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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Myron Yao, Software Application Engineer

    Thanks for joining! Let’s start by talking about your educational background.  

    My Bachelor’s Degree is in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. I learned general software development principles but the most practically relevant language taught at the time was Java. I taught myself Javascript in two weeks on my first job to adapt to a role as a full-stack developer and continue to maintain a general interest in programming language design.

    Related: Code Your Career: Staying Competitive in the Developer Job Market (VIDEO)

    In terms of certifications, I completed a short course on the Google Cloud Platform while with my previous employer.

    Which, if any, educational opportunities, have made the biggest impact on your tech career? 

    I still highly appreciate my education at a traditional institution for equipping me with a high-level understanding of hardware, algorithms and data structures, concurrency, language design, parallelism, operating systems, distributed computing, and human-computer interfaces.

    Aside from equipping me to tackle complex and technically demanding design and debugging tasks in a large enterprise software system, my theoretical interest in how languages structure programming made me an enthusiastic adopter of new language standards. This includes the introduction of patterns of Functional programming to Java and Javascript.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I have a deep interest in physics and biology particularly as they relate to Neuroscience. AI really fascinates me. It’s not necessarily the statistical models currently driving a lot of the mainstream hype and economic development, but more so the biologically-inspired models. They provide incredible insights into human behaviour, experience, and consciousness.

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    Coming from a background/environment with an emphasis on academic achievement, I gravitated toward tech as an applied field with a high degree of freedom in what it created. Computing and automation are fundamentally about learning to harness non-human intelligence. Programming is an incredible force-multiplying tool for anybody with novel ideas.

    How has your skill set evolved over the course of your career?

    I began my career cramming on front-end technologies to become a full-stack developer. But as I gained experience, I pivoted into backend performance/stability, leading to system design and architecture.

    If you choose to specialize in one area, what was it and why?

    In my previous role, I gradually focused on backend development because the firm’s product was targeted at an enterprise client base. Improvements to the core system had the greatest impact on the widest audience.

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    My new role is somewhat different from my previous one. The internal platform is mature so development manpower is presently focused on feature development for customers (externally as opposed to internally facing). I am excited about the mission and social impact of the product and I don’t have any issues with customer-facing development.

    Nonetheless, it is not out of the question for my new job to parallel how I started out with my previous role. I began with a focus on front-end development but ended up contributing to the core platform after gaining knowledge and experience as a full-stack developer.

    What are you most excited about in your new role?

    My new role is with a team in a growth area for the company, which also has significant room for positive social impact – student information systems for large educational institutions. Besides the huge addressable market, the company’s mission – digital transformation of information systems of large enterprises to help them reduce the acceleration gap between technical debt and innovation – means that, particularly for the student product, the platform may even eventually be in a position to improve the learning experiences of students directly.

    Additionally, I am excited to work with the in-house internal platform at Workday. This sounded more bold and efficient the more I learned about it. For example, eliminating the inefficiencies of object-relational mapping for its crucial core data models by keeping business objects fully in memory. I look forward to deepening my understanding of software architecture by studying the system and reaping the productivity benefits of actually working with it.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    Hired was one of the first services I looked into when I began my job search. However, with regard to my job search outside of Hired, it was fairly difficult due to several barriers:

    Importantly, I was coming off of a 2.5-year employment gap involving an international Master’s Degree. COVID and several months of exploring possibilities for self-employment interrupted my degree completion.

    As a Canadian without a US work permit, I was limited to local opportunities.

    Unfamiliarity with the non-tech firms doing the majority of tech hiring in the current job climate meant I was mostly applying to big tech firms. Unfortunately, those firms were the ones downsizing after over-hiring during the pandemic. In anticipation of a recession, they weren’t very responsive.

    What’s your best advice for jobseekers registered on the Hired platform? 

    The two key differentiators which make the Hired platform uniquely effective are the Assessments and Preferences features.


    Take the time to fully use all three attempts on each assessment, even if you get a decent grade. Candidates are ranked on the basis of both correctness and completion time. So, it is preferable to get the best score possible. Furthermore, if you plan to complete multiple assessments, space your attempts between them instead of completing an assessment all at once. The material in the assessments overlap (e.g. Full Stack with Front-end with Programming Skills), providing opportunities for more practice.


    Given the present job market, keep an open mind regarding which industries you’re willing to work in. Do some research into which ones are actually hiring. Definitely, DO take the time to specify some preferences. A strong match between a candidate and a company will predict cultural fit, giving you greater visibility.

    Related: Want More Interviews and Better Matches? 8 Key Tips!

