Shawn Ng

My interview with AWS Vancouver 2022


Earlier this year, I received an interview invitation for a role in AWS Vancouver, SDE II (Software Development Engineer). I was surprised and decided to go for it since I want to know the hiring standard for FAANG companies.


1st round is an online assessment, online coding + behavior questions

2nd round is a live coding session with an AWS engineer.

The final round is 4 sessions/hours of back-to-back interviews.


My career started in a non-tech role as a data analyst -> software engineer -> data scientist -> data engineer.

As a self-taught engineer without a formal computer science background, data structure and algorithms (DS&A) isn't my strong suit.

At every stage, I thought that I wouldn't make it to the next round. Somehow I made it to the finals.

I only start to seriously practice for DS&A after the 2nd round. At this point, I become more emotionally invested, since I put time into it.

Was somewhat disappointed that I don't receive an offer. But I am quite happy with myself. Seems like my foundation is decent even without formal CS education. Also, don't sleep well the night before as it happens to be Singapore's hottest day in decades.

If I have to be straight, the role wasn't 100% exciting to me, since it's pure software engineering instead of data engineering (intersection of data science and software engineering). But AWS + Canada PR chance? Too good to pass without trying. If this role is in Singapore, I probably won't be as excited. I am sure the salary in AWS will be higher than in DBS, but I suspect the work-life balance is worse, and my hourly rate might turn out to be lower.

Who knows, maybe in the future, I might get into FAANG. Or my business takes off and I become self-employed.

Published: 2022-07-01 | Updated: 2022-07-12

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