Conversations about life & privacy in the digital age

We’re hiring a new CR rep!

SpiderOak is in the market for a new customer relations associate. This is a full-time, flexible hours, work from home position which is available to any city in the world (although we’ll give preference to someone living in Kansas City, Chicago, or San Francisco). SpiderOak is an all-telecommute company of about 40 people; we use chat rooms, wikis, email, voice and video conferencing, to coordinate.

This job requires a lot of self motivation, since you’re going to be working by yourself without a set “assignment” every day. It’s not important to know how to code but we are definitely looking for more tech-savvy individuals. For the first several weeks you’ll be working with us closely to get up to speed, but after that you’ll manage your own workload every day and work schedule independently.

As a customer relations representative, you’ll spend most of your time working directly with our users over email, but SpiderOak always offers the opportunity to learn and grow within the company. This can be a challenging job, but it’s balanced by the freedom of working from home and a really fun and supportive work environment. Geeky/nerdy/goofy types a plus. =)

Interested? Send us a brief email at customerrepwanted@spideroak.com about why you’re interested in working for SpiderOak, your past work experience and qualifications, and anything else you think we should know about you. We look forward to hearing from you!

Now Hiring –> Mac Client Engineer

SpiderOak is looking to expand out our development staff for working
on driving client development into the future. We are looking for a
talented, driven, Python and Objective-C slinging engineer excited to help us
push the boundaries of what people think is possible on the Mac.

Our goal is to enable SpiderOak to both better understand OS X, and to
also tie into OS X. In our Blue product for Windows, we have an
elementary Win32 Explorer extension that lets you add things to the
backup set and create single-file share links. On the Mac side, we
have something sitting on the sidelines in our skunkworks and need
someone to take lead on it and to shepherd it to completion and
shipping. Experience in PyObjC and digging through the Objective C runtime is desired. In addition, our engineer will be working on the SpiderOak
client backend, focusing on both general non-OS-specific work as well
as enhancing our product on the OS X platform. Finally, this person
should be an educator, capable of and willing to teach other
SpiderOakers details about the platform.

SpiderOak is a distributed, virtual-office, work-from-home company. Any engineer we hire will have
to be a top-notch communicator. They will be expected to reliably show
their face around our super-duper IRC channel at some point during
typical US business hours as well as jump in and communicate across
our issue tracker, email, and wiki. While you can work out of a
darkened basement at your whim (which some of us do!), you cannot
expect to venture off and not have to communicate with other
humans.

If you want to join in on our merry adventure, you will need a
functional grasp of English (don’t worry, we have several staff
on-board already for whom it’s a second or third language). You will
also be expected to occasionally travel (at company expense) to have
some quality face-to-face time. Important cities in the SpiderOakVerse
are San Francisco, CA, Kansas City, MO, and Chicago, IL (for
reference, these three cities make up about half of SpiderOak). A
sense of humor is always appreciated and welcome.

Still interested? Send an email to jobs@spideroak.com including
“mac client engineer” in the subject with a little about yourself
and your experience to date (a ‘cover letter’ if you will). NOTE:
Resumes are not required as who you are is more important than what
your resume may or may not say. If we enjoy your thoughts and feel
like you will be a good fit, we will send you a small task to
complete. Please do be sure to tell us a bit about yourself, what you
can do, and why you’d like to work for us. English only, please.

We know there’s talent in everyone regardless of what little papers
might say, so we have no “minimum” requirements for degrees. We’re
also super-equal-opportunity: quality hacking knows no bounds for
race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, species[1], or
religion. If you can meet what we need, we’ll do amazing things
together, no matter who, what, or where you are.

Footnotes:

1: Sheep are especially encouraged to apply if they do not mind being
cloned to produce free copies of themselves to provide additions to
our workforce.

Now Hiring –> JavaScript / HTML5 Engineer

We’re looking for an excited JavaScript hacker to join us and help us
advance state-of-the-art technology implementation in
JavaScript. We’re looking to do some Cool New Things on the web that
have been traditionally limited to our desktop client, and need
someone who can help us push that along.

Do you enjoy trying to push the bounds of browser-boxed computing?
Have you experience with cryptography? Enjoy getting that last little
bit of performance out of V8 as Chrome makes your computer levitate
with the cooling fans spinning up? We want you! You’ll be working with
our existing team of web engineers to bring out new technology and
products allowing people to use SpiderOak in a private fashion no
matter where they are or what kind of device they are on. You’ll be
working on HTML5 webapps with more and more JavaScript getting pushed
further and further beyond the competition.