    Remember the recruiting process is costly for hirers (e.g. sacrificing work hours for devs or managers to conduct interviews). Recruiters who perform candidate searches on Hired want to have as high of a hire-through rate as possible. If you manage to get an initial interview request, you are already highly likely to meet their basic requirements. All that remains is for you to demonstrate you are authentic and motivated. At the same time, the bias toward a high recruiting success rate means the initial screening process can be all the more stringent and impersonal.

    In this sense, my honest experience was that optimizing my profile for initial views and interview requests was the hardest part of the journey. Once you land an interview request:

    Research the company

    Identify what you like or want to know more about

    Review the ample tips and preparatory materials Hired provides for interviews

    This should put you well on the way to passing the final screening!

    What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

    Hired is a modern hiring platform leveraging data-driven techniques to make matching candidates and companies more efficient. It also democratizes hiring by surfacing additional information not visible via traditional processes.

    Hired creates value by generating productive matches between jobseekers and employers who might not even be aware of each other. For candidates, this removes the most time-consuming yet inefficient stage of the job hunting process – mass-generating job applications with little guarantee a human will even look at them.

    Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

    The resources on the Hired blog are extremely informative. By highlighting the perspectives of both past candidates and recruiters representing real conditions on the platform, they provide great examples of success on Hired. A tremendously important skill in all aspects of life is being able to consider things from another person’s perspective. For job-seeking, the advice, suggestions, and testimonials on the Hired blog represent vital data for helping you do so.

    About Workday

    Workday is an on‑demand financial and human capital management software vendor. Founded in 2005, Workday has 5001+ employees and is headquartered in Pleasanton.


    Health/dental/vision/life/disability insurance, 401K plan/matching, performance bonus, paid time off, parental benefits, job training, fitness reimbursement, flexible working hours, and more.

    Tech Stack

    Java, Scala, Ruby, Python, Elasticsearch, iOS, Swift, Android SDK, MySQL, Javascript, Hadoop, Spark, Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins, Kafka, Apache ZooKeeper, Ruby on Rails, Hive, React, Chef More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Albert James, Full Stack Engineer

    Please tell us a bit about your educational background! 

    I have a traditional background with a Bachelor’s in Electronics & Communication Engineering and a Master’s in Computer Science. My first introduction to programming was in high school. In the last few years of high school, I was introduced to C++. We wrote code on paper and later tried compiling it on computers once per week to see how it ran. Writing code primarily on paper was helpful in writing errorless code.

    Related: Code Your Career: Staying Competitive in the Developer Job Market (VIDEO)

    As for my overall tech career, I believe my Master’s degree made the biggest impact. It was the first time I learned a lot about programming and computer science fundamentals. I believe a formal education in computer science is really useful, especially if the coursework involves a lot of project work.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I would like to learn more about Astrophysics. I’m really passionate about physics, and astronomy was something I loved reading about. Eventually, I plan to enroll in a learning course to get formal training in astrophysics. I might even switch careers someday!

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    For me, I think it came down to two aspects: problem-solving and money. Tech and coding are really interesting. You have to constantly learn and the problems you solve are neither mundane nor boring. It also helps that the salary is nice!

    How has your skill set evolved over the course of your career?

    I was primarily an electronics engineer who knew some C++ when I started my first job. Over time, I acquired skills in machine learning, database design, back-end engineering, and Android development. I was also exposed to a wider variety of problems and approaches to solving them. 

    If I could choose a specialty, it would be back-end development. I like the technologies in this area and love learning the nitty gritty of database design.

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    It is similar to my role at DraftKings. There are commonalities in the responsibilities but the role is in a new industry. The day-to-day work is similar to what I did at DraftKings but it’s a deviation from my tasks at Google.

    I really love back-end development and with this role at Arrowstreet Capital, I have the opportunity to be a part of the company’s foray into the cloud. This offers a plethora of interesting problems and projects while providing plenty of opportunities for personal growth.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    It mostly consisted of messaging people and applying for jobs via LinkedIn. I’d say I have had mixed experiences with LinkedIn. I found it easier to find job opportunities after landing my first role but before that, I never received responses regarding applications.

    What’s your best advice for jobseekers on the Hired platform? 

    Keep your profile up-to-date and stay active on the platform. Don’t be passive in your job search! Take skill assessments and certifications to showcase what you can do and have learned. Keep updating your resume and profile to optimize it and impress prospective employers.

    Related: Want More Interviews and Better Matches? 5 Key Tips!

    Also, use the resources Hired provides as they are really useful in the job search. This helps you during every aspect, from beginning your job search all the way to negotiating an offer.

    Related: Meet Hired’s Candidate Experience Team: Supporting Jobseekers Every Step of the Way

    I had a wonderful time as a jobseeker using the Hired platform. Hired is really thorough and supports you throughout the job search process. It’s a fantastic platform for jobseekers and I encourage other tech professionals to make the most of it!

    Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

    Keep up with the job market. Update skills and learn new technologies accordingly. Read at least a few technical books per year to brush up on your skill set. Complete a personal project you enjoy even if it’s silly or lacks a use case. It helps in unexpected ways and demonstrates your drive.

    Thanks for sharing, Albert! Land your next tech or sales role on Hired and complete your free profile today!

    About Arrowstreet Capital

    Arrowstreet Capital is a systematic global equity asset manager providing solutions for institutional investors around the world. Founded in 1999, Arrowstreet Capital has 201-500 employees and is headquartered in Boston.

    Tech Stack

    React, Python, C#, AWS, Infrastructure More

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    My Learnings from Helping 1000 Software Engineers Negotiate Job Offers

    As the Founder and CEO of Rora, I’ve helped thousands of tech professionals negotiate job offers over the past five years. A common theme across these conversations is that the negotiation process is shrouded in secrecy – leading job candidates to feel anxious, awkward, and afraid. 

    That’s why I’ve written the below guide – which will share negotiation strategies to help software engineers best position themselves to negotiate one offer or several.

    Why salary and job offer negotiation matters

    When people think about negotiation, it’s common for the focus to be financial. After all, not negotiating can cost you over a million dollars over the course of your career. It’s natural for getting the highest compensation possible to be your top concern. 

    Negotiating just a $5,000 increase at your first job can actually lead to a $1M difference in lifetime earnings when you take into consideration how investments compound, and how your future pay will also be higher because of higher bonuses and raises, etc.

    The chart below shows the difference negotiating a $5,000 increase in your first year can have 45 years down the line, assuming you receive a fixed annual raise each year.

    However, the process of negotiating impacts your career in more ways than just financially. Taking time to go through this process and ask the right questions gives you a chance to learn about the company and negotiate a scope, role, and mentorship that will set you up for successful growth. We’ve seen this countless times throughout our work with software engineering clients.

    What we’ve seen

    One of our clients – a Senior Software Engineer – accepted an offer but, within one year at the company, he was reorganized to different teams (and managers) four times. He quit soon after hitting the one-year mark. 

    In another unfortunate situation, an engineer interviewed for what he believed was a machine learning engineer role, complete with an interview process to match (with complex technical ML questions throughout). Upon starting his new role, he discovered that he’d spend his days doing little more than running SQL queries – it was a bait and switch. 

    What do these stories have in common? They’re prime examples of how negotiation – or the lack thereof – has a massive impact on your career. In these cases, deeper digging as part of the negotiation process would have uncovered aspects of the role that weren’t a fit and allowed the candidate to move on to something better (or ask for more money to make it worth their while). 

    In fact, we’ve seen exactly that situation: clients who initiate the negotiation process sometimes realize that the company or role they’re interviewing for is the wrong fit and continue their search, often finding a better, higher-paying role within a couple of months. 

    3 steps to an effective negotiation 

    Companies have a vested interest in hiring the right person, but they also have a financial interest in adhering to a budget. After helping over a thousand software engineers negotiate higher and better offers, I want to share three negotiation steps for productive experiences.

    Step 1: Build leverage

    Leverage your BATNA

    Your first step is to build leverage. Put simply, this is providing proof of the value you bring to the table and why the company would benefit from giving you what you’re asking for. Common examples of leverage are having competing job offers, having a very niche expertise, or not actively looking for a new job (so in order to take a new role it’d need to be particularly great).  

    What jobseekers frequently fail to do is increase their leverage, or BATNA. 

    What does BATNA mean? 

    It stands for your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement.

    The best BATNA is the confidence in security outside of this one job offer. That could be in the form of self-employment or other employment security. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and start your own business from scratch just for negotiating power! It does mean, however, that your strongest negotiating power comes from having a financial and professional identity outside of a full-time job: 

    a side hustle

    freelance work

    advisor engagements


    volunteer commitments

    part-time work

    For example, one of our clients had been laid off and – a few months later – received an offer for a more senior role than she’d previously had. However, during the negotiation process, she picked up on some red flags along the way. Because she had ongoing freelance work on the side (even though it wasn’t paying what a full-time role would), she was comfortable enough to turn down the offer and keep looking. Seven weeks later, she received a higher offer from a better company she was much more excited to join. 

    It’s also imperative to build self-confidence: your thoughts create leverage and, over time, self-worth. Holding your standards high creates financial value. If you believe in your skills and talents and that you deserve what you’re requesting, you’ll be set up for more success.

