Switched from TCS to Amazon in 2 Years | From 7 CTC to 45 CTC

Hi everyone, I have been wanting to invite a guest from a long time who has directly switched from service based to product based company Today we have Prankur with us So Prankur had started his journey with 3-tier college. after that, he worked in TCS for 2 years. and directly switched to amazon as SD1. Now he is SD2 at amazon. So let's discuss the complete journey of Prankur. So, Hi Prankur. How are you? Hi Mohammad. I'm great, you say. I am great as well. I want to ask many questions from you. See, there are 2 very big problems which people face. First, you are already working in a company. Along with that, how do you take preparations which resources to follow How to manage time, right? Second thing, people say that the company they are working in, their resume isn't shortlisted for any product based company So how to make the resume and where to apply it so it will be shortlisted, okay? We will discuss about the process, the interview. So Ptankur, first of all we will start with your college.

Tell us a little about your college. Which college, when did you graduate and what was your branch? So, Mohammad, my college's name is Gurunanakdev University. It is in my hometown Amritsar I am a pass out of the 2019 batch. And I graduated in B-tech in computer science and through JEE mains, you get admission? So, Mohammad, no. For this, I didn't need the marks of JEE mains. If someone directly wants to apply in my college, then you will get admission in this branch. And for this, I did not really need the marks of JEE mains. I got admission based on my +2 marks. Okay, so because its a tier-3 college. What was the placement scenario? What was the average package, highest package. What kind of companies used to visit usually So Mohammad, when I joined the college at first, from what I came to know from my seniors that the highest package in my college was around 5-6 LPA.

Whatever dream companies used to come. Product based companies used to come. Many small companies used to come, like Nagarro, software ag, John Deere These companies used to come whose packages were around 6- not more than 7 LPA. But till I reached 4th year, the scenario had changed a little then, tcs started a digital paper because of which the highest package in our college reached 7+ LPA. But when I joined, it was around 5-6 LPA. So, how was your own preparation? Like, 1st year, 2nd year? When did you start coding? So, coding, I- If I talk about DSA, I started it in the second year. But whatever the base is, like whoever is a computer science engineer or wants to take a job in the IT field, so he has to learn some language, right? I started off with C, C++ in the first semester As soon as my first semester ended, I joined an institute where I learned c, c++ And If I talk about DSA specifically, I didn't take any outing like coaching for that I self studied for that So if I say that in detail, I had a friend.

He told me about GeeksforGeeks Before that, I had no idea about it. I didn't know about an exact resource where I will get to study everything related to DSA I was searching for a specific resource So when I was talking to my friend once, he told me about GeeksforGeeks. And I visited that website and fortunately all the resources I wanted related to DSA were available there. so first of all, I started with arrays Then I continued with Linked lists, tries and I started doing the questions for all the other data structures in java. and then yes ofcourse so you started this in the second year? Yes. Actually, I would say that I did not have much awareness that how to apply, how my placement will be done off-campus because in my college, companies who ask DSA did not used to come But I wanted to prepare myself for any opportunity that I would get so I can grab it. So that's why I started my preparations from the second year itself And all of these I knew from LinkedIn.

I couldn't get much idea from the seniors So I would myself surf in the internet that to get placements in big companies, DSA is very important. and that's why I started paying attention to DSA from the second year itself. Okay. Rest, did you follow any other platforms? Uh, along with this, I would like to tell you about my mistakes which I did in the coding journey of my college so my first mistake was- I told you that I read articles from GeeksforGeeks, right? I did used to read the articles but the problem was that I did not do the questions like you must have seen that actually what we should do is if we understand a concept well we should do the basic related questions but the rest, we should do on our own, right? This is the approach.

But what mistake I did was I did read the articles, could also understand the concept but I would read the articles of the questions as well and I would read the solutions for them given in GeeksforGeeks and assume that I knew it and I would proceed towards the next question. and this was the mistake that I never reached the practice section. Okay.

So basically all you did was input work. The output phase never came. I didn't even understand that when I was in college. I understood it when I was out of college and the thing that you said about input, you're very right. I thought I could do the questions but after some days or some months if i would try the questions again I could not think of how to approach the question because I never tried it myself. I don't know why this happened but I didn't pay much attention. You can say it was lack of awareness and also lack of guidance. There was no seniors in my college and this is also the difference between tier 3 and tier 1 colleges that your seniors guide you if you are going in the wrong direction but here I didn't have any guidance and This is why I didn't feel confident in placements and I never applied off campus Okay.

