Below is an article originally written by Kahne Raja, Lead Engineer at PowerToFly Partner Stash, and published on March 26, 2018. Go to Stash's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
- Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell
- Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Uncle Bob
- Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck
- Stash Invest Careers. Join us!
If you love clean code and you want to help disrupt the fintech industry, then look no further!
Recently, we here at Stash have upped our recruitment game. Over the past few months, I've seen the company double with an outstanding crew of new engineers who truly care about what they do and how they do it. We are dealing with scale issues on all fronts and we need your help!
The mission at Stash is clear. Build financial systems that work for everyone — not just the wealthy.
It's a big challenge and we have a long way to go. A big part of that is growing the team with the right people.
As an engineer at Stash myself, I regularly host technical interviews. Here are some of my notes on what it takes to pass our first stage code pairing challenge.
Back to basics.
Interview preparation takes weeks… even months. Do it in batches and do it well. Enjoy the nostalgia. Enjoy the beauty of math.
Your regular tech work life patterns and practices are important but quite often they are not so helpful when doing interviews. Here are some ideas to help you prepare for the engineering interview at Stash:
- Read Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell.
- Read Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck.
- Watch as much Uncle Bob talking about SOLID principles as possible.
- Ask a friend to test you at a whiteboard over lunch.
- Choose a language and get comfortable with it (without an IDE).
Our first line of code.
When I sit down with you to pair online @coderpad, this is what I am looking for:
- A focus on data structures and algorithms.
- At least one passing unit test.
- A simplification of complex ideas.
I want you to start by slicing off a single conditional in two to three lines of code. Something we can compile, run, test, and discuss.
Example challenge: Leap Year.
Problem statement: write a function that returns true or false depending on whether its input integer is a leap year or not.
If we can get to this place within a few minutes, that is a great start! We should then be able to complete a number of variations within 10 to 20 lines of code.
Try to avoid spending too much time on the following:
- Web app / CRUD design patterns like Controllers and Repositories.
- Database structures and persistence strategies.
- Language comparisons and platform specific features.
After each interview, I assess candidates on the following metrics. Ability to think on your feet, communication, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, debugging, speed, management of competing priorities, organizational skills, and test driven.
Following this initial online code pairing session, you'll be invited in for a half day session with a number of colleagues.
At Stash, extreme programming and solid principles are at the heart of what we do. We move fast and embrace change.
Please don't hesitate to hit me up on twitter — @kahneraja. I'm always happy to help a candidate get ready for an awesome new career at Stash.
Below is an article originally written by Alyse Borkan at PowerToFly Partner Casper, and published on February 17, 2017. Go to Casper's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
You sleep on it every night, but you probably don't stay up thinking about what goes into making a mattress comfortable. The same way a car is designed to drive smoothly on rough terrain and a laptop is engineered to load 30 internet tabs quickly, a mattress is meticulously created to sleep comfortably, support your entire body, and maintain its form for years to come.
Our renowned 30 person engineering team spends their days and nights in a lab researching foam compositions, testing new products, and discovering comfort. They are some of the best in the industry and their work continues to be applauded.
Want to learn more about them?
1. Our world-class product team came to Casper from Apple, Google, and IDEO.
2. Collectively, the team holds more than 50 patents!
3. The product team spent 9 months visiting 15 factories to test and understand the properties of 100+ foam samples before they fully designed the Casper mattress. They didn't leave a single material untouched.
4. When was the last time you heard about someone beta testing a mattress? Before Casper launched, we invited people from all walks of life to A/B test our most promising prototypes. We built beds that had two different constructions on each side to make it easy to test differences. Beta testers slept on one side while tracking their sleep, and then the other.
5. Casper has won way more awards than your average mattress. We've been named Fast Company's Most Innovative Company, Time Magazine's Best Invention of 2015, Digiday's Most Innovative Brand of 2016, and Casper products have taken home high honors from IDSA. That's the Industrial Designers Society of America.
6. The product team has spent the last two years making the most intricate adjustments to the Casper mattress. They have added a new fourth transition layer to soften the Casper at even its deepest layers. They've worked with a renowned polymer chemist to make our base foam more durable. They've made sure the Casper can retrain its outrageously comfortable feel in all climates and atmospheres.
8. The team has inspired millions at conferences across the globe. Jeff spoke at TedXchange, the WIRED UK conference, and Hustle Con. Neil, Casper co-founder and COO, has spoken at Fast Company's Design by Innovation Festival and Samsung's 837 pop-up alongside Padma Lakshmi and Lauren Bush. Neil is one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business, he was named on Forbes 30 under 30 and was invited to speak in Israel at the global 30 Under 30 Summit.