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Experiences with Hired, TripleByte, and LeetCode

April 22, 2019

In the spirit of learning what’s new and latest in the world of two-sided markets, I explored online platforms that connect employers and software engineers. Hiring platforms such as Hired and TripleByte all tackle the problem differently. Furthermore it’s also good to practice coding questions on LeetCode. Here’s some lowlights and highlights of my exploration on LeetCode, Hired and a short fling with TripleByte.

Experiences

The most annoying thing: each online job seeker platform have a lengthy separate setup time and upkeep: Hired requires vigilant upkeep to accept interview invites, and Triplebyte demands answering a quiz plus additional programming excises. These are taxing on the job seeker, who, if living in the Bay Area and is well-connected, already has many other recruiters sending phone requests to in their inbox.

Hired

There is little differentiation between companies when they hire through a platform: any posting looking for a software engineer of a certain domain asks for a similar set of technologies, hence all the companies look similar. The companies I interviewed with on Hired are venture-funded startups, and while I enjoyed interviewing with them and received offers, I turned them down to take a different position within Salesforce, my then-employer. Initial non-technical phone screens were time intensive, and it’s not really clear what is the value-add to the job seeker. Take home exercises weeds out candidates who don’t do free exercise, or who are interviewing with multiple companies. You can read about my stance in take-home exercises here.

TripleByte

The major selling point of this platform is the job seeker goes directly to tech screens with the companies, skipping the non-technical initial call. Before all that, the job seeker has to clear a programming exercise, then a programming interview with TripleByte. While the programming exercise was short and sweet, the interview was long, around 90 minutes, and involved me live-coding a UI component while screen-sharing, plus quizzes on front end technologies including CSS. It was good preparation for future technical interviews. Even though I did not advance to the next step, it was a positive experience, since the detailed feedback on what could have been better was valued. Since most interviews don’t even provide feedback, TripleByte came out ahead.

LeetCode

I am a big fan of crunching through programming exercises, and LeetCode especially shines when you want to become confident for technical interviews. These are core Computing Science programming questions, including how to implement a tree, how to balance it, etc. Preparing for these fundamental questions is essential, as I found out during my Microsoft Software Engineer interview. I’ve through the Easy and Medium exercises in JavaScript, and given the quirkiness of the language, developed some nice talks as a result, especially my talk on JavaScript Numbers.

Highlights

Hired

I liked the breakdown of which industry the company is in, and the number of engineers; the latter differentiates the startups from more mature companies. Interviewing mainly with startups, I enjoyed the direct access to CEO/CTOs. It was great to pick their brains on what the startup life is like, and whether I’d like to be in their shoes.

TripleByte

Big fan of taking the practice programming interview, since the feedback is valuable.

LeetCode

I love the gamification of getting points for completing problems, and seeing myself advance on the leaderboard. Also enjoy the breadth of programming exercises. A good platform to review core Computing Science problems, and/or to learn about the quirks of the language.