Engineers have a notoriously low tolerance for "marketing speak," so, for those software developers considering coming to work at LinkSquares, here's some straightforward advice on how to land a job with us. TL;DR it's all about culture.
Now, when most engineers hear the buzzword "culture," they usually do some quick social media searches to find out what the dominant nerd pastime among the company's current engineers is; fantasy football, ping pong, and Dungeons & Dragons being examples of the type. Combine that with a rundown on the company's tech stack and preferred flavor of Agile software development and the average engineer feels like they have a good handle on an organization's "engineering culture." Enough to ace an interview, at least.
That sort of cookie-cutter interview preparation doesn't really cut it at LinkSquares. Our culture is different, because we don't have a single culture. Yes, we have passionate D&D players, but only a subset of our engineers participate. The same goes for the in-house fantasy football league and our table tennis aficionados; no single hobby is embraced by the majority or our engineers, nor is any particular set of personal interests required for cultural acceptance at LinkSquares. Everybody does their own thing, and we like it that way.
We prioritize other aspects of our culture. And if you want a job here (and you do, because we're going to spend our Series A money on hiring good people to do challenging, interesting work), you should be comfortable with each of the following:
- Caring more about the customer than the coolest new framework
Our job is to deliver value to the customer every day. We solve their problems and make their lives easier. Software is just a means to an end. If you get excited about making the customer excited, LinkSquares may be a good fit for you.
- A sense of urgency
Our job is to deliver value every day. Not tomorrow, not next week, and not next quarter. Today. If you have a sense of urgency to solve problems and deliver functionality quickly and see your code in action ASAP, LinkSquares will feel like home.
Two heads are better than one; many hands make light work; with enough eyes, all bugs are shallow. These are more than just poster-slogans at LinkSquares. We collaborate everyday on almost everything. We use peer code review, not because we don't trust each other, but because it makes everyone's code better. Engineering regularly consults with Design to brainstorm solutions because it makes for better solutions. If you like all-star team-ups and learning from those around you, LinkSquares is your happy place.
The regulatory environment changes. The technology environment changes. The economic environment changes. Pandemics happen. LinkSquares -- like all startups -- thrives by being nimble, so engineering projects can shift direction (or be shut down entirely) pretty fast. You have to be OK with seeing your hard-earned software improvements put aside when new projects are prioritized (or when pandemics hit and we have to adjust our engineering roadmap for a Zoom-centric short-term future). If you are always ready and willing to move onto the next big challenge, LinkSquares will give you that opportunity.
If you're down with these four aspects of our culture, you'll be welcome at the LinkSquares game table any time (regardless of which game we're talking about).
So, beyond your familiarity with Scrum and your solid grasp of Ruby on Rails, GraphQL and ReactJS, how do you demonstrate your "cultural fit" in a LinkSquares job interview?
- Brush up on your "soft skills"
Don't just prepare for the technical side of the interview. Be ready to demonstrate how you'd collaborate in meetings, review a peer's code, and handle disagreements without becoming disagreeable.
- Arm yourself with anecdotes
We just gave you the interview cheat codes with our cultural outline above. So, when your interviewer asks, "tell us about a time you prioritized customer value" you should already have an answer ready.
- Be a video star
In the current pandemic, every business runs on Zoom or an equivalent video-conference tool. Be ready to show you can communicate clearly, pay attention to others, and contribute effectively over a screen-camera-headset combo.
If the culture we've outlined sounds like a good fit for you -- and you're ready to start building some next-generation artificial intelligence applications at a well-funded Boston startup -- then check out LinkSquares today.