The 3 things that diversity hiring initiatives get wrong

By Aline Lerner
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I’ve been hiring engineers in some capacity for the past decade. Five years ago I founded interviewing.io, a technical recruiting marketplace that provides engineers with anonymous mock interviews and then fast-tracks top performers—regardless of who they are or how they look on paper—at top companies. We’ve hosted close to 100K technical interviews on our platform and have helped thousands of engineers find jobs. For the last year or so, we’ve also been running a Fellowship program specifically for engineers from underrepresented backgrounds. That’s all to say that even though I have developed some strong opinions about “diversity hiring” initiatives, my opinions are based not on anecdotes but on cold, hard data. And the data points …

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The technical interview practice gap, and how it keeps underrepresented groups out of software engineering

By Aline Lerner
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I’ve been hiring engineers in some capacity for the past decade, and five years ago I founded interviewing.io, a technical recruiting marketplace that provides engineers with anonymous mock interviews and then fast-tracks top performers—regardless of who they are or how they look on paper—at top companies. We’ve hosted close to 100K technical interviews on our platform and have helped thousands of engineers find jobs. Since last year, we’ve also been running a Fellowship program specifically for engineers from underrepresented backgrounds. All that is to say that even though I have strong opinions about “diversity hiring” initiatives, I’ve acquired them the honest way, through laboratory experience.

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interviewing.io is finally out of beta. Anonymous technical interview practice for all!

By Aline Lerner
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I started interviewing.io 5 years ago. After working as both an engineer and a recruiter, my frustration with how inefficient and unfair hiring had reached a boiling point. What made me especially angry was that despite mounting evidence that resumes are poor predictors of aptitude, employers were obsessed with where people had gone to school and worked previously. In my mind, any great engineer, regardless of how they look on paper, should have the opportunity to get their foot in the door wherever they choose. So, we set out to build a better system. On interviewing.io, software engineers can book anonymous mock interviews with senior engineers from companies like Facebook, Google, and others, and if …

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You can’t fix diversity in tech without fixing the technical interview.

By Aline Lerner
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In the last few months, several large players, including Google and Facebook, have released their latest and ultimately disappointing diversity numbers. Even with increased effort and resources poured into diversity hiring programs, Facebook’s headcount for women and people of color hasn’t really increased in the past 3 years. Google’s numbers have looked remarkably similar, and both players have yet to make significant impact in the space, despite a number of initiatives spanning everything from a points system rewarding recruiters for bringing in candidates from diverse backgrounds, to increased funding for tech education, to efforts to hire more candidates from diverse backgrounds in key leadership positions. Why have gains in diversity hiring been so lackluster across …

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The Eng Hiring Bar: What the hell is it?

By Atomic Artichoke
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Recursive Cactus has been working as a full-stack engineer at a well-known tech company for the past 5 years, but he’s now considering a career move. Over the past 6 months, Recursive Cactus (that’s his anonymous handle on interviewing.io) has been preparing himself to succeed in future interviews, dedicating as much as 20-30 hours/week plowing through LeetCode exercises, digesting algorithms textbooks, and of course, practicing interviews on our platform to benchmark his progress.

But this dedication to interview prep has been taking an emotional toll on him, ...

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No engineer has ever sued a company because of constructive post-interview feedback. So why don’t employers do it?

By Aline Lerner
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One of the things that sucks most about technical interviews is that they’re a black box—candidates (usually) get told whether they made it to the next round, but they’re rarely told why they got the outcome that they did. Lack of feedback, or feedback that doesn’t come right away, isn’t just frustrating to candidates. It’s bad for business. We did a whole study on this. It turns out that candidates chronically underrate and overrate their technical interview performance, like so: Where this finding starts to get actionable is that there’s a statistically significant relationship between whether people think they did well in an interview and whether they’d want to work with you. In other words, …

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We ran the numbers, and there really is a pipeline problem in eng hiring.

By Aline Lerner
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If you say the words “there’s a pipeline problem” to explain why we’ve failed to make meaningful progress toward gender parity in software engineering, you probably won’t make many friends (or many hires). The pipeline problem argument goes something like this: “There aren’t enough qualified women out there, so it’s not our fault if we don’t hire them.” Many people don’t like this reductive line of thinking because it ignores the growing body of research that points to unwelcoming environments that drive underrepresented talent out of tech: STEM in early education being unfriendly to children from underrepresented backgrounds, lack of a level playing field and unequal access to quality STEM education (see this study on …

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We looked at how a thousand college students performed in technical interviews to see if where they went to school mattered. It didn't.

By Samantha Jordan
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interviewing.io is a platform where engineers practice technical interviewing anonymously. If things go well, they can unlock the ability to participate in real, still anonymous, interviews with top companies like Twitch, Lyft and more. Earlier this year, we launched an offering specifically for university students, with the intent of helping level the playing field right at the start of people’s careers. The sad truth is that with the state of college recruiting today, if you don’t attend one of very few top schools, your chances of interacting with companies on campus are slim. It’s not fair, and it sucks, but university recruiting is still dominated by career fairs. Companies pragmatically choose to visit the same …

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If you care about diversity, don't just hire from the same five schools

By Meena Boppana
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EDIT: Our university hiring platform is now on Product Hunt!

If you’re a software engineer, you probably believe that, despite some glitches here and there, folks who have the technical chops can get hired as software engineers. We regularly hear stories about college dropouts, who, through hard work and sheer determination, bootstrapped themselves into millionaires. These stories appeal to our sense of wonder and our desire for fairness in the world, but the reality is very different. For many students looking for their first job, the odds of breaking into a top company are slim because they will likely never even have the chance to show their skills in an interview. For these students ...

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LinkedIn endorsements are dumb. Here’s the data.

By Aline Lerner
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If you’re an engineer who’s been endorsed on LinkedIn for any number of languages/frameworks/skills, you’ve probably noticed that something isn’t quite right. Maybe they’re frameworks you’ve never touched or languages you haven’t used since freshman year of college. No matter the specifics, you’re probably at least a bit wary of the value of the LinkedIn endorsements feature. The internets, too, don’t disappoint in enumerating some absurd potential endorsements or in bemoaning the lack of relevance of said endorsements, even when they’re given in earnest. Having a gut feeling for this is one thing, but we were curious about whether we could actually come up with some numbers that showed how useless endorsements can be, and …

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Resumes suck. Here's the data.

By Aline Lerner
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About a year ago, after looking at the resumes of engineers we had interviewed at TrialPay in 2012, I learned that the strongest signal for whether someone would get an offer was the number of typos and grammatical errors on their resume. On the other hand, where people went to school, their GPA, and highest degree earned didn’t matter at all. These results were pretty unexpected, ran counter to how resumes were normally filtered, and left me scratching my head ...

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Lessons from a year’s worth of hiring data

By Aline Lerner
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I ran technical recruiting at TrialPay for a year before going off to start my own agency. Because I used to be an engineer, one part of my job was conducting first-round technical interviews, and between January 2012 and January 2013, I interviewed roughly 300 people for our back-end/full-stack engineer position.

TrialPay was awesome and gave me ...

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