Triplebyte, the startup where I work, is hiring. We’re looking for engineers, a writer, a UX designer, and some generalist roles.
I think Triplebyte is a great place to work. In particular, I think that if you’re an EA, working at Triplebyte is a great opportunity for you if you would otherwise be earning to give and developing career capital. Here’s why.
I’ve learned an enormous amount since I started working here. I have a lot of freedom in what I do and how I do it. For example, my first major project had a significant UI component, and I wanted to do it in React; my CTO didn’t know React but was fine with me bringing it into the site. My second project was a complicated backend web project which involved, among other things, learning how to take care of a bunch of complicated servers on AWS. And my current project is essentially a interviewing research project: I’m developing a coding problem very different to everything we currently ask, and currently I’m collecting data to determine whether it correlates with our other measurements well enough that we should use it.
Empiricism is core to what we do. I’ve never before worked in a setting which puts as much work into statistical analysis of its various projects. Almost every task I have involves coming up with a hypothesis that if we work on some particular thing, we’ll improve some particular metric. I then build whatever software is required. After a while, we do a statistical analysis to determine whether my project has a positive effect. If it doesn’t, we modify it or abandon it.
The core skill I’m learning is the extremely useful general skill of figuring out how to make progress on hard and confusing problems, given incomplete information and significant costs to gathering data. I am super glad to be practicing this. This will be extremely useful to me regardless of what I end up doing long term—most obviously, it’s a useful skill for many kinds of direct work, many kinds of research, and entrepreneurship.
I think Triplebyte is an unusually good opportunity to develop these skills for a few reasons. To start with, as companies get bigger, they have more of an idea of what they’re doing, so you don’t get to work on problems with such large scope. Especially if you’re fundamentally just an empirically minded engineer—at most companies you’ll end up just working on engineering specific solutions, rather than broadly investigating the space of solutions. Among small companies, I don’t think many have founding teams as experienced, or engineers as good (I feel qualified to say this because I’ve interviewed a lot of engineers, and my coworkers are generally stronger programmers.)
(Triplebyte also has some downsides. Most obviously, engineers spend like 20 hours a week interviewing people. This is sort of a pain. On the other hand, I’ve certainly gotten something useful out of it: I have a way better understanding of a diverse range of topics in computer science now, and I’m somewhat better at communicating about some things, and I’ve learned that lots of people sound really smart when they talk about things they’ve done, then absolutely go to pieces when you ask them for technical details. I have gotten a much better feel for the ways and the extent that programmers vary.)
One of the projects I’m working on at the moment is something which I came up with on a whim one evening and coded a prototype of—my coworkers liked it, so I’m now building it into the main site. You don’t get to do this kind of thing at most companies.
The company culture is currently very well suited to EAs and rationalists: one reason I want to recruit my friends is that I’d like to keep it that way.
We’re hiring for the following roles (more info here):
- Software engineer. You need to be good at thinking and programming. You need really broad knowledge of computer science, because you need to be able to talk intelligently about anything that your interviewee might want to talk about. You need to be friendly, because you spend a bunch of time interviewing.
- Writer. We would love to hire someone to spend all their time taking our data and turning it into blog posts. If you like writing about data, this would be a great job for you.
- Designer/UX. We need someone to design all our user interfaces and do all our other visual design work.
- Talent manager. This is a person who handles all our interaction with our candidates. You need to be really organized, good at interacting with people (especially software engineers), and you need to be excited about doing experiments and using data to improve how we manage candidates.
- Other generalist roles: Product Operations and an Operation Manager
Get in touch with me if you’re interested in any of these roles. We are specifically interested in talking to you if you’re junior, really smart, and want to be given lots of responsibility to figure out the right way to do your job.
(And as always, even if you aren’t interested in any of this, if you’re a software engineer and you need a new job, you should use us! Talk to me about this too.)