Meet Christian Howes: Instructor for Hackbright’s Part-Time Prep Course

Christian Howes is an instructor  for Hackbright Academy’s Part-Time Prep Course. Since earning Computer Engineering and Music Performance degrees, Christian has held several software engineering roles. He has contributed to both server and client side development work at a wide range of organizations including large telecom software, ad serving and mobile karaoke. He loves teaching and mentoring people to achieve their fullest potential. Christian is also a percussionist and founder of Little Mission Studio where he teaches percussion.  He firmly believes in the power of drumming to take out the frustrations of coding! 

 

What motivated you to teach at Hackbright Academy?
I have been teaching for years, and I believe that management and team leadership is all teaching.  I wanted to get back into formal teaching of software development, and I love Hackbright’s mission as well as the opportunity to train people that I would want to hire!

What will students learn in the Part-Time Course course?
In the part time course, students will get an introduction to the world of programming.  We will learn the fundamentals of programming and the syntax of the Python programming language.

Why do you think it’s important to have these skill sets?
Ten times out of nine (yup, I meant ten times out of nine), software does not do what you wanted it to do because the engineer did not understand how the software would be used.  If the only thing students get from this course is to be able to communicate better with other engineers and help us all get software right the first time we will have much better software for much less cost!

I also believe that the type of problem solving that you have to do when programming helps you to look at non-programming problems in a new way.

How is learning at Hackbright different than learning somewhere else?

The part-time course is pretty unique in that it is a twice a week *in-person* course.  You get to interact with instructors live, in real time.  Students also get one on one time with an advisor/mentor throughout the course, and have access to the facility and community of Hackbright every day.

What inspires you?
The success of my students/mentees (whether students or members of teams that I lead) really gets me excited and motivated to help the team achieve great things.

What do you enjoy doing for fun?
Fun things for me include facilitating others to do great things through teaching, and mentoring.  I also am pretty into fitness things like running, biking, and rock climbing.  Performing music is great fun too!

What’s one thing people don’t know about you
I like to say “I grew up on Mars.”…. and it is true.  I grew up in Mars, PA (zip code 16046, fact check it!).  When I return to visit my family on Mars, I fly to Moon (township), and then drive to Mars.  The Pittsburgh International Airport is in Moon township PA. :)

Christian will be teaching Hackbright’s upcoming Part-Time Prep Course. Enrollment deadline for June courses is May 26, Enroll Here

Amazing Web Apps Built by Brilliant Women Engineers!

During Hackbright Academy’s immersive and rigorous 12-week software engineering fellowship, students built impressive web apps in just 4 weeks! Get ready to be inspired by these amazing women and their creations ranging from trip planning to ride sharing apps that showcase their unique personalities.


Katherine Cohort


Allie Glotfelty

GitHub | LinkedIn

Allie Glotfelty is a tenacious problem-solver and collaborative teammate. She came to Hackbright by way of a major in mathematics at Colby College and a career in nonprofit development. Most recently, Allie was responsible for the online platform development, partnerships and events at Technovation, a global mobile app competition for girls. Allie was so inspired by seeing the girls at Technovation develop apps to solve problems in their community, she left to do the same.

Hackbright Project: Run Holmes

Run Holmes helps users reach their running goals. The application uses a unique algorithm, backed by research from thought- leaders in the running community, to develop a mileage-based training plan. Users can download their plan as an excel doc from the homepage or create an account to take advantage of several accountability features. Once logged-in, users can mark off completed runs and track their progress on the runner dashboard. They can also sign-up for reminders via SMS or email, and add running workouts directly to their Google Calendars. With Run Holmes, users have all of the tools and motivation needed to meet and exceed their running goals.

Technology Stack:

Python, Javascript, Flask, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, HTML5, CSS, Bootstrap, ChartJS, unittest, Selenium, XlsxWriter, hashlib

APIs Used:

Google Calendar, Twilio, SendGrid


Amber Staab

GitHub | LinkedIn 

Prior to devoting herself full-time to Hackbright, Amber worked in user operations at Quizlet and Asana. And for several years after graduating from the University of Chicago, she worked in sales and support for Apple.

Working directly with end users—getting to know their desires and pain points—and being on the front lines through numerous launches has grounded her with a rich sense of context for the step she’s about to take and perspective that will be an asset to the company she joins after graduating.

Becoming an engineer is, for her, the next step in an ongoing commitment to contribute more deeply and directly to building a great product that people love. If this resonates with you, she’d love to talk!

