Looking for World Class Back End Rock Stars or Ninjas

For the exciting Google Reader Clone project also known as “The Clone project” we are looking for passionate world class back-end developers. The clone project seeks to emulate the famous online RSS reader created by Google. The magic number of the day seems to be seven, so let’s say we need at least seven developers like yesterday. We require the candidates to have at least seven years of proven industry experience.

Your responsibilities:

  • Create back-end services from scratch. We have no developers yet unfortunately.
  • Clearly communicate with the yet to be hired front-end developers in order to create a fully functional Google Reader clone within months.
  • Build social discovery and recommendation features using the latest machine learning algorithms.
  • Maintain and troubleshoot the software in production.

Required skills, experience and knowledge:

  • You should be able to code in at least seven popular programming languages like Python, C++, Java, Scala, Perl, Go or Ruby. As proof please send us your solutions of as many Project Euler  problems as possible.
  • Experience is required  with relational databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Sybase, Oracle, SQL Server, DB 2 and SQLite. Also you need to know NoSQL databases such as MongoDB, Redis, Couchbase, Cassandra and others.
  • Knowledge of design patterns and Test Driven Development.
  • Working knowledge of statistics, Big Data, Cloud computing and machine learning algorithms.
  • Able to work with a tiny laptop in a coffee shop.

Optional skills and expertise:

  • Front-end experience.
  • Active in open source projects.
  • Spent thousands of hours playing World of Warcraft online.

As stated above we require you to send us the code of your Project Euler solutions as well as a resume, Definition of Done and cover letter in Word format. Additionally you are required to give details if applicable about your Github, StackOverflow, open source projects and social media accounts in order to review your portfolio. Reference and background checks that are barely legal will be part of the hiring process. The interviewing procedure consists of an hour long detailed phone interview, a psychological aptitude and personality test, a fairly involved coding assignment, and a face to face interview in a coffee shop (we don’t have an office yet).


How It Works

Texts like these are quite common. This one doesn’t explain too much about the product, but does give you a bit of an idea what to expect. Except you don’t learn anything at all about the working condition. In fact, you might be worried that the hiring company can’t even afford an office. You get no idea about what the company is like.

I think that the procedure outlined above is pretty standard. Startups want to have someone, who can fit in the company and has a lot of knowledge and experience. Unfortunately trying to find somebody like that is more of a trial and error  process. Most times they will fail. Even a trial period doesn’t guarantee success, unless the trial period is close to an year.


It’s a well known scientific fact that smart people cheat. First, special websites and books exist that can help you cram for the interview. In fact some companies give you recommendations on the best websites and books prior to the actual interview. Usually the interviewers ask basic questions about algorithms and data structures. Or if you are in luck, they ask you to write a “Hello World” type program. Second, it’s almost trivial to pass psychological tests. Third, you can probably ask a friend to help you with the coding assignment. Or you can hire somebody to do the coding for you. Outsourcing – Bob from Verizon knows everything about that.

The problem is that even if you can ignore outsourcing and external help, none of your questions can be representative of actual real world scenarios. If your candidate has done nontrivial amount of work (let’s say ten thousand lines of code or more) for an open source project with proven track record, then his or her skills are pretty much guaranteed. Of course, you should review that code, but you will probably wonder why he or she wants to work for you in the first place. How come that he or she was able to write so much code? Will he or she continue to work on her or his project while working for you? This could be a problem if there is no overlap.

Eventually you will either end up with world class cheaters who can’t code or people who are really good. I leave it up to you to decide, which option is more likely. Based on my research and knowledge of economics I would say that rock star developers, probably will not even respond to a job ad like the one above.

Disclaimer: currently we have collected only ten percent of our target funding. Employment is not guaranteed yet. We have tried to avoid sexist  and otherwise offensive remarks.

Announcements for March 23, 2013


By the author of NumPy Beginner's Guide, NumPy Cookbook and Instant Pygame. If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
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