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Rebooting (something like) early Triplebyte (otherbranch.com)
sam2426679 8 days ago [-]
TripleByte changed my (professional) life. Around 2019, I was in a bit of a professional lull but knew just enough coding to be dangerous.

I got roped into the TripleByte funnel through a Reddit ad, which eventually culminated in moving out to SF for a YC startup. Several years later, I had a role at FAANG and reached a level of professional $ucce$$ that was orders of magnitude better than where I had been ~4 years prior.

I wish TripleByte was still around. I remember interviewing.io doing a study on whether there was any signal from LinkedIn profiles with “skill badges.” TripleByte was the only badge that had predictive value for ability-to-receive-an-offer, but the flip side was that recruiters negatively associate these badges with profiles of people in early-stage careers, which means that you’re better served by not having any badges on your profile.

baron816 8 days ago [-]
I went through a bootcamp at the end of 2014, then spent the next three years unable to get a job in tech. I didn’t have a paycheck for those three years.

Triplebyte was my last ditch effort. I failed the online test the first time I took it, came back and then failed their interview. Came back again, got five in person interviews in the Bay Area. Didn’t get offers on the first four (one place even kicked me out halfway through the set of interviews). But I managed to get an offer from the last company, which I then spent the next four years at.

Had I not gone through Triplebyte, I probably would’ve given up on working in tech. Instead, I’m an L5 at Google.

judahmeek 8 days ago [-]
That's still an amazing level of persistence.

What motivated you to push through so much failure?

baron816 7 days ago [-]
Overconfidence. I had built some cool stuff, but I didn’t know much I didn’t know. So having interviews where I wouldn’t get any feedback left me in the dark about how far off I was.

I’ve always had sterling reviews as long as I’ve been in a job. I’ll leave it to you to wonder how much of that is competence and how much is successfully pretending to be competent.

Aeolun 7 days ago [-]
> I’ll leave it to you to wonder how much of that is competence and how much is successfully pretending to be competent.

It still sets a baseline level of competence, even if it’s not quite as amazing as it appears.

People always think I’m competent, but it’s really me just starting on ‘what I expect people to be doing in half a year’ now, so by the time they start doing it I’ve already gone through all the pitfalls while they weren’t looking.

gumby 7 days ago [-]
> one place even kicked me out halfway through the set of interviews

It might feel better if you realise they "let you go home" rather than "kicked you out". If a candidate is clearly not qualified why waste their time (or ours) going through interviews that we already know won't lead to a hire?

BTW we always consider this a failure of our process (phone screen in particular), not failure of the candidate. We should never have brought them in in the first place.

smohare 7 days ago [-]
edgyquant 8 days ago [-]
I was working construction and doing part time web design before triplebyte, afterwards I was working in SV as a senior engineer. To say it changed my life is an understatement
rachofsunshine 8 days ago [-]
I wrote this post, and TB changed my life, even though I'm not an engineer. They hired me almost literally off the street, and now I'm...well, running an attempt at a successor. Not a bad six years.

If you want one reason I wanted to start this company in particular, it's that it seemed like a good idea to try to make something everyone wants to see exist.

joeatwork 8 days ago [-]
I ran the interview team for TripleByte FastTrack early on (I’m not part of or in touch with the otherbranch folks) and I’m excited to see something like it return! The program was good at uncovering different sorts of engineering excellence. We could identify and attest for folks who were particularly fluent coders, or particularly deep systems folks, or particularly excellent debuggers, and then match them with shops that needed the sorts of things those people could do well. If the otherbranch process is like early TripleByte I’d encourage folks to give it a try because they’ll have a shot at landing jobs that are better fits for their skills and interests (in addition to just saving a bunch of time during the search!)
rachofsunshine 8 days ago [-]
(Otherbranch founder here) Thanks for the support! If you're interested in advising at all, I'd love to have you around. I reached out to everyone whose contact info I had, and I've got a fair number of people back in a room, but obviously didn't hit everyone.
brian-armstrong 8 days ago [-]
My experience with Triplebyte was quite negative. After going through their test, I wasn't finding many companies I was interested in in their roster. At their request and in the interest of giving them a chance, I interviewed with a couple but realized those companies definitely weren't for me.

