Interview Guide Jul 22
Jul 224 rounds
Detailed, specific guidance on the Patreon Software Engineer interview process - with a breakdown of different stages and interview questions asked at each stage.
Joining the software engineering team at Patreon provides an exciting opportunity for candidates to work on innovative projects and make a significant impact in the company's continued growth and success. Since the company is undergoing significant growth, it is actively expanding their team to develop Patreon v2.0 with enhanced native features.
Thus, Patreon is currently seeking top-notch engineers and has been aggressively recruiting top talent, as evidenced by the recent addition of several senior-level employees from major tech companies like Meta, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, and Tesla.
The average yearly total compensation of Patreon Software Engineers ranges between $257K - $341K, depending on the job location and seniority level.
There are four main stages to the Patreon Software Engineer role:
- Recruiter Call
- Phone Interview
- Coding Challenge
- Panel Interview
The initial phone screen at Coinbase is a 20-minute interview that includes two HackerRank questions as well as a discussion about their background. The purpose of this interview is to assess the candidate's technical abilities and to determine whether they are a good fit for the role.
Note that candidates who have previous experience at top tech companies such the Uber Software Engineer or Google Software Engineer may have an advantage in the screening process. However, all candidates will be evaluated based on their skills and qualifications.
Important tip: Plenty of candidates have reported being rejected after the initial interview, so ask a bunch of insightful questions about the company to show your enthusiasm and “fit".
In this technical screen with Coinbase, you can expect to answer two to three questions about CS fundamentals within a 50-minute timeframe. It usually includes explaining the solution to a coding problem, which gives insight into the candidate's technical knowledge and problem-solving skills.
Previous candidates report that the questions are not the typical leetcode questions but they are of medium difficulty level.
Recruiters are quite responsive, you can expect to receive updates on the interview results within 24-48 hours of each round.
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Coinbase conducts a rigorous 1-hour LeetCode-style live coding video call as part of its software engineering interview process. During the call, candidates are presented with an easy to medium-level coding challenge, for e.g implementing CD or a rate limiter.
The purpose of this live coding challenge is to evaluate the candidate's ability to write clean, efficient code in a high-pressure, time-sensitive environment. Additionally, the challenge allows the interviewer to assess the candidate's problem-solving skills and ability to think critically in real time.
Candidates are expected to come prepared with a strong grasp of computer science fundamentals and proficiency in at least one programming language.
Coinbase conducts an on-site panel interview for software engineering candidates that includes two coding rounds focused on standard data structures and system design, as well as one behavioral round with the Hiring Manager.
We've discussed these in detail in the sections ahead.
Data Structures and Algorithm
The first round evaluates the candidate's understanding of algorithms and data structure concepts, such as arrays, linked lists, binary trees, and strings.
Candidates will be asked to solve coding challenges on a whiteboard, with a focus on Leetcode questions ranging from easy to medium difficulty.
Questions may include implementing lodash functions, building a shopping cart data model, or creating an LRU Cache with TTL, thus, knowledge of Python, R, machine learning, and statistics is also required.
Here are a few questions you might encounter:
- Implement a function to reverse a linked list.
- Implement a function to find the two numbers that add up to a given target in an array.
- Implement a function to check whether a binary tree is balanced or not.
- Design a database schema for a messaging application.
- Implement a function to remove duplicate characters from a string.
Make sure you prepare extensively by reviewing coding concepts and practicing coding challenges on Leetcode.
The objective of system design interviews is to assess a candidate's ability to design complex, real-world software systems that involve multiple components.
The round is typically reserved for more experienced candidates with several years of relevant industry experience. It is rare for interns to be given system design questions, as it is unreasonable to expect them to possess sufficient industry experience to answer these questions effectively.
The purpose of system design questions is to test the candidate's problem-solving skills, technical knowledge, and ability to design scalable and robust systems that meet specific business requirements.
Here are the questions you can expect:
- How would you design a social media app that can handle millions of concurrent users?
- Can you walk me through how you would design an e-commerce website capable of processing thousands of transactions per second?
- What would be your approach to designing a ride-sharing service that ensures the safety and security of both drivers and passengers?
- How would you design an X (Tic-tac-toe, Chess, Minesweeper) game?
- How would you design TinyURL?
There are two points to remember when answering these questions:
- Communicate your thought process and solutions clearly and effectively to the interviewer.
- In addition to this, ask clarifying questions about the prompts to show your knowledge of computer systems and give insight into your structured approach. For instance, "are we looking to design a specific feature, or amplify the overall experience?" or "what are the constraints of the system?"
Behavioral or Leadership
In this round, questions are designed to assess the candidate's problem-solving skills, work ethic, and ability to work collaboratively.
Therefore, the questions may be situational ("Tell me about a time when…") that give insight into your problem-solving abilities, and fit for the role
Here are a few example questions:
- Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult problem and how you went about solving it.
- Describe a project that you completed that you're particularly proud of.
- Give an example of a time when you received feedback that was difficult to hear. How did you respond?
- Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult team member. How did you handle the situation?
- Describe a time when you made a mistake at work. What did you learn from it?
To prepare for this round, create a strong bank of examples of past experiences to demonstrate relevant skills like communication skills, delegation skills, time management and leadership skills, and so on.
Also, go through the Patron's mission and vision to get a sense of its culture. It will help you better optimize your answers and align your goals and vision with theirs.
A good idea is to rehearse your responses to behavioral questions in the presence of a Mock Interviewer.
You can schedule a session at Prepfully Patreon hiring manager or Software Engineer to have them review your interview skills and help you get confident for your upcoming interview.
Roles and responsibilities that Patreon looks for in a software engineer are:
- You'll be responsible for working on the entire product surface area of Patreon, including web, iOS, and Android platforms.
- You'll be expected to contribute to the long-term goals of both patrons and creators by growing the business and improving user experience.
- You'll be responsible for understanding all the levers for growth, both on-Patreon and off-Patreon, and designing experiments to improve user acquisition and retention.
- You'll be expected to perform experiments to optimize Patreon's creator and patron sign up funnels, constantly seeking ways to improve efficacy.
- You'll be responsible for writing code and shipping it into production on a regular basis, while also working collaboratively with your team to achieve shared goals and deliverables.
Here are the skills and qualifications necessary for Patreon Software Engineer roles:
- A Bachelor's degree in Computer Science is a must-have.
- You need a minimum of 5 years of experience in software development us required
- You should have proficiency in at least one programming language, including but not limited to: Python, Scala, React, TypeScript, Kotlin/Java (Android), Obj-C/Swift (iOS)
- A strong understanding of A/B experiments and related challenges such as dilution, bias, confidence intervals, and more is required.