At @readme, we do technical interviews very differently. We ask everyone to bring their own project to work on.

It could be a new feature for a side project, starting something new, or contributing to open source.

🧵 Here’s a thread on how it works and why we do it! ⬇️
Rather than asking candidates to solve a new problem, I get so much more out of watching them work in their own environment. They're solving a problem they care about in a codebase they know, which mimics how working with them will be a few months in.
We can talk about tradeoffs and design decisions, and I get a real sense of how they think… not just what came to mind first while they’re nervous in an interview. People tend to be much more relaxed and excited, and perform significantly better.
Some things I've seen:

💬 Add realtime chat
💁‍♀️ Redo a personal site
🗄 Add admin features to a site
🎓 Learn GraphQL or React
🐞 Fix bugs
🎮 Add a level to a game
📝 Work on another company's interview assignment (hey, why not!)
It’s fine that I don’t know “the solution”. It makes me much more present, rather than watching the same problem being solved over and over again. And if I'm expecting interviewees (who are nervous!) to learn and understand my codebase/problem, why can't I do the same for theirs?
It also highlights communication. If someone can explain to me a project they're working on well, then they probably can do the same while we're working together. And that's just as important of a skill as writing code.
I’ve had people write code in languages I’ve never heard of, or solve problems I’ve never thought about. That’s okay! I ask them to walk me through what they’re doing, and it’s pretty easy to get a sense of if they know what they’re talking about or not.
It’s an “unfair” advantage we have as a small company! We can rate people based on whatever criteria they believe gives them the best chance, and we can find a ton of great people that maybe wouldn’t make it through a traditional hiring interview at a larger company.
Logistically, we give everyone enough information about how to prepare and what to bring. We answer questions beforehand, of course!

The session takes an hour. We make it clear we don’t expect people to finish. It’s the journey we’re interested in, not the end result.
Not everyone has a side project or an idea or the energy to start something new. That’s okay! We have a bunch of projects ready to go and don’t judge them negatively for it.

The same goes for providing laptops to people without them (pre-COVID).
Everyone agrees technical interviews suck, yet nobody seems to do them differently.

We put a lot of time into thinking about our technical interview process, because we want everyone interviewing to show us the best version of themselves! 🦉

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More from @gkoberger

2 Oct 20
I've recently been doing a bunch of live conference talks via Zoom, and thought it would be fun to go all-out on hacking together a teleprompter that…

🕹 controls the slides,
📽 camera angles,
🚀 demos
🚦 and lights
📝 all via Dropbox Paper

Here’s how I built it ⬇️🧵⬇️
I missed out on a trip to 🇦🇺 Australia due to COVID… but at least I don’t have to memorize my talk now!

Teleprompters are just tilted glass, with an iPad below it. The glass reflects the iPad, but the camera can still record clearly through it. I bought mine on Amazon for $164. Image
For the iPad version, let's give it a black background with big white text, and flip it using CSS:

transform: scaleX(-1);

I promise it gets more interesting than this!
Read 15 tweets

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