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How We Build Our Agile Engineering Team

By
July 16, 2016
Great people make great teams which make great products
 
Building a Great Engineering Team starts with Great Technical Recruitment.
 
I believe that people are the most important element of any organization. Other factors- industries, margins, automation, etc. are of course impactful, but people can, when encouraged, move the needle every time.
But people are complex.  They can introduce problems even as they solve them. Candidates should be screened for a wide range of capabilities and traits. We created the Codility Platform to help determine coding expertise, problem-solving skills, and time management.
I recently presented at an AgileByExample meetup and described how my company, Codility and I approach finding, assessing and onboarding top programming talent.
 
Where do we start? The Hiring Process: 
 
Like most tech companies, we're always on the lookout for talent, and constantly recruiting. In doing so, there are a few guiding principles we hold which make us a little different:
  • We assess and evaluate each candidate independently.   If we have four great candidates that each passed our assessment, we move them all forward.  
  • We also look at the serial ranking of all candidates based on their test performance.  We do this to understand the expertise level of the talent pool, the difficulty of our tests, and the number of qualified applicants we’ve engaged.   We don’t set a limit on how many applicants we’ll move through to in-person interviews.  As I mentioned above, we move any qualified applicants forward, regardless how many we find.  (In fact, the more, the better!).
The Codility recruiting team is rock solid, so we're fortunate to have a steady stream of strong candidates. Using our Platform, we can then ensure that those candidates sourced by our recruiting team have the minimum skills and expertise we require for each position. After assessments, we can dig in and better understand each candidate’s personality, aspirations and interests. 
 
We want the candidate to get to know us too, how we work, what we're great at, and what we want to improve. It's important to us that every candidate can make a thoughtful decision, and understands our company and our expectations for the role.
 
Our hiring decisions are not made in isolation. There is a team who must reach consensus on whether they want to bring the candidate into the team. We require a “yes” from each stakeholder before we make an offer.  We value diversity at Codility, and embrace different backgrounds and perspectives because we believe diversity strengthens the team, or culture and the solutions we offer.  
 
Our Average Recruiting Pipeline
 
Where do we go?  
 
Working at Codility: 
 
At Codility we’re committed to creating and maintaining a creative, collaborative working environment.  This is true for every part of our organization, from Sales and Marketing to Support and Operations.  It’s especially true in development.  We’ve built a culture that rewards innovation and teamwork, where every contributor plays a part in our ongoing success.
 
For us this means:
  • Embracing a relatively flat organization.
    We don't have multiple levels of management in Engineering.  Officially each individual reports to me, but because we’re team-oriented most decisions get made at the group level.
  • Focusing on experimentation and new approaches.
    We encourage each team member to experiment and innovate in order to improve our platform and enrich the user experience for our customers.  
  • Encourage creativity.
    We host hack-days and hack-weeks to keep everyone fresh and motivated.  We solicit input from everyone in the company on what features and enhancements they think will improve our product, and reward the most innovative, exciting ideas.
We'd love to hear what you and your company do to keep things fresh and engaging for employees and customers alike. Come to codility.com and start a conversation or a free trial!