I'm currently looking for aggressive, smart programmers. The very first questions I always ask are, "what's the best work you've ever done? And why are you proud of it?" There's no secret to the correct answer. Candidates who love what they do are always ready to share their passion with me.
Candidates who show up for the first meeting carrying portfolios of previous work (screen shots, source code, &tc.) receive major preferential treatment. I'm amazed at the number of candidates who are carrying a résumé and expect me to conjure up in my head visions of how wonderful their work is.
Our interviewing style is thorough. Candidates will be asked to write code and solve Microsoft-style puzzles right up front. Those who show an aptitude for problem solving and excellent communication skills will be invited to meet with four to six future colleagues.
Did I mention excellent communication skills? This is a team environment where we turn ideas into software products. Being able to brainstorm with colleagues, discuss ideas, and contribute to code/design reviews is part of the job. And that means fluent use of the English language in a technical setting.
Although this can be gruelling, I can promise you that candidates who are smart and capable will get an opportunity to shine. Unlike many other firms, I'm prepared to look at candidates with a variety of backgrounds. Do you have "hacker" types that contribute to open source in your database? I'm interested! Do you have creative types who have developed software for Macintosh? I'm interested!
I know this isn't the standard "5 years of C++" type job requisition: If you absolutely must have some keywords for your database, please try:
Please call or email to discuss. I'd love to work with you on staffing my team with the best and the brightest.
- "Python," "Smalltalk," "Lisp," "Squeak," "Scheme," "Haskell," "J," or "Ruby;"
- "Scrum," "Extreme Programming (XP)," "Agile," "Spiral," "Continuous Integration," "Daily Build;"
- "Spring," "Hibernate," "Aspect#," "WebObjects," or "JBoss-AOP;"
- "NextStep", "AUX," "MacOS X," or "Linux."
During the years we worked on Viaweb I read a lot of job descriptions. A new competitor seemed to emerge out of the woodwork every month or so. The first thing I would do, after checking to see if they had a live online demo, was look at their job listings. After a couple years of this I could tell which companies to worry about and which not to. The more of an IT flavour the job descriptions had, the less dangerous the company was. —Paul Graham
p.s. For your web surfing pleasure: