As some of you might know I handle the partner integration products at DocuSign. Over last several years my team has grown quite a bit with folks that want to learn cutting edge business systems. The projects are generally around the same theme – how do we take an old process of printing and faxing and replace it with a cloud based process of DocuSigning.
We have been very lucky to get some sharp and passionate engineers that literally move mountains and we’d like to keep the bar high. A bad engineer on the team not only is a bad producer, this person also often times takes other resources offline. How do we make sure that every new hire accelerates the speed of innovation instead of slowing it down?
Number one thing we test are coding skills. If one can’t solve a simple algorithm like FizzBuzz it’s an immediate ejection. There is no point in talking to a developer who can’t write simple algorithms. Even someone who just graduated from college with a Computer Science degree should be able to write out a 5-10 line of code algorithm on the board.
Next thing we generally try to find out about that person’s exposure to architecture and patterns. A junior hacker can write simple algorithms, but to be an engineer in charge of a system with millions of users one must know how to create factories, write unit tests, how to load balance, how to use processes, threads, daemons and asynchronous calls.
After we verify that a developer is technically competent we start probing into exposure to project management and working with other disciplines. Does the person know how to work with bugs? Is Scrum a new concept? What’s the engineering approach to estimating and mitigating scheduling risks?
Last but not least we talk to the candidate about the opportunity. Excitement and energy make up for lack of experience in certain areas. This is a company with a huge opportunity and a history of doubling revenue and staff every 12-18 months – there is no room for resting and vesting. I am a big believer that bad energy slows down the entire team. We want a good culture fit and we currently have a team of doers.
In closing I’d like to add a little sales pitch: if you think you got what it takes to work at a company that’s reimagining the way people are going to be doing business in the future - let me know! The best way is to introduce yourself via Twitter - @mikebz