What is the interview process like for an Android Developer position at Discovery ?

Lebogang95

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
35
An ex-colleague of mine who was recently recruited into Discovery told me to apply at the company a couple of days before he left. To me it seemed like a long shot considering my age, I'm only 19 and my lack of a presentable qualification to a big company like Discovery. Not to say that it's something I'm not working on because I am, I'm currently studying towards my degree in Computer Science at UNISA and so far it's going well. The money I get from my current job as an Android Developer I use to pay for school, textbooks and everything in between.

But out of curiosity I applied anyway and I received an email from their Talent Acquisition Specialist who asked me to make an app that displays a list of Pokemon using a PokeApi. Sounds easy enough but I took the time to develop it the same way I would a clients app. I used MVP and included RxJava, Retrofit, Dagger for dependency injection, Butter Knife for view binding. Tried my best to use the SOLID principles and I think I produced a pretty decent, clean app. Not amazing but polished enough to get the job done. A day or two later after submitting the assessment on BitBucket I receive a phone call from the Talent Acquisition Specialist saying that my assessors are keen to meet with me on the 2nd of May. So, got another email confirming the interview dates, time and venue. Alright then ? Lets do this I guess.

But, I just want to know. What is the interview process like for an Android Developer or any developer at Discovery and what are my odds of scoring a job there bearing in mind my age and lack of a qualification. I am fully aware of the skill gap between me and my current colleagues, and potential future colleagues and I take it Discovery is aware of that as well. How much of a risk are they willing to take ?
 

retromodcoza

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Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
266
You don't mention whether this computer science degree is full time , but considering you already have an android dev job I take it that you're doing it part time.

Discovery has probably got a dev interview routine like most reasonably good companies. They will want to know you have a sound understanding of development principles , can solve problems , and can code. Being able to string together an example app at 19 with the depth of understanding you have displayed here is impressive. This display of competence is what got you the interview. Most 19 y/o compsci students don't know what dependency injection is or what SOLID principles are , never mind being able to actually implement something useful with them.

Devs are in short supply , and no one cares that you are 19. If you can contribute they want you.

They will cut you some slack in the interview process given your age and inexperience. Maybe this will come in the form of easier questions or letting a lack of certain knowledge slide. There will also be another side to this. Although they will expect less of you , they will probably offer you much less than your "colleagues".

To answer your question , your chances of getting a job there are high. Given what I've read here , the interview will probably be some kind of formality and as long as you don't royally screw up or say something stupid you'll probably get in.

But I would argue that you're not "scoring" here if you get a job with them. At 19 , you have plenty of years ahead of you. Put your studies first. Try and finish them as fast as you can. Discovery is not going to want to help you do this. They will want you to get up to speed as fast as possible and start contributing to their bottom line. They will want to suck as much work as they can out of you. They won't be interested in your career progression.

It is going to be very , very tempting to chase the money at this stage. To be wowed by their fancy offices and impressed by their people. To be blown away by their perks and to be flattered by being told how amazing you are and how much potential you have. They will tell you all sorts of things to get you in the door because they need devs. Be wary of their lies.

If you take this route at this stage of your life , you are going to watch your studies wither and die as you drown in work and chase the next paycheck. Don't get sucked in yet. You have time.
 

Lebogang95

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
35
You don't mention whether this computer science degree is full time , but considering you already have an android dev job I take it that you're doing it part time.

Discovery has probably got a dev interview routine like most reasonably good companies. They will want to know you have a sound understanding of development principles , can solve problems , and can code. Being able to string together an example app at 19 with the depth of understanding you have displayed here is impressive. This display of competence is what got you the interview. Most 19 y/o compsci students don't know what dependency injection is or what SOLID principles are , never mind being able to actually implement something useful with them.

Devs are in short supply , and no one cares that you are 19. If you can contribute they want you.

They will cut you some slack in the interview process given your age and inexperience. Maybe this will come in the form of easier questions or letting a lack of certain knowledge slide. There will also be another side to this. Although they will expect less of you , they will probably offer you much less than your "colleagues".

To answer your question , your chances of getting a job there are high. Given what I've read here , the interview will probably be some kind of formality and as long as you don't royally screw up or say something stupid you'll probably get in.

But I would argue that you're not "scoring" here if you get a job with them. At 19 , you have plenty of years ahead of you. Put your studies first. Try and finish them as fast as you can. Discovery is not going to want to help you do this. They will want you to get up to speed as fast as possible and start contributing to their bottom line. They will want to suck as much work as they can out of you. They won't be interested in your career progression.