To hop on board and immediately get rolling, we expect that you
have a grasp of or can very rapidly come up to speed on a wide variety
of technologies around HTML5, including but not limited to:

You’ll have to be comfortable dealing with SQL for data, as well as a
Unix platform for deployment (Ubuntu, specifically). We have an
emphasis on test-driven development that you will be jumping in
to. Finally, our backend software is all in Python, and knowing that
is a major plus but not immediately necessary- if you already know
the above, chances are you can learn a new language if it comes to
that.

If you want to join in on our merry adventure, you will need a
functional grasp of English (don’t worry, we have several staff
on-board already for whom it’s a second or third language). You will
also be expected to occasionally travel (at company expense) to have
some quality face-to-face time. Important cities in the SpiderOakVerse
are San Francisco, CA, Kansas City, MO, and Chicago, IL (for
reference, these three cities make up about half of SpiderOak). A
sense of humor is always appreciated and welcome.

Still interested? Send an email to
jobs@spideroak.com including “web engineer” in
the subject with a little about yourself and your experience to date
(a ‘cover letter’ if you will). NOTE: Resumes are not required as who
you are is more important than what your resume may or may not say. If
we enjoy your thoughts and feel like you will be a good fit, we will
send you a small task to complete. Please do be sure to tell us a bit
about yourself, what you can do, and why you’d like to work for
us. English only, please.

We know there’s talent in everyone regardless of what little papers
might say, so we have no “minimum” requirements for degrees. We’re
also super-equal-opportunity: quality hacking knows no bounds for
race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, species[1], or
religion. If you can meet what we need, we’ll do amazing things
together, no matter who, what, or where you are.

Footnotes:

1: The Management would prefer llamas with experience in piloting
luxury yachts.

Now Hiring –> Sales Engineer!

We are looking for an energetic person-friendly hacker to join the SpiderOak team in the role of Sales Engineer. As SpiderOak Blue gains significant traction in the enterprise market, we are noticing an increasing need to bring these companies online in a faster and more efficient manner. As an example, one day you may be configuring a virtual machine to authenticate 20,000 users against SpiderOak while the next integrating patches by some of our development partners into our directory sync code base.

Our ideal hacker is first and foremost a considerate communicator. This hacker is going to be the primary smiling face to our technical contacts with our Blue customers and partners, and we expect our hacker will represent our tribe well. Our Blue customer base includes Fortune 500 companies, US & foreign government agencies, and large US & foreign educational institutions. Our hacker will be comfortable being the primary point of contact with technical and senior IT staff within these organizations. Unhappy customers should create an appropriately unhappy hacker.

This hacker will be responsible for managing and communicating timelines and problems (and their interrelation) to both internal SpiderOak staff and that of our customers. We should be able to randomly quiz our hacker of the status of ongoing trial and live programs and she should be able to respond usefully (allowing for research). Our hacker will be the nexus hub for the technical on-boarding process of new Blue accounts and should be appropriately self-organized.

This hacker will also be comfortable with a variety of Linux-based server technology. Our software is distributed as code on an Ubuntu virtual appliance, so our hacker will be perfectly happy hacking away on Python code to eventually run on Ubuntu. This hacker will also be comfortable configuring said Ubuntu system. Bonus points for a background involving developing against an alphabet soup involving LDAP, RADIUS, MS AD, or SAML.

SpiderOak’s a distributed company; as such, our ideal hacker is a first-rate communicator. Our hacker will be commonly available during the US working day on our secret awesome undisclosed IRC channel as well as via phone and/or skype. Our hacker will raise a fuss if something beyond their control is blocking their projects; however, our hacker will be a problem solver and be more than up to making the impossible hack come to reality. They will jump at the chance to travel to work with other SpiderOakers, with key cities being Kansas City, MO, Chicago, IL, and San Fransisco, CA. Civility and “work-togetherness”, especially but not limited to strangers, is required. Effectively managing one’s self is also a key requirement; nobody will be looking over our hacker’s shoulder while they work. A sense of humor is appreciated.

Specifically in this case, our hacker will be working most closely with our teams in Chicago and KC such that being close or willingness to travel to these locations is important and especially toward the beginning.

Still interested? Send an email to jobs@spideroak.com including “sales engineer” in the subject with a little about yourself and your experience to date (a ‘cover letter’ if ou will). NOTE: Resumes are not required as who you are is more important that what your resume may or may not say. If we enjoy your thoughts and feel like you will be a good fit, we will send you a small task to complete. Please do be sure to tell us a bit about yourself, what you can do, and why you’d like to work for us. English only, please.

