Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

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fwellimort
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Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by fwellimort » Sun May 19, 2019 12:33 pm

Investments are not just stocks and bonds. I believe proper guidance (and planning ahead of time) is also an investment in itself. Sometimes with a phenomenal return on investment.

I write this as a recent graduate in Computer Science from Columbia Univ in City of NY.
I have a minor in Applied Math, enough math courses to major in pure math, and a few courses shy from a Philosophy minor.
Many of my peers are currently i n well paying careers. These peers were some of the most talented in the undergrad body with one of them having two major and two minors upon graduation.
I just wanted to inform you ahead of time in case my anecdote sounds does not seem to be the perspective of most "everyday" college graduates in the US.
Understand this was not made for grad school oriented students. These were made for students who plan on having a career upon graduation (and maybe consider graduate school later in their careers).

"Elite of the elite firms": RenTech GoogleX
"Elite fintech firms": Jane Street Two Sigma DE Shaw HRT
"Top firms": Facebook Google Lyft Uber Airbnb Bloomberg Square LinkedIn Microsoft Amazon Palantir Pininterest Lyft Salesforce Dropbox Spotify Slack Stripe Adobe Netflix Splunk Twitter VMWare Twitch Yelp NVidia Quora Khan Academy

First, getting interviews with "top firms", "elite fintech firms" is a game.
You might wonder, why should my kid bother to play this "game" when there are other great companies to work for including NASA, Intel, etc..
If you think so, maybe this is not for you. And don't worry. Despite all the rave about NASA, working at NASA is pretty easy as a computer science major. It feels almost like a back up plan in comparison to getting into the "Top firms" and above. I am sure those working at NASA or nonprofit organisations do much more good to humanity than working on the Facebook page.
However, it's not easy to believe such when all your peers are applying to these top firms and getting ridiculous starting salaries.

[Total Compensation includes starting salaries + bonuses + RSU + whatever]
For those of you unaware (approximate total starting compensations):
Intel: ~95k total compensation
IBM: ~90k total compensation
NASA:~90k total compensation
Fidelity: ~90k total compensation
Vanguard: ~88k total compensation
Bank of America: ~95k total compensation
Chase: ~95k total compensation

"Top firms":
Facebook: $165k to $265k [$100k bonus for top return offers from internship] total compensation
Google: $170k total compensation
Airbnb: $210k total compensation
Bloomberg: $165k total compensation

5 years later:
IBM: ~110k total compensation
Google: $285k total compensation
Salaries don't really grow for most firms. The only exceptions seem to be the "top firms". Hence why the term FANG (facebook/amazon/netflix/google) is a thing in this industry. It's not unheard of for those with 8~10 year of experience to get $500~600k total compensation from Amazon. Stay 8~10 years at NASA and you will be paid like $135k.

As you can see, for most graduates, getting into these "top firms" is a huge booster to their banks (and resume).
These "top firms" also tend to come with great benefits including free food, more holidays, better insurance plan, better 401k plan, etc.
Yes, I understand these "top firms" are also located in some of the most expensive areas in the country in which rent for a single bed can go like $3k a month.
But even after that, the numbers should favor those working at "top firms".

With that settled, I will clear some potential misconceptions about this industry in the entry level.
1. Landing a well paying job out of college is NOT correlated to academics.
2. GPA is NOT important. For the more selective firms, as long as one has above 3.0 (and especially at 3.4), pretty much all doors are open at a top school.
3. Companies do NOT care whether you have a 4.0 or you understand Computer Science inside out. There's a huge row of people who are just as bright willing to work that have more experience.
4. Big companies are NOT harder to get into. Often times, they are much easier to get into because they have the money to interview college graduates and not ask for some esoteric requirement.
5. Computer science is NOT software development. Out of my 4 years of courses averaging 6 courses a semester which totals to 46~48 courses in my 4 years, only 1 course has been helpful in my job currently.
For many of my peers (after having talked with them)... it seems the same. Maybe two considering my one friend in Google used "Machine Learning" (a basic polynomial regression) on one of her stories.
6. Companies do NOT look or care about your projects. Unless you got famous with the next flappy bird, really... recruiters judging your resume don't even know technicals (they often majored in humanities during college so has no idea what anything really means and is intrigued by brand name / buzz words) so don't waste much time in those. More local firms do seem to care and look though. But for the bigger firms, my friends (and I to some degree) have near empty github pages. We just have github to put the link in our resume. That's all.

