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May 24, 2007 / jnolen

Hiring developers at Atlassian, San Francisco Office

We, like everyone else in the industry right now, are trying to hire developers. In addition to the main engineering teams in Sydney, (for which we need many developers — go apply!) we are trying to hire two developers in the San Francisco office, which is a new thing for us. As such, I've poured through dozens of résumés in the last few weeks with very little success.

So, in an act of sheerest optimism, I'm going to tell you the kind of résumé I'd like to see. If you happen know such a person, or if you happen to be such a person, please get in touch. Atlassian is a great place to work.

To start with, here's the a fairly generic job description for one of our development spots. Second, here are the things we look for in all employees. Now that that's out of the way, here are some additional signals I look for when reviewing résumés. A candidate with any of the qualities would have an advantage. A candidate with all of them would be a dream come true.

You have a blog

If I could ask only one extra question, this might be the one. The blog can stand as a proxy for so many other important qualities.

  • It means that you have opinions, and are not afraid to share them. And I can even read those opinions in what should be their best light.
  • It lets me get a sense of your ability to write and make an argument.
  • It demonstrates that you're comfortable communicating through blogs (which, with three offices in three timezones, we do a lot). Also, we encourage developers to blog publicly.
  • It likely means that you're interested in technology for its own sake and that you stay abreast of the latest developments in the industry and new technology.
  • It demonstrates that you like communicating with others. There's plenty of room for the programmer who wants to be a heads-down coder all of the time, but for the developers in San Francisco, there will be a lot of interacting with the community.

You've coded something for fun

Writing code of your own initiative is a huge indicator that you're the kind of developer we're looking for. It doesn't particularly matter what you've built: you could have a start-up project or side business. You could have written or contributed to an open-source project. You could have built a vanity site. Creating technology for it's own sake and taking that to a significant level of completion (like launching a application, or getting a patch accepted, or publishing your site) demonstrates exactly the qualities we look for.

You're involved in the Open Source community

Much of what we do at Atlassian depends heavily on open source. We do our development largely in the open. We follow open-source practices as best we can. And in turn, we try to support the community: we give free licenses to OS projects, commit back to OS libraries wherever we can. The ideal candidate will understand the open source community and respects its values and principles.

You're an advocate of agile development

We don't practice strict XP at Atlassian, but we've found enormous benefits from following certain XP practices. And as time goes on, our developers are becoming more XP rather than less. It seems every problem we run into has a potential answer in agile programming, and the more we encourage the behaviors, the better we do (though, admittedly, the jury is still out).

But in any case, an ideal Atlassian would believe in agile programming and want to work in that kind of environment. Someone who has previously worked on a successful agile team would be valued; someone who would advocate for good agile practices even more so.

And that's my dream candidate. So if you fit the model and are interested in working at the coolest companies in Australia without having to move around the globe, you know where to find me.

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