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I interviewed a remote candidate recently over Google Meet for a software engineering position.

I asked him a simple question that involved sorting an array with a fixed range of integers.

He first suggested using merge-sort, quick-sort, heap-sort, etc… Basically all the O(nlog(n))) or O(n²) algorithms. Which is normal but not exactly what I was looking for.

However, I wanted him to come up with the O(n) solution and suggested he look for a faster algorithm given the constraints.

He said he didn’t know any more algorithms. Which is ok, because I wanted him to think through the problem, even though he didn’t know the specific algorithm. …

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Make sure you don’t hire engineers with “shiny object syndrome”.

What is that?

It’s when an engineer gets easily distracted by every cool new technology, framework, trend, or library that comes out and wants to include that into what they’re working on just because it’s the “cool new thing” everyone is using.

We hired an engineer like this in our early days at FiscalNote. He was a true hacker but would always get distracted and wander off checking out other libraries and modules on Github instead of building features for our clients!

In one instance, around the time when TypeScript was gaining some traction, he spent an entire day learning the new syntax. He was supposed to be building a commenting feature for our client that day. Then the following day he arrived at work and proposed we rewrite our whole stack in typescript!! …

The first iteration of our platform started as most startup MVPs do — as a single Ruby on Rails application. …


Co-Founder @FiscalNote

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