Things That Matter

I came across a job listing at Tumblr for an iOS Engineer. Tumblr can be really picky about what developers they choose to hire, and this is the criteria they’ve come up with.

  • A history of shipping iOS software.
  • Ability to write idiomatic Objective-C code.
  • Deep understanding of Cocoa design patterns and API design.
  • An appreciation for pragmatism and simplicity in code.
  • Knowledge of iOS performance techniques.
  • A strong product and design sensibility.
  • Enthusiasm for Tumblr as a product.
  • A good sense of humor and a love of collaboration.

I really like this list. Not only because one of the largest Internet companies around today is listing qualifications that I meet, but also because this is really atypical of job listing requirements.

Most listings have requirements that read like product spec sheets. “Experience with [random list of buzzwords]”, “ Standing for Excellence”, and “5+ years iOS app development experience [sic].” Trust me - I’ve gone through the job hunting process for a fulltime iOS dev positions twice this year, and this is really common.

I love this list because it emphasizes what’s really important: getting things done. Tumblr doesn’t give a shit if you’re fresh out of school as long as you have a demonstrable ability to write software.

They want developers who work in a team to accomplish something amazing, not rockstar developers that don’t get along with others.

They’re looking for enthusiasm, not a willingness to work 14 hour days.

They know that amazing products are written with amazing code by capable and experienced developers.

If I’m ever in a position to hire developers, this is exactly the list I’m using on the job listing.


Posted on December 20, 2011