What are Google, Twitter looking for in a new hire…

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This piece may seem offbeat to my normal discussion on the field of healthcare 3D printing, but if I don’t share this, then I am not living what I preach.

Recounting a casual conversation recently (last night) with a friend who is also the senior engineer at Twitter on the interview process at Twitter for new engineers, the hiring process at large tech companies is apparently more gruesome than one can imagine. The process is both complex and frustrating equally for the companies and the engineers. Not to mention the recent diversity controversy starting from Google, the stories from the employer side shed light not just on strategies in talent management but also vision and business strategies of the companies.

Apparently, hiring a new engineer takes a whole day after hours of interviews with different shareholders in the company. The end result, the new hire, still may not work out and having to let go of people sucks. What is the most trait that can forecast a good engineering hire?

It’s not necessarily an Ivy League degree, or certificates, or even good recommendations. Yes, those help and may have a degree of quality assurance, but the most important trait is how well-rounded the engineer’s knowledge is. Is he/she only capable of solving the current problem, or is he/she capable of stay adaptive and competitive to a constantly changing technological business landscape? This not only requires a depth of knowledge in a single vertical, but also a good understanding of ALL the elements in the software development ecosystem. One might even argue that the ecosystem can be as wide as what life presents.

As a business, I don’t think it is practical or even effective to try to learn about everything in healthcare 3D printing, but staying narrow minded to focus only on one or two business endpoints or strategies is doomed to fail if one is to stay in the game for the long run. Staying open-minded, encouraging curiosity, facilitating cross-industry conversations are visibly what existing successful companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are doing. When it comes to learning, I always try to learn from people who are successful. Just saying…

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