Louise Ogilvy

05/23/2023, 12:16 PM
I'd love to ask a question in here to those who work in the DevTools space, particularly Founders/Heads of Engineering for a blog I am writing. Given that it's such a niche area (building tools specifically for devs or engineers) - how important is it to you to hire candidates that have previous experience in working on DevTools (let's say versus someone that's been working in Fintech or Healthtech etc). Does that add an extra dynamic to a potential hire or is it not something that features in your criteria when reviewing candidates? All thoughts and comments welcomed :)

Prakash Patil

05/23/2023, 12:24 PM
As a founder and especially a small company in the beginning our focus is on the dev team having thr know/how and devops experience in tooling. A bit later it will be a requirement for the lead or some role to have industry specific experience to know first hand the pro lem we are trying to solve. So in summary no in the beginning and yes a bit later.

Martin Hlavac

05/23/2023, 12:27 PM
not head of engineering, but I hired for a Platform Engineering teams in the past. My take on this changes with how senior candidates I was looking at. When looking for someone with only couple of years of experience I would focus on their problem solving skills, if they are willing to learn, and eager to solve problems faster and better the next time. Typically there are some sparks of, we had a problem X that repeated itself, so I implemented a script/library/api/function to solve it. For candidates with more experience, especially staff engineers I looked for some experience already. This still doesn't have to be a platform team, but I want to either see them introduce a solution that helps their colleagues before, or they are already maintaining such tools. Often times these candidates have a mixture of soft and hard skills. Some people are more focused on building communities and leading others, while others focus more on technical part itself. Both skills are important to be successful. Especially as what I typically was after was engineering effectiveness, and for that I would expect more experienced candidates to go and do product discovery.

Louise Ogilvy

05/23/2023, 12:45 PM
Thank you @Martin Hlavac and @Prakash Patil for your valuable comments

Jason Kennedy

05/24/2023, 4:38 PM
I like having a mix of engineers who came from strong product backgrounds because they bring a pretty different perspective to a team with often a more DevOps or Tools expertise. I find they often have the best insight in what actually using your internal tools looks like on a daily basis.