At Checkr we are building software to help companies hire at scale, and our background checks are a big part of what makes that possible. On the surface a background check seems straightforward — you might think it’s as simple as looking up records in a database and returning some data, but in practice it’s messy and slow.

At a very high level, a background check falls into two phases:

  1. Getting Data
  2. Reporting Data

The goal of this blog post is to help reveal a little about how Checkr builds software to manage this complexity and help modernize background checks…

Our story begins with a machine

My brother and I bought an Axidraw v3 a few months ago. Axidraw is a modern day pen plotter – a machine that will move a pen or marker or pencil or crayon around on a piece of paper and precisely draw lines sent by a computer program.

The first plotters appeared in the 1950s and 60s and quickly died out with the rise of inkjet printers. However, according to wikipedia: “in the mid-to-late 2000s artists and hackers began to rediscover pen plotters as quirky, customizable output devices.”

Indeed we did, wikipedia. Indeed we did.

My brother and I used…


I created a few years ago as a joke[1]. It has since been used mostly as a funny and/or slightly passive aggressive way to ask people to brunch. When I created it I arbitrarily set the brunch time to be 10:15am to 11:45am. It is that decision which leads us here — I want to do better than arbitrary.


Twitter is a platform that allows users to “get real-time updates about what matters to you.”[2] If we assume people generally tweet about things while they are doing those things then we can assume tweets containing “brunch” are generally happening…

Ben Jacobson

Purveyor of Software and Product Design

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