So, I tell this thing to everyone. If you only read the questions and read the solutions or keep watching the videos you will understand all the things because they are just so logical. all are basic stuff, you can understand everything but if you try to code, you won't be able to type anything. This is why practicing is very necessary. Along with practice, revision is also necessary. If you implement and see a algorithm once so this absolutely can't happen that you understood it at once. You have to practice it for 1-2 times.

Or else you have to do prodigy in another level. You may understand things after doing this once I also did it this way. I kept aside some algorithms and data structures to revise later. That I need to revise it again and code it myself so, this is how preparation is done. so I hope you are enjoying the video. Now this is December. 2022 is almost about to end We start 2023 with a new habit. If you also want to achieve your career goals, then you need 2 things. First – consistency and second – right resources. from where you can learn things, upskill yourself and if you are a software engineer or want to become one then you should keep working on your skills. it's a continuous process. Continuously you should learn new things. if you want to start learning programming, then you can start with a programming language. Now I learned C++. You can learn a language of your own choice. I will tell you a very good resource of C++. It's a complete resource and here you will get hands on exercises along with the videos.

Like I told you other than watching the video, we should also practice. So for practice you will get around 37 exercises here. So, you may know about Udemy. It's an online learning platform. where industry experts teach you. here you will get many good courses which are quite affordable as well. so here you will get a C++ course. Beginning C++ programming. Here, things start from scratch. You will be told about what compilers to use and how to run the code If else, loops, functions, arrays.

After that all the concepts of OOPS are covered here So it's a very good course. You can go and explore yourself. After every topic, you are given sufficient questions for practice. so around 2 lakh students have done this course. And many people have also rated this They are good ratings. You can go and check it out. so, it's a very good course for C++ if you want to learn any other programming language, then you can search it on Udemy.

And you will get many courses You can select the instructor based on the ratings, review and your favorite instructor. and there's a good discount going on right now Already, it is very affordable and on top of that, there are discounts as well, so you can check it out, okay? So, learning is a constant process and developing a learning habit always pays off whether you are a student or a working professional Both should learn new things with time. so you told us about your preparation. How you prepared DSA and what was your mistakes so was there any impact on the placement? Was the placement of TCS on-campus or off-campus Okay.

So if I talk about my placement in TCS. It was on-campus And how did it happen? CodeVita, TCS' national level exam. It's very popular. in the 6 hours exam, you are given 6 questions Your interview is taken on the basis of the number of questions you can solve and if you crack the interview, then you will get the offer. The exam I gave in CodeVita There, I actually got 4 questions right because of which my rank in the national level was within 500. and because of which my college rank was 3rd And based on that, TCS offered me a digital package. which was of 7 lakh. Everyone knows, right? so throught that, I got a placement in TCS. and now you asked another question that what impact my mistakes had in my placement, right? So, I would say there wasn't impact or say no impact at all on my own college placement and like I told you, I didn't even apply for off-campus because I wasn't confident If I did a certain question which I had already done I couldn't even do that.

So, I didn't feel confident enough to apply for any companies off campus. But I think I had enough knowledge for the companies which visited my college. because of which I atleast cracked TCS. And I easily cracked the other companies as well Okay. So, just for my information, What is the difficulty level in TCS and apart from DSA, do they ask anything? How many rounds are there in total? Okay, so to crack TCS, there are 3-4 ways I will tell all of them. The first way is the oppurtunity which I got in my college That year itself, they started a digital exam for that batch. So for that particular exam, I couldn't get the placement because there was one question related to coding there. Nobody could do it But rest there were many things like analytical ability, aptitude and many other stuff. on basis of those, 3-4 people got the digital from my college from there.

The second way is through CodeVita Through CodeVita, like I told you before, there was a 6 hour exam and I got four questions right there The difficulty level of that exam was, I would say, medium to hard level Okay and for that you can take online help as well that is it's advantage You won't ever find those questions directly on the internet but but if there's any sub portion or some math stuff which you can't understand, you can search it up on the internet so that's how your questions can be done The third way to go to digital is through the ninja hiring process. If you score above 80% above or if you score below 80%, then you will be definitely interview for the ninja but if you score above 80%, then you will be considered for the digital Okay. And if I talk about the interview, then this was my first interview. Of course I was very tensed and the real interview where you are giving interview on-site The interview was held in our college and the atmosphere was very tensed.