When one gave me an offer, I knew I had to decline but Triplebyte's recruiter told me on the phone that they were having a company party that night and they wouldn't drink unless I accepted the offer. It felt really manipulative and weird. I decided to completely drop their service after that.

xingped 8 days ago [-]
That is an extremely bizarre manipulation attempt by the recruiter. Every interaction I have with recruiters seems to just further and further solidify my hatred for them.
philbo 8 days ago [-]
Not sure if anyone from Otherbranch will see this but there's a tiny error in the description part of the coding problem on this page:


Under step 2, the description says:

    > If the selection is not a mine,
    > but has adjacent mines in one of the squares next to it (including diagonally),
    > change that square to display the number of mines adjacent to it.
However, the example output alongside it shows a square that is changed to the value zero. That square has no adjacent mines, so if the description were correct it would not have changed value.

So either the "but has adjacent mines" clause should be deleted from the description, or an additional "otherwise change that square to display zero" clause should be added, or the example output should be changed.

rachofsunshine 8 days ago [-]
Should be fixed now! Thanks for the note.
ajb 8 days ago [-]
Interesting, but the website still does the usual thing of pushing people to the sign-up page without giving much information. If you're pitch is "we are aggressively honest" then an an indication of the jobs available seems like a good idea. Established recruitment firms list them all. I know it's tough establishing a two sided market, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when companies waste my time by inviting me to sign up and give a bunch of data, only to then then be told things like "We're not in your country yet" or even "We've put you on a waiting list".
rachofsunshine 8 days ago [-]
This is a fair criticism. You kind of hit why we don't - established firms list them all. We're not established yet, we're a baby deer trying to take a few steps through the forest. I would like to say that "not actively calling attention to our weaknesses in a way that is detrimental to users on both sides" is different from lying, but I think you could reasonably think differently.

Since you asked: we have two roles currently hiring, and one with a contract out (although I think it's <50-50 to actually get signed, they've been extremely difficult to get responses from). We work primarily with engineers and roles in the US (both because that's where we are located and because that's where the revenue needed to make this model work can be found. However, we're not closed to engineers abroad. One of the roles hiring right now is open to remote in most of the world (they prefer not the EU for time-zone reasons), the other is in-office in New York City.

If your criterion is "I don't want to sign up for this unless it'll get me a lot of jobs right now", well...don't. It won't, not yet. The pitch right now is "if you want to see this thing exist and would like a job if we can find you one, give it a shot, you've got nothing to lose".

ajb 8 days ago [-]
Well, okay, but turn it round: what do you have to lose by listing the jobs? Some people will be convinced to sign up without them, but if you list them, some additional people will sign because they are interested in those jobs.

Maybe some that would have given you their CV would be put off if they see only listings for jobs they don't match - but they don't match them, so they're not going to help your business any time soon anyway. So: the ones you gain by not listing don't help you, and the ones you lose are the ones that would.

Having only a couple of jobs just makes you look small, not weak. But there are many small recruiting forms that do well - for example, one guy who I've used, Mark Ashton, only listed a couple of roles on his website[1]. But when I was a hirer he was still a great recruiter who found candidates that were matches, because he knew the market. As an individual, I still go to his website to see if there's anything of interest. (Okay, he seems to have changed his website and it doesn't show any jobs, so not as good a piece of evidence as I thought. But probably that's because he doesn't have a client right now, rather than because he wouldn't list them).

[1] https://the1stconnection.co.uk/

gwbas1c 8 days ago [-]
> what do you have to lose by listing the jobs?

Because that makes Otherbranch no different than an ordinary recruiting firm!

IE, when you're starting a business, not only is it important to be selective about what you do, it's also important to be selective about what you don't do.

ajb 7 days ago [-]
What they don't do is cold approaches to candidates. Candidates applying to their website is - actually what they do. It sounds like they would probably do listings when they are big enough, so I don't see how it's a differentiator.
rachofsunshine 7 days ago [-]
> Well, okay, but turn it round: what do you have to lose by listing the jobs?

Years ago, Triplebyte had a blog post on the front page of this very site where we mentioned, offhandedly, that we'd gotten jobs for "hundreds of engineers". That was true - the number was roughly 800 that we could track, probably into the low thousands counting ones we didn't - but there were extended threads analyzing that number to prove that we never actually got anyone jobs and our whole brand identity was a lie.

Had you done the numbers, you'd have found that 800 was totally consistent with TB's stage as a company. At 30k a placement, 800 placements would amount to 26m in revenue; at 10m or so of annual revenue and rapid growth that's a totally reasonable lifetime number. The complaint was, I think, totally unfounded. But that didn't stop it from being the top thread on that post (IIRC) for some hours.

