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Talent Sourcing Trends

BuzzFeed’s Director Of Engineering On How He Screens Developers

PowerToFly interviewed BuzzFeed’s Director of Engineering, Clément Huyghebaert, on what to look for when hiring remote developers.


1. The main thing is good communication. If you can’t communicate with the remotes properly, it’s going to be an issue, even if they’re extremely good. How quickly can they answer simple questions? It doesn’t have to be complicated if English isn’t their first language. But, I do look for some control over the English language. That’s priority no. 1.

2. The second thing I look for is attitude. I find that I’ve often had people start complaining about other projects they’re working on, fixing other people’s code and that kind of stuff. For me, that’s a bad sign. It’s always part of the job, you’re always going to have to fix someone’s code at least once a day. It’s part of being a developer. If you’re complaining, that’s a no-no.

3. I’m looking for excitement — about our own projects at BuzzFeed, but also tech in general. I always ask, “Tell me about the project you’re most proud of, whether it’s for work or something on the side.” It gives me an idea of what they’re excited about and how to talk about it.

4. We give them homework after the interview that will introduce them to our code base so that it will give them an idea of what they’ll be working on and us an idea of how they’re working.

5. Being open to new technologies is a plus. Our backend is built in Perl, which is not a very sexy language these days, but it does great things — we’re not switching away from it. Sometimes it cools people off because it’s not the latest, bright thing. Understanding that you can make any product using any type of technology is key. It’s about how you use the technology rather than the technology itself.

6. They need to be proactive. Because I’m a manager, I have 10–15 projects going on at once. It’s better when they keep me updated on what they’re doing, rather than me having to check in.

7. Being curious, inquisitive is a good thing. I like when people like to try new things within our app. Some people will start as frontend and then they’ll want to do backend. I like that. It shows they’re interested, and they want to learn more and that they’re not bored.

popular

How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.

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5 Things All Product Managers Should Do for Their Engineers (And Vice Versa)

Tips from SeatGeek's Anuja Chavan

When Anuja Chaven turns on a fan in her house in Jersey City, she can't help but think about how every piece of it works.

"There are an extensive amount of things that have to go perfectly at the same time," says the former engineer (and current product manager at live event ticketing platform SeatGeek).

It was that interest in understanding how things actually worked that drove Anuja to study engineering—first electrical, during her undergrad in India, and then computer science, during her master's program in the U.S.

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Pluralsight

The Secrets to Balancing Work and Family Life

3 Pieces of Advice from Working Moms at Pluralsight

Being fully committed to work and family is a challenge that many working parents have to take on. It can be exhausting and thankless pursuing a fulfilling full-time career, while taking an active role as a parent. Achieving a healthy balance can help keep you motivated and productive at work, while allowing you to be fully present when you're home.

We recently chatted with working moms at technology skills platform, Pluralsight, about their best advice for striking that elusive work-life balance. Here were their key points:

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Plex

How to Make the Most of Being on a Growing Team: 3 Tips from Plex’s Adriana Bosinceanu

When the startup Adriana Bosinceanu was working for got acquired, things changed fast.

She went from being one of eight engineers on a small team building a streaming service to joining a company that was five times larger and had a much bigger scope.

That company was Plex, where Adriana has been working remotely as a software engineer for the last four and a half years.

As her team grew from two people to ten, Adriana decided to lean into the opportunity to grow; along the way, she found herself deepening her technical skills, her self-confidence, and her relationships. We sat down with Adriana to learn exactly how she did that, and to hear the tips she has for other engineers experiencing growth opportunities on their team.

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popular

What These Companies Are Doing to Celebrate Juneteenth 2021

*Updated on June 17th, 2021 to reflect Juneteenth officially being named a Federal Holiday in the U.S.*

Juneteenth has been celebrated by African-Americans since the late 1800s, but in recent years (particularly in response to global protests over police brutality and the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans), there has been a surge in interest in the day that celebrates freedom.

Before it became an official federal holiday, many businesses shifted toward marking June 19th as an annual company holiday, creating different initiatives around the holiday and offering employees opportunities to learn, reflect, and take action toward racial equality.

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