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Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT
DEVELOPER
AND HOW DO WE FIND ONE?
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Who we are
INTRODUCTION
2
2004
BOULDER
CODENVER
80+
EMPLOYEES
LEADING
ES...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
OVERVIEW
• What is our general approach?
3
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
People are our #1 Asset
• Involve all engineers
• Interviewing takes pre...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
• Marketing
• Recruiters
• Interviewing
• Salaries and
Negotiation
• Off...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tailored to a Tight Market
• Pursue candidates honestly
• No misleading
...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
• Interactions
• Culture
• Vision
• Career goals
• Turnaround
Interviewi...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Rubric
• Culture Fit
• Technical Aptitude
• Technical Fit
OVERVIEW
8DVLP...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
VALUES
• What are we looking for anyway?
9
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
VALUES
“You can’t unteach asshole”
- Barry Hawkins
10DVLP DNVR | @CJPhel...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Culture
• Collaboration
• Influence
• Communication
• Pragmatism
• Enthu...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Technical Aptitude
• Clear and focused thinking
• Communication
• Questi...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Technical Fit
• Wide ecosystem familiarity
• Experience building systems...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
INTERVIEW STAGES
• How do we do interviews?
14
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Up To Three Usual Stages
Phone Screen
Conversation not Quiz
Face to Face...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Phone Screen
• Conversation not checklist
• Culture and aptitude focus
•...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Phone Screen Evolution
• Before - More objective
• Now - More subjective...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Phone Screen Content
• What have you been working on?
• Describe what yo...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Face to Face Interview
• Coding and collaborating
• Design
• Overview of...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tradeoffs
• Standardized questions or Organic discussion?
• Apropos to h...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
• Collaborative
• Looking at
and talking
about actual
code
• Should look...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Example Exercise - Java
• Basic working class with no tests
• Tricky to ...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Example Exercise – Web Developer
• Interactively build a page
• Reactive...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
• Domain-
relevant
• Focus on
interactions
• Complications
Design Exerci...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Pairing Interview
• Real code, real problems
• Detailed code review or p...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
• What do we need to do next?
26
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Meet-After
• Meet as soon as possible
• Discuss opinions and reasons
• W...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
• All Engineers
participate
• Early
participation
• All opinions
valued
...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Growth and Potential
• Can the candidate grow into these areas?
• What d...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
• Diversity of
thought and
opinion
• You want
people who
push the
cultur...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Measure the Process
• How are we doing?
• How are our selection metrics?...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
TAKEAWAYS
• What should you remember?
32
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
TAKEAWAY
COMPANIES
1. Optimize your interview to your culture and the wa...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
TAKEAWAY
CANDIDATES
1. Think about what the interview tells you about th...
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. 35DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved.
Image Credits
• https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/1627796840/
• ht...
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What Makes a Great Developer - Develop Denver 2015

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What makes a great developer, and how do we find them at Tendril? Overview of our values in hiring and how we tuned our hiring process to identify engineers who embody those values. Presented at Develop Denver 2015

Published in: Recruiting & HR
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What Makes a Great Developer - Develop Denver 2015