Hackbright Project: DoBeDo

DoBeDo applies the notion of quantified self to the question of how to spend our time if optimizing for happiness. Users track how they feel before and after regular activities to better recognize which ones have the most positive impact on their mood.

At signup, they select up to ten activities to track. Going forward, they record when they plan to do an activity and how they’re feeling about doing it and, afterward, when they finished and how they felt then. The app provides a visualization of their sentiments before and after. They can also opt in to receive an automated text message reminder if 24 hours have passed since they’re likely to have completed an activity and they haven’t yet recorded how they felt about it.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, SQLAlchemy, PostgreSQL, JavaScript, Bootstrap, jQuery, Jinja, Chart.js

APIs Used:

Twilio API


Amelia Green

GitHub | LinkedIn

Amelia is currently an engineering fellow at Hackbright Academy. In true Bay area nature, her introduction to programming came in the way of engineering housemates, to be exact, a full house of engineers! Their work discussions inspired her to enroll in Hackbright’s part time course where she was introduced to Python fundamentals and built her own project that intertwined her interests of travel and programming. Upon completing the part-time course, she knew that she wanted to become a software engineer. She is excited to apply what she learned from Hackbright’s engineering fellowship. Outside of programming, she is either running her Etsy store (she sells crocheted accessories) or making videos of her adventures with her Husky.

Hackbright Project: Wanderlust Ave

Wanderlust Ave is a travel app designed to motivate users to create bucket lists and check o their bucket items. A user can find items to add by keyword search, a D3 map to search by country, or by looking at popular bucket items. Facebook is integrated to make it easier for a user to connect with friends. Charts are used to display which Facebook friend has the most items in common and which countries they have the most uncompleted items in. A user can also visualize each list’s locations via Google Maps. Lastly, when a user marks an item as complete, a progress wave gauge updates to show the percentage of completed items.

Technology Stack:

Python, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, AJAX, D3, HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Selenium, Boto3

APIs Used:

Facebook, AWS S3, Google Maps


Ashley Trinh

GitHub | LinkedIn 

Ashley Trinh is a data-driven problem-solver; she enjoys the challenge of using prior knowledge to create optimal solutions that benefit others. To fulfill her passion for creative problem solving, she has been a fine artist, UX researcher and graphic designer, and computer science tutor, but she kept coming back to her programming hobby. While spending another weekend hacking together video games and solving problems on CodeWars, she decided to apply to Hackbright Academy. At Hackbright, Ashley has built on her prior coding experience, solidifying and formalizing her knowledge of computer science fundamentals. Afterward, she will continue to seek out new problems so that she can solve them by pursuing a career in software development.

Hackbright Project: Portfolio Web CMS

Portfolio is a lightweight web content management system for users to manage their online portfolio. Intended for creative professionals and hobbyists who need a simple solution for content management: users can create projects, upload images associated with those projects, and set tags for each project. They can create and edit categories for their projects. They can also create and edit pages of text content and external links to other websites. The information will appear on a public portfolio with a clean, professional layout. Portfolio also includes an extensive API.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, JavaScript, AngularJS, Bootstrap


Chine Ikoro

GitHub | LinkedIn 

Chine graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a bachelor’s degree in Writing. Prior to Hackbright, she worked in digital marketing at Ubisoft Entertainment, where she provided data-driven insights and worked closely with game developers to enhance marketing strategy for the AAA video game “For Honor”. Working with such large amounts of data sparked Chine’s interest in complex data structures, which led her to start teaching herself Python and SQL. Looking forward, Chine is excited to use her marketing/data analytics background, enthusiasm for learning, and her love of well-written code (and even better- written documentation!) to build scalable, consumer-minded software.

Hackbright Project: Staycation

Staycation analyzes a user’s food and activity preferences and plans a night out for them in San Francisco. The catch? The user’s destinations are a surprise! Using the Twilio API to guide users based on their responses to text updates, users are taken to a restaurant and a post-dinner activity, both chosen using the Yelp API and curated to be within the user’s tastes, food preferences, and interests. Features include a “Get Up And Go” button that orders a Lyft for the user to take them to their first surprise destination right away, and a unique matching algorithm to allow users to join other trips using a Tinder- esque swipe interface.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Flask-Mail, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Javascript, JQuery, AJAX, JSON, HTML, CSS, D3

APIs Used:

Yelp, Lyft, Twilio, Google Maps


Christine Urban

GitHub | LinkedIn 

Bay Area native Christine Urban gravitates toward software engineering out of a keen sense of detail and a penchant for problem-solving. In her prior career as a registered dietetic technician and a pediatric gastroenterology practice manager, Christine found herself yearning for more of a challenge. She began building websites from scratch, landed an email developer position, and continued on to Hackbright Academy. Christine’s heart is in the front end because she loves building upon the web’s beauty and utility. She looks forward to integrating her client-focused background with client-side development to create interactive and user-friendly applications.