    Related: Try Hired’s salary calculator

    Be open to possibilities 

    That said, you do need to keep your options open. It may seem exhausting to remain constantly on the lookout for your next job, but knowing you’re not tied to any one option will give you stronger leverage. Spend some time researching companies you’d like to work for and people you’d like to work with. 

    Keep track of the companies and people to stay in touch with – a simple spreadsheet should suffice – and check in with them annually. It may feel awkward or “disloyal” to your current company, but remember that your career comes first and you’re under no obligation not to explore. 

    Also, make sure not to decrease your leverage. Don’t schedule your first interviews at your top-choice companies; start with companies you’re less excited about to get some practice. At the same time, avoid glorifying companies: no company or role is perfect, and it’s always worth having options. 

    Consider the companies you’re interested in and then explore their competitors, too. Give a chance to companies that you’re less enthused about; it’s great to have a backup plan and it’s worth building your confidence by talking with companies that are interested in you.

    Finally, don’t let lifestyle creep cut into your leverage. You hold leverage by not needing to accept a wrong-fit job, so be sure you’re spending and saving wisely. While it may be tempting to spend more as you make more, be realistic and practical. When your savings and financial runway allow you to be choosy about jobs and only accept the best, you’ll be glad you did.

    Leverage the company’s BATNA

    Next, you’ll need to think past your own BATNA and dig into that of the company. This will help you better suss out how much leverage you have to negotiate. In general, jobseekers don’t do enough due diligence to understand the BATNA of the companies they’re considering and it does them a disservice when it comes to negotiating. 

    How do you do this? Ask your recruiter or potential future teammates these questions throughout the process:

    Why is this role open? 

    Did someone leave? If so, why?

    How long have they been trying to fill it? Is it urgent?

    Is the hiring manager currently back-filling this role?

    Are there any other candidates at the offer stage? How do they compare to you? 

    What are the company’s highest priorities and needs, both immediately and in the long term, that you are most equipped to help with? 

    What do they need that you don’t bring to the table? 

    You have greater leverage when the company believes their BATNA to be weak and you know yours to be strong. Their BATNA may seem weak if the role has been open a long time, is urgently needed, and you bring the necessary experience and skills to achieve their goals – and their other candidates don’t measure up. The more you know about their situation, the more leverage you have. 

    Step 2: Create and invest in building social capital

    Most engineers underestimate the impact of power and influence in negotiating a job offer. They want their skills to stand for themselves. Plus, companies design their hiring and compensation practices specifically to prevent influence – as it inherently leads to biased decisions – but power and influence play a role regardless. This shows up in a few ways.

    The individual you typically negotiate with (likely a recruiter or HR professional) is intentionally separate from the person you’ll actually work for (your manager). While this may help reduce bias (companies don’t want a manager with a strong bias toward a candidate to push for that candidate to be paid outside of what the company deems fair), it also disempowers the candidate by forcing the negotiation to be distributive rather than integrative. 

    It’s true that managers don’t usually have much control over the compensation offered, but the common refrain of “your compensation is up to HR” is a misconception. That said, the argument for higher pay can’t come from the recruiter themself; to have an effect, it needs to come from the hiring manager or leadership team. 

    A manager who is especially excited about a candidate can influence a lot more than HR or Recruiting. This includes the leveling of the role, where in the pay band (or outside of the band) an offer falls, whether the role is designated as critical, if a signing bonus is offered, deadlines, and more.  

    The significance of deadlines

    On the topic of deadlines, it’s important to be aware that the hiring manager defines offer deadlines. If a manager wants to extend your deadline for needing to make a decision, the recruiter will wait. 

    One of the most common ways recruiters create pressure and out-negotiate candidates is by setting false deadlines. In reality, timelines for interviews, offers, and start dates are much more negotiable than most candidates realize. 

    Not long ago, an engineer we worked with received word from a third-party recruiter that she needed to respond to a job offer right away – and that because she hadn’t responded yet, it showed a lack of interest in the company. 

    Rather than get caught up in the pressure, the candidate reached out to the hiring manager, who happened to be both on vacation and completely unaware of the alleged deadline. The hiring manager encouraged the candidate to take another week or two to think everything over, allowing her to close out another interview process and make the most informed decision about which opportunity was best. 

    If a company isn’t willing to be flexible and give you the time you need to think things over – what’s it going to be like to work there? This is an area where self-confidence and leverage come strongly into play: if you know your worth and what you’re willing to accept, you can push back and get what you need. 

    Step 3: Make a strategic ask

    Think beyond the money

    The biggest wins often come from non-monetary asks. Don’t focus on just your annual compensation, but on your compensation five years from now – or even further out. 

