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From Degree to Day Job

Tom Paulus
December 02, 2021

From Degree to Day Job

How did I end up with my Job at Amazon and what does it take to get in the door.

This talk covers both my journey to Amazon, as well as goes over one of my favorite interview questions to ask during interviews. Not only do we discuss and solve the problem, we take it one step further and deploy the code to AWS to make a working solution.

Code: https://github.com/tpaulus/python-urlshortener-cdk

Tom Paulus

December 02, 2021
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  1. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. Tom

    Paulus, Software Development Engineer EC2 Commercial Software Services December 2, 2021 From Degree to Day Job How to get your foot in the door and where it can take you.
  2. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. Summary

    • Background: Who am I and what do I do? • How did I get to where I am today? • Interviews at Amazon: Tips from the other side of the table • Solving an Amazon Interview Coding Question (and taking it a step further) • Q & A
  3. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. A

    little bit about myself
  4. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. Who

    am I & what do I do? • Software Development Engineer II (SDE II) at Amazon Web Services working on EC2 Image Builder. Mainly focus on the service Control Plane (APIs) and the Service Operations (Integration Tests, Canary Tests, Monitoring, Alarming, etc.) • I’ve been at Amazon for almost 4 years working on the same team, although what we work on has changed significantly from when I started. • I wear A LOT of hats, one of them being supporting my organization with AWS’s C2S Contract. C2S is the government program and contract vehicle that brings AWS “over the fence” and into the Intelligence Community (IC). This air-gapped AWS Region on the Top Secret fabric has been operating since 2014 and is exclusively available to the U.S. IC.
  5. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. How

    did I end up at Amazon • Attended San Diego State University from 2015-2018, majoring in Computer Science (B.S.). • Applied to Intern at 13 different companies in the Fall of 2017 including Apple, Google, Amazon, ServiceNow, Facebook, Netflix, Intuit. • Summer Internship with Amazon Web Services in the Summer of 2018. • Returned to AWS as a Full Time Software Development Engineer (SDE I) in the Summer of 2018, moving to Seattle along the way.
  6. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. Interviewing

    at Amazon Tips from the other side of the table
  7. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. What

    will be asked of you? • Online Assessment • Interns: 1 Interview • Full Time: 3 Interviews • Each interviewer will typically ask you two behavioral and one functional (coding) question. • Each behavioral question will focus on one of Amazon’s Leadership Principals Interviewers are looking for you to respond using the STAR method. Situation/Task Action Result Answering using the STAR Method will give your interviewer what they need to support hiring you!
  8. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. Amazon’s

    Leadership Principals (LPs) • Customer Obsession • Ownership • Invent and Simplify • Are Right, A Lot • Learn and Be Curious • Hire and Develop the Best • Insist on the Highest Standards • Think Big • Bias for Action • Frugality • Earn Trust • Dive Deep • Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit • Deliver Results • Strive to be Earth's Best Employer • Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility
  9. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. Solving

    an Amazon Coding Problem And then deploying it to AWS via CDK
  10. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. How

    to create a TinyURL system? TinyURL is a URL shortening service, a web service that provides short aliases for redirection of long URLs. So if you would design and implement a system, in the language of your choice, that allows people input URLs with short alias URLs generated, how would you do it?
  11. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. Let’s

    Write Some Code
  12. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates.

  13. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. AWS

    Cloud Development Kit CDK is an open-source software development framework to define cloud infrastructure in code and provision it through AWS CloudFormation. It offers a high-level object-oriented abstraction to define AWS resources imperatively using the power of modern programming languages. Using the CDK’s library of infrastructure constructs, you can easily encapsulate AWS best practices in your infrastructure definition and share it without worrying about boilerplate logic.
  14. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. CDK

    Output → CloudFormation
  15. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. Try

    it out! Use CURL or your browser to make new short URLs: curl ‘https://go.paulusto.people.aws.dev/?targetUrl=example.com’ Then try visiting the returned short-url in a browser!
  16. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. Q&A

    Tom Paulus
  17. © 2021, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. Thank

    You! Code: https://github.com/tpaulus/python- urlshortener-cdk Slides: https://tompaulus.com/#talks