That's the kind of thing that makes it hard to be transparent. As much as we want honesty from companies, we (or at least a lot of us) also want to go with the winners, and we often have unrealistic expectations of what "winning" looks like (because our intuitions are tuned on inflated numbers that are either lying or selected). In fact, just down this thread, you'll find someone arguing we can't really be serious about recruiting because our website was not made by a graphic designer.

> Maybe some that would have given you their CV would be put off if they see only listings for jobs they don't match - but they don't match them, so they're not going to help your business any time soon anyway. So: the ones you gain by not listing don't help you, and the ones you lose are the ones that would.

The problem is that, in the limit, this results in no one ever signing up for anything. Because candidates want us to already have the job they're a match for, and companies want us to already have the candidates they're looking for. And even if clients were willing to go for it even without candidates in the pool, it's not like candidates regularly check to see if new ones are posted on a small site. (If you did do that on your recruiters' site, I can tell you - with the backing of considerable data - that you are in a rare minority.)

One person we have at an onsite literally right now signed up a month ago when we had no roles for him. We had a role that was a fit come in a few weeks later, matched him with it and then with another, and now he's got a 50-50 or so shot to get a job in the next few days. Had he just bounced day one, that wouldn't have happened.

There's an analogy here in terms of chemistry. Trying to get both candidates and companies to both be around at the right moment is second-order kinetics, proportional both to the rate at which candidates check your site and to the rate at which companies have open roles they want you to fill. Trying to get one side to sign up provisionally - and it makes sense for that to be candidates, since job searches tend to last longer than open reccs and candidates aren't having to pay for it - is first-order kinetics, proportional only to the rate on the other side. Since at small scale n^2 is << n, it's really important for us to encourage the first-order state of affairs rather than the second-order one.

Of course, none of that gets at whether not posting all our open roles is consistent with honesty. But you're making a strategic argument here, and I think it's incorrect.

ajb 7 days ago [-]
Okay, that's a good analysis. I'm too tired to work through the math bit right now, but you may be right.

One question in my mind, though, is why is it that that most recruiters solve the coordination issue the other way - first finding companies, and then hunting for candidates to match them. IE, there must be some reason why it's more effective for them to do it that way round, and theoretically this presents an obstacle for you. But perhaps Triplebyte already figured out the answer.

I only know of one established recruitment company which does it the other way round - they don't hunt for candidates - and that's ecm selection. They operate in science-heavy areas mainly, and the chip industry, where there's a particular need for the recruiter to have a good grip on what the role means, otherwise they end up flooding their client with inappropriate candidates. But they are probably not as scalable as you want to be.

JCzynski 7 days ago [-]
As the previous blog post[1] was all about, they're not really expecting to scale, right? Or not that far.

[1] https://www.otherbranch.com/blog/why-triplebyte-failed

ajkjk 8 days ago [-]
They do seem comparatively honest otherwise, but, I agree. More honesty only helps (the users).
timr 8 days ago [-]
> Interesting, but the website still does the usual thing of pushing people to the sign-up page without giving much information. If you're pitch is "we are aggressively honest" then an an indication of the jobs available seems like a good idea. Established recruitment firms list them all.

No, they don't. In fact, the opposite is usually true: established recruiting firms will keep the company name pretty quiet, and only reveal it on outreach to specific candidates.

Just because someone doesn't list that kind of information on the homepage does not automatically mean "dishonest". It's very common for "allow my company's name to appear on your website" to be a negotiated item in a partnership contract. Getting it approved can require involving people all the way up to the CEO. The juice often isn't worth the squeeze, and the companies you can get to agree to it are the ones you least care about putting on the website anyway.

Particularly for recruiting agencies working on contingency, I can easily see why clients wouldn't want their partners to plaster their open reqs + brand on the front page of the website.

ajb 8 days ago [-]
They don't list company names. That's why I didn't say they list company names. Generally, they list everything but the company name.
timr 8 days ago [-]
Well, ok...but I'm not sure "software engineer at a company" is particularly trust-building...
ajb 7 days ago [-]
There's a bit more signal than that. Also, it's harder for them to try and sell you into any random role, as you can tell that they are doing it when it doesn't match the description you were interested in.

On first look, though, unfortunately now basically any website content could have been made by GenAI. That looks to be what we're living with from now on :-(

griftrejection 8 days ago [-]
banish-m4 8 days ago [-]
Triplebyte overhyped their promise by lying to candidates. They told me I "had the highest score they ever saw" on their screening thing. Then, they submitted me as a candidate to Meta without my consent during the middle of the pandemic. (Ironically, it got me a job at Meta but I was laid-off in 2022 due to being remote and new.)
ajkjk 8 days ago [-]
That sounds really frustrating. They did things like that a few other times too, as I recall.