    Think like Louie Bacaj. A former engineering leader at, Louie has published his earnings over time. At first glance, it looks like a consistently steady increase, but if you look closer you can see some strategic decisions that kept his pay stagnant – or even slightly reduced – in the short term, but ultimately led him to a huge opportunity with a high payoff. 

    For example, when he joined in 2015 he actually took a step down in pay – and made a lateral move in terms of title. However, he had learned that the new role would give him management experience and he was really excited about joining a startup on the ground floor. Within two years, he’d surpassed his previous earnings and had more than doubled them within four years. 

    As counter-intuitive as it may be for me, as someone who owns a negotiation company to say: sometimes, the non-monetary aspects of a role – and where it will take your career – are worth a temporary step down in pay. 

    Level up

    Another non-monetary area to consider in your negotiations is level. This may require additional interviews but often pays off! 

    Recently, an engineering leader was offered a Senior Engineering Manager position at a Series B startup but asked to be considered for a Director-level position. After four more interviews, she received a Director offer. Not only did she end up with a $50K/year pay increase, but she also got the satisfaction of knowing she was joining at the right level. 

    Avoid a bad fit

    We’ve also had clients identify bad or wrong-fit jobs through the negotiation process, saving them from the stress of finding out once they’ve already started. One client negotiated with a CEO who was increasingly uncommunicative, so the client rejected the offer – and found out soon after that the person he’d report to would be leaving the company. 

    Collect career capital

    Career capital – the skills, connections, and experiences that set you up for future success – should also be an area of focus. Just like Louie Bacaj, you may find that while a role isn’t a massive increase in compensation, it brings connections or credentials that will help you grow (and maximize your earning potential) in the future. 

    Freedom in flexibility

    Of course, you shouldn’t forget flexibility. The ability to work remotely (or even part-time)  can have an impressive impact on your mental health and family life – or give you time to focus on that side hustle and keep increasing your BATNA! 

    It all comes back down to leverage; this applies to how you should (or shouldn’t) evaluate a career option. Two important variables to assess here are:

    The role scope/opportunity for you to make an impact 

    The company’s opportunity for growth and impact 

    The best career choices are those that offer the chance to make the highest impact or provide the opportunity to be paid to learn. Over time, this leads to financial gain.

    Take smart risks

    In our experience helping thousands of people negotiate, the data shows less than a 1% chance of losing your offer from negotiating. To further reduce that More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight: Nathan Reynolds, Integration Engineer

    Thanks for joining, Nathan! Let’s start by talking about your educational background.

    I have a relatively traditional path in technology. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. After a few years of working, I got an MBA to advance my career.

    My MBA was surprisingly more impactful than my Bachelor’s degree. It’s helped prepare me for customer-facing roles like implementation.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I’m always interested in learning more about web development, technologically.

    As for interests outside of the tech realm, I am constantly learning more and more about coffee. My next adventure will probably be in roasting my own beans!

    Related: Thinking About a Career Transition? General Assembly’s 4 Immersive Tech Programs to Help You Pivot

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I’ve always been interested in computers. My first aspiration was to be a game developer. I eventually discovered I prefer B2B software because it allowed for more varied work. It is also an industry that is easier to build a career in.

    How has your skill set evolved throughout your career?

    I started my career in a traditional IT role maintaining servers, updating old applications, and fielding service requests. Then, I eventually moved into implementation and fell in love. I have continually learned new technologies throughout my career starting with a Java/Weblogic/Oracle SQL stack and moving into React/Node/Kotlin/Postgres. I’m always expanding my skill set!

    Related: Hired Releases 2023 State of Software Engineers Report

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    I’m now an integration engineer rather than an implementation engineer. Much of my work will remain the same but with a slightly different focus. The industry I’m working in is very closely related too — B2B software.

    What are some of the things you’re most excited about in your new role?

    I’m excited to work at a business with a counter-recessionary business proposition. I’m looking forward to helping businesses optimize their costs and weather economic hardships.

    What’s your best advice for jobseekers on the Hired platform? 

    Really tailor your resume to the specific type of role you want. Being as specific as possible helps recruiters pick up the keywords they’re trained to look for.

    Related: Want More Interviews and Better Matches? 5 Key Tips!

    What would you tell someone curious about Hired?

    You have, literally, nothing to lose. It is nice having companies reach out to you rather than constantly sending out dozens of applications daily. That being said, you still need to put forth an effort to land the job.

    Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

    Be open to learning new things. Don’t over-fit to any one position. You may think your end goal is one specific position but trying other things will allow you to validate that idea.

    About Pricefx

    Pricefx provides the leading SaaS Pricing Platform with best-in-class Price Management, Optimization, and CPQ capabilities covering all key processes for B2B and B2C companies. Founded in 2011, Pricefx has 501-1,000 employees and is headquartered in Chicago.

