Charity Majors @mipsytipsy CTO @honeycombio, ex-Parse, Facebook, Linden Lab; cowrote Database Reliability Engineering; loves whiskey, rainbows. I test in production and so do you. 🌈🖤 Feb. 22, 2018 2 min read

That reminds me ... about a year ago we posted our first open job rec. Here are some things I have observed since then.

1) There is a huge, underserved pool of skilled senior engineers who are actively repelled by bro culture. Of all genders.

2) there is an ocean of brilliant, overqualified, creative, entrepreneurial business folks who are sick of getting shit on by engineers, particularly technical founders.

(Honestly, same goes for frontend engineers and a bunch of other roles. Just respect your coworkers ffs)

3) people are deeply sick of hearing about diversity, and get more and more cynical with every splashy donation, nonprofit or thinkpiece.

But they fucking *dig* it when people just quietly do the work.

4) the whisper network is hella real and powerful. And almost entirely invisible to founders and hiring managers.

Your success at hiring a diverse team or not will be roughly 20% due to your current actions, 80% things you have done over the past 10-20 years & mostly forgotten

5) having women in positions of power makes hiring and recruiting so much easier, it feels unfair. Like playing the game with cheat mode on.

This was a huge surprise, and I’ll cop to being a little uncomfortable with it. We didn’t do anything to earn this advantage.

6) to generalize grossly for a sec, what I hear over and over from men is “I’m just really sick of reporting to a chain of all white dudes”.

And I hear from women ... much less. They’re relieved not to have to eat sleep breathe diversity all the time.. they can just *be*.

(Of course, all this gender balance and political correctness does mean that we aren’t allowed to have ANY fun. Seriously, we outlawed giggling just last week.)

8) ... last point. Everybody agonizes over hiring those few perfect senior engineers. This is stupid. Strong teams aren’t made up of uniformly senior folks. You need energetic juniors with fresh eyes, curious intermediates, and a healthy practice of learning+teaching.

I keep seeing my friends recruit for a year to fill a role they could have trained someone to fill in half the time. DUDE.

And who wants to be hired to do the same thing over and over? That’s SO BORING. Don’t you want to hire people who want to stretch themselves??

I think you are all way too risk averse in hiring. Risk and opportunity are twinned.

You have to give people the chance to kick ass, and be willing to gently and briskly manage them out if it doesn’t work out. Not guard the door and only let Stanford and MIT kids enter.

Lastly, I don’t want to hire every qualified asshole out there. We are outspoken about how we do things because it helps people self-select in or out before we ever talk to them.

Huge time saver.


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