Hi all! I would appreciate your feedback here
Application Date - 27th January
Rejection Date - 16th Feb
Edits - 3 edits, 29th Jan, 2nd Feb and 16th Feb
Applied for Exceptional Promise
Software Engineer recently graduated in 2021, worked at a Nigerian fintech and now working at a reputable silicon valley company with 300m users
Letter of Recommendation 1 - Software Eng with 7+ years exp, working at Google for the past 5 years, worked together on multiple projects
Letter of Recommendation 2 - Current engineering manager, with over 15 years of experience in Silicon Valley and managing me for the past 1.5 years
Letter of Recommendation 3 - Senior Software Engineer in Canada, former team lead in my previous company.
- CTO of Fintech I worked at, where he managed me directly
- CEO of another Fintech, this CEO was formally an employee (& my teammate) at the fintech I worked at before going on to start his company
Evidence of leading my team to compete & winning a Meta/United Nations nationwide Hackathon. After winning this hackathon, I was flown into DC, United States by the UN to mentor other high school students and to present what we had built. I also did radio rounds to talk about this. I attached evidence of all these.
Salary - I have consistently earned a competitive salary. At my current company, I have a high salary + bonuses + equity
Robotics Competition - Led my team to compete & winning a robotics competition campuswide. the competition was judged by prestigious professors from universities across the country and industry experts. This also got media coverage in the guardian, the nation
Founded a study group - I founded and led a study group that was focused on interview prep and getting offers at FAANG, attached are screenshots of conversations in this study group where I gave guidance to these members. Many members who I directly impacted now work at big companies (e.g GS, Meta, Google), and some have gone on to start their own companies. I attached screenshots of these members’ LinkedIn profiles.
Open Source & Stack Overflow - Impact over 100k developed in my 5 years as a SO member. Attached screenshot of the profile. I have also started my own open source projects (with 50+ stars), and also contributed to multi other projects, contributing so much to one particular project that the maintainer adds my name to the README page (this project has 10k stats and over 280k downloads)
Product development evidence at Current company - Describe a system I built single-handedly, that impacts hundreds of thousands of users directly. In Recommendation letter from my manager, also states some work I have done that has led to a 5+% incr in engagement. 5% at the scale of 300M users is a lot.
Product development evidence at previous fintech - Built a feature that processed 100M+ NGN in transaction volume. This was also sighted by my previous manager in his reference letter. Also added screenshots of the live product
Also added a Letter of verification of employment from my current company
Reasons for rejection
I got 0/3 in the MC & OCs. I have added my comments on the feedback in square braces
Their reference letters describe a good worker and their work outside their day-to-day also showcases their vocation to help others. However, there is not enough evidence to prove the candidate’s promise to the level expected by this visa. Their open-source profile is not strong enough and the competition they won was very localized and involved only 50 people. [I think the competition was definitely not localized, it was sponsored by the UN & Meta, and I flew to the DC by UN/Meta to talk about what I built. “Involved 50 people” is also misleading. Yes, there were 50 contestants (divided into teams) but that doesn’t mean only 50 people applied. It just means only 50 people were selected ]
In addition, the candidates’ LinkedIn shows they have been working since 2017 (this is not
reflected in their official CV submitted). This will make their career longer than the 5 years threshold for
the promise track. [On my LinkedIn, I have a section 2017-2019 with the tag Freelancing, which is common among many devs to freelance while studying at Uni. My first full role was an internship in 2019 and my first full-time role was in 2021, as stated on my LinkedIn. It also feels like the reviewer skipped over the high salary + equity as this is also an example evidence for MC]
For OC2, while the candidate has showcased their willingness to help others (e.g., their algorithm
study), the impact of this initiative is not significant enough to be awarded the optional criteria. Their
open-source contributions and stackoverflow are also not significant enough nor consistent enough over time. [I think the impact of people landing offers at big tech cos is definitely high. Also, idg why the reviewer says there are not enough open source contributions, as I have contributed to more than 4 different open source projects. Also reaching 100k+ devs on stack overflow]
For OC3, the evidence presented shows a competent developer but not enough significant evidence
has been presented. The evidence of a 5% increase in engagement in the current company is
not sufficient. [5% interest at my company’s scale is quite large]
I would like to know what to do to make my review & also things to highlight to be able to provide a compelling review case. The things in square brackets are part of what I plan to use to argue my case