We like to believe that merit plays a part and that tech wants those who are the most talented in coding.
Makes sense. Ideally, you want the best possible candidate.
Unfortunately, it's really difficult to differentiate between a great candidate and a poor candidate on a resume page.
And recruiters do not have the time to properly go through each one. Even people who can barely code "Hello World" around the globe apply with these ridiculously nice resumes so standing out is especially difficult during (and right after) college.

However, there does seem to be a generic formula to getting placed into these top firms:
1. Make your kid study Leetcode. Preferably before college. In fact, during college, take the lightest course work available and spend all his/her time on Leetcode. During 4 years in college, prioritise say 3 courses with big projects that sound amazing but does not leach all of his/her time (hopefully during third/fourth year).

The entire interview process to get a job out of college relies mostly on questions based on Leetcode.
e.g.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJdiM-muYqc
A very simple example (nowadays, I would expect topological sorting in phone interviews and maybe even union find) of how the interview process looks like. Nothing like all this math I learnt in college: e.g. http://pi.math.cornell.edu/~hatcher/AT/AT.pdf

Anyways... something like: https://leetcode.com/articles/number-of-islands/ is not something most graduates can figure out in twenty minutes in an interview setting (especially with flawless code and knowing all potential implementations and solid test cases).
Know each question like the back of his/her hand. He/she should know time complexity, memory usage, trade offs, alternative solutions and be willing to solve other similar problems if asked on top.
For instance, if one solves Two Sum, then one should already have studied Three Sum in advance and hopefully even N sum (all iteratively and recursively too).
Rehearse in advance if possible so that you seem "smart" during the interview. Act out so that you seem to "struggle" but through your "thinking process", you somehow manage to get the perfect answer and then able to extrapolate the solution to even more abstract problems such as 2 Sum -> 3 Sum -> N Sum.

2. Have your kid get an internship first year in the summer related to Software Development. One of my peers even did a no-pay internship first year summer to have something on his resume to work at Facebook.
This is not something I endorse in the job market but it does work very well to those trying to have something "more" in his/her resume. In fact, I think these non-paid internships are straight out illegal in the States. Yet "mom and pop" firms get away with this...
Usually a small/local firm first year. Apply everywhere. Hundreds. Anything.
Also, if your child is a minority (outside East Asian males) or a girl, make sure your child applies to all those diversity programs. It will be of immense help in his/her career.
Also, ensure your kid is active in Computer Science clubs. Sucking up (aka "networking") will later give you referrals to firms your kid might want to apply to (or apply to simply to have counter offers at hand).

3. Have your kids get an internship second year summer related to Software Development. By now, with 1 local firm on resume, the kid should be able to get internship at bigger firms such as IBM/Intel/NVidia/Amazon.
If your child can, make sure your kid becomes a TA for a Data Structures class.

4. I will expect by now (third year), your kid to be a monster when it comes to Leetcode questions. Have your kid exposed to some System Design questions on top and now he/she will be one of the top candidates even at firms like Google for internships.
Getting into Google should now be a joke for the kid especially considering internship level questions are far less difficult than the interview questions graduates receive.

5. I will expect by fourth year, your kid applies to top firms with referrals and all and have multiple offers.
Counter each offer if possible and have your kid enjoy a starting total compensation of say $240k.

I'm sure many people will be frustrated by my response, and if so, please don't hate on me, hate on the industry endorsing this practice.
Anyways, the moral of story is: find a way to make your kid stand out for interviews and make sure your kid dominates the technical questions of the interview. A well rehearsed technical interview will give many offers to your kid. Memorising can go a long way when studying LFU cache, etc. I will presume the kid understands the topics in the interview problems (after all, the concepts are fairly simple) and that memorisation is to ensure your kid can answer almost any problem thrown at him/her during the interview in say under 15 minutes (to do follow up problems).

