The Biggest Players in the IT Industry: How To Stand Out and Secure Your Dream Job?

Updated on September 16th, 2023

December 28th 2022

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  • “The Big Four,” namely Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are considered the dream employers in the IT industry — these leaders of innovation offer great growth opportunities and never suffer from the lack of job candidates.

  • Each of these companies has its own hiring procedures, requirements and offers a unique set of benefits to software developers, including competitive pay, access to cutting-edge tools, extensive training opportunities, and a collaborative and innovative work environment.

  • In this article, we review the most common requirements that you can meet while applying for jobs to these companies, from programming skills, through engineering, to project management frameworks.

  • We also give a number of tips for how to successfully pass job interviews at tech giants.

The IT Industry: Hot Scene for the Job Hunting Software Developers.

Information Technology (IT) has become one of the key innovative industries, with some of the leading players, including Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon. 

These giants have shaped how we use technology in our daily lives, and employ some of the most talented and creative software developers, constantly pushing the envelope for what technology can do for us.

IT is a dynamic and fast-growing job market. According to IDC, tech companies spent around $342 billion on AI development in 2021 alone. However, securing a dream job in the IT industry can be a daunting task. The IT industry requires excellent skills, experience, and knowledge. 

As the world of technology evolves, so do the roles in this industry. From software development to system administration, the portfolio of available IT solutions continues to expand, making it challenging to stay up to date. However, given the right strategy and enough dedication, anyone can secure their dream job in the IT industry. 

In this article, we will focus on careers in software development. Software development is an attractive part of IT in terms of the benefits and growth opportunities that it gives. 

In general, software developers create applications and programs for computers, tablets, and mobile devices. To become successful in software development, one must have a strong knowledge of a number of programming languages, often including Java, C++, Python, and Javascript. To make an ideal software developer, this knowledge should be combined with problem-solving skills, communication skills, and creativity.

In this article, we briefly introduce “The Big Four” of the IT industry, namely Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon which are widely considered dream employers, and we briefly review the application requirements when applying for tech jobs at these four companies.

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Source: LinkedIn.

1. Apple.

About The Company.

Nowadays, Apple is on the top of the charts of the most significant IT tech companies, with a market cap of $2.261 Trillion. Apple is renowned for its incredible culture and generous work benefits. 

As a software developer at Apple, you’ll be welcomed with competitive pay, health and fitness benefits, paid vacation time, and a great retirement program. Working at Apple also gives you access to job-specific mentoring and educational support. In addition to offering competitive salaries, Apple provides unique opportunities to innovate its products and help shape the future of technology.

But that’s not all! At Apple, software developers have access to cutting-edge tools and technologies that make their job easier and enable them to create unique products. Apple also provides a flexible and modern workspace where employees can collaborate, develop, and bring ideas to life. Apple is the place for you if you’re looking for a challenging and inspiring work environment.

Having all that said, Apple is secretive about many of its methods and procedures when it comes to staff management. This is related to strict IP protection in the company. Therefore, not much is known about Apple’s specific hiring strategies.

Required Qualifications | Skills | Experience.

  • Knowledge of Python, JavaScript, Ruby, and Swift programming languages,
  • Frameworks and frontend libraries such as AngularJS, React, etc.,
  • iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS (all native) development,
  • Frontend Development in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS,
  • Web development frameworks and libraries, for instance, Node.js, Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, etc.).

Required Educational Background.

  • Bachelor’s, Masters, or PhD degree in Computer Science or a related field.

(Source: Jobs at Apple)

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2. Microsoft.

About The Company.

Microsoft is in the second position as the most significant IT tech industry, with a market cap of $1.829 Trillion. At Microsoft, software developers are tasked with designing, building, and maintaining solutions to various problems at a time. As such, software developers at Microsoft must have a passion for innovation and a drive to constantly keep up with new technology trends. 

It also helps to have a good understanding of Microsoft products, such as SQL Server, Azure, Dynamics 365, and Dynamics AX, as well as the ability to stay organized and manage multiple projects simultaneously.

The software developer role at Microsoft offers the opportunity to develop cutting-edge applications that can impact millions of users’ lives. It also provides a chance to work alongside talented and passionate individuals in an open and collaborative working environment. 

As a software developer for Microsoft, you will have access to various education and development programs to help you stay on top of the quickly changing technology landscape.

Required Qualifications | Skills | Experience.

  • Experience with agile task management practices,
  • Strong problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and customer empathy skills,
  • Expertise with Typescript and/or Javascript,
  • Experience in front end development tools in software development and Quality Assurance,
  • The ability to integrate solutions from within the organization or the Open Source community and scale up on new technologies swiftly,
  • Familiarity with UI frameworks such as Apollo, AngularJS, and React,
  • Outstanding problem-solving and debugging ability.

