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Reddit Software Engineer Interview Guide

Interview Guide Oct 06

The role of a Reddit Software Engineer

The role of a Software Engineer at Reddit involves working on a variety of projects that impact millions of users worldwide. As a Software Engineer, you would be responsible for designing, developing, and deploying high-quality software solutions to improve the overall user experience of Reddit. You will contribute to design, implementation, and operations for one of the largest sites in the world. 

Reddit offers a variety of Software Engineer positions across different teams. These include Backend Engineers, Full Stack Engineers, Machine Learning Engineers, Mobile Engineers, and Site Reliability Engineers. Each position involves different responsibilities, such as developing backend systems, building machine learning models, or maintaining mobile applications. As a result, Reddit provides opportunities for Software Engineers to work on exciting projects and contribute to the overall user experience of the platform.

Software Engineers at Reddit work across multiple domains, including Community, Monetization, Growth, Data Science, Infrastructure, and Security. This provides opportunities to work on a variety of projects, such as developing features for communities, building revenue-generating features, improving user engagement, building and maintaining infrastructure, and ensuring the security of Reddit's users and data. Each domain offers a unique set of challenges and opportunities to make an impact, making Reddit an exciting place to work for Software Engineers.

Reddit hires Software Engineers across the company and there are different seniority levels depending on the scope and expected impact. They have Senior, Manager, Principal and Staff level roles available as well as some entry level openings. 

Note that the availability of positions may change over time and vary by location. It's best to check the Reddit Careers website for the latest and most up-to-date information.

How to Apply for a Software Engineer Job at Reddit?

Take a look at Reddit's website and visit their careers page. You'll find plenty of opportunities available, and you can easily apply to roles directly on the site. However, we would highly recommend taking the referral route if you know someone in the company as it increases your chances significantly. Before you hit the apply button, make sure you read the job requirements thoroughly. Nothing's more frustrating than getting caught off guard during an interview. If you want to increase your chances even more, tailor your resume to align it with the qualifications and experiences listed in the job posting. It'll make you stand out from the rest. If you're not sure how to do that, Prepfully offers a resume review service, where actual recruiters will give you feedback on your resume.

Reddit Software Engineer Interview Guide

As a part of the Reddit Software Engineer interview, you will need to go through multiple interview rounds:

1. Phone screening - The phone screening is a quick call to discuss your background and SWE experience.

2. Technical Round -  This round will test your knowledge of DSA and you will be given a coding challenge.

3. The final round of the interview process at Reddit consists of multiple interview rounds.

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Reddit Software Engineer: Phone Screening

Overview

The phone screening is a quick call to discuss your background, SWE experience, and culture fit. The interviewer will likely be a member of the recruiting team or a hiring manager. The purpose of the phone screening is to get a high-level overview of your SWE background and experience, as well as assess their fit with the company culture.

Interview Questions

  • Why do you want to join Reddit?
  • Why do you think you will be a good fit for the role?
  • What responsibilities do you expect to have from your job at Reddit?
  • What makes you the best candidate for this position?
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Reddit Software Engineer: Technical Interview

Overview

This technical round will test your knowledge of data structures and algorithms, and your ability to implement them in code. You should expect a mix of trivia questions about data structures, algorithms and their time complexities, as well as coding challenges where you will need to implement an algorithm.

Interview Questions

  • Can you explain the difference between a linked list and an array?
  • What is the time complexity of searching in a binary search tree?
  • How would you implement a stack using a linked list?
  • Can you explain the concept of Big O notation?
  • How would you find the maximum element in an array using a divide-and-conquer approach?
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Reddit Software Engineer: Final Round Interviews

Overview

The final primary round consists of several sub-rounds, each designed to assess different aspects of your technical and behavioral skills. You can expect to face: 

  1. Behavioral Round: This round is designed to evaluate your behavioral fit for the role. The interviewer will ask questions related to your previous experience, work style, and problem-solving approach. The goal is to assess your communication skills, teamwork, and ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  2. System Design Round: This round will focus on your ability to quickly build a feature and scale it effectively. You will be asked about the tools and technologies you would use to build the feature and how you would adjust them as you scale. You will also be given a programming question that will test your algorithmic skills.
  3. Algorithm Round: This round is designed to evaluate your proficiency in algorithm development and optimization. The interviewer may ask questions related to algorithm selection, optimization, and implementation. The goal is to assess your ability to develop and optimize algorithms for real-world problems.
  4. General-Purpose Programming: In this round, the interviewer will ask questions related to your general-purpose programming skills, such as data structures, algorithms, and object-oriented programming. The goal is to assess your proficiency in programming and their ability to develop software applications.
  5. Manager Round: This round will be conducted by a hiring manager and will evaluate your fit with Reddit's culture and team. You can expect questions related to your experience working in a team environment, your communication skills, and your ability to collaborate effectively with others. Additionally, you will be given the opportunity to ask questions about the company and the role.

