I recently joined a startup , as a software engineer with a managerial role. We are currently growing so  I started to do interviews and recrute other software engineers. Now, I have access to different recruitment platforms to choose people from.

I did my first interview, being on the other side made me realize a lot about writing résumé, putting yourself out there for people to notice you. We engineers are trained to be good at technical things but very bad salesmen. You end up with these brilliant people that know how to do complicated things but they don’t have a clue how to present themselves.

The first interview:

The first person that interviewed is a friend of a developer that joined the team, he told him about the startup so he applied. He came 10mins earlier, a good thing, but what went after was not that great. He went to the new school founded by Xavier Niel, a known french entrepreneur. I told him that the interview is not formal, proposed a cup of water or coffee and started asking him question.

I noticed that he tried to put javascript/node in everything he said he did, his friend told him about our stack, so it is a good thing that he kinda prepared for this, I am saying kinda because when I started asking about fundamental computer science he missed all of them, networking, data structure, web browsers, etc.

He did not pass, more than that he does not have a clue what StackOverflow or Github are!

Ecole 42:

One of the developer in my team did this school, he is good with workflow, knows different standards of software development but from what I noticed they luck fundamental CS (CS101 classes). After talking with couple of developers and seeing their work, they have a very good knowledge about what is hot and what they should be using, methods to do software development, but they luck fundamentals in computer science.

I am not blaming the school BTW, I am a strong believer that schools are for raising people’s interest in subjects and it is up to that person to learn more about it. Schools don’t hold the gate of knowledge, you hold them by not looking for information.

Recruiting software engineers:

As a recruter it is very difficult to evaluate a person just by looking at a single or double page résumé. When you invite candidates to know them and understand their motivation, it is very rare that you find someone in the right state of mind.

Most of the platforms that I have access to are keywords based, and this is why I think this is a big problem. Keys words does not reflect the motivation neither the interest of people.

I am writing this article to really get feedback about how technical people recrute, because I don’t believe outsourcing is a good idea.

What do you think are the most important features/skills you look for in a candidate ?

How was my first interview ? How did I structured it ?

This is of course my own comprehension of what is most important in a software engineer. For me it is not related to the language you know, java, python or brainfuck. It is the meta-knowledge that you have.

The most important things that I would love to find in people that I am working with are:

  1. Getting better and learning every day.
  2. Team work and how to fit in a team.
  3. Fundamental computer science.
  4. Abstraction and the ability to see things differently.
  5. Motivation and interest in the subject.


We are hiring, send me an email to nouri @ this domain if you wanna know more.


Published on

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Full Stack Cloudiologist Mind

Back to Home