We know there’s talent in everyone regardless of what little papers might say, so we have no “minimum” requirements for degrees. We’re also super-equal-opportunity: quality hacking knows no bounds for race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, species*, or religion. If you can meet what we need, we’ll do amazing things together, no matter who, what, or where you are.

* We encourage kangaroos that can deliver lattes in their pouches.

Now hiring: white label engineer

EDIT

We’ve found someone, and this position is now closed. Thanks for everyone who applied!

We’re looking for an energetic hacker to join us to support our partnerships / white labeling product engineering. On any given day, you’ll be working with our desktop client (in PyQt), working with our partnership sales team to develop custom clients for partners, and working on streamlining the whole process to start with the stock SpiderOak client and end up with a customized build for the partner.

Our ideal hacker will know their way around PyQt, effective GUI design, and building Python applications (py2app and py2exe, for example). Taking tasks that can be boring, labor-intensive, and repetitive and whipping them into a slick webapp should be on the list of things that make our hacker happy to do. In the course of this hacking, mastery of git will be essential. Lastly, this hacker shouldn’t be made unhappy by sitting in on sales calls; our hacker will eventually wind up as the technical lead for our whitelabel program, and in doing so will have to tend to a little business now and then. Creating a perfect experience for our partners and their end users should be a matter of pride for our hacker; unhappy partners should create an unhappy hacker.

SpiderOak’s a distributed company, and our ideal hacker is also a first-rate communicator. They will be commonly available during the US working day on our secret awesome undisclosed IRC channel as well as via phone and/or skype. Our hacker will raise a fuss if something beyond their control is blocking their projects- however, our hacker will be a problem solver and be more than up to making the impossible hack come to reality. They will jump at the chance to travel to work with other SpiderOakers, with key cities being Kansas City, MO, and San Fransisco, CA. Civility and “work-togetherness”, especially but not limited to strangers, is required. Effectively managing one’s self is also a key requirement; nobody will be looking over our hacker’s shoulder while they work. A sense of humor is appreciated.

Handy and useful direct previous job/life experience includes work in release engineering, GUI development, or QA. It’s also cool if you’ve also done tech support or worked in any business capacity in the tech world.

Still interested? Send an email to wldev2011@spideroak.com with your cover letter and resumé, and if we enjoy your cover letter, we’ll send you a small task to complete to see how you work. In this cover letter, tell us a bit about yourself, what you can do, and why you’d like to work for us. English only, please.

We know there’s talent in everyone regardless of what little papers might say, so we have no “minimum” requirements for degrees or resumés. We’re also super-equal-opportunity: quality hacking knows no bounds for race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, species*, or religion. If you can meet what we need, we’ll do amazing things together, no matter who, what, or where you are.

Footnotes

* We will probably not hire you if you are a kangaroo. Australian humans still welcomed, however.

Stop Judging Resumes: Virtuously Virtual Hiring Practices

In my own experience there’s been very little relationship between the
quality of a resume and the eventual usefulness of a developer. I’ve seen guys
with great work history, references, advanced degrees, numerous publications,
and so on, and yet their presence proved less valuable than their absence.
Meanwhile some of the most rewarding engineers I’ve worked with introduced
themselves with nothing more than a simple letter.

At a previous company I worked with in the dot-com era, we created an epic
test for long distance interviews for a Perl programmer/ Linux sysadmin role.
It consisted of questions that a veteran hacker would maybe know 80 or 90% off
the top of his head, and exactly which man pages to lookup for another 10%.
Cute stuff like “How can you rm a file named -rf?” and “Name
3 things you can accomplish at a GRUB prompt.” We would arrange a designated
time and email the applicant the test. They had one hour (which we would pay
them for) to return it. The test was so long and specific there was no hope of
completion if you needed Google’s help for a large portion of the answers. The
feedback from many applicants was elaborately negative.

These days our process is more to the point. If we’re considering brining
someone on staff, we start by giving them some work to do. We find detachable
development tasks that will further the SpiderOak cause, send them a minimal
set of instructions, and let them run with it. It’s usually something
smallish, 1 – 3 days at most. As an all telecommute team, we’re already
accustomed to giving code feedback. When they’re done, they send us a bill and
we send them a review.

Sometimes we give several people the same task. The results often show an
obvious contrast of strengths and weaknesses across several applicants, and it
conserves the (sometimes scarce) resource of development tasks that don’t
require detailed knowledge of core SpiderOak source code. Sometimes we’re not
sure after the first task so we give more.

I’m sure there are big corporate HR departments who would be astonished to
learn that the best predictor of a developer’s usefulness might be an ability
to complete development tasks.