The Hunt for Engineers: Expensify and the surprisingly difficult challenge of finding the right people
As many of our regular readers have probably noticed, we’ve been mentioning here and there for quite some time that we are in the market for new employees. And as we’ve said before, we’re taking a drastically slower route toward hiring than many startups do. But we’re being extra picky about who we hire, because we’re trying to preserve two things that are very important to us:
- the integrity of our product, and
- the corporate culture we’ve very carefully crafted
In other words, not just any Computer Science major will do. In fact, we don’t even care if you have a college degree. We don’t care if you’re a U.S. citizen.
What we do care about?
- a great work ethic, almost to the point that some of your friends might call you masochistic. We work long, hard hours doing what we love, and if you’re the kind of person who wants to clock out at 5:00 or spend half the day surfing LOLCats, this isn’t the place for you.
- a great character: fair, honest, with a decent sense of humor, and absolutely zero drama. Please, we get enough drama from watching Dexter.
- talented and fast at picking new things up: you should be technologically multilingual, with the kind of intellectual flexibility that would make Neo’s bullet-avoiding backbend in The Matrix look like your grandma doing the limbo on a geriatric cruise. This doesn’t just apply to programming, though we demand a high level of talent and capability in that arena, for sure: what else are you good at? Can you speak in front of a group? Explain multiple step processes to your luddite relatives? Make a mean seven-layer dip? In essence, what else are you bringing to the table?
- ambition: you’ve got to have it. We don’t want Expensify to be your final resting place; that’s just not how this industry works. We want people who are mobile, constantly looking for a next great project, working on side projects of their own, and with big plans for the future. And we want to help you get there, too.
Generally, we’ve found that our best applicants also have the following in common:
- programming experience from way before their college years
- a zest for adventure – everyone on staff is a world traveler, and have what one of our engineers referred to as a “willingness to get into trouble”
- curriculum vitae that extend far beyond the classroom and the office: your most impressive work was probably done for the fun of it, anywhere from a junior high school bedroom to an exotic beach somewhere (our preferred location)
The point we’re trying to make is: the expectations are high, but the rewards are higher, and if you think you’ve got what it takes, we’d love to hear from you. We’ll sponsor a visa, buy your lunches, and propel your career to the next level – if you’re the right fit.