Gayle Laakmann McDowell

Gayle Laakmann McDowell is the founder / CEO of CareerCup, and the author of Cracking the Coding Interview and The Google Resume. Gayle has worked as a software engineer for Microsoft, Apple and Google. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Computer Science, and an MBA from the Wharton School. She currently resides in Palo Alto, CA.

From Tester to Developer: Making the Jump

Posted In Looking in Tech
JumpingTheCurve
Some people love testing — and with good reason. Poking around and figuring out how to break stuff can be a lot of fun. A role that’s often called “Software Engineer in Test” or “Software Design Engineer in Test” (abbreviated SET or SDET — essentially writing code to automate testing) appeals to people for similar reasons. You’re breaking stuff, but you’re still writing code. At many companies, there’s an added benefit of getting to work with newer technologies, since you’re… continue…

Already Know the Interview Solution? Say Something

Posted In Looking in Tech
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While some candidates don’t prepare at all for coding / algorithms interviews (eek!), others spend so much time preparing that they already know the answers to problems. “Score!” they think. “Now I’ve nailed the question.” Oh, how very, very misguided that is. Let’s take a step back. Algorithm questions are designed to test your problem solving skills. When you’re asked, for example, to design an algorithm to find the longest palindrome in a string, your interviewer doesn’t care if you… continue…

Why Technical Interviews Work (And Why They Don’t)

Frustrated Programmer
Some developers see technical interviews as just part of the process that they have to put up with when they’re looking for work. Others think they’re great, and a great deal more think they’re the worst thing to happen to programming since <insert most hated programming language here>. Having made a business out of helping people prepare for coding interviews, let me be the first to say this: Technical interviewing isn’t perfect and I don’t think it is the way… continue…

How to Make Your Resume Bullets Jump

Posted In Looking in Tech
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Somewhere in the midst of discussions about things like “tailoring your resume to the position,” one of the best pieces of resume advice gets lost: Your resume needs to be accomplishment-oriented. Many resumes that I see do precisely the opposite. They offer bullets like: Contributed to design documents on ________ feature and helped coordinate international expansion. Implemented various features for new Office layout tool. Yawn. I want to know what you accomplished. I don’t really care much about your team’s… continue…

Programmers: Here’s How to Boost Your Career

Posted In Looking in Tech
Hands on Keyboard
We may not like to admit it, but recruiters and resume screeners see candidates in “tiers.” When they review a resume, it’s not just about matching a Java programmer to a Java role, it’s also about questions like, “Is this candidate good enough? Is he or she likely to pass our interviews? Would he or she be a strong performer if hired?” Note that these questions are not just about whether you possess knowledge of the right languages and technologies. In… continue…