    Tech Stack

    Java, Groovy, JavaScript, Spring, ETL, AWS, JSON, React, REST, SOAP


    Health/dental/vision/life/disability insurance, maternity/paternity benefits, 401k plan/matching, mental health benefits, paid time off, mentorship opportunities, management training, and more. More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight: Rory Scott, Leader, Software Engineering

    Let’s kick off by talking about your educational background!

    I have a degree in Sociology and Media Studies. I am a self-taught/mentored software engineer and started in this industry in the data and ETL space. Then, I gradually shifted to infrastructure and back-end development, eventually going into people management.

    Which educational opportunities have made the biggest impact on your tech career? 

    Connecting with the people around me and being able to spot opportunities in companies is where I’ve had the most success. I’ve actually been able to drive my own career growth more than educational opportunities have. The biggest educational impacts I have had were on a mentorship and opportunistic basis.

    Related: Job Searching? Online Networking Strategies to Get you Started

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I stopped studying jazz guitar in college and wish I had stuck with it a little more. I consider myself a pretty good player and would love to dive into that space again.

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I traditionally worked with very small companies where I had to wear many hats. As a data person, I often didn’t have software, tooling, QA, or infrastructure engineers to help build what I needed. It was often up to me and my team(s) to fill those gaps. It wasn’t always pretty or elegant but we learned a lot and got the job done. This paved the road for my career in tech.

    How has your skill set evolved over the course of your career?

    It has evolved immensely. I started out only being an excel expert, automated through macros, then moved on to database management. Then, I went on to automate ETL, build services to automate the data munging, and finally, build internal platforms for other software teams to use. 

    If you choose to specialize in one area, what was it and why?

    Developer Productivity is a space I am extremely passionate about. I’ve seen really good platforms, really bad platforms, and just about everything in between. For engineers who have never been able to experience what life could be like with a solid platform, I love showing them how their life can be improved, bottlenecks removed, and wait times reduced to virtually nothing.

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    It’s actually very similar to my previous role. I am managing a platform team made up of a handful of extremely talented folks. However, in some ways it is different. For example, instead of being globally distributed, the team is centralized in one US state. The industry is also very different. Instead of retail, we work with security.

    What are some of the things you’re most excited about in your new role?

    Using my interviewing process as a basis, both the team and my manager are extremely good at and passionate about what they do. They care deeply about people and enjoy many of the same cultural ideals that I have. That includes empathy, empowerment, and psychological safety.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    Before Hired, the process was what you’d expect. You’d send many resumes and cover letters, hoping to hear back from a percentage either way. Once you could speak with someone, it was typically pretty positive, but it was a percentage-based game if you didn’t have a referral.

    What’s your best advice for jobseekers registered on the Hired platform? 

    I had more than one really good experience with the Hired platform. My advice for others would be to trust it, use it, and not neglect common courtesies in terms of speaking with people — that goes for whether the opportunity seems like a good fit or not. 

    What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

    I would 100% recommend it and would use it again. It’s a passive way to cast a wide net. You know that anyone who reaches out to you has a real need and wants to talk to you.

    Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

    Tech is fun, exciting, and always changing. One thing that shouldn’t change, however, is how we treat each other. To quote my favorite characters: “Be excellent to each other. Party on dudes.”

    About Cisco

    Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make networks possible. Founded in 1984, Cisco has 5,001+ employees and is headquartered in San Jose.

    Tech Stack

    Python, Spark, Javascript, React, AWS, Kubernetes, Java, Go, Docker, Microservices, Kafka, iOS, Android, Kotlin, Kibana, Datadog, Terraform


    Health/dental/vision/life/disability insurance, 401k plan/matching, tuition reimbursement, paid time off, stock options, employee discount programs, job training, and more. More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight: Adam Gerard, Senior Software Engineer

    Can you share a little bit about your educational background? 

    My educational background is decidedly mixed. I have 40+ skill or knowledge-based industry assessments/certifications along with more traditional degrees including a bachelor’s and master’s.

    The assessments and certifications (including Hired Assessments) have had the single biggest overall impact so far. They establish my ability, what I know, and how I compare with others.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    Computer Science fundamentals! I plan to go back for a second master’s and pick up more certifications in key specialization areas. They include Hashicorp Terraform, Amazon AWS, Triplebyte, and Oracle Java.

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I have converging interests in computer hardware, IT, logic, language, and machines. I think it’s natural for me to gravitate toward highly technical, thinking-centric, and machine-centric jobs involving the deep use of language.

    How has your skillset evolved over the course of your career?