And here are others on Youtube who are working in this field (and their thoughts on the matter to getting a job out of college in top firms):
Prepare for Interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTN_93Px-Qc
Getting a job at Big Four:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJZCUhxNCv8
How I got into Google:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9ilt1OvI3A
This guy got a $240k total compensation and didn't major in computer science after 1 month of just leetcoding without a job
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBaU-n77B2Q

Word of advice:
All you really need to know is:
HashMaps, Stacks, Queues, Heaps, DFS, BFS, Nearest Ancestor, Union Find, Trees, Graphs, Linked Lists
Your kid knows this early on (and exposed all different patterns), your kid will have a good shot with most interviews outside some rare questions. Your kid should be fine with say 85% of the interview questions.
Last edited by fwellimort on Sun May 19, 2019 3:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

trevorshhh
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by trevorshhh » Sun May 19, 2019 1:34 pm

I went to a small school no one has heard of for my undergrad, but I use my C.S. classes all the time working as a software engineering. I have trouble believing you've only used one class.

Besides the obvious Software Engineering class (SCM, SDLC, etc.) and learning to program (Algorithms and the intro courses), I use skills from these classes every day: Network Programming; Operating Systems; Database Systems; Computer and Information Security

I'll add I was only a CS minor so I didn't even do the whole degree! I did focus on what I thought would be more practical, applied classes.
"Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land." -Ecclesiastes 11:2 NIV

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Sun May 19, 2019 1:47 pm

In what world do companies hire graduates who did what they did because their parents "had them" do it, rather than because the graduates made those choices themselves? Maybe this is good advice to CS students, maybe not. But their parents have better things to do than micromanage their education and job search. Mind did, and things worked out fine.

cacophony
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by cacophony » Sun May 19, 2019 1:54 pm

Emphasizing leetcode practice may help with certain stages of certain interviews to get you in the door. The problem is that it has little value once you're in, so if you're doing it at the expense of the fundamentals you're not doing your long term career any favors.

Goal33
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by Goal33 » Sun May 19, 2019 2:11 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:47 pm
In what world do companies hire graduates who did what they did because their parents "had them" do it, rather than because the graduates made those choices themselves? Maybe this is good advice to CS students, maybe not. But their parents have better things to do than micromanage their education and job search. Mind did, and things worked out fine.
+1

Not sure what the parents have to do with this at all. I work for one of the “major” firms and make over 200k though I’m only 5 years in. My parents don’t understand what I do and that is fine for all of us.
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

miamivice
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by miamivice » Sun May 19, 2019 2:13 pm

I am dubious about the claim that an individual contributor at Google with 8 years experience makes $500k a year while the same individual contributor at Intel only makes $150-200k a year.

cacophony
Posts: 485
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:12 pm

Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by cacophony » Sun May 19, 2019 2:24 pm

miamivice wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:13 pm
I am dubious about the claim that an individual contributor at Google with 8 years experience makes $500k a year while the same individual contributor at Intel only makes $150-200k a year.
You can get pretty accurate salary info on glassdoor:

Google Software Engineer: ~150k average salary (based on 4000 salaries), 52k stock
Google Senior Software Engineer: ~206k average salary (based on 400 salaries), 101k stock

Intel Software Engineer: ~119k average salary (800 salaries), 7k stock
Intel Senior Software Engineer: ~149k average salary (82 salaries), 9k stock

Software engineers typically have 1-5 years of experience, and Senior Software Engineers 5+.

edit: added stock value
Last edited by cacophony on Sun May 19, 2019 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HornedToad
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 12:36 am

Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by HornedToad » Sun May 19, 2019 2:28 pm

miamivice wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:13 pm
I am dubious about the claim that an individual contributor at Google with 8 years experience makes $500k a year while the same individual contributor at Intel only makes $150-200k a year.
He's cherry picking some but it's not unusual for engineers from top companies with 8 years experience to be in the ~300-400k range if they started out in a top company. While intel is pretty notoriously low paying due to primarily being hardware and not giving much equity so 150-200k is probably pretty accurate. Maybe up to ~225k.

