Since 2012, Flatiron School has worked with a lot of hungry software engineering students – and almost as many companies who come to Flatiron to hire technical talent. Sometimes they’re kind enough to pull back the curtain and demystify their hiring practices for interested students. Today, as part of our Career Advice series, we’re happy to share our conversation with Christian Gloddy, Director of Web Development at New York Magazine. Read on to see what Christian looks for in candidates and his advice for students hoping to work at New York.
Thanks for chatting with us! First, can you describe your role at New York Magazine?
I’m the Director of Web Development at New York Magazine. I spend my days helping the dev team at New York write healthy code on a genuinely cool platform. We collaborate with an incredibly talented group of people to bring nymag.com, vulture.com, thecut.com, selectall.com, scienceofus.com, grubstreet.com and more to life. In the end, we hope that we do right by the writers, photographers, and artists at the heart of New York.
What qualities do you look for in candidates when hiring developers?
Creating good software is hard, but these qualities help for any development team:
An ability to talk about code. Good code begins as a conversation, so it’s vital to learn how to speak about your solutions
A sense of what you know well, don’t know at all, and a desire to learn what you need to know next. No one expects you to know everything, but you should be able to learn what you need, when you need it
A willingness to admit your mistakes. You’ll make them, as will your colleagues. Iteration only leads to better software if you understand what went wrong, so the better you get at recognizing your mistakes, the sooner you’ll understand how to grow past them
An acceptance that there are no “right answers”, just ones that are “right enough” for right now. No matter how good your solution, it’s only a matter of time before you or someone else finds something better
Be nice and forgiving and empathetic and kind. It helps in ways that are difficult to measure, but are unquestionably felt and appreciated
Where do you look for talent?
I look everywhere, quite frankly. Talented people abound, emerging from a wide variety of paths, so it’s important to keep your eyes and ears open. Formal recruiting events are certainly a helpful part of that.
What’s your experience been like with Flatiron’s campus recruiting events?
Positive! The conversations are genuinely interesting to have. Even if I don’t have a role for a particular candidate, it’s a good conversation for both of us to talk about what sort of role would work for them. It hopefully helps them in their future search and certainly helps me better understand the role I’m trying to fill.
What’s your impression of the Flatiron grads you’ve hired?
Salt of the earth. Wind beneath my wings. Perhaps that’s a bit much, but Flatiron seems to have a knack for finding inquisitive, kind people and I’m grateful for the time I get to spend with the Flatiron graduates who work at New York.
Finally, any advice to prospective New York Magazine applicants on how to stand out in the interview process?
Be honest and open about who you are, what you know, and what you’re excited to learn in the future.
In short, be yourself. That’ll give you the best chance of finding a place that understands why you would be happy and healthy and jazzed to walk into work every day.
Interested in more advice on starting your career in tech? Download our new eBook, How to Be a No-Brainer Tech Hire, for more advice from Flatiron School and our network of employers.
Employers: Interested in attending our next campus recruiting event? We’ve got another series of them running from February 27 through March 2. Click here for details!