Getting Hired at Quick Left

Well, hello there. @BBonifield here – the official new guy at Quick Left. When Ryan first asked me to write a blog post, I was all like "sure, it’ll be about some Objective-C codes, great!" But then he was like, "No, the codes must wait. Tell your story about getting hired here first. The bloggers must know." So here we are. I’m going to give you a glimpse into the super-secret hiring process at Quick Left! But first, a little backstory…

I’m not from the colorful and wonderful state of Colorado. I come from a place that’s much flatter, where tornado watching is a treasured pastime. While I liked my job in Wichita, I knew that I eventually wanted to move onto greener pastures. I was eyeing high-tech cities like Austin, Boston, Boulder, NYC, and San Francisco, but I needed to narrow it down a bit.

After some careful consideration, I decided that Austin is too damn hot, Boston is too damn snowy, Ditto to NYC plus all the damn people, and San Francisco has too many damn hippies. Ok, I kid about San Francisco. It’s just a little too congested and fast-paced in my book. So then there was Boulder…

“What’s Wikipedia got to say about that relaxed little mountain town in Colorado?”

  • The 10 Happiest Cities – # 1 –
  • Top Brainiest Cities – #1 –
  • America’s Top 25 Towns to Live Well – #1 –
  • Most Educated City in America – #1 – Forbes magazine
  • America’s Foodiest Town – #1 – Bon Appetit magazine
  • Healthiest Town in the US – #2 -Men’s Health
  • Ten Best Cities for the Next Decade – #4 – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine
  • Top 100 Places to Live – #9

“Seriously? I mean, I get to live there?! Thanks Wikipedia, sign me up!”

I heard about the opening here at Quick Left in a rather non-traditional way (via IRC), but the process after that was pretty standard. I sent my resume in and got an email from Ingrid to setup a phone interview.

The next week I spent an hour on the phone with Collin and Sam, basically talking shop. They wanted to know what sort of projects I’d worked on in the past, and I wanted to know about the company culture and what sets Quick Left apart. Here are the highlights that I took away:

  • Quick Left is an engineering company from the top down. Your coworkers are engineers and so are the owners. You won’t have to worry about some important feature getting scrapped because your boss doesn’t understand its technical importance. If you’ve ever worked at an ad agency, you’ll definitely be able to appreciate this.
  • Quick Left has a company culture of community involvement. They hold monthly hackfests, host local meet-ups from time-to-time (e.g. Boulder JavaScript, Boulder Titanium Users Group), and have a policy of sending everyone to conferences throughout the year.
  • Quick Left believes in craftsmanship. They have a library of books on design principles and best practices.

Sounds good, right?

Seeing as I was in Kansas, I couldn’t exactly stop by for a follow-up interview, so Ingrid sent me another email, inviting me to come to Boulder for a day of pair programming. Becca did a great job of setting up the flight and hotel accommodations for me, and then I found myself standing at the door of the Colorado building, getting ready to head up and see what was what.

Pairing was an entirely new concept to me. My employer at the time was one of those places where everyone lived in headphones land all day long. As I walked through the doors at Quick Left, I noticed the difference that pairing makes immediately. Everyone was chatting and collaborating, and the atmosphere was much more lively and entertaining than I was used to.

I worked on a couple cool Ruby and JavaScript projects that day with Gerred, Sam, and Ryan, and the whole crew went to Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery to grab some lunch and beers (Mountain Sun has some great IPAs that you must try if you get a chance!). I remember how happy I was that the QLers were talking about the latest JavaScript Weekly newsletter. Where I came from, no one even knew it existed, but at Quick Left, it was just another source of required reading. My kind of place.

As you may of guessed, Quick Left liked me, and I liked them. I moved out here June 3rd, and I’ve been loving it ever since. Quick Left is a great place to work, and Boulder is a great place to live. And for what it’s worth, I say that not only because they’re paying me to but also because I believe it.