Interview Questions

  • Can you describe a feature you have built in the past and walk us through your design process?
  • How would you approach scaling a feature in your preferred programming language?
  • Can you implement a basic sorting algorithm like bubble sort or quicksort?
  • How would you approach solving a real-world programming problem like building a recommendation system for Reddit?
  • Can you walk us through your thought process for selecting an algorithm to use for a particular problem?
  • How do you approach debugging a software application?
Reddit Software Engineer Interview Process - Infographic

Interview Tips to stand out in Reddit Software Engineer Interviews

When you are preparing for a Reddit Software Engineering interview - we’d recommend the following things to keep in mind:

  • As the technical round will test your knowledge of data structures and algorithms, review your knowledge of DSA concepts and their implementation in code.
  • Prepare for coding challenges by practicing coding problems from LeetCode or HackerRank.
  • In the final round, you will be asked questions related to your past experience and the projects you have worked on. Be prepared to talk about the features you have built in the past and walk through your design process.
  • In the System Design Round, you will be asked questions related to building a feature quickly and scaling it effectively. Discuss the tools and technologies you would use and how you would adjust them as you scale.
  • The General-Purpose Programming round will test your proficiency in programming, data structures, algorithms, and object-oriented programming. Brush up on your general-purpose programming skills before the interview.
  • The interviewers will evaluate your communication skills, so make sure to communicate your thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely.
  • Learn as much as you can about Reddit, including its mission, values, and products. Look for recent news or events related to the company that may be relevant to the role you are applying for. Check out Reddit's values page for more information.

Responsibilities of a Software Engineer at Reddit

The responsibilities of a Software Engineer at Reddit across roles can broadly be seen as-

  • Work collaboratively with a team of software engineers and systems engineers to create and maintain the foundational platform for running Reddit’s infrastructure.
  • Design, write, and deliver software to improve the availability, scalability, latency, and efficiency of Reddit’s products. This could involve working on projects like improving the performance of Reddit's search engine, optimizing database queries, or implementing new caching mechanisms.
  • Build experiences and create the patterns for Reddit’s official iOS app that improve core flows like browsing posts, commenting and creating content.
  • Contribute to company-wide forums, initiatives and open-source projects. For instance, working on projects like improving Reddit's codebase, contributing to open-source projects like Python or Kubernetes, or participating in hackathons and innovation challenges.
  • Own and execute backend and infrastructure projects. This could involve working on projects like implementing disaster recovery systems, developing automation tools for infrastructure management, or improving the security of Reddit's systems.

It's important to keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and the responsibilities may vary depending on the position and location.

Skills and Qualifications needed for Software Engineers at Reddit

Here are some skills and qualifications that will help you excel in your Software engineers interviews at Reddit. One thing to note here is that the degree qualification is different for every role.

  • It's beneficial to have at least 5+ years of experience in Software Engineering roles, which can help you stand out from other candidates. From what we’ve seen - candidates with less than 5 years of experience often struggle - even to get interview calls; let alone the interview loop.
  • Emphasize any prior experience you have in provisioning, operating, and administering storage infrastructure at scale. This experience will be highly valued in this role.
  • Experience with cloud infrastructure systems such as Kubernetes or AWS/GCE ecosystems is considered a plus.
  • Familiarity with stream processing, batch processing, and/or workflow systems such as Apache Kafka, Apache Flink, Apache Spark, Apache Airflow, and/or Temporal.io is a definite advantage.
  • Make sure to showcase your software development experience in one or more general-purpose programming languages like Python, Go, Rust, Java, or C++. This will demonstrate your ability to work with a wide range of technologies.
  • Highlight your excellent collaborative, communication, and documentation skills. Being a good team player and communicator is highly valued at Reddit.

It's important to keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and the requirements and qualifications may vary depending on the position and location. It's always best to check the job description and requirements on the Reddit's Career page before you apply for the role.

Salary Ranges

The average salary for a software engineer at Reddit is around $150,000 per year. This can vary based on factors such as level of experience, location, and specific job responsibilities. It's also worth noting that salaries at Reddit can often include additional benefits such as stock options, bonuses, and other perks.

Conclusion

The interview process for a Software Engineer role at Reddit typically includes 3 primary rounds - a recruiter screen, technical round, and the final interview rounds. The phone screening is a quick call to discuss your background and SWE experience. The technical round will test your knowledge of DSA and you will be given a coding challenge. The final primary round of the interview process at Reddit consists of multiple interview rounds.

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