It is going to be very , very tempting to chase the money at this stage. To be wowed by their fancy offices and impressed by their people. To be blown away by their perks and to be flattered by being told how amazing you are and how much potential you have. They will tell you all sorts of things to get you in the door because they need devs. Be wary of their lies.

If you take this route at this stage of your life , you are going to watch your studies wither and die as you drown in work and chase the next paycheck. Don't get sucked in yet. You have time.
Thank you for your response retromodcoza. I think you pretty much covered everything I wanted to know and gave me light on some other things I may have not picked up on, particularly the part about me not scoring. I always figured working at big corporate companies such as Discovery would be much easier. I work in a fairly small company and the workload can get tremendous due to the number of devs we have. So at Discovery, wouldn't the work load lessen ?

I've found myself having to build entire applications for clients alone at my current job with the hardest one having a 1 month deadline. So I assume that at Discovery they split the work load across a large team of developers, would it not be better to be a developer at Discovery ?

I also have another question, do you think that there is a potential risk of being "let go" 6 months down the line when you as a developer have completed what they needed you to do ? That for me is another big factor.
 

Tander

Executive Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
5,137
An ex-colleague of mine who was recently recruited into Discovery told me to apply at the company a couple of days before he left. To me it seemed like a long shot considering my age, I'm only 19 and my lack of a presentable qualification to a big company like Discovery. Not to say that it's something I'm not working on because I am, I'm currently studying towards my degree in Computer Science at UNISA and so far it's going well. The money I get from my current job as an Android Developer I use to pay for school, textbooks and everything in between.

But out of curiosity I applied anyway and I received an email from their Talent Acquisition Specialist who asked me to make an app that displays a list of Pokemon using a PokeApi. Sounds easy enough but I took the time to develop it the same way I would a clients app. I used MVP and included RxJava, Retrofit, Dagger for dependency injection, Butter Knife for view binding. Tried my best to use the SOLID principles and I think I produced a pretty decent, clean app. Not amazing but polished enough to get the job done. A day or two later after submitting the assessment on BitBucket I receive a phone call from the Talent Acquisition Specialist saying that my assessors are keen to meet with me on the 2nd of May. So, got another email confirming the interview dates, time and venue. Alright then ? Lets do this I guess.

But, I just want to know. What is the interview process like for an Android Developer or any developer at Discovery and what are my odds of scoring a job there bearing in mind my age and lack of a qualification. I am fully aware of the skill gap between me and my current colleagues, and potential future colleagues and I take it Discovery is aware of that as well. How much of a risk are they willing to take ?
Good luck!
PS - Bidorbuy is currently seeking an Android Developer. If this is something that would interest you, drop me a PM. :)
 

RedViking

Nord of the South
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
20,290
If it is a good opportunity, take it. Hard work doesn't kill you, it gives you experience. If you feel the environment and work you do is negative, go back to your old company or look for new work. An interview is also there for you to ask the company questions.
 

Lebogang95

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
35
If it is a good opportunity, take it. Hard work doesn't kill you, it gives you experience. If you feel the environment and work you do is negative, go back to your old company or look for new work. An interview is also there for you to ask the company questions.
Thanks for the advice. I look forward to the interview regardless of the outcome. I could learn a thing or two just from the interview itself
 

eg2505

Honorary Master
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Messages
15,612
good luck, interviews can be daunting, but they get easier in time.
go enjoy, and learn all you can.
will serve you plenty in the future.
 

retromodcoza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
266
Thank you for your response retromodcoza. I think you pretty much covered everything I wanted to know and gave me light on some other things I may have not picked up on, particularly the part about me not scoring. I always figured working at big corporate companies such as Discovery would be much easier. I work in a fairly small company and the workload can get tremendous due to the number of devs we have. So at Discovery, wouldn't the work load lessen ?

I've found myself having to build entire applications for clients alone at my current job with the hardest one having a 1 month deadline. So I assume that at Discovery they split the work load across a large team of developers, would it not be better to be a developer at Discovery ?

I also have another question, do you think that there is a potential risk of being "let go" 6 months down the line when you as a developer have completed what they needed you to do ? That for me is another big factor.
Working in a small company is a better learning experience than being in a large corporate for someone at 19. If you were 28 , the advice would be different. At discovery , you will probably be given a very small piece of the pie to work on , and you won't deviate too much from that area. The workload at this type of large corporate can be just the same as a small company , despite what they tell you beforehand.