Companies burning their goodwill is such a painfully negative thing about the modern world. Like just.. don't do it, even for the money. It's shameful.

griftrejection 8 days ago [-]
What's more shameful is that we've done nothing to make that behavior illegal, at least in the US.
rachofsunshine 8 days ago [-]
(Otherbranch founder)

The privacy thing is a legitimate criticism. It was not my call (I wasn't part of the leadership at the time) and I disagreed with it both then and now. It was a screwup, and it is a big part of why I want to make aggressive honesty one of our major cultural points - because I think once you start with spin it's easy to roll down a slippery slope to "well it's in our pragmatic interest so sure do whatever".

banish-m4 7 days ago [-]
@sama was hyping 3B on podcasts ~2016-2018. I thought it would've had an iota of integrity because he put his name out there with it, so I gave it a go not expecting much. I've interviewed ~100 candidates, have been on the other side of the table ~300x lifetime, and been a client-facing consultant with basic sales experience. I've seen and heard pointless shit, crazy shit, and illegal shit in hiring process but thankfully these situations revealed themselves early enough in process so I could bounce before getting too involved in less professional shops.
dinobones 8 days ago [-]
The volume and compensation of high paying tech jobs that made all these companies possible doesn’t exist anymore.

There was so much value to be captured that these companies could survive on the sidelines just eating the scraps of tech compensation, and those scraps fed them well. Now the scraps are far too small to support a company.

sitkack 8 days ago [-]
Absolutely not true. Recruiters get between 20-35% of the first year candidate salary. Something like Triplebyte can make hiring better candidates faster, even if it charges the same.

I never used TB, but their model appeared broken. Instead of a tool used by recruiters, they aimed at replacing recruiters.

dheera 8 days ago [-]
If any job exists solely because of an inefficiency in information flow, it is at least partially replaceable by tech that fixes that inefficiency, and given time, that will happen.

I'm stating this more as a sort of universal economic axiom, not taking a hit at recruiters specifically as people. They're nice people, but a lot of jobs are replaceable by tech.

Interviewing is a massive information efficiency problem. Companies don't know if I'm good, I don't know if the company is good, so we spend 8 hours on Zoom calls trying to hash it out, and the resulting signal-to-noise ratio is still extremely low in both directions. The interviewer's rubric doesn't give a shit if I was in physical pain that day and had a brain fart or if my ability to code a binary heap in CoderPad is or isn't representative of my ability to code a real world app in VS Code on a real task; I don't know if the interviewer had a work emergency that made them sound like an asshole even if they usually aren't, etc.

sitkack 8 days ago [-]
Of course they are, but you can slam your solution into the market and try and fight the whole thing. Or you can slip in as a tool that is effective, eventually anyone can hold the tool, not just a master craftsman.
dheera 8 days ago [-]
Unfortunately, in a free economy, all ranges of tools will be built and distributed and ultimately the market will decide.
sitkack 6 days ago [-]
Thanks for the truism, and I am not arguing against a free economy.
leros 7 days ago [-]
One of these reasons these sites failed is they tried to scale to $1B companies, which made sense 10 years ago. They were successful except for scaling. These sites can totally exist as $XX million companies even today.
martypitt 8 days ago [-]
Similar to another post from the same company - Why Triplebyte failed (https://www.otherbranch.com/blog/why-triplebyte-failed), discussed here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=40634774
throwawaymaths 6 days ago [-]
I had a good experience with triplebyte itself, but their promise to not have to tech interview failed me. Literally every single company put me through several tech interview rounds, as if they didn't trust triplebytes assessment.

Anyways I wound up getting a job not-through triplebyte, and was competent enough that I was promoted to senior dev within a year.

smw 8 days ago [-]
I think you really want to let engineers start attempting problems without manual onboarding. Doesn't cost you much, and gets them the dopamine hit before committing anything?

I got job interviews from the original Triplebyte that I almost took just from investigating it as a source to hire engineers!

rachofsunshine 8 days ago [-]
So the reason we don't do a quiz (I assume that's what you're referring to) is just that GPT makes it way too easy to cheat. GPT would've gotten almost the entirety of the old Triplebyte quiz right.

