Because Ryatta is a small company, we go out of our way to make sure new hires will mesh well with our existing staff. The last time we hired, it was from the graduating class of a code-bootcamp, and it went something like this:

Two stage interview

Stage 1: You meet with a staff member who does normal interview stuff, asking about your work experience, what you like, how you work. We are especially interested in learning if you know Ruby on Rails, Ember.js, Responsive Design, User Experience Design, Object Orient Programming, and Behaviour Driven Development.

Stage 2: You meet with a senior developer, who presents you with a problem, described as a user case study. We’re more interested in seeing how you break the problem down than the code you write. What questions do you ask? When you go to the whiteboard? We’re an Agile shop, so make sure you ask questions before you start sketching systems

Pro-tip: talk to the senior developer and explain your thoughts. Getting the problem right is less important than showing us how you think.

If you attack problems in a reasonable way and you were fun to work with, we’ll ask you to show us a project you worked on.

Code Review

Log into GitHub and guide us through your code. Make sure you tell us why you made the decisions you made, and make it crystal clear how your project solves a problem. If we like you, we’ll ask you to come work with us for a few days.

Extended Audition

When we bring you in, you’ll get a brief orientation, and we’ll bring you up to speed on our current projects. Then it’s off to work! We’re always busy, so while we’ll suggest a few things you can work on, part of the interview is seeing how you work unsupervised. But unsupervised isn’t unsupported: we’re all in the same room. We know you won’t know what’s going on: ask questions; pair with us. Show us skills you might not have been able to demonstrate in the interviews. Being proactive is a really good thing. And chat with us at lunch!


We’re always trying to refine our processes, so our next round of hiring won’t run exactly like this. But even if it does, we don’t feel that giving our ‘secrets’ away is a bad thing. Interviews are inherently abnormal situations, and the more prepared you are, the more likely you are to show us who you really are. And that’s what we want.

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Find out more about what we do here. You can contact us to arrange your own personalized evaluation experience!

Michael Atlin is a software developer at Ryatta Group. In his free time, he acts, writes plays and short stories, plays boardgames, and feeds cats.