Because it was the first interview of my life. so, there were three rounds one after the other. I was very nervous at the beginning. People were going in and out This was happening and I was quite tensed. As soon as I went to that room, and the interviewer asked me the first question And I felt quite confident while he was asking me the questions because the purpose of the interview was the questions of CodeVita whether you did those questions by yourself or copied from someone. so they wanted to know it So I did them myself and so I could confidently answer the questions whatever logic I had applied. And the interviewers were very frank throughout the other rounds they were very frank. There was no technical discussion. they were quite normal conversations On basis of the four questions of CodeVita, I think they offered the digital package to me The rest were offered the Ninja pack. Oh okay. So basically you were asked the same questions in the interview which were given in the online test. Yes, that what logic you applied. how you approached that They asked these kinds of questions And you worked for almost 2 years in TCS.

How was your work experience in TCS? What were the good and bad things? And whatever your experience was throughout this journey So Mohammad, what happens in TCS is everyone has their own experience. My friends who went with me to TCS were also there. My location was Pune So, I went out of home for the first time actually. out of my hometown for my first job in TCS. and it was a new city. I was quite excited actually. I was more excited than being nervous so when I went there, I did hear that they make us sit in benches and there will be time waste You wont be able to do anything. You will feel depressed and all. I heard these before. But I thought that if they offered me a digital package, then of-course they wont make sit in the bench at least This was also in my mind. As soon as I went there, within one week, I got a project in my hand that which project I want to work in and it was a quite good project. I wouldn't say it's service based.

Actually, there is an internal unit of TCS. They have their own product. And I got to work on it. which they sell B to B so if I tell you about my personal experience, since you asked my personal experience was quite good. In comparison to others. and you asked me one more thing that what were the negative things here. The positive thing was that I got a project quickly and the project was very good. So, Mohammad, the negative thing, if I talk about the package, in any service based company the overall package growth is very slow I worked for a year in TCS and even 10%- it could not even beat inflation, for like my package and if this is how my package would grow in the future Then I thought that I would be left behind so what is the advantage of this job, right? if my salary cant even beat inflation there isn't even 6% hike this was one reason The second reason which was the most important was that the code I was writing nobody was there to review it Nobody was there to do the critical review So, whatever code I am writing, if it works then it is pushed to prod.

Nobody was reviewing my code, I wasn't getting such input But If I see it from the logical side or the development side, it was all okay. But when you get an opinion like a critical review on your own work then you can improve it I couldn't get that thing in TCS. Because of which I thought I should switch to a product based company quickly because everyone had to switch. Either today or tomorrow, I had to switch so I thought why not now So this is the reason that when my first year in TCS was completed I started my preparations Okay so after about 1 year, you started to prepare So tell us a little about your preparations? Did you start applying first or did you again start revising DSA? How did you start? So like when I started my preparations, I lived in Pune for 8 months and after that, lockdown started, okay? I lived for 3 more months there.

I was stuck in Pune waiting for the flights to start As soon as the flights started, I came back to my hometown. I am talking about June, 2022. Oh, sorry, I am talking about June, 2020. then I came to my hometown The flights started at that time It was lockdown at that time and nobody could go out. so like I told you before I wanted to start my preparations. and I didn't have to go anywhere during weekends. So I thought why not to utilize this time. Then I made a plan that what stuff I need to switch to a product based company and that I do not repeat the same mistakes I did during college.

So for that I created a plan and totally focused on it Tell us about your plan to switch to product based company So, Mohammad, first of all, the thing that comes to my mind while thinking of switching to a product based company is DSA. Then the second thing is the core subjects like computer science fundamentals and third is your communication skills like this is secondary of-course but I still needed to work on it a little bit And fourth was- I did not work on system designs before because it did not have much hype during 2020 I wanted to apply in entry level positions in product based companies So, I didn't focus on system designing to be frank and yeah I guess this was it and I had a springboot project in TCS.

I didn't have to invest time seperately I just needed to brush it up. My Java was strong from college days, so, I have to brush up that also My main focus was DSA, communication skills and computer science fundamentals If I talk about computer science fundamentals While I was in TCS, in my first year only, I did computer science fundamentals very well I had made notes also for that I thought, I will not give much time on that I will keep it for last For communication skills also, I thought, I will do it at last My main focus was DSA I had planned to switch to a product based company within one year, that was my target I gave myself some more time, I could have done it in 6 months time I gave myself some more time as I had daily job also i may not get interview calls that was also a factor So I gave myself a year time I did my DSA preparation I gave only 6 months time to it Many people say that we have full time job and we don't get time Even college students say that, they spend full time in college Look, In our time when both you and I used to go to college physically.