Required Educational Background.

  • Software development experience of 5+ years,
  • Front end experience of 3+ years,
  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or another engineering-related field.

(Source: careers.microsoft)

3. Alphabet (Google).

About The Company.

Alphabet is in the third position among the biggest players in the IT tech industry, with a market cap of $1.202 Trillion. A software developer at Alphabet (Google) is a highly sought-after position with excellent benefits! Alphabet (Google) is one of the most innovative tech companies in the world, creating and inventing new technologies and software that have revolutionized how people communicate and do business.

From virtual reality and artificial intelligence to autonomous vehicles and medical applications, software developers at Alphabet (Google) are creating cutting-edge technology and applications impacting the lives of millions around the globe.

Required Qualifications | Skills | Experience.

  • Having experience in creating massive software systems, producing mobile applications, Unix/Linux, distributed and parallel systems, machine learning, natural language processing, networking, and building secure software,
  • Knowledge of programming in general-purpose languages for software development,
  • Fluency in written and spoken English,
  • Programming experience in at least one general-purpose language, such as Python, Go, C/C++, Java, Objective C, JavaScript, or C#,
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills,
  • The willingness to adopt new programming languages as required.

Required Educational Background.

  • Bachelor’s, Masters, or PhD degree in Computer Science or equivalent practical experience.

(Source: careers.google)

4. Amazon.

About The Company.

Amazon is the fourth largest company in the IT tech industry, with a market cap of $908.86 Billion. Suppose you’re someone who has a passion for technology and problem-solving. In that case, a job as a software developer at Amazon could be the perfect fit. As software development is the backbone of any digital retail business, Amazon is the ideal company to use your skills and achieve success.

As a software developer, you’ll be responsible for designing, coding, building, and troubleshooting software applications for Amazon’s products. You’ll work collaboratively with other software engineers to ensure product functionality and quality.

Although Amazon is not strictly speaking the leader of innovation in tech, you’ll have to stay up-to-date on the latest software trends and technologies. To ensure that Amazon’s products are innovative and up-to-date, you’ll need the knowledge and the technical know-how to develop the best applications possible.

Required Qualifications | Skills | Experience.

  • 5+ years of programming experience with knowledge of at least one software programming language,
  • Mentoring experience (serving as a tech lead, or managed an engineering team),
  • 5+ years of professional software development experience, excluding internships,
  • 5+ years of expertise with the whole software development life cycle, including coding guidelines, code reviews, source control administration, build procedures, testing, and operations,
  • 5+ years of expertise in the design or architecture of new and current systems, with an emphasis on design patterns, dependability, and scaling.

Required Educational Background.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related field.

(Source: amazon.job)

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How to Stand Out to Catch These Opportunities.

1. Research the Leading IT Companies.

Studying the leading IT companies in detail is a seminal first step to landing your position as a software developer there, and can help you start your career as a software developer in general. Knowing the big players in the industry and their inner workings can give you an idea of the current market and help guide your choice of programming language or development tools.

2. Build Your Skills and Experience.

It has become increasingly difficult to land a job with big tech industry giants like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. To have the edge over the average candidate, you must build your skillset to the next level and gain extensive experience. 

If you are looking for a job as a software developer, it is essential to do whatever it takes to stay up to date with the latest technologies and trends. Ensure that you know the necessary programming languages and that you have developed specialized skills in at least one particular language. 

We live in times of specialization, so in the beginning of your career, you will need to orient yourself at either frontend or backend development. Excellent working knowledge of database systems and platforms is also highly advantageous.

In addition to having the required technical skills, the ideal software developer should also possess the soft skills necessary to succeed in the job. Communication skills are essential to the job, such as the ability to converse efficiently and effectively with teammates or clients, problem-solving ability, and the capacity to work well under pressure. As such, make sure to practice these skills as much as possible. 

Furthermore, as with any job, experience matters. These tech giants can only be impressed with extraordinary skills and experience! So, pick up a few internships or part-time positions to help you gain more technical knowledge and hands-on experience with industry-specific technologies.  

Also, research companies, roles, and skills to keep yourself up to date on the developments within the industry, and develop a portfolio to showcase your projects. Take on challenging projects, and don’t be afraid to learn new programming languages or technologies.

This will give you the much-needed confidence to take on any project that comes your way. And, it is an investment that will certainly pay back!

3. Network and Build Connections.

Networking is a key element to building your personal brand as a professional and stand out. Networking requires the right mindset and a personal strategy. Please read more in our articles “10 Good Reasons To Build Efficient Networking Strategies and Treat Networking as a Mindset” and “Make Strategic Networking a Part of Your Career Development Plan: The Depth vs The Width of Your Network.”

