Crack the code: Here's what 6 Colorado tech companies look for in developers

by April Bohnert
April 18, 2018

The world of software development is as broad as it is deep. With countless coding languages, frameworks and technologies on the market and more popping up every day, no two development jobs are alike. While this is an exciting prospect, it can also make the job search process rather tricky.

If you’re on the hunt for an engineering role that matches your skills and passions, here’s a great place to start. See what these six Colorado tech companies look for in developers and what makes their engineering cultures so unique.

 

Blinker developer hiring Colorado
Photo courtesy of Blinker.

 

Blinker’s patented technology empowers consumers to buy, sell and refinance cars — without any expensive middlemen. VP of Engineering Jimmy Bartolotta explained what makes a developer at Blinker successful.

 

What are your must-have technical skills for developers?

We support all levels of developers, from juniors who are right out of code school to senior architects who have been developing professionally for 20-plus years. Since technologies and programming languages change over time, we look for curious learners who are driven to be great. Blinker developers must be problem solvers above any specific technical skill.

We value employees who get others excited to come to work each and every day."

What soft skills does a developer need to be successful in your company?

Developers, along with all other Blinker employees, are successful at the company by being great people in addition to skilled professionals. Individuals who are passionate, hardworking, collaborative, kind, calm, thoughtful and strategic are successful at Blinker. We value employees who get others excited to come to work each and every day.

 

Do you require developers to complete any kind of coding test? 

We ask all candidates to complete a code challenge tailored to the position they’re seeking at the company. Challenges are designed to be open and encourage candidates to demonstrate their creativity, talents and working styles. We are sensitive to the time it takes potential candidates, so we try to keep each test fairly simple.

 

How would you describe the culture of your engineering team? How does the team work together?

The Blinker engineering team has a strong culture of “doing.” Every engineer elaborates product features, weighs in on tech stack decisions and takes initiative to move Blinker forward on a daily basis, while pursuing personal growth and education. Our teams work cross-functionally, bringing experts from each technical area — including creative — together to solve problems and build features.

 

Protectwise developer hiring Colorado
Photo courtesy of ProtectWise.

 

The cloud-based ProtectWise Grid gives enterprise-level businesses greater visibility and detection of complex security threats from one streamlined platform. Vice President of Engineering Craig Wu told us what he looks for in his next hire.

We are looking for developers who are passionate about tackling tough challenges where there isn't a prescribed cookbook solution."

What are your must-have technical skills for developers?

Must-have technical skills are tough to generalize since we have a lot of different technologies in our stack. We are looking for developers who are passionate about tackling tough challenges where there isn't a prescribed cookbook solution. Due to the scale in which we operate, developers at ProtectWise are always inventing and innovating on new approaches to hard problems. From a tech stack perspective we use Scala, Spark, Node.js, React, Chef, Cassandra and AWS extensively.

 

What soft skills does a developer need to be successful in your company?

We value passion, intelligence and the ability to get things done. Ownership and initiative are valued over process and permission. Developers need to be able to operate in an environment where not everything is known up front, but that gives tremendous freedom and creativity to the engineering team.

 

Do you require developers to complete any kind of coding test? 

Yes, we ask candidates to bring a laptop and IDE they are familiar with and pair with us during the interview.
 

How would you describe the culture of your engineering team? How does the team work together?

We are strong collaborators that are empowered to make decisions for ourselves and our teams. We are always learning from each other and realize that no matter how senior or experienced we are, we always have more to learn. We also have a "no a--hole" policy that we've enforced since the beginning.

 

Trineo developer hiring Colorado
Photo courtesy of Trineo.

Trineo leverages a team of global tech experts to help enterprise businesses improve processes and unlock legacy data through cutting-edge APIs, custom applications, identity management services and CRM integrations. Co-founder, CEO and CTO Abhinav Keswani gave us insight into Trineo’s dev culture and hiring process.

 

What are your must-have technical skills for developers?

Our team regularly develops tiers of software — APIs that drive front-end applications. A sound knowledge of developing integrated systems is ideal and demonstrating strength in either front-end or back-end development is necessary. Applying patterns and operating contextually to make sound decisions which yield clean, well-tested and maintainable code is essential. Being open to feedback during mandatory peer review is paramount.

Every developer in our crew recognizes that great relationships between the people in a team yield the best software." 

What soft skills does a developer need to be successful in your company?

Every developer in our crew recognizes that great relationships between the people in a team yield the best software. This means that we all focus on people first and that everyone in our team knows when to carefully listen, observe and engage in robust dialogue. Our aim is to clearly establish the motivation behind anything we set out to achieve and to yield real value for those who engage our services.

 

Do you require developers to complete any kind of coding test? 

We have a multi-stage interview process during which we provide a technical assignment that we request you do at home and submit when you’re ready. Then, you pair with one of our team members, so we can understand your thought process in developing a solution to the assignment we provide. We extend this submission together with some new feature development to see how we work together. This gives everyone a chance to get a feel for each other’s skill level and ability to work well together.