    I’ve branched out from Java and SQL to JavaScript, then React, Node, Python, Ruby, WordPress, and so on. I’ve been tinkering around with Haskell, Elixir, and other newer languages too. I’ve also recently prioritized various infrastructure and DevOps tools since they are of nearly equal importance and demand in most roles.

    Related: Discover the most in-demand coding skills in the 2023 State of Software Engineers

    Do you specialize in a particular area?

    I enjoy full stack work since it requires integrated, systems-type thinking. There’s often a clear path through the stack that reveals itself in this type of engineering. It’s more difficult to trace the cause and effect with other, more specialized approaches. I also think full stack specializations align well with Agile practices.

    Related: Want to Ace Technical Interviews? A Guide to Prep Software Engineers

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    Yes, I’ve been hired as a Senior Software Engineer. I’ve steadily earned promotions or have been hired at increasingly more advanced levels over the years. However, this is the first time I’ve been hired outright as a Senior Software Engineer!

    That’s exciting! Speaking of exciting – what are you looking forward to most in your new role?

    It’s a great company doing amazing things with a strong engineering culture and reputation. For instance, Capital One is known for pioneering cutting-edge and world-changing digital and financial products (credit cards, mobile banking, online banking, etc.). I’m thrilled about the opportunity to use more Java and Java Spring too since many of my recent roles prioritized other tools and technologies.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    Hired has been decisive in finding great roles. It’s a better job search platform than Triplebyte and HackerRank (both of which added job search functionalities only after the fact). Recruiters reach out to qualified candidates after a vetting process and with the aid of strong testing tools (Hired Assessments are comparable to those of Triplebyte, CodeSignal, and HackerRank).

    What’s your best advice for jobseekers on Hired? 

    Refine your resume. Be succinct and highlight keywords, technologies, tools, and accomplishments. Take Hired’s assessments too. Supplement them with certifications and strong exam scores from other platforms as well.

    What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

    Definitely give it a try. It’s a platform that connects recruiters from top VC-Startups, Fortune 500, and other great companies with highly qualified candidates.

    Related: How to Get Approved on Hired

    Any general advice for other tech professionals?

    Keep learning and join different practice sites (Codewars, LeetCode, HackerRank). Practice, practice, practice as you interview and search for a job! Pick up respected industry certifications or skill-based assessments to showcase on your resume (, HackerRank, Triplebyte, CodeSignal, AWS, Azure, GCP, etc.).

    About Capital One

    Capital One is building a leading information-based technology company. We’re on a mission to help our customers succeed by bringing ingenuity, simplicity, and humanity to banking. Founded in 1988, Capital One has 5001+ employees and is headquartered in Virginia.

    Tech Stack

    Java, Spring, Angular 2, Node.JS, React, AWS, Python, Spark, Scala, Go


    Health/dental/vision insurance, 401K plan, performance bonus, paid time off, employee discount programs, career growth, tuition reimbursement. and more. More

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    Code Your Career: Staying Competitive in the Developer Job Market (VIDEO)

    The world, especially within the tech industry, is changing faster than you realize. Many jobseekers are nervous about what these shifts mean for their future, as layoffs hit an all-time high in 2022 and business investments seem to be in flux. 

    So what do job candidates have to do in order to keep up with the hottest skills, languages, and trends in the industry? 

    Watch this on-demand webinar to hear experts discuss key findings from Hired’s 2023 State of Software Engineers report and share approaches to help you succeed in the developer job market. 

    You’ll hear from:

    Career Expert, TopResume, Amanda Augustine

    CTO, Hired, Dave Walters

    Engineering Manager, Greenhouse, Jeff Surrett

    Sr Software Engineer, Yum! Brands, Erik Andersen

    VP of Growth & Marketing, Educative, Steven Yi

    Read an excerpt of the conversation here and scroll down to access the full webinar. 

    How should software engineers prioritize which skills to learn in 2023? 

    Steven Yi

    There’s such a wide canvas of technologies out there and there’s demand for a lot of those in different scenarios. 

    If we start with enterprise, there’s a lot more interest there in the cloud, especially in regard to Amazon Web Services. The cloud is almost table stakes for most enterprises right now. There is also a lot of emphasis on back-end development specifically around APIs and integrating within existing systems and connecting front-ends to back-ends and things like that. 

    I also think there’s a lot more emphasis on more mature technologies. Examples include programming languages where you see more prevalence of Java and .NET. There are also more expectations around having data skills, specifically how to query and write sequel statements against relational databases (think Oracle and SQL Server). 

    If you’re targeting working at a smaller company or startup, I think the emphasis there is on having a more full stack experience — understanding both the front-end and the back-end. Front-end skills like React are certainly more important for those company sizes. For back-end skills, that transitions a bit more toward Go and Node.js in some of the newer programming languages and stacks out there. 