Looking for jobs requires an active approach to networking. In the process, you should actively reach out to professionals within the IT industry to learn more about the field and invite them for informational interviews. Please find more information on how to arrange an informational interview in our article “Before a Job Interview: How To Conduct an Informational Interview.”

Participate in hackathons, internships, and boot camps to demonstrate your technical abilities while expanding your network. Build a network of professionals and work hard to become an ideal candidate for the job you wish to pursue.

Lastly, don’t undermine the power of networking via LinkedIn. Please find more information in our articles “10 Steps to Create an Effective LinkedIn Profile” and “Top 11 Rules For Effective Networking on LinkedIn.”

4. Work on Your Resume and Cover Letter.

As a software developer, you know how important a good resume and cover letter are to get noticed by big tech companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.

From the first round of job postings to interviews and beyond, a great resume and cover letter can mean the difference between success and failure. Here are some tips to help you perfect your resume and cover letter and make a great impression on the hiring managers at these tech giants.

When creating your resume, you must emphasize your software development experience. Be sure to highlight your coding abilities, mastery of specific software development tools, and any projects you’ve been involved in. 

Be concise yet descriptive when listing your achievements. If you’re still in school, include any special courses related to software development and any relevant internships or research projects. Please find more information on the art of crafting a CV in our article “Perfect Resume and Why It Is NOT Perfect For You: Marissa Mayer’s Resume and Personal Story.”

Your cover letter shows off your software development knowledge and experience. This is your opportunity to explain why you’d be an ideal fit for the role. Demonstrating that you understand software development’s technical and business aspects will help you stand out from the crowd. Showcase your problem-solving abilities and innovative thinking. 

And of course, craft your letter specifically for the role you are applying for! Please find more tips on how to write a winning cover letter in our article “How To Write a Compelling Motivational Letter?

5. Prepare For The Job Interviews.

The key to doing well in the interview is preparation. To get the job of your dreams, you must make sure that you have researched and know enough about the company and role to make an informed decision. 

If you apply for a software developer role, it is obviously important to understand the technologies the company is using and be able to discuss the relevant coding languages and frameworks you are familiar with. 

If you’ve got an upcoming interview at one of these tech companies, start researching them immediately! Connect with alumni and people already working in the company and have them ask you questions that they think could be relevant.

Focus on your technical knowledge, and practice coding on various platforms, for example using LeetCode. There are also good textbooks dedicated to passing technical interviews, for instance “Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions” by Gayle Laakmann McDowell. Also, ensure you are familiar with the company’s products and services and their work.

Remember that large, established companies such as the “Big Four” have their own specific ways of hiring that require the candidates to undertake specific preparations before entering the interviews. For instance, Google famously floods the job candidates with brain teasers at the interviews, you can challenge yourself with some examples here. 

You will also need to prepare for the non-technical interview. Self-presentation is an art; please read more in our articles “The Holy Hustle: How To Turn a Lemon Into a Lemonade and Shine At Job Interviews” and “7 Magic Spells: How To Enchant the Recruiter at the Job Interview.”

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Summary: How To Get Hired as a Software Developer in a Top Tech Company?

The information given in this article is only the tip of the iceberg. If you come from a startup culture and you have never worked in a corporate environment before, you need to prepare for a steep learning curve. You will not only experience a faster working pace but also new requirements that you have never encountered before.

For instance, while in a startup being a top expert in one area (for instance, cloud computing) is preferred, in corporations, integration of processes is more important next to the programming skills (such as bookkeeping, pricing structures, legislation and so on). 

Furthermore, corporations typically use automated systems for their operations. For instance, finances are mostly managed using SAP. This is a type of a solution rarely implemented in a startup. Working with these process software packages is really different from creating custom apps.

With the right strategy and dedication, anyone can secure their dream job in the IT industry. Commit yourself to staying up to date on the latest trends, and make sure to display your knowledge and skills in any opportunity you get.

Lastly, don’t take rejections personally. If you decide to apply to one of the top tech companies, you need to accept that this is a high-risk, high-reward type of game. Sometimes, it is a matter of the recruiter’s subjective feeling whether or not they will accept you for the job. For instance, Google famously prefers to accept candidates who are “Googley” — whatever that means. Therefore, don’t take rejections personally!

Do you know more about how one can apply to the “Big Four” and how to maximize your chances of getting accepted? Please share with us in the comments below or drop us an email! This article is a community effort and we will be grateful for tips and information.

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Please cite as:

Siddiqui, H.Bielczyk, N. (2022, December 28th). The Biggest Players in the IT Industry: How To Stand Out and Secure Your Dream Job? Retrieved from https://ontologyofvalue.com/the-biggest-players-of-the-IT-industry-how-to-stand-out-and-secure-your-dream-job/

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