I have thought about having one available just for nerd-sniping growth-hack purposes, for the exact reason you say, but using it as a filter feels like it's just going to select for what is now very easy cheating. (Not that cheating on the TB quiz was that difficult, but it was nonzero effort.)

codersfocus 7 days ago [-]
Instead of a quiz, you could do a puzzle / clue hunt.
6510 8 days ago [-]
That is a rather wild idea, there could be a single service that doesn't care if one is an employer or an employee.
psawaya 8 days ago [-]
I'm very excited to see this. I hired several people through Triplebyte as CTO back in 2017-2019. It was a great service. :)
peripitea 8 days ago [-]
Are companies hiring enough for this to be viable and to get 20% of first year salary? I thought all of that had died down significantly, but I haven't been following closely.
rachofsunshine 8 days ago [-]
Good question! It's certainly not a favorable environment to be founding such a company, although we are seeing some signs of a change in the weather over the past six weeks or so. That's not a huge surprise, one of the optimistic cases for how things might go was "we spend time doing all the awkward experimental stuff while the market is bad, so we're positioned to ramp up when it improves".

Certainly the market is one likely cause if we do fail, though.

joenot443 8 days ago [-]
I’m getting multiple emails a week for web and mobile roles all over the country. Seems to me hiring is back at least for mid-senior level.
dexwiz 8 days ago [-]
Anecdotally seeing similar things. Had a FAANG hiring manager tell me that they over indexed on new grads in the 2010s, and the hiring was now focused on 5-10 years of experience. So basically the same cohorts, just at a different career stage.
fuzztester 7 days ago [-]
Would not be surprised if hiring showing a trickle of coming back, is partly due to the AI overhyping showing a trickle of coming down too, based on a couple of recent articles I've read (e.g. recent GS (1) one), and also on based on common sense, which is not very common, as Voltaire said, starting to trickle back too.

Pardon the grammar, no AI used ;)

8 days ago [-]
zkitty 7 days ago [-]
I've been thinking about how we assess software engineering skills, and I'm curious about others' thoughts on using open source contributions as a primary metric.

My hypothesis is that real-world collaboration and communication skills, as demonstrated through open source work, are more indicative of a developer's capabilities than typical coding quizzes. (I tried OtherBranch's sample coding problem mentioned at their post, https://www.otherbranch.com/practice-coding-problem, and got this opinion.) With the rise of AI tools, I believe the ability to effectively use these to enhance one's contributions is becoming increasingly valuable.

For those who hire or work with other developers:

1. How much weight do you give to a candidate's open source contributions?

2. Do you find that strong open source contributors tend to be better collaborators?

3. How do you balance assessing technical skills vs. communication/collaboration abilities?

I'm working on a platform to facilitate this new assessment with personalized LLM support. So I'd love to hear your experiences and thoughts!

gwbas1c 8 days ago [-]
How is Otherbranch different from traditional recruiting?

(IE, the article talks a lot about how they are different from Triplebyte, but I never used Triplebyte.)

FWIW: I really like the idea of the recruiter doing in-depth technical screens and matchmaking:

When I'm in the US job market, the most frustrating aspect is dealing with recruiters. Most have so little "tech" experience that they can't evaluate companies or me. I often feel like I'm talking with a salesman, and it's a crapshoot if the job is a good match for me, or if I'm really what the company wants.

When I'm hiring in the US, it's a lot easier to work with overseas contracting firms. They all screen candidates very carefully, and only present candidates that are probably capable of doing the job. In contrast, recruiters for US-based employees perform very little filtering, so we end up interviewing a lot more poorly-chosen candidates.

IE, as both a candidate and someone who's hired: I want the recruiting firm to do more "work:" Better filtering, better matchmaking, and better technical knowledge. I don't want to deal with "salesman."

rachofsunshine 8 days ago [-]
The biggest difference is that we do interviews ourselves. That means we aren't relying just on resumes, it means we can make stronger, more data-backed recommendations to companies, and it means we can cast a wider net in terms of candidates without strong resumes. As an example, we have a candidate doing onsites as we speak that had a few years of a somewhat job-hoppy resume who, as it turns out, is an amazing engineer and has been easily clearing technical hurdles with the companies we recommended him to.

What you're talking about in the context of overseas contracting is essentially what we do for (primarily domestic) full-time roles.

We are much more technical than most recruiters. I'm the founder and the least technical person involved with candidates right now, and I would pass most whiteboarding interviews (I'll take yours if you want, just to make the point). Our interviewers are senior engs who've done a lot of interviewing before, most have FAANG experience, engineers generally seem to think highly of our screenings, and our matchmaking is built around technical traits (as a simple example, our matchmaking tools will infer you know JS if you know React).