  1. 1. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. WHAT MAKES A GREAT DEVELOPER AND HOW DO WE FIND ONE?
  2. 2. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Who we are INTRODUCTION 2 2004 BOULDER CODENVER 80+ EMPLOYEES LEADING ESM PROVIDER Acquire Engage Activate 150M 150M in funding to date (VC & Strategic) OPERATIONS NORTH AMERICA / EUROPE Using Energy Intelligence to enable a smarter market for energy products and services DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  3. 3. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. OVERVIEW • What is our general approach? 3
  4. 4. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. People are our #1 Asset • Involve all engineers • Interviewing takes precedence • Take hiring seriously OVERVIEW 4DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  5. 5. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. • Marketing • Recruiters • Interviewing • Salaries and Negotiation • Offer or Rejection • Onboarding Hiring is Holistic OVERVIEW 5DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  6. 6. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Tailored to a Tight Market • Pursue candidates honestly • No misleading • Real problems • Real coworkers • Respect and Reputation OVERVIEW 6DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  7. 7. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. • Interactions • Culture • Vision • Career goals • Turnaround Interviewing is two way street OVERVIEW 7DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  8. 8. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Rubric • Culture Fit • Technical Aptitude • Technical Fit OVERVIEW 8DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  9. 9. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. VALUES • What are we looking for anyway? 9
  10. 10. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. VALUES “You can’t unteach asshole” - Barry Hawkins 10DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  11. 11. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Culture • Collaboration • Influence • Communication • Pragmatism • Enthusiasm • Introspection VALUES 11DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  12. 12. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Technical Aptitude • Clear and focused thinking • Communication • Questions and assumptions • Curiosity • Breadth of experience • Ability to learn VALUES 12DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  13. 13. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Technical Fit • Wide ecosystem familiarity • Experience building systems like this • Techniques for designing, testing, or debugging • Scale and performance • Languages, Tools, Frameworks VALUES 13DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  14. 14. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. INTERVIEW STAGES • How do we do interviews? 14
  15. 15. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Up To Three Usual Stages Phone Screen Conversation not Quiz Face to Face Collaborative and Technical Pairing Focused Interaction INTERVIEW STAGES 15DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  16. 16. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Phone Screen • Conversation not checklist • Culture and aptitude focus • Phone or video? INTERVIEW STAGES 16DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  17. 17. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Phone Screen Evolution • Before - More objective • Now - More subjective and cultural • Change in topics as our needs change INTERVIEW STAGES 17DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  18. 18. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Phone Screen Content • What have you been working on? • Describe what you did and why • What would you do differently? • How do you stay up to date? INTERVIEW STAGES 18DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  19. 19. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Face to Face Interview • Coding and collaborating • Design • Overview of architecture and work • No brainteasers, trivia, grilling INTERVIEW STAGES 19DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  20. 20. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Tradeoffs • Standardized questions or Organic discussion? • Apropos to how you work • How far do you drill? INTERVIEW STAGES 20DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  21. 21. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. • Collaborative • Looking at and talking about actual code • Should look like day to day work Coding Exercise INTERVIEW STAGES 21DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  22. 22. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Example Exercise - Java • Basic working class with no tests • Tricky to test as written • Write tests and test drive API INTERVIEW STAGES 22DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  23. 23. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Example Exercise – Web Developer • Interactively build a page • Reactive elements • Some Javascript INTERVIEW STAGES 23DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  24. 24. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. • Domain- relevant • Focus on interactions • Complications Design Exercise INTERVIEW STAGES 24DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  25. 25. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Pairing Interview • Real code, real problems • Detailed code review or ping pong pairing • How is working with this candidate? • Specific outstanding question INTERVIEW STAGES 25DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  26. 26. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. AFTER THE INTERVIEW • What do we need to do next? 26
  27. 27. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Meet-After • Meet as soon as possible • Discuss opinions and reasons • What hiring recommendation AFTER THE INTERVIEW 27DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  28. 28. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. • All Engineers participate • Early participation • All opinions valued • Calibrate expectations Involve Everyone AFTER THE INTERVIEW 28DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  29. 29. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Growth and Potential • Can the candidate grow into these areas? • What does the candidate need to bloom? • Can we supply those things? AFTER THE INTERVIEW 29DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  30. 30. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. • Diversity of thought and opinion • You want people who push the culture • But only a bit Diversity AFTER THE INTERVIEW 30DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  31. 31. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Measure the Process • How are we doing? • How are our selection metrics? • Interview occasional outliers • Do the hires match the goals? • What feedback did we get from candidates? AFTER THE INTERVIEW 31DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  32. 32. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. TAKEAWAYS • What should you remember? 32
  33. 33. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. TAKEAWAY COMPANIES 1. Optimize your interview to your culture and the way you work 1. Hiring is important. Take the time to think about it and do it well 33DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  34. 34. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. TAKEAWAY CANDIDATES 1. Think about what the interview tells you about the company 1. Don’t tolerate bad interviews! 34DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  35. 35. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. 35DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105
  36. 36. Copyright 2015 Tendril, Inc. All rights reserved. Image Credits • https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/1627796840/ • https://www.flickr.com/photos/sharif/3056967952/ • https://www.flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore/8274730440/ • https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/4261987342/ • https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahbaker/272685583/ • https://www.flickr.com/photos/nikio/3899114449/ • https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/4521400865/ • https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnavy/5754839937/ • https://www.flickr.com/photos/seeminglee/8174347684/ 36DVLP DNVR | @CJPhelps | August 2105

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