 

How would you describe the culture of your engineering team? How does the team work together?

We’re a humble, talented and quietly confident team that focuses on a collective approach to taking on responsibility and accountability. Nobody considers themselves to be a rock star, ninja or guru. We love a good laugh. We celebrate each other’s contribution and participation. Nobody flies solo; we always move as a pack. We finish what we begin.

 

Healthgrades developer hiring Colorado
Photo courtesy of Healthgrades.

 

Healthgrades provides an online platform for reviewing and researching healthcare professionals and hospitals in your area. Data engineering leads John Tran and Chris Williams let us in on the secret to their team’s success.


What are your must-have technical skills for developers?

Currently, our data engineering teams are building an enterprise data platform that is serving as the foundation for many of our products and services. As we transition our Microsoft stack to other open source technologies, we are bringing on developers that have a wide variety of technical skills. What really stands out to us is experience with multiple programming languages, data and cloud technologies such as SQL, Python, Scala, relational databases, streaming, NoSQL, AWS, Google Cloud and Azure. Candidates do not have to have them all, but it doesn’t hurt either.
 

We are working with leading-edge technologies that most developers dream of having the opportunity to work on every day."

What soft skills does a developer need to be successful in your company?

Eagerness and aptitude for learning new skills are so critical for our teams. We are working with leading-edge technologies that most developers dream of having the opportunity to work on every day, and we’re also learning a lot of new things in real time. Passion for data, creativity, flexibility and collaboration are also super important.


Do you require developers to complete any kind of coding test?

Our typical interview process includes a technical interview by phone, followed by an onsite team interview. During the initial call, we try to get an understanding of your background and interests, including a high-level technical assessment. While onsite, we ask candidates about their experience in real-life situations in addition to a written exercise where we hope to see the candidate use a variety of skills and resources to reach a solution.


How would you describe the culture of your engineering team? How does the team work together?

The data squads are designed to give our developers a lot of autonomy and own their code, all the way through production. We encourage everyone to dig into and explore different technologies, as well as present a proof of concept to the group when they have a solution for a problem we are trying to solve. All ideas are good ideas around here!

Most importantly, our teams really enjoy spending time together and consider each other friends. When we’re not together working on new technologies that will change the game in healthcare, you’ll find us celebrating special occasions, catching up in the lounge area in our new office space or attending Opening Day.

 

Fanatics developer hiring Colorado
Photo courtesy of Fanatics.

 

Fanatics is one of the largest distributors of licensed sports merchandise, taking a tech-driven approach that enables them to deliver both fan favorites and timely new products on-demand. Engineering manager Jay Ockers shed some light on the skills Fanatics developers need.
 

What are your must-have technical skills for developers?

When we evaluate new engineers, we look for the ability to adapt their solutions as conditions change. We expect them to be open to learning new languages, technologies and even job roles. Our most pressing challenge is finding talented engineers with a solid understanding of containerization and cloud concepts.  
 

We look for engineers that feel comfortable in an open environment, talking through problems with their team and taking on roles outside of a traditional software engineer."

What soft skills does a developer need to be successful in your company?

In addition to technical skills, we look for new engineers who can communicate effectively with teams that are spread around the globe. We expect each team member to be mindful of the time zones and office conditions for everyone on their team and to be patient when waiting for responses that might not arrive until the next day.

We also look for engineers that feel comfortable in an open environment, talking through problems with their team and taking on roles outside of a traditional software engineer or quality engineer.
 

Do you require developers to complete any kind of coding test?

To determine if a candidate possesses these traits, some teams require a short coding test during an interview which is focused on seeing how the individual thinks through a problem. Other teams like to ask more abstract questions that give the candidate a chance to explain the decisions they would make if asked to build a set of systems that have very different audiences.

 

NetApp SolidFire developer hiring Colorado
Photo courtesy of NetApp SolidFire.

 

NetApp SolidFire provides cutting-edge cloud infrastructure and storage to a global base of customers. Lead recruiter Morgan Ganz shared the must-have skills he looks for on a developer’s resume.  

 

What are your must-have technical skills for developers?

Developers who are interested in joining NetApp, must understand the building blocks of development related to the languages we use. These include strong multi-threading knowledge, good algorithmic design, or the ability to refactor complex code for simplicity.

 

What soft skills does a developer need to be successful in your company?

Communication skills are a necessity and key for success in our company.

 

Do you require developers to complete any kind of coding test?

We do require code tests for specific positions. They vary based on the position and technology that is required for the role.

 

Our culture can be defined in two ways: fast-paced and collaborative." 

How would you describe the culture of your engineering team? How does the team work together?  

Our culture can be defined in two ways: fast-paced and collaborative. The product itself has a tendency to move very quickly, so our engineers need to keep up with that pace. Also, our process inherently involves stakeholders from different teams, which allows exposure to other areas of the company. The ability to collaborate across them is imperative to success.

 

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