We also managed our time like that, right? While going by metro I used to study or used to study when there was a break in the middle of college So you have to take your time out You also tell me with your example that, how managed your time During your office hours From morning till evening you had office then when you practiced it The best part was in the time of lockdown, you couldn't meet your friends right? So a distraction was removed You are not going out and you are staying at home, so what you will do I could spend most of my time on the phone or it is better that I use my time in studies.

Seeing Netflix, Yes I was doing that but very rare as most of the time I used in my studies You are utilizing a very small amount time for Netflix and web series Just to refresh yourself That time, I used it in that way I had planned for preparation of DSA for 6 months I will give you that picture chart, which I have shared in my linkedin also Here also you will show this to the audience I had list down all the topics in that chart I thought that within 6 months I had to complete all of that So I had asigned a timeline to each topics I did this keeping in mind that I also have a Daily job I will not be able to give more than 2 to 3 hours in a day Within weekdays, I am talking about But I thought, nothing to do on the weekend What to do in the weekends, I used to give seven to eight hours in the weekend easily I Used to give 7 to 8 hours, sometimes more to DSA easily in weekends And by following this, I completed my preparation for DSA in the whole six months.

So, then after preparation, did you start applying? Tell me how you applied also Of course, If I apply after profile shortlisting I had no experience of applying. I had never applied when I was in college I had no idea that, how to reach out to the companies Or How do I get calls I was afraid of that I thought I will see that later First I will focus on my preparation I knew that it will come someday, so I used to tailor my resume along with that Whatever work I had done in TCS I had mentioned in my resume as experience, I mean I was working on it.

I used to update it from time to time And I used to think that what are the resources I have where I can apply first i knew linkedin Notification used to come from linkedin I had turned on notifications for companies in which I was interested. I turned on alerts for those companies Second, I Made a profile in naukri.com I have used some job portals like, Instahyre I can't remember all but Instahyre, Linkedin and naukri.com And the company carrier portals, The companies, which are my favorite The companies in which I was interested, I used to go to the career portal of those companies and see job IDs. And I used to apply there So, I have used these resources But If I will talk about resume I have not done that, I made one resume and applied it everywhere What I used to do, for any company where I am applying for any specific job Whatever keywords were mentioned, I used to pick them up and mention them in the resume.

Because of which my resume was customized for every job There is something called ATS and where scoring is there according to the job profile It will help you a lot there, if you make your resume according to your job description Your project contains those keywords Assume that you are applying for Java And you have mentioned screen boot in your project list that You have made a project in screen boot, which is a framework of java It will detect in ATS that java is a required language and he had made a project on that This helps in your scoring and shortlisting So, you said correctly that you can create your resume according to the job profile If you want to increase your chances second thing, wherever you are working, TCS, Infosys or Wipro or any other company whichever job projects you are working, mention that also in your resume whatever your achievements, mention those also in your resume Basically these things are included in the resume Rest, you have said about many platforms, you have informed about naukri, Linkedin Which one was most impactful for you? The most imapctful is Linkedin There are two three reasons for that Where from I got impact or result mostly, was actually through career portal But if you use your Linkedin more well Not just for the sake of applying You have seen that, all kinds of people are there, there are people working in every company If you reach out to them well, then from there only you can get a referral or job opportunities.

For me which was most impactful was different because my resume was ATS friendly Whatever keywords were mentioned according to job profile or description, I used to mention them in the resume. Because of that, I got better result from carrier portal I think that, student or whoever is watching this video should not focus on one resource only Because anyone can get a call from anywhere LinkedIn worked for someone or naukri.com for other one or career portal for someone So use all the resources As you can get a call from anywhere Which companies reachout to you? Which companies you have cracked in this process? I have been applying for a long time Amazon was in my mind from a long time, when I started my preparation.