If the workload at the small company is getting to you , then just say no to their deadlines. Your studies are more important. If they set a one month deadline , say its going to have to be spread over 2 or 3 months . If they don't like it , tell them perhaps it would be better to get another developer to do the job.

You can play hard-ball like this because very likely the company you are working for has few other choices than to accept your terms. Unemployment among developers is 1.5%. That 1.5% for various reasons are not the people you want to hire. So , they will be headhunting if they lose you. It will take them probably 6 months on average to replace you. When they do so , they will probably have to fork out more money for the same work that you're doing now. They won't tell you this to strengthen their own hand , but they know full well what faces them if you leave , which is lower work output for at least 6 months and thus lower revenue.

Getting retrenched 6 months down the line won't happen if you're any good at any company. Demand for development work inside Discovery and out is at fever pitch right now. There will be an endless stream of work for you to do there and elsewhere for the next 10 years at least.

I'm a developer but I'm also a dev employer (very small). As a developer , you're in a weird position in the South African job marketplace where you have all the power and the employer has none. Use it to your advantage. It may not be there forever.
 

Johnatan56

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
24,862
Working in a small company is a better learning experience than being in a large corporate for someone at 19. If you were 28 , the advice would be different. At discovery , you will probably be given a very small piece of the pie to work on , and you won't deviate too much from that area. The workload at this type of large corporate can be just the same as a small company , despite what they tell you beforehand.

If the workload at the small company is getting to you , then just say no to their deadlines. Your studies are more important. If they set a one month deadline , say its going to have to be spread over 2 or 3 months . If they don't like it , tell them perhaps it would be better to get another developer to do the job.

You can play hard-ball like this because very likely the company you are working for has few other choices than to accept your terms. Unemployment among developers is 1.5%. That 1.5% for various reasons are not the people you want to hire. So , they will be headhunting if they lose you. It will take them probably 6 months on average to replace you. When they do so , they will probably have to fork out more money for the same work that you're doing now. They won't tell you this to strengthen their own hand , but they know full well what faces them if you leave , which is lower work output for at least 6 months and thus lower revenue.

Getting retrenched 6 months down the line won't happen if you're any good at any company. Demand for development work inside Discovery and out is at fever pitch right now. There will be an endless stream of work for you to do there and elsewhere for the next 10 years at least.

I'm a developer but I'm also a dev employer (very small). As a developer , you're in a weird position in the South African job marketplace where you have all the power and the employer has none. Use it to your advantage. It may not be there forever.
I really want to know where you get that 1.5% from.
It would also be quite location based I assume.

Do agree with most of what you're saying, just want to see where you got those stats.

@OP studies come first, they will allow for more interesting work and it will help you tremendously down the line.

Discovery might pay "a lot", but that's to you as a junior, it will not grow at the same rate as if you had a degree, you'll just be harming yourself down the line.

If it doesn't interfere in studies, go ahead, but don't focus on career yet, do so a little down the line.
 

retromodcoza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
266
Location plays a smaller and smaller role each year due to remote work and relocation. South African stats are difficult to come by , but we have an environment that is very similar to western countries on which these figures are based. Amazon , Derivco and many other dev houses are here , and so we have similar westernized competition for candidates with our small developer base. Our devs are also more westernized and are of better quality on average than say those in India or the Philippines. (My subjective opinion based on conjecture - have worked with excellent devs from all corners of the world)

I read the 1.5% figure somewhere , but weirdly cannot find it.

1% here
https://studentscholarships.org/careers_salary/7/unemployment/software_engineers_and_designers.php#sthash.ps9hCopT.dpbs

1.9% here :
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-08/demand-for-programmers-hits-full-boil-as-u-s-job-market-simmers

Again 1.9% (this for the tech sector)
https://insights.dice.com/2018/05/23/tech-unemployment-rate-19-percent-good-news-tech-pros/

2% here
https://techbeacon.com/app-dev-testing/cs-degree-its-way-out-software-engineers

3.6% here , lower for engineers :
https://smartasset.com/retirement/the-rise-of-the-software-engineer

I'm guessing the truth lies somewhere in the middle of that lot , so perhaps a more accurate figure is 2.5%. I'm sure there is hard underlying research for these claims given they are independent and closely correlated , and my subjective experience hiring and being hired agrees more or less with these figures.

Even if the figure were 5% , the argument still holds.
 

Lebogang95

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
35
Working in a small company is a better learning experience than being in a large corporate for someone at 19. If you were 28 , the advice would be different. At discovery , you will probably be given a very small piece of the pie to work on , and you won't deviate too much from that area. The workload at this type of large corporate can be just the same as a small company , despite what they tell you beforehand.