    And as far as the cloud, I think looking at this data is pretty interesting. Google Cloud Platform and Azure are more popular with smaller companies and startups, particularly because they’re easier to start up with. I think AWS has become a bit more complex over the years. 

    The last thing I would leave with this is to follow your interest and your passion to see what’s interesting to you. There are a variety of different niches out there. 

    Take mobile, for example. If you carved out a specialization on mobile development for Android, that means Kotlin. If you’re exclusively developing for Apple, that means Swift. Or cross platform development using a variety of different frameworks like Dart, Flutter, React Native, or Microsoft’s offerings like .NET, Xamarin, or .NET MAUI. 

    Data science and machine learning are exploding. That means Python or even the newer emerging technologies and programming languages like Rust. Or, go on the other end of the spectrum and go old school. 

    There are still niche offerings out there if you’re a Pascal developer with Delphi. I actually did a Google search this morning and several hundred companies are still hiring for COBOL.

    Related: Want to Ace Your Technical Interview? A Guide to Prepare Software Engineers 

    Watch the full collaborative panel discussion to learn how to: 

    Stand out as a top candidate in a crowded job market

    Efficiently and effectively prepare for behavioral and technical interviews

    Develop career plans to maximize growth and compensation opportunity  More

  • in

    FAQs from Jobseekers: Approaching the Technical Interview with Confidence (VIDEO)

    Technical interviewing takes skill and is actually a skill in itself. In this AMA-style discussion (now on-demand!), experts helped jobseekers problem-solve their way to nailing their next technical interview. Keep reading for candid and actionable advice from the experts.

    You’ll hear from:

    Sophia Koehl, Partnerships, Hired

    Omkar Deshpande, Head of Technical Curriculum, Interview Kickstart

    Nate Becker, Candidate Experience, Hired

    Read the beginning of the conversation here and scroll down to access the full webinar. 

    What are the fundamentals of a technical interview? 


    I think it’s important to note this is a multi step process. It’s not a one and done situation. I would read and reread the job description, do some research on the company, and review the fundamentals of your own technical specializations. For the more personal side, practice talking about your professional background. I recommend Interview Kickstart’s Technical Interview Checklist. 

    Consider the stages of the interview ahead of time. First, you have a phone screen, a sort of a “tell me about yourself and why are you applying.” Then, there’s usually a take-home assessment, which is preliminary and usually done through a test coding platform or a shared doc. From there, you’d have an on-site or in-person evaluation where your programming skills are assessed in real time by an interviewer. 

    If you are on the Hired platform, you could take advantage of assessments to showcase your skills to employers. A lot of the companies on our platform prioritize candidates who have taken these Hired assessments. Keep in mind that this doesn’t replace a coding interview and is more of a preliminary screen. 


    In an ideal coding interview, you are given a problem, or an unseen question. The interviewer wants to see whether you can design an algorithm or a recipe that correctly solves the given question by relying on fundamental computer science principles and problem solving strategies. Your solution also needs to run fast, take the least possible time, and use very little space.

    Once you have designed a correct and efficient algorithm, you have to implement it in the programming language of your choice with a high probability that the code would run correctly the first time you execute it. They’re testing your problem solving ability and your coding fluency. Both of these depend on knowledge of computer science fundamentals. That’s how I look at the structure of a coding interview. 

    Why is it worthwhile to spend more time on interview prep instead of jumping straight into applying and interviewing?


    It would be to your advantage to consider the state of the market. Look at the time we’re in right now. This is a great time to take advantage of the downtime and prep. Take the time now to land an interview you really want. It may benefit your career in the long run to invest time and energy up front. When I say timeliness, I’m talking about the recent layoffs folks have been experiencing and the impact of that. Really consider if you have free time and do the prep work. We have a great eBook on layoffs and how to bounce back better than ever.


    The reality is that competition is high. People share frequently asked questions online on platforms like Leetcode. Everyone knows what questions are likely to be asked and they’re not easy to solve. Prep is necessary, otherwise you’re going to stumble on the spot. 

    There’s a misconception that interview prep is a waste of time because you basically have to memorize the solutions to those frequently asked problems. If you prep the right way, it’s an opportunity to relearn the fundamentals of computer science. Preparing properly increases your chances of getting multiple offers and thereby a significantly higher salary.

    When you start a new job, you have that confidence in yourself because you cracked the interview based on your understanding of computer science principles. You become a better engineer as a result of preparing in the right way.

    Other key topics from the conversation include: 

    Which programming language to use for a technical interview 

    How to create a study plan

    Technical interviews at FAANG companies vs smaller companies

    How to present your tech experience 

    And more!  More