We look for Junior Engineers who have a strong background in another discipline. A trend that we've picked up on is a lot of Juniors with experience in Customer Service end up being very successful. Most likely it's because they can put themselves in our customers shoes. And they have good experience learning products.
In a candidates first interview, we look for enthusiasm, how well they have researched the company (shows real interest) and overall team fit/personality. In terms of code, we are looking for a clear understanding of key concepts in their code (whether it be professional, personal projects, bootcamp projects). These concepts usually include DRY, understanding of CRUD, testing.
Once they've been approved by the team (we are a team of 4 engineers) - we make candidates build out a simple CRUD Rails App. Basically creating short links from website urls. And then having the ability to send those short links via SMS text. We allow as much time as needed for the candidates to complete (within reason). We also give full control over design, code, testing and more. This gives us a true understanding of how the person thinks and what their true understanding of basic concepts is. We usually don't even say you need testing or anything, just to see if they end up writing tests.
We are not big fans of in-person coding. When a candidate has completed the project, even if it is not up to our standard, we usually like to sit with these people and cover why they should be doing xyz while including things that we liked with the project.
But overall it's enthusiasm. The great thing with juniors is that you have a chance to mold their mind. And hopefully it's the first real production codebase they will be working with - so it's a great chance to really get a junior thinking their way around your codebase and the way you want them too. It truly is awesome. I love hiring junior talent and seeing them grow. We actually just send our Customer Service lead to dev bootcamp - and she starts full-time on the development team in August! We are super excited.
That's great to hear as a junior dev with a wealth of customer service experience.
Where do I sign up!! 10 years of customer service & management experience trying to make the switch to developing! Lol. Nah for real though it gives me more hope for me that I can eventually land a gig in software engineering. Been working hard for over a year now! Can’t stop me now!
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