Hackbright Project: OuterSpaces

OuterSpaces helps users find outside places to eat, sit, and see public art in San Francisco. An OuterSpace is a food truck, a privately-owned public open space, also known as POPOS, or public art, as part of the 1% Art Program. Users can view all locations on a map within San Francisco neighborhood boundaries, or have a trip created for them according to their current geolocation. A user can also get detailed information on each location, get walking or driving directions, find other nearby locations, search by name or keyword, and see locations near an address. In addition, users can sign up for an account and save/delete favorite OuterSpaces on their profile, as well as update their personal information.

Technology Stack:

JavaScript, Python, Flask, jQuery, Bootstrap, Jinja, AJAX, JSON, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy HTML, CSS, Shapely, Flask-Cache

APIs Used:

Google Maps JavaScript, Geocoding, and Geolocation APIs; Socrata Open Data API

Erika Kettleson

GitHub | LinkedIn

Erika Kettleson studied Art History and Women’s Studies at Wellesley College. She has always worked with images and started as an editorial assistant and producer before moving to London to work in trend analysis. After joining an e-commerce start- up in SF as a Photo Editor, Erika developed her design, branding and production skills while curating and producing all imagery company-wide. She has always been interested in quantifying visuals, demystifying fashion, and trend forecasting & history, and she looks forward to combining her interests and join a team of questioners, analysts and passionate people.

Hackbright Project: Show.Me

Show.Me is an interactive web app leveraging a custom built data set of the most popular colors over the last ten seasons of runway shows. Working with about 20,000 images from thirty designer brands, each show was processed, sampled & analyzed using k-means clustering and Pillow, and the top ten colors pulled out for visualization. Charts examine color use by year, season, brand and by overall individual popularity.

Technology Stack:

Python, JavaScript, JSON, AJAX, JQuery, HTML, CSS, SQL, Flask, Bootstrap, Numpy, Pillow/PIL, Chart.js


Generosa Litton

GitHub | LinkedIn

Generosa has always been passionate about endeavors that challenge and add to her tool kit. With a BS in Engineering and an MBA, Generosa has deepened her technical skills with a software engineering fellowship at Hackbright Academy.

Previously a Director of Marketing at various high-tech companies including Hitachi, EMC, NetApp, and Oracle, Generosa not only created and presented content that translated technical concepts into business value, she also influenced teams to see the big picture, effectively problem solve, and efficiently execute to the desired outcomes.

Generosa is excited to use her software engineering skills, leadership, and business experience to create solutions that add value to people’s lives.

Hackbright Project: PAWS Finder: A Pet Adoption Application

PAWS Finder: Where Pets And Wonderful Shelters Are Just A Click Away!
Quickly search for an adoptable dog or cat that from a shelter near you. With PAWS Finder, registered users can quickly find their ideal dog or cat by entering criteria such as location (zip code, or city/state), gender, size, breed, and age. Searches can be saved and retrieved at a later time. Want to know which shelters are near you? Simply enter a zip code and all shelters with adoptable pets will be displayed via Google Maps complete with an info window that displays links to available pets and contact information. With PAWS Finder you get the most-up-to date adoptable pet and shelter information anytime and anywhere.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Flask, Jinja, Python, Javascript, JQuery, AJAX, CSS, HTML

APIs Used:

APIs: Petfinder, Google Maps, Zipcode


Hannah Schafer

GitHub | LinkedIn

Hannah Schafer is a software engineer with a love for all things Python and JavaScript. After graduating with a masters from Harvard University, she moved to the Bay Area 2 years ago, where she worked across the startup spectrum: from employee #400 at a Series E (recently IPO’d) SaaS company to employee #1 at a pre-seed social impact venture. A lifelong crossword puzzler, Hannah found herself drawn to the creativity and the puzzle-like challenges of software development. First through RailsBridge workshops, then through CodeAcademy, and on through Treehouse, she kept learning and yearning for greater programming knowledge. Enter: Hackbright Academy. Hannah is looking forward to working with a collaborative team solving meaningful problems.

Hackbright Project: Sparro

Sparrö is a web app that serves as a means to personal empathy and daily inspiration. Sparrö draws on natural language processing to conduct sentiment analysis of a user’s Twitter feed. Based on the analysis of the user’s current mood, the user receives an inspirational quote or poem suited to their attitude. The app can track the user’s attitude over time, visualize this information, and let the user set reminders via text message.

Technology Stack:

Python, JavaScript, Flask, Postgresql, SQLAlchemy, SQL, NLTK, Cron, D3.js, Typed.js, Charts.js, AJAX, JSON, Bootstrap

APIs Used:

Twitter API, Twilio API


Kallie Friedman

GitHub | LinkedIn

Kallie graduated from Stanford University in 2013 with her undergraduate in Psychology and her master’s in Management Science & Engineering. After product management experience at Intuit, UrbanSitter, and most recently at Pinterest, she wanted to better understand how products were built and be involved in that actual building process. Passionate about solving problems, learning, and building meaningful solutions for customers, she is seeking full stack engineering roles at mission driven companies with strong company culture. When she isn’t programming, Kallie enjoys travel, taking classes to learn new skills/hobbies, photography, spending time with her family, and hiking around the Bay Area with her puppy.

Hackbright Project: Audio Articles

Audio Articles allows users to save, organize and listen to articles of any sort. Intended for a time-strapped, audiobooks-loving demographic or the visually impaired, this app provides functionality to save article text and organize with tags. Users can then view their articles by different tags, last listened or date saved, etc. The most useful feature is that for any article, users can select from a host of possible voices and accents, and have their article text read aloud to them in that voice.

Technology Stack:

Javascript (AJAX/JSON), HTML, CSS, SQL, SQLAlchemy, Flask, PostgresSQL, Git, GitHub, Amazon Polly API, some React

APIs Used:

Amazon Polly, Amazon’s new text-to-speech API.


Katie Taylor

GitHub | LinkedIn

Before Hackbright, Katie spent most of her career developing a love of data. After earning an environmental science and policy degree she began a career as an environmental consultant. For eight years, she worked on databases that calculated air and greenhouse gas emissions and helped companies comply with environmental regulations. The more she learned about data and SQL, the more she wanted to dive into the world of programming.

Katie worked as a product manager for a small start-up while learning code through self-study. She then applied to Hackbright to help her make the transition to software engineering. Katie is excited to bring her 10 years of experience managing projects and data to the tech community!

Hackbright Project: Calc CO2

Using publicly available emission factor data from the EPA, the app calculates a user’s carbon footprint based on electricity and natural gas use as well as miles driven. The app visualizes the data to show how energy use decisions affect your carbon footprint over time.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, JavaScript, AJAX, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Chart.js, Jinja, Bootstrap

APIs Used:

Google Maps Distance Matrix API, ZipCodeAPI


Katrina Huber-Juma

GitHub | LinkedIn

Katrina discovered her creative aptitude early as a student at a Waldorf School where she cultivated a love for illustration and building community. After graduating from Sonoma State University with a degree in communications, she kicked-off her career in graphic design. Eventually, working with web designers led her to enhance her front end skills and develop her back end skills. She continued to build software engineering skills via community college classes and HackReactor Prep. Katrina looks forward to bringing ideas to life from design to code.

Hackbright Project: Pair Necesseties

Pair Necessities manages administrators, cohorts, students, student lab pairings, labs and keywords relating to the labs. Pair Necessities allows a Hackbright student to join a cohort, find a lab by keyword, see who she paired with on that lab and keep notes with her pair on what they learned together. Administrators can create cohorts, create labs and create lab pairings.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, Bootstrap, Selenium, Unittest

APIs Used:

Gravatar


Luna Yu

GitHub | LinkedIn

Luna specialized in marketing at a SaaS company in China before she attended business school at Hult in San Francisco. During business school, she was inspired by the tech scene and began learning how to code from scratch. She took an intro to front-end web development course at General Assembly and nished 200+ code challenges at Free Code Camp. She joined Hackbright to build a solid foundation in software development. Luna enjoys the connection between creativity and technology. She enjoys using her creativity to build new technology and would like to develop technology that helps people express their own creativity. When she’s not coding, she enjoys playing guitar, watching movies, and biking under the sun with friends.

