  1. Better compensation.
  2. Opportunity to wrestle with more challenging problems.
  3. An impact in the line of sight.

Switching from IT services to a Product Based Company can be a herculean task. It requires getting accustomed to a new way of thinking. The expectations in the interview process are much different as well.

System Design Interview

The preparation for a product-based company focuses on three different directions.

  1. System Design: This is the biggest difference in terms of interview expectations. System design interviews are unheard-of in IT Services companies and are a cultural shock to most of the aspirants. It is a must-have skill if you are looking to move into Backend development profile. Few companies expect you to be good with System Design even if you are applying for a frontend developer position in a senior role.

    At UpSkillie we recommend you start with various YouTube channels to get yourself acquainted with System Design problems and later dive deep with books.
    Grokking the System Design Interview by Educative is also one of the most authoritative resources on the subject.

algorithm questions

  1. Data-structures & Algorithms: Data Structures and Algorithm which is one most important aspect to get into Product companies. Even though DS & A is a part of the IT Services company’s interview process as well, it's just that the difficulty level is much higher in product companies. Through this round, you are assessed on your ability to solve the problem and being able to come up with the best algorithms for a problem.
    Most companies have a round of DS & A interviews as part of shortlisting irrespective of the profile you are applying for.

    For DS&A, There are no shortcuts to Leetcode. At UpSkillie we recommend a daily habit of incremental & consistent efforts in practicing problems.
  2. Tech Stack: This is the most common thread between interviewing for a product company vs an IT Services company. However, the major difference is going to be about the nature of it.
    Product companies don’t judge you just based on your workable knowledge of the technology your specialization but on your ability to solve complex problems with it.
    It will be about How you can push the technology to its limits to solve the problems of scale usually encountered while building a product.

    At UpSkillie, we recommend your technology-specific community blogs are the best source of information. Being active in your technology community will tremendously help. Community articles on curated interview questions for technology will be of immense help as well.

The topic of breaking into Product Companies is large and we have only tried to touch the surface of it. Our team will be releasing multiple guides on helping you go through with this transition.

If you have any feedback/queries, please write to us at hello@upskillie.com

Stay tuned for more.

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