The key takeaway from what the OP posted is that it's worth spending time and energy and studying to get into a top tech company out of college, (both monetarily and career-wise) and a primary means of doing so is doing Leetcode problems on your own as a computer science degree won't prepare you for those interviews.

That said, other companies are also more and more value engineers and starting to pay more (Biotech, Financial, Travel, etc) but it's still lagging and doesn't have the name brand recognition or career acceleration of a tech company

HornedToad
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by HornedToad » Sun May 19, 2019 2:30 pm

cacophony wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:24 pm
miamivice wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:13 pm
I am dubious about the claim that an individual contributor at Google with 8 years experience makes $500k a year while the same individual contributor at Intel only makes $150-200k a year.
You can get pretty accurate salary info on glassdoor:

Google Software Engineer: ~150k average total pay (based on 4000 salaries)
Google Senior Software Engineer: ~206k average total pay (based on 400 salaries)

Intel Software Engineer: ~119k average total pay (800 salaries)
Intel Senior Software Engineer: ~149k average total pay (82 salaries)

Software engineers typically have 1-5 years of experience, and Senior Software Engineers 5+.
Glassdoor is also just badly out of date since I don't think they age user entries and some don't put in stock. Paysa is more accurate nowadays. Levels.fyi is probably most accurate at the top end but definitely skews high as its used by people getting multiple offers and negotiating pretty hard.

Topic Author
fwellimort
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by fwellimort » Sun May 19, 2019 2:30 pm

In what world do companies hire graduates who did what they did because their parents "had them" do it, rather than because the graduates made those choices themselves? Maybe this is good advice to CS students, maybe not. But their parents have better things to do than micromanage their education and job search. Mind did, and things worked out fine.
Not mine. But I wish I was informed about this earlier (and many of my peers too).
And no, not micro manage. Oh no. I wouldn't want my parents doing that for me. But I do wish someone exposed me some processes students take to be marketable upon graduation.
There's a big difference I feel with knowing about the field beforehand and experiencing upon graduation.
Emphasizing leetcode practice may help with certain stages of certain interviews to get you in the door. The problem is that it has little value once you're in, so if you're doing it at the expense of the fundamentals you're not doing your long term career any favors.
I think the issue first is "getting in" the company you want to work at.
If one can't even step into the door, all that "fundamentals" are pretty much out of the window.
Also, I genuinely don't see how the fundamentals I acquired (machine language, P/NP/coNP/etc., Compilers, Poincare Duality, Rings/Groups, etc.) will be of direct help in my career.
It's nice to know machine language. It makes you appreciate modern day languages. But not knowing about machine language does not I feel make you a worse or better developer.
It's like physics. Most people don't even understand what vectors are but are able to solve vector related questions by treating vectors like x and y variables. There's no need to understand about vector spaces and all to use vectors.

Also, I'm recognizing the skills that are of benefit in the industry to be much different from the skills needed to survive in academia.
College to me did not endorse in aspects such as good programming practices, system designs, etc. which I feel are critical knowledge in the workforce.
The current trend in tech seems to be "learn on the job". Programming is not that difficult. As long as one isn't slacking off and doing his/her work properly, one should do well in his/her long term careers.

Leetcode and fundamentals are not mutually exclusive.
Leetcode is to get in the company.
Fundamentals are what you acquire once you get in the company.
Also, the current companies that tend to ask leetcode questions also tend to invest in their new hires more.
You can get pretty accurate salary info on glassdoor:
Google Software Engineer: ~150k average total pay (based on 4000 salaries)
Google Senior Software Engineer: ~206k average total pay (based on 400 salaries)
Intel Software Engineer: ~119k average total pay (800 salaries)
Intel Senior Software Engineer: ~149k average total pay (82 salaries)
Software engineers typically have 1-5 years of experience, and Senior Software Engineers 5+.
Note I stated "total compensation", not "salary". Top tech firms pay most of its compensation in stocks that can then be immediately sold to the market.
https://www.levels.fyi/
is a better indicator of pay across the board.
Google developer start L3. L3 to L4 is expected in a year. L4 to L5 is expected after 4 years. L5 to up is not expected but as you can see, L6 is possible in 8 years.
I guess I was wrong though about Intel. Intel Grade 8 can earn about $195k total compensation.
Meanwhile, an IBM Senior Advisory Engineer earns total of $160k. A total compensation new hires out of Google earns (and some far higher in total compensation from first year).

