Here are a few points on seeing if you are an engineering fit at Change. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re missing some skills — all the more reason to join the team and learn!
Let’s start off with markers on motivation. If you can think in the lines of creating value in the world, have a drive to inflict a change or influence the market by building products, then you’re likely to pass the motivation screening. People who have user empathy, who are motivated by seeing customers using and giving feedback to your product, are the kind of people who don’t need a JIRA ticket to start working, but customer feedback. If you are customer focused, then you don’t need a manager — this is how we make sure people in the company are here for the right reasons.
One of the first things that show you are product minded is when you go through our existing product and are able to give feedback on it. If you haven’t taken the time to look at our current product, interviewer usually tries to understand why — whether you didn’t care enough or there was a genuine reason. You wouldn’t generally marry somebody you don’t know, would you? Taking time to vet us means you likely care about the product you ship. During the interviews we are screening for the usual startup fit of Build-Measure-Learn culture. Avoiding waterfall, focusing on iteration speed, getting feedback early and often. Being able to define, in your own words, what is lean and MVP is a must have. Are you in the mindset of talking to the users? Can you go into details of how you would conduct a user testing session? What are the different ways to gather user feedback? These are typical interview questions as well as real life tasks. Engineers are participating in user testing sessions to get first-hand know-how on how users are feeling and interacting with the product. This will give you invaluable insight on what to build next. KPIs — Can you figure out what are the important KPIs for product success and then implement solutions to move those KPIs? The way we work is a team defines their own KPI and then executes them. You, as a team member, need to have a voice and an opinion about which goals are worthy to pursue and how to do it. The way to scale an organisation composed of smart people is making sure they are set up for success in terms of the support they receive and have autonomy over the execution. We trust that the team, working on a particular problem, is best equipped to come up with solutions.
JVM — our stack runs on Java Virtual Machine technologies and Kotlin is the de facto programming language. If you have Java, .NET or any other C-like statically typed language experience, it should be fairly easy to pick up Kotlin. Strive for independence in being able to deliver. This means willing to learn full spectrum of software craftsmanship and in a perfect world being able to have skill sets which encompass building a product database, back-end, architecture, devops, api-s, front-end, design, product, user testing etc. We have not hired any architects and are not planning to, as the systems are being built by the teams who know the details of the implementation and are trusted to find the best solutions.We strive for engineering excellence for various reasons and one of them is that you would be building your own product! You would be working with the same product and code base for years — thus having the benefit of creating it as beautifully as you want. OOP, SOLID, DRY, YAGNI, KISS — take your pick, but code needs to pass a code review — which means that your team members need to understand the code, which is a lot easier when the code is clean — Clean Code. As engineers take responsibility over the full product life-cycle, they are also responsible for shipping working software — thus testing plays a hugely important role in our engineering culture. Not to mention all the other benefits of TDD! If you are the kind of person who can explain why testing is important, then we would be very happy to get in contact!
Every new joiner will start hiring after being on-boarded. We treat hiring a priority just like product engineering. So new candidates must be able to pick up the skills of interviewing and hiring. We share the load interviewing amongst the entire team. This helps us scale up the hiring speed exponentially with the growth of the team. Choosing the people you want to work with is part of responsibility of having autonomy. By Jordan Valdma, Full Stack Product Engineer at Change. Join the team: getchange.com/careers