If the workload at the small company is getting to you , then just say no to their deadlines. Your studies are more important. If they set a one month deadline , say its going to have to be spread over 2 or 3 months . If they don't like it , tell them perhaps it would be better to get another developer to do the job.

You can play hard-ball like this because very likely the company you are working for has few other choices than to accept your terms. Unemployment among developers is 1.5%. That 1.5% for various reasons are not the people you want to hire. So , they will be headhunting if they lose you. It will take them probably 6 months on average to replace you. When they do so , they will probably have to fork out more money for the same work that you're doing now. They won't tell you this to strengthen their own hand , but they know full well what faces them if you leave , which is lower work output for at least 6 months and thus lower revenue.

Getting retrenched 6 months down the line won't happen if you're any good at any company. Demand for development work inside Discovery and out is at fever pitch right now. There will be an endless stream of work for you to do there and elsewhere for the next 10 years at least.

I'm a developer but I'm also a dev employer (very small). As a developer , you're in a weird position in the South African job marketplace where you have all the power and the employer has none. Use it to your advantage. It may not be there forever.
You ever consider doing career guidance ?

I mean you've given me great insight and I thank you for that. With regards to my studies, I do understand and find them important which is why I told them about my educational path. We managed to come to an agreement that I could have Fridays off granted I would finish my weekly sprints in a 4 day week as opposed to a 5 day week. I also have flexible hours at work again granted I can finish my work for the day. I'm not sure if whether Discovery will be as forgiving but that's something to ask at the interview I suppose, but I'm happy with the system we've agreed to at the small company.
 

Lebogang95

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
35
I really want to know where you get that 1.5% from.
It would also be quite location based I assume.

Do agree with most of what you're saying, just want to see where you got those stats.

@OP studies come first, they will allow for more interesting work and it will help you tremendously down the line.

Discovery might pay "a lot", but that's to you as a junior, it will not grow at the same rate as if you had a degree, you'll just be harming yourself down the line.

If it doesn't interfere in studies, go ahead, but don't focus on career yet, do so a little down the line.
You can refer to my reply to retromodcoza but yes if it does interfere with my studies then I have told myself that I would leave the job because at the end of the day what you said holds true, the rate at which they might pay out will not be the same as it would have been had I had a degree.

What I'm worried about is the high unemployment in the country. So I will try my best to keep both my job and studies going for as long as I can.
 

Johnatan56

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
24,862
Location plays a smaller and smaller role each year due to remote work and relocation. South African stats are difficult to come by , but we have an environment that is very similar to western countries on which these figures are based. Amazon , Derivco and many other dev houses are here , and so we have similar westernized competition for candidates with our small developer base. Our devs are also more westernized and are of better quality on average than say those in India or the Philippines. (My subjective opinion based on conjecture - have worked with excellent devs from all corners of the world)

I read the 1.5% figure somewhere , but weirdly cannot find it.

1% here
https://studentscholarships.org/careers_salary/7/unemployment/software_engineers_and_designers.php#sthash.ps9hCopT.dpbs

1.9% here :
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-08/demand-for-programmers-hits-full-boil-as-u-s-job-market-simmers

Again 1.9% (this for the tech sector)
https://insights.dice.com/2018/05/23/tech-unemployment-rate-19-percent-good-news-tech-pros/

2% here
https://techbeacon.com/app-dev-testing/cs-degree-its-way-out-software-engineers

3.6% here , lower for engineers :
https://smartasset.com/retirement/the-rise-of-the-software-engineer

I'm guessing the truth lies somewhere in the middle of that lot , so perhaps a more accurate figure is 2.5%. I'm sure there is hard underlying research for these claims given they are independent and closely correlated , and my subjective experience hiring and being hired agrees more or less with these figures.

Even if the figure were 5% , the argument still holds.
For juniors I'd say location still plays a major role, as most of the time they need oversight /guidance.

I'd definitely not be that productive the first month or so at a company while learning the technologies there and would need guidance in regards to things I'm doing wrong. (am junior)

Intermediate we can start debating, senior you have an argument.
 

retromodcoza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
266
@Johnatan56 . Agreed. Juniors have less weight in the marketplace and so it will be less applicable.
@Lebogang95 I've had a weird career path , so I'm not sure I'm best placed to provide guidance. Looks like your mindset is right and you're headed in the right direction. Let us know how the interview goes. If you are a dev , the high unemployment rate doesn't apply to you. You're in a bubble and don't have to worry about it
 
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