As for the salesperson thing...I mean, at some level trying to pitch you on why I'm not a salesperson is a bit of an "I am no orator, as Brutus is". But I think if you talk with me, you'll get a sense that that's just not what we're about.

gwbas1c 7 days ago [-]
> I'll take yours if you want, just to make the point

Really? I really enjoy interviewing candidates. If you visit my profile there should be a way to get in touch with me.

rachofsunshine 7 days ago [-]
I'll send you something later this evening.
gwbas1c 7 days ago [-]
I also just signed up, so you can dig me out of your user base. I'm https://github.com/GWBasic/soft_matrix

(I turned off all GitHub email awhile ago due to SPAM.)

stmw 9 days ago [-]
How is this different than https://interviewing.io/ ?
leeny 8 days ago [-]
Founder of interviewing.io here.

A few differences. We do mock interviews. Other Branch doesn't (at least not yet). Otherbranch has one very good standardized assessment that they use (like the early Triplebyte one). Our way of assessing candidates is by aggregating mock interview performance (and doing some stuff to correct for interviewer strictness etc). Basically people come to us for mocks and stay for the jobs (if they do well enough in mocks).

We both do hiring, but OtherBranch focuses on a different type of employer: earlier stage startups, and we tend to focus more on hiring for later stage ones/FAANGs/FAANG adjacents.

laurent_du 8 days ago [-]
Sounds like a different offer. interviewing.io prepares you for interviews, while the triplebyte reboot is a way for companies to outsource their interview process. I think it makes a lot of sense. Interviewing, or, more generally, filtering the 1% of good candidates, is a difficult task and could be indeed a job in itself. The company has a strong incentive to take this job seriously since they will acquire a reputation after some time and will lose clients if it turns out they are being too lenient.
HoyaSaxa 8 days ago [-]
I was excited to see this at first. We used early Triplebyte on the company side pre-COVID and it was a good experience.

However the 20% commission is non-starter for us. We only used Triplebyte because it had a fixed annual cost ($35k for up to 5 hires).

rachofsunshine 8 days ago [-]
FWIW, the 20% commission was what TB used when operating under this model. The deal you encountered - which would have been offered only briefly during an era in late-2019/early-2020 - was an unsustainable honeypot meant to ease the transition to the post-pivot SaaS product.

Even regular recruiters, who aren't running a high-touch interview on top of selling matchmaking on top of a candidate network, charge more than that!

zug_zug 8 days ago [-]
I mean good for them. I guess before I'd make a profile (either for my employer or myself) I'd want some basic stats:

- How many fully remote jobs paying over $200k base do you have in your pipeline? Basically I have no interest in making a profile to be a sales object to help a startup, I want the company to show value to me first [Now maybe somebody who has no current job is in a different situation]

- My current employer is largely hiring non-US. What countries do you hire out of?

Basically why before I give away hundreds of dollars of my time, what am I getting and how likely? It's not even clear to me to me what types of roles they place (e.g. SREs?)

Lastly I want to throw in a tidbit that it's my personal belief, at the later stages of a long career in tech, that technical skill is really not that important to most employers nor even most roles nor getting promoted (as compared to things like Jira-fu, making your manager look good, handling conflict). As a thought experiment consider otherbranch itself -- other than the interviewers (who could be consultants) how many engineers if any would such a company even need? Seems like it could be wordpress + coderpad + salesforce.

rachofsunshine 8 days ago [-]
One, you wouldn't be giving away hundreds of dollars of your time unless we had a role for you (unlike Triplebyte, we interview you only if, conditional on you doing well, we have a job you'd be interested in). So the only time you'd be losing is the time to do a signup form.

But to answer your question:

> How many fully remote jobs paying over $200k base do you have in your pipeline?

Depends on your standard for "pipeline", but we have one such role active right now. It's a performance-heavy low-level (Rust-based) role for a startup doing real-time video processing.

> Basically I have no interest in making a profile to be a sales object to help a startup

Sure, that's fine. You don't owe us anything, but I'd encourage you to think about the incentives that creates for founders. What you're saying, in essence, is "you should lie to me and tell me you're bigger than you are if you want to get off the ground". Which is what most startups - I believe early TB included, by the way - do, and something I'm trying not to do.

> My current employer is largely hiring non-US. What countries do you hire out of?

We're primarily US-focused, but it's