Hackbright Project: Wes World

Wes World is catered to people who enjoy matching colors for their daily outfits. It aims to simplify and gamify an online shopping experience by displaying an ensemble of clothes from the Etsy API, based on the color palettes of Wes Anderson’s movies. By default, a user can browse the ensembles and individual clothing items without an account. But an account profile would come in handy when he or she wants to save the ensembles to the dashboard. To gamify the experience and encourage social interaction, each user will have one point when the ensemble he or she saved are saved by another user.

Technology Stack:

Python, JavaScript, jQuery, HTML5, CSS3, Materialize, Flask, SQLAlchemy

APIs Used:

Etsy API


Lydia Y. Huang

GitHub | LinkedIn

Lydia Huang comes from a background in manufacturing specializing in the medical device industry. For the past 10 years she worked as a sales engineer helping companies build their latest medical technologies. She attended a robotics competition and after witnessing the work these students were able to produce over the span of a few months, and was inspired to learn more. She embarked on a new journey at Hackbright and now knows that programming is her true passion. Lydia looks forward to merging her sales engineering experience with her programming experience as she builds a software engineering career where the creative and analytical intersect.

Hackbright Project: ParkerSF

For her Hackbright project, Lydia built ParkerSF – Parker SF relieves anyone trying to find parking in the bustling city of SF. ParkerSF will take in a user input location and return 10 sorted closest parking garages near the destination. The locations of the garages are return as markers on a Google map linking to the garages displayed in the side bar. The map feature provides users a visualization of how far the garage is from the destination, allowing the user to select the most convenient garage possible. In addition, this application also allows the user to compare the ratings of every garage to select the best garage possible as well as a chart and table to visualize the user’s past parking history.

Technology Stack:

Python, SQLAlchemy, PostgreSQL, Flask, Jinga2, HTML5, CSS, Bootstrap, Javascript, jQuery, AJAX, chart.js, Python Geocoder

APIs Used:

Google Maps


 

Medalis Trelles

GitHub | LinkedIn

Medalis graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Labor Relations. She began her career as a client advisor at Bessemer Trust, where she was inspired by a number of entrepreneurs to start a business. Two years later, Medalis founded a dog walking business in Washington DC, Wagntail. To manage Wagntail, she relied on a third party web app to provide updates to her clients. Eventually Medalis tried her hand at making her own app. Before she knew it, she was spending more time learning to code than growing her business and decided to transition to a career in software engineering. Medalis hopes to blend her entrepreneurial background, programming education, and hustle to join a mission-driven company as a full stack developer.

Hackbright Project: NextRead

Dr. Seuss used to say, “the more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go” to highlight the importance of reading. With that sentiment in mind, I wanted to build a tool, NextRead, that would solve a constant pain for many readers, “what should I read next?” NextRead is a sleek reading list and book recommendations site powered by the Goodreads API and the Typeahead Javascript library. Hear a book recommended on a podcast? Add it to your NextRead list on the go! In the event you’ve read all the books in your reading list, curated lists (scraped with Beautiful Soup from the Listopia community) are displayed next to each reading list based on each list’s subject.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Jinja, SQL, SQLAlchemy, Beautiful Soup, Typeahead, HTML/CSS

APIs Used:

Goodreads API


Are you ready to get started with your career in tech? In honor of #WomensMonth, Hackbright Academy is offering $1,500 and $500 tuition scholarships for the 12-week immersive program and Hackbright Prep Part-Time. Deadline for full-time is 5/5, part-time 5/26!

How To Interview A New Programmer

Beth Andres-Beck is a senior software engineer at the Long-Term Stock Exchange. She is a full-stack developer, having written code for everything from HTML5 hybrid mobile applications to GPU-accelerated computer vision software. Her passions include mentorship, game theory and participating in cultures that sustainably build great software. Prior to LTSE, Beth worked at Hillary For America, Twitter and TripAdvisor. 

Beth shares her experience with Hackbright on recruiting and interviewing bootcamp grads. Follow her on Twitter at @bethcodes.

With a candidate straight out of bootcamp, what I’m actually evaluating is how long I think they are going to be under my mentorship before they will be a net-positive.  That number depends a lot on what we’re trying to do and who is available to mentor.  I am confident that I can teach almost anyone how to program, so the question I’m trying to answer in an interview is how much time it is going to take and how positive the experience is going to be, for both of us.

