Saturday, January 10, 2009

A look inside the Rubicon Project

In late November / early December I was in an interview room with Karim and a potential hire. This was the end of a long day for everyone* and when we asked the candidate if he had any questions for us, he asked an excellent question, "What don't you like here?"

I was a bit taken aback. I really like that style of question, but that's not what surprised me. What surprised me was that I didn't have a ready answer. And then I thought about it, and looked at Karim, and realized my only answers were, "Everything that I've been annoyed with, I've brought up and we are in the process of fixing," and then a weak answer of "We do a lot of interviews, and they take a lot of time that I could be spending coding." That's an excellent question and it felt really great to not have anything to complain about.

I realized that if the worst part of my job was talking to talented candidates to find awesome coworkers, I must have a pretty sweet gig. And I do.


* Our interviews are long and involved.

Now, they're not at the Microsoft or Google multiday level, but they are about half a day of heavy questioning. I'd say three rounds of interviews from your peer engineers, one from head of Development, and lastly a "culture interview" which is traditionally with the CEO or COO.

We want to find good coders who are also team players with good attitude. And they should have a basic vocabulary of design patterns and deep language knowledge of their preferred coding language.