Best Practices

How I Hire

tl/dr: I’m hiring at Jama and this is my approach.

Every time I go through the hiring process I want to ensure I am prepared, as bringing on new team members is one of the most crucial things that I do as a manager and it is not a responsibility that I take lightly.

We’ve all had horrible experiences with job interviews in the technology industry and I try to make the interview experience as informative and thorough as possible — for the candidate as well as the hiring team. As a manager, I am way more concerned about a person’s passion and desire to learn than I am if they have every little item on a job description. It is far more telling, to me, to understand what motivates a person to show up at work every day though that is not to say that people don’t need skills, in fact far from it. For example, if you are applying for a senior level role, my expectation is that your job history shows that you have the aptitude and experience doing what is required for that role. I am just more interested in the person and not the specific skills. I leave the technical vetting to my team, they are much smarter than me in those areas and will ensure candidates have the skills needed for the role.

Life at Jama is a unique experience, and unlike any other place I’ve worked. Not only do we build a collaboration tool but as a company, we live and breathe collaboration every single day. We use Jama to make Jama and when you walk around the workspace you see groups of people from multiple departments working on problems together. Our office space is painted with white board paint and it is common to see whole walls taken up with drawings and sticky notes of teams working together toward a common goal.

Life in Jama engineering is more unique from other places I’ve worked as well. We are an agile software company and we celebrate our successes, but we also seek to learn from our failures. We do regular retrospectives after every sprint to learn what went well and what we want to improve upon. One of the foundational changes that has happened this year is the implementation of a team self-selection model for choosing projects. We come together every 8 weeks and attend a “science fair” where key projects are presented for that cycle and engineers pick which project they would like to work on. The goal of this autonomous process is to have engineers to work on the projects that excite them while still meeting the business delivery needs. The results so far have been positive and empowering and is just one example of how we strive to foster a workplace and culture that is motivating for technology professionals.

One of the things I’m trying to change culturally here at Jama is by getting rid of the concept of a separate DevOps team. I believe that DevOps is a way of working and not a separate department or job title. I know this sounds weird when the current open position I have listed says “Senior DevOps Engineer” in the job title. The actual position title will simply be a Senior Software Engineer but when we advertised it as such we did not get many candidates with the breadth of skills that come with working in a DevOps culture. The simple fact is that the name DevOps in the title is to help attract candidates but the goal here at Jama is to have DevOps be something that everyone in the engineering department has a hand in.

If you long to innovate, iterate and automate at a company that has a culture of quality, then I invite you to come check out Jama Software and our current job openings. I can’t guarantee that you’ll get the job but I’ll do all I can to ensure that you to have a positive interview process along the way.