As an interviewer, I look for signals on how fast the developer will incorporate feedback:

  • Can they write code iteratively? Do they verify that each step works before moving on to the next step, as opposed to trying to plan everything up front and get it right the first time? (The second approach doesn’t scale to larger challenges as well as the first, and shorter feedback cycles let people learn faster.)
  • Do they ask questions if they don’t understand something?
  • When told a better way to do something, say that they understand and agree that that way is better, do they then do it the better way the next time it comes up?
  • Do they have an aesthetic opinion of code? Do they care about the code they write? Can they tolerate writing ugly code until they find a better way?
  • Can they express their decisions in terms of trade offs? People who think there is one right answer will have a harder time learning and adapting.
  • Do they stick with a task, trying different ways to achieve it, even if none of them are right? I prefer that to either continuing to do something that isn’t working, or abandoning the task and giving up. Persistence is an excellent virtue in a programmer.
  • Do they seem to enjoy the process of getting something wrong, and learning from it? (This can be hard to judge in a high-stress situation, so I ask questions about problems they’ve encountered to see if they have had that experience in the past). 

Then I look for signals on how well they would collaborate here:

  • Can they express themselves concisely, or do they ramble?
  • Do they treat everyone they meet with respect?
  • Are they willing to compromise their own opinions for the sake of consistency?
  • Are they able to work under our cultural values? (At my current position, for example, those values include proactively seeking out diversity in recruiting, iterative product development and reasonable work-life balance. Someone who wants to feel like their job is their whole life, wants project specifications to be created up front or who values meritocracy over diversity will be a better fit at a different company.) This is the dreaded “culture fit”, but by articulating those values in specific terms it isn’t a generic catch-all for “do I like this person?”
  • Can my company provide what they are looking for and avoid anything they hate?

Only then do I look for particular skills.  I’m trying to figure out if a programmer can:

  • Read code in whatever language they know and express opinions about it
  • Write a function performing a simple iterative loop in a browser code environment
  • Describe code they have written
  • Find a problem by running code and somehow identifying which piece is failing (using a debugger, log statements or writing tests: I don’t care which, but bonus points for useful tests.)
  • Name variables meaningful names
  • Break down a mid-sized problem into a series of achievable steps

The challenge is that it is almost impossible to judge these things by looking at a resume. I can either have an inside line on the bootcamps to get recommendations from someone who knows my style and what I’m looking for in a candidate, or I have to actually talk to basically every graduate at a bootcamp recruiting event. Oftentimes I end up filtering largely arbitrary criteria just to try to make the problem manageable. I try to signal things that I think are important early and openly, because if candidates who won’t thrive in my company weed themselves out without losing the candidates who will, it saves both of us a bunch of time. 

As The Interviewer, Ask *Relevant* Questions

The important thing is to figure out how well a candidate is going to do in the specific situation, rather than trying to judge them on some absolute scale. What kind of support a particular company has available for boot camp graduates and which skills are important for someone to be successful at a particular organization are related questions.

Quite often, companies haven’t thought through the actual tasks involved in the jobs they are hiring for, which makes evaluating candidates extremely challenging.  If we don’t know what is important for success, we can’t judge whether people meet that criteria. 

When I’ve worked to redesign interview processes, it often starts by sitting down and asking developers what they did that morning.

It almost always includes writing a little code, reading a bunch of code, debugging existing code, and then either chatting on Slack, sending emails or sitting in meetings. Then these companies want to go and interview the people they are hiring on how well they compose algorithms, when ~0% of their work time is spent on that.

I do want people to be able to write code (not algorithms, but a basic for-loop with varying behavior), but I also like to see them approach some code they aren’t familiar with and see how they read it, which questions they ask, whether they have opinions about, what feels pretty and what feels messy. I love getting intern-level code reviews: one of the values to me of working with junior developers is that they give me feedback I can’t get from others who have become inured to the problems of our languages.

As The Hiring Manager, Set Up The New Hire For Success

legosI always want an interview process that a programmer who will enjoy working at my company will come out of feeling excited and energized to join my company.  I want them to know what the work and team dynamics are going to be like, and have a chance to decide if that’s what they are looking for.  The more I can make the interview process match our day-to-day work, the more likely it is that we will be able to find a mutual fit.

For more advice on interviewing and recruiting from engineering bootcamps, click here