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Hiring Engineers with Ammon Bartram
This is an AI-generated summary of a YouTube video "Hiring Engineers with Ammon Bartram" by Y Combinator!

Companies should prioritize hiring engineers with diverse skill sets and focus on practical problem-solving skills and consistency in the interview process to accurately assess potential employees.

  • 💼
    Companies should aim to hire engineers with diverse skill sets to meet their specific needs, as different companies prioritize productivity or strong academics, causing confusion in the hiring process.
    • Almond Bartram, co-founder of Socialcam and Triplebyte, shares his experience with hiring and the challenges of the hiring process.
    • Recruiting startup helps match engineers with companies, and early-stage startups should decide what they want to look for in an engineer.
    • Companies have different definitions of what a good engineer is, causing confusion and noise in the hiring process.
    • Companies should aim to identify and hire engineers with a diverse range of skills, as different companies may prioritize productivity or strong academics depending on their specific needs.
  • 👨‍💻
    Hiring engineers based solely on specific skills can limit organizational growth, experience matters more than education, and problem-solving skills are crucial for evaluating potential employees.
    • When interviewing engineers, it's important to avoid asking only about the skills that you think are most important, as this can lead to a narrow focus and limit the growth of the organization.
    • When hiring engineers, experience matters more than where they got their education, whether it's from a CS degree or a bootcamp.
    • The ability to quickly solve small problems is a key factor in evaluating potential employees, but experience and decision-making skills are also important for solving larger, more complex problems over a longer period of time.
    • Experience is often used as a proxy for skill in job interviews, but it's easier to pass as a junior engineer with less experience than as a senior engineer with more experience.
    • The evaluation process for programming skills includes solving algorithmic problems, testing academic computer science knowledge, and debugging a large code base.
    • The lecture covers the skill of adapting system design to changing requirements and discussing trade-offs, with a focus on remote work.
  • 🔍
    Google has found that brain teasers are not effective in assessing programming skills and asking easy interview questions is often more predictive of engineering skill.
    • Google's interview reviews are about two hours long, and they have done about 2,000 interviews over the last year and a half, which has allowed them to drill down on the most predictive parts and cut down on time.
    • Brain teasers are not effective in assessing programming skills and there is less correlation than expected between candidates' answers.
    • There is a significant amount of disagreement among interviewers during the interview process for engineers, and knowing that an engineer did well at one company does not necessarily indicate their overall skill level.
    • Bigger companies rely more on brain teasers in interviews to measure innate ability, while smaller companies focus on specific skills and experience.
    • Asking easy interview questions is often more predictive of engineering skill than asking harder questions, as it provides signal on whether the candidate can come up with the right answer and whether they can solve the problem easily.
    • The lecture covers two problems: word segmentation using a dictionary and optimizing a graph source problem with memorization in programming.
  • 👨‍💻
    Focus on improving general problem-solving skills and classic computer science concepts, practice under stress, and don't worry too much about side projects or failing interviews.
    • To prepare for engineering interviews, focus on improving your general problem-solving skills rather than just memorizing specific technical knowledge.
    • New grads should focus on mastering classic computer science concepts like breadth-first search and hash tables, and practice writing code under stress to improve their performance.
    • Practice solving motor vessel situations with time limits using online resources like Socratic coding and Cake, as many companies prefer to measure max potential rather than algorithm knowledge during interviews.
    • Companies like Facebook are providing interview prep classes for applicants, which is encouraging but also discouraging as it filters for those who need hand-holding, and practicing for brainteaser questions is helpful for interviews.
    • Companies often ask difficult and sometimes seemingly irrelevant questions during interviews, but it's important to remember that failing an interview doesn't necessarily mean you lack skill.
    • Companies don't pay much attention to side projects except for at the screening stage.
  • 💼
    Companies overlook the value of side projects in the interview process, despite their potential to improve skills and performance.
    • Companies use resume screens to filter out candidates based on credentials, such as top company or school experience, but rarely consider side projects in the actual interview process.
    • Juniors working with proprietary code need a consistent and fair process to optimize their work.
    • Side projects can be useful for increasing skills and improving performance in interviews, but they don't have a big role in the actual interview process.
  • 🔍
    Directly measuring skills is crucial for accurate hiring, and companies should focus on practical skills and consistency in their interview process to reduce bias.
    • Directly measuring skills is important to avoid relying on crude filters like work experience or education, and location can be a factor for smaller companies but not for larger ones.
    • Interviewing for programming jobs can be done through various methods, but the core problem lies in the tension between solving small problems quickly in an interview versus being able to solve a project over a long period of time, and one approach is to do trial employment.
    • Trial employment is a better way to assess someone's skills, but it has biases and limitations.
    • Evaluating engineers through inconsistent processes and gut calls is fundamentally inaccurate and leads to a significant source of noise.
    • To reduce bias in hiring, companies should be consistent in their interview process and value all candidates equally, regardless of what they are asking, and adjust over time based on results.
    • Companies should consciously decide what kind of engineers they want to hire and design their hiring process accordingly, rather than making similar decisions by accident, and should focus on practical skills rather than academic skills when hiring for coding positions.
  • 👨‍💻
    Triple prioritizes data analysis skills and breadth of knowledge in their hiring process, with a focus on excitement for the company's mission and job rather than just a high salary.
    • Triple's hiring process involves a regular stream of candidates from various sources, including edits companies.
    • They prioritize data analysis skills and breadth of knowledge in their hiring process.
    • The hiring process involves a standard process followed by additional follow-up, which includes specific tasks for the role being hired for, and as an engineer, it's important to pay attention to a medium amount of new developments.
    • Staying up-to-date with modern technology is important in the long term, especially if you plan on starting your own business.
    • Engineer retention is higher for candidates who are excited about the company's mission and job rather than those who are solely chasing a nice paycheck.
    • Interviews that focus on past projects and technical details are less predictive of job performance than giving candidates a programming assignment.
  • 📝
    Be compassionate and avoid hazing during interviews, switch to teaching mode when necessary, limit interviewers to two, and use a decision tree to determine allowed help.
    • Adding a decision tree with thousands of variations makes it easier for anyone to review and determine what help is allowed or not allowed.
    • Be aware of the potential negative effects of interviews, such as unintentional steering and hazing, and approach them with compassion and friendliness.
    • Avoid hazing and taking out anger on others, as it is not worth damaging repetition and can be embarrassing.
    • When interviewees are struggling, switch to teaching mode and focus on explaining the answer rather than continuing to elicit responses, and limit the number of interviewers to two to reduce stress.
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Hiring Engineers with Ammon Bartram
This is an AI-generated summary of a YouTube video "Hiring Engineers with Ammon Bartram" by Y Combinator!