visualguy
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by visualguy » Sun May 19, 2019 2:36 pm

miamivice wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:13 pm
I am dubious about the claim that an individual contributor at Google with 8 years experience makes $500k a year while the same individual contributor at Intel only makes $150-200k a year.
It is pretty much the case, actually. It gets even more surprising because you can see this sometimes even in the same company. People working on the hot new stuff (cloud, AI, etc.) can make 2-3 times what the people working on the original products make even though they have similar levels of experience and similarly-demanding roles.

cacophony
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by cacophony » Sun May 19, 2019 2:46 pm

fwellimort wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:30 pm
Note I stated "total compensation", not "salary". Top tech firms pay most of its compensation in stocks that can then be immediately sold to the market.
https://www.levels.fyi/
...
I quoted glassdoor "total pay", but I see that doesn't include stock, which bumps it up to 200k. But stock usually takes time to vest, so that wouldn't typically be the starting salary. I edited my post above to include stock.

warner25
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by warner25 » Sun May 19, 2019 3:15 pm

This is a strange thread. I see some bold generalizations about all kinds of things for someone who is only a recent college graduate in their first real job in the industry. The whole premise that parents should have their college-aged children doing this or that, in terms of their studies and career development, is disturbing. I think my main takeaway is that it's possible to graduate from an Ivy League school and get a highly-paid job despite writing incoherently. :wink:

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by TheOscarGuy » Sun May 19, 2019 3:30 pm

fwellimort wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 12:33 pm
Investments are not just stocks and bonds. I believe proper guidance (and planning ahead of time) is also an investment in itself. Sometimes with a phenomenal return on investment.

I write this as a recent graduate in Computer Science from Columbia Univ in City of NY.
I have a minor in Applied Math, enough math courses to major in pure math, and a few courses shy from a Philosophy minor.
Many of my peers are currently i n well paying careers. These peers were some of the most talented in the undergrad body with one of them having two major and two minors upon graduation.
I just wanted to inform you ahead of time in case my anecdote sounds does not seem to be the perspective of most "everyday" college graduates in the US.
Understand this was not made for grad school oriented students. These were made for students who plan on having a career upon graduation (and maybe consider graduate school later in their careers).

"Elite of the elite firms": RenTech GoogleX
"Elite fintech firms": Jane Street Two Sigma DE Shaw HRT
"Top firms": Facebook Google Lyft Uber Airbnb Bloomberg Square LinkedIn Microsoft Amazon Palantir Pininterest Lyft Salesforce Dropbox Spotify Slack Stripe Adobe Netflix Splunk Twitter VMWare Twitch Yelp NVidia Quora Khan Academy

First, getting interviews with "top firms", "elite fintech firms" is a game.
You might wonder, why should my kid bother to play this "game" when there are other great companies to work for including NASA, Intel, etc..
If you think so, maybe this is not for you. And don't worry. Despite all the rave about NASA, working at NASA is pretty easy as a computer science major. It feels almost like a back up plan in comparison to getting into the "Top firms" and above. I am sure those working at NASA or nonprofit organisations do much more good to humanity than working on the Facebook page.
However, it's not easy to believe such when all your peers are applying to these top firms and getting ridiculous starting salaries.

[Total Compensation includes starting salaries + bonuses + RSU + whatever]
For those of you unaware (approximate total starting compensations):
Intel: ~95k total compensation
IBM: ~90k total compensation
NASA:~90k total compensation
Fidelity: ~90k total compensation
Vanguard: ~88k total compensation
Bank of America: ~95k total compensation
Chase: ~95k total compensation

"Top firms":
Facebook: $165k to $265k [$100k bonus for top return offers from internship] total compensation
Google: $170k total compensation
Airbnb: $210k total compensation
Bloomberg: $165k total compensation

5 years later:
IBM: ~110k total compensation
Google: $285k total compensation
Salaries don't really grow for most firms. The only exceptions seem to be the "top firms". Hence why the term FANG (facebook/amazon/netflix/google) is a thing in this industry. It's not unheard of for those with 8~10 year of experience to get $500~600k total compensation from Amazon. Stay 8~10 years at NASA and you will be paid like $135k.

