Our Hiring Process

July 30, 2017

[jobs] [interviews] [management]

Here's how the engineering hiring process works at PacerPro.

You apply for the position. We expect a clearly worded cover letter that addresses my “pain points.” Read Liz Ryan’s excellent article on how to write one. Your attached resume is in a common document format that we can read without proprietary software or translation. Both items should concretely address the requirements posted in the job description.

We’ll respond. One way or another, we try to acknowledge the receipt of your application as soon as we get it. If we have questions, we might you send you a follow-up email or two.

We’ll schedule a one-hour video conference screening. We’ll talk about your qualifications, why you are interested in the job, and why you are qualified to do it. We’ll give you a demo of the product and what we’re trying to do. This is our first impression of us for you and you for us; the goal is to see if there’s enough team/interpersonal fit to proceed.

We’ll schedule a one-hour pairing session. We’ll develop code in Ruby (not Ruby on Rails), on a simple class that does a well-known function. We’ll use Test-Driven-Development and Pair-Programming. If you don’t love programming in this style, you should probably apply somewhere else. This is a core part of our development methodology and is not negotiable. I’ll provide the IDE and set up, all you have to do is “show up.” There’s not much magic here, so don’t freak out, you’ll get feedback along the way.

The penultimate step is an all day, in-house pairing session on real stories. When auditioning for a part, directors don’t ask actors how they would act; they audition. Sports players don’t talk about how they react to a situation; they try out. We’re going to sit you with our engineers and work on real, production deliverable code. In a perfect world, you’ll see your code go live.You will not be monetarily compensated. I acknowledge that this is somewhat controversial, but I think that this way, we both have some skin in the game. We’ll fly you to San Francisco (our nominal home base), and run a pairing session in the morning and another in the afternoon. We’ll take a long break for lunch so you can reset, and be social with us. Yes, this is a remote position, but humans are much better at reading other humans in-person. We need as much data as possible to decide. I guarantee that by the end of the day, you’ll be worn out. If it is a good tired, then we’ll all know that we’ve probably got a good fit.

We make an offer in less than 48 hours. No nail biting. We won’t leave you twisting in the breeze waiting for “someone better to come along.” Then it’s the usual negotiating, accepting, scheduling, etc. Your orientation and “indoctrination” will be pairing, in-person, with the rest of the team for 4-6 weeks at a location to be determined and mutually accepted. Once we’ve got a good feel for each other, you can return to wherever home happens to be, and we’ll start remote pairing.

Our Hiring Process - July 30, 2017 - Ken Mayer