Getting Hired at Great Scott Gadgets
Once in a while, we get emails from people in the community who want to know what they can do to increase their chances of getting hired at Great Scott Gadgets (GSG) when we do happen to open up a position. We really appreciate this enthusiasm! Below we outline some of the skills and topics we assess when hiring someone to join our small, completely-remote team.
Know our products and projects. Our products are listed on our website. The Software and hardware details for our products and projects are in the repositories on our GitHub. When we interview we ask which of our products you are familiar with, if there are any you are excited to work on, and if you have experience with any of them. While it is not required for an applicant to have used our products, it really helps when applicants have an idea of what our company does and what they would like to do when they join us. Yes, we often hire with a specific project in mind, but we do want to make sure the position fits the person and can often make adjustments.
Have skills in the tools and languages we use. Take a look at our GitHub repositories and see what technologies and programming languages we use. We are a company dedicated to open source and most of our development happens in the open by team members forking a repository, making changes in a branch, and then submitting a pull request just as anyone in the community is able to do. We do like to see GitHub contributions from new team members within the first few weeks of working at GSG so it is important to know at least one of the languages we work with well enough that you can jump right in.
Contribute to open source or build a project to talk about in interviews. Our interviews do not have any whiteboarding, homework, or any other excessively long skills testing process. We currently assess applicants on two phone screens and on code, projects, documentation, and writeups you have posted publicly. We do understand that some of the people eager to join GSG are coming from a career filled with NDAs or restrictions on personal projects and contributing to open source. If you don’t have public materials for us to review, please let us know and we’ll work with you to make accommodations.
If you have more questions about working at Great Scott Gadgets or our hiring process, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just over ten years ago I sent my first email to Dominic Spill:
“We haven’t met, Dominic, but I hope you don’t mind being included on this message. I thought you two might be interested in some work I finally got around to writing up. . .”
I had been exploring the use of software-defined radio for Bluetooth monitoring and had found Dominic’s paper on the subject. He and I quickly began collaborating on the development of tools and techniques that improved upon the methods in his paper. Just three months later, we presented Building an All-Channel Bluetooth Monitor at ShmooCon 2009.
We met in person for the first time the day before our talk at ShmooCon, and we have been friends and research partners ever since.
Over the next two years I learned electronics and designed Ubertooth One, a low cost test tool that implemented some of the techniques Dominic and I had developed. Ultimately this me led to create Great Scott Gadgets as a way to put such tools into the hands of innovative people around the world.
When Great Scott Gadgets began to become too much work for me alone, Dominic was the first person I turned to for help. He took over development and support for the Ubertooth project as a remote contractor while I turned my attention to developing new tools and growing the company.
Eventually Dominic moved to the United States and joined the GSG team in Colorado as a full-time employee. He played a key role in research and development, provided technical support for our resellers and end users, led our software development efforts, mentored interns, kept our internal IT systems up and running, and even cleaned the refrigerator. His humor, creativity, and patience have been felt by every member of the team.
For ten years Dominic and I have continued collaborating on research and developing new tools. I’ve lost count of the number of conference presentations we’ve given together and of how many times one of us has turned to the other and said, “Here’s a crazy idea. . .”
Yesterday was Dominic’s last day at Great Scott Gadgets. Having decided that he needed a change, he will pursue new adventures.
We will miss Dominic greatly. He will always be a part of the GSG family.