As you can see, for most graduates, getting into these "top firms" is a huge booster to their banks (and resume).
These "top firms" also tend to come with great benefits including free food, more holidays, better insurance plan, better 401k plan, etc.
Yes, I understand these "top firms" are also located in some of the most expensive areas in the country in which rent for a single bed can go like $3k a month.
But even after that, the numbers should favor those working at "top firms".

With that settled, I will clear some potential misconceptions about this industry in the entry level.
1. Landing a well paying job out of college is NOT correlated to academics.
2. GPA is NOT important. For the more selective firms, as long as one has above 3.0 (and especially at 3.4), pretty much all doors are open at a top school.
3. Companies do NOT care whether you have a 4.0 or you understand Computer Science inside out. There's a huge row of people who are just as bright willing to work that have more experience.
4. Big companies are NOT harder to get into. Often times, they are much easier to get into because they have the money to interview college graduates and not ask for some esoteric requirement.
5. Computer science is NOT software development. Out of my 4 years of courses averaging 6 courses a semester which totals to 46~48 courses in my 4 years, only 1 course has been helpful in my job currently.
For many of my peers (after having talked with them)... it seems the same. Maybe two considering my one friend in Google used "Machine Learning" (a basic polynomial regression) on one of her stories.
6. Companies do NOT look or care about your projects. Unless you got famous with the next flappy bird, really... recruiters judging your resume don't even know technicals (they often majored in humanities during college so has no idea what anything really means and is intrigued by brand name / buzz words) so don't waste much time in those. More local firms do seem to care and look though. But for the bigger firms, my friends (and I to some degree) have near empty github pages. We just have github to put the link in our resume. That's all.

We like to believe that merit plays a part and that tech wants those who are the most talented in coding.
Makes sense. Ideally, you want the best possible candidate.
Unfortunately, it's really difficult to differentiate between a great candidate and a poor candidate on a resume page.
And recruiters do not have the time to properly go through each one. Even people who can barely code "Hello World" around the globe apply with these ridiculously nice resumes so standing out is especially difficult during (and right after) college.

However, there does seem to be a generic formula to getting placed into these top firms:
1. Make your kid study Leetcode. Preferably before college. In fact, during college, take the lightest course work available and spend all his/her time on Leetcode. During 4 years in college, prioritise say 3 courses with big projects that sound amazing but does not leach all of his/her time (hopefully during third/fourth year).

The entire interview process to get a job out of college relies mostly on questions based on Leetcode.
e.g.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJdiM-muYqc
A very simple example (nowadays, I would expect topological sorting in phone interviews and maybe even union find) of how the interview process looks like. Nothing like all this math I learnt in college: e.g. http://pi.math.cornell.edu/~hatcher/AT/AT.pdf

Anyways... something like: https://leetcode.com/articles/number-of-islands/ is not something most graduates can figure out in twenty minutes in an interview setting (especially with flawless code and knowing all potential implementations and solid test cases).
Know each question like the back of his/her hand. He/she should know time complexity, memory usage, trade offs, alternative solutions and be willing to solve other similar problems if asked on top.
For instance, if one solves Two Sum, then one should already have studied Three Sum in advance and hopefully even N sum (all iteratively and recursively too).
Rehearse in advance if possible so that you seem "smart" during the interview. Act out so that you seem to "struggle" but through your "thinking process", you somehow manage to get the perfect answer and then able to extrapolate the solution to even more abstract problems such as 2 Sum -> 3 Sum -> N Sum.