From that time Amazon was in my mind I used to think in mind that, I will go to Amazon I thought I'd be working at Amazon after 1 year I used to think and visualize that I don't know if people will believe it or not but I felt like I am working at Amazon after 1 year And as I told you that, after 1 year of preparation, in 2021, I started working in Amazon after 1 year Perfect Other than Amazon, the companies, I have given interviews in that time were snapdeal and Morgan Stanley And I got all the calls at the same time As my preparation was over in December 2020 In March 2021 I got interview calls from snapdeal, Morgan Stanley and Amazon Within 2-3 weeks I got all these calls Everyone's interview process was going on simultaneously We will talk about Amazon separately Have you cracked the other two companies, Snapdeal and Morgan Stanley? Yes, you can say that, I have given interview in these three companies When I got satisfied, I have not applied in any other companies According to my year of experience or whatever you say I was satisfied with what I was offered For that and my notice period was also about to end That's why I didn't apply in any other company I gave interviews in these three companies only and I cracked all three of them I know that Amazon had given the best package But can you tell us about the offers of snapdeal and Morgan Stanley What amount they offered to you I can tell you that in hike and you can guess out of that From TCS to snapdeal I will tell you but my first offer was from snapdeal I put my notice period after getting that My hike was 100% From Morgan Stanley I got a hike close to 180% As compared to TCS My hike was 180% I did great negotiation I know that, negotiation is not everyone's cup of tea But It's a good thing for anyone who knows it.

But I negotiated well and got 180% hike in Morgan Stanley I don't know, whether my negotiation did not work in Amazon or they were rigid I did not get much differencial amount in Amazon as compared to Morgan Stanley But I was satisfied So, you can negotiate well, when you have previous offers You negotiated well in Morgan Stanley because you had an offer from Snapdeal already in your hand Else you would have agreed to their quoted amount. Right? So this happens, Get two three offers and negotiate later with that basis a lot of people do that So, we will know the Amazon journey in detail How it started? Is that an online test or a direct interview? Before that one more thing, was that shortlisted through your career portal? Yes, It was done through Amazon carrier portal okay, after that, was there online test? As I told you that I got the test link of these three companies, Snapdeal, Morgan Stanley and Amazon at the same time within a gap of 2-3 weeks Amazon interview process was a bit lengthy When I got the offer letter from Amazon, by that time, my second month of notice period was over I was left with one month Amazon interview process was the most lengthy If I will talk about the interview process of that, at first online test was there In that online test I got 2 questions of DSA After that in all other rounds the next 2 rounds were also on DSA These happened in one day only In those two rounds, I was asked medium to higher level of questions After that there was a Bar raiser round In that Bar raiser round, I was asked questions related to leadership principals One DSA related question was also there But they did not want proper running code for that Fourth round is complete managerial round That was mainly based on leadership principals okay..

They did not ask you about system design right? Because I have applied for SDE1 I don't know how the interview is going on now for SDE1 But I was not asked a single question on system design, no round was on it Did they ask about any project that you made? In amazon, in GD round, I was asked about my past experience and past projects related questions The questions related to leadership principal are about the project only They will ask about the scenario that, did you face this kind of scenario if you have faced it Or how did you react on that scenario So you have to tell them the past experience and whatever you have faced in that project Okay, okay. So that was a very interesting journey If you want to know in detail the whole interview process then there is a YouTube channel of Prankur also, where you can go and check the whole video He has made very good videos Prankur, please tell us about your favorite resources from where you have prepared for DSA I did preparations mainly in two platforms First one was GeeksForGeeks and second was Leetcode I started in GeeksForGeeks, I didn't want to repeat the mistakes I made in college That I was reading articles only.

I did practice. First I understood the concept Whatever concept I understood, went to the practice section and started practicing. After trying a lot and still if the question could not be solved then I was trying to solve it by seeing solution from others I kept looking for solutions, that how it can be done I shifted to Leetcode when I did topic wise preparation for all the questions in GeeksForGeeks After that, I wanted some new questions, which I had never seen before Because in GeeksForGeeks you will get mostly all standard questions You will see all of them As I was reading the articles of GeeksForGeeks for long I guessed the questions So I went to Leetcode this time I wanted to check that, how much confident I am about my preparation For that I went to Leetcode and started giving random questions from there I got the advantage of doing random questions that in the interview, you are not told that, this question belong to which particular topic.

Right? For that I solved random problems So that, I did not have any idea that, this question belong to which particular topic I solved those and eventually my confidence got increased And that helped in my interview Great.. Great.. You have never done comparative coding right? I have never done competitive programming It was nice talking to you Prankur, You explained everything so well I think who want to switch, they will not give this excuse that, they don't have time Their resume are not getting shortlisted Two things are possible if you work accordingly Yes Yes of course So, Thank you Prankur, Rest you can go and check the channel of Prankur I have given the link in the description Thanks Mohammad for inviting me Thank you.. Bye.. Be Stronger than your excuses.