2. Have your kid get an internship first year in the summer related to Software Development. One of my peers even did a no-pay internship first year summer to have something on his resume to work at Facebook.
This is not something I endorse in the job market but it does work very well to those trying to have something "more" in his/her resume. In fact, I think these non-paid internships are straight out illegal in the States. Yet "mom and pop" firms get away with this...
Usually a small/local firm first year. Apply everywhere. Hundreds. Anything.
Also, if your child is a minority (outside East Asian males) or a girl, make sure your child applies to all those diversity programs. It will be of immense help in his/her career.
Also, ensure your kid is active in Computer Science clubs. Sucking up (aka "networking") will later give you referrals to firms your kid might want to apply to (or apply to simply to have counter offers at hand).

3. Have your kids get an internship second year summer related to Software Development. By now, with 1 local firm on resume, the kid should be able to get internship at bigger firms such as IBM/Intel/NVidia/Amazon.
If your child can, make sure your kid becomes a TA for a Data Structures class.

4. I will expect by now (third year), your kid to be a monster when it comes to Leetcode questions. Have your kid exposed to some System Design questions on top and now he/she will be one of the top candidates even at firms like Google for internships.
Getting into Google should now be a joke for the kid especially considering internship level questions are far less difficult than the interview questions graduates receive.

5. I will expect by fourth year, your kid applies to top firms with referrals and all and have multiple offers.
Counter each offer if possible and have your kid enjoy a starting total compensation of say $240k.

I'm sure many people will be frustrated by my response, and if so, please don't hate on me, hate on the industry endorsing this practice.
Anyways, the moral of story is: find a way to make your kid stand out for interviews and make sure your kid dominates the technical questions of the interview. A well rehearsed technical interview will give many offers to your kid. Memorising can go a long way when studying LFU cache, etc. I will presume the kid understands the topics in the interview problems (after all, the concepts are fairly simple) and that memorisation is to ensure your kid can answer almost any problem thrown at him/her during the interview in say under 15 minutes (to do follow up problems).

And here are others on Youtube who are working in this field (and their thoughts on the matter to getting a job out of college in top firms):
Prepare for Interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTN_93Px-Qc
Getting a job at Big Four:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJZCUhxNCv8
How I got into Google:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9ilt1OvI3A
This guy got a $240k total compensation and didn't major in computer science after 1 month of just leetcoding without a job
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBaU-n77B2Q

Word of advice:
All you really need to know is:
HashMaps, Stacks, Queues, Heaps, DFS, BFS, Nearest Ancestor, Union Find, Trees, Graphs, Linked Lists
Your kid knows this early on (and exposed all different patterns), your kid will have a good shot with most interviews outside some rare questions. Your kid should be fine with say 85% of the interview questions.
What is actionable in this thread?

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LiveSimple
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by LiveSimple » Sun May 19, 2019 3:41 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 3:30 pm
What is actionable in this thread?
Many items are actionable for us. Thanks OP.

See this tread viewtopic.php?f=2&t=281178

We parents are looking to launch the kids and hence this tread is actionable to understand where our kids will go or end up.

Then how dependent are our Kids on us financially, we make our assessment, for our financial future.

I have messaged my both kids to read this tread so there may be some insights for them.

I agree the items may be only actionable to a few parents, whose kids are in the technology career paths.... ( I do care less on the treads, about medical practice partnership, as it do not make any sense to me )

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LiveSimple
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by LiveSimple » Sun May 19, 2019 3:50 pm

Let me read the full conversation and comment... so much to digest..
Last edited by LiveSimple on Sun May 19, 2019 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jzachary
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by jzachary » Sun May 19, 2019 3:51 pm

Deleted
Last edited by jzachary on Sun May 19, 2019 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun May 19, 2019 4:05 pm

Deleted
Last edited by TomatoTomahto on Sun May 19, 2019 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

jzachary
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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by jzachary » Sun May 19, 2019 4:08 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 4:05 pm
Jeez, in deference to those of us reading on cell phones, can we omit quoting the entire OP simply in order to post something brief and possibly snarky?
Sorry about that. I deleted my response. Good luck.

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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun May 19, 2019 4:35 pm

jzachary wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 4:08 pm
Sorry about that. I deleted my response. Good luck.
Actually, I was referring to a different post, but I deleted mine also. :beer
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by staythecourse » Sun May 19, 2019 4:38 pm

warner25 wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 3:15 pm
I think my main takeaway is that it's possible to graduate from an Ivy League school and get a highly-paid job despite writing incoherently. :wink:
Funny I just thought that came with the territory of being a CS guy? Just like expecting bad handwriting from a physician. :D

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by fwellimort » Sun May 19, 2019 4:47 pm

The reason I made this thread was because of: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=281289

From what I noticed, some BHs seemed to be confusing Computer Engineering with Computer Science.
Hence, I wanted to inform those types of parents about Computer Science (and what the student should expect during and after college).
There were peers at my school (who did quite well) who felt cheated by the system as they evidenced others "cheating the system" (take easy courses while prepping for interviews or finding "internships" early on to make themselves marketable). It helps to know what is going on in the field.

I guess the main take away here is supposed to be:
1. Plan ahead. Know what is going on in the industry so you can take advantage of the system.
2. Prepping early can open many doors.
3. Today's general market for computer science grads. How much the college degree could "pay off" financially. ROI (?)
4. The interview questions have become quite something in itself.
Interviews have changed from "how many balls can fit in a plane" to more algo based but as this interview process has become more well known, the questions are now very challenging (if not studied for ahead of time). Exposure to these questions early on could leave your kid with much less stress during job search.
And support your kid if he/she feels discouraged from the interview process. This interview process is not easy and not indicative of anything (outside interviews):
Many graduates are struggling with the Leetcode questions fairly recently. When I was first year, there was only around ~230. Now there's over a 1000.
e.g.:
https://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquesti ... s_heading/
https://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquesti ... _too_hard/
https://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquesti ... _leetcode/
https://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquesti ... roductive/

https://www.teamblind.com/article/Leetcode-g1GrymxF
https://www.teamblind.com/article/Leetc ... t-FmmJAeta
https://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquesti ... _problems/
https://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquesti ... _leetcode/
https://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquesti ... _leetcode/
It's basically become SAT to get a job at a tech firm. Only that unlike traditional college processes, there's no GPA, recommendation, etc., there's only SAT (Leetcode). At least in the entry market.

I do believe though:
1. Parents should not micro-manage their kids. Especially in college. Mine had no idea what computer science was and thought my career was working at some IT Front Help Desk upon graduation.
2. Make genuine friends. The only aspect I cared about post college was the friends I made during college.

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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by rj342 » Sun May 19, 2019 4:53 pm

trevorshhh wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:34 pm
I went to a small school no one has heard of for my undergrad, but I use my C.S. classes all the time working as a software engineering. I have trouble believing you've only used one class.

Besides the obvious Software Engineering class (SCM, SDLC, etc.) and learning to program (Algorithms and the intro courses), I use skills from these classes every day: Network Programming; Operating Systems; Database Systems; Computer and Information Security

I'll add I was only a CS minor so I didn't even do the whole degree! I did focus on what I thought would be more practical, applied classes.
That struck me as odd too, but some of the kids just out of school tend to only think about what the up and coming trendiest javascript framework is. Its the depth of conceptual understanding, even if not directly applied, that positions you to move ahead of the "only a code bootcamp" peers.I

This kid has some useful info, but it appears to be heavily slanted to a special privileged situation and over extrapolated to the general case.

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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by flyingaway » Sun May 19, 2019 5:04 pm

Sometimes parents can only do what the kids are accepting.

My son just graduated from a state university (in the middle south U.S., so not a top one) in computer science. He is not motivated, playing lots of games online, never had any internship, did not want to take our advices. He probably only applied for a few jobs (less than 10). The one he got was doing a job fair on-campus. He went there and dropped a resume. Did an interview and got an offer. He never applied for any other jobs again.

He will start his job next month as a software developer at a software company in middle north U.S., with a starting salary of $95K, not including any benefits.

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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by Misenplace » Sun May 19, 2019 5:20 pm

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Re: Guidance to Parents With Kids Majoring Computer Science

Post by LadyGeek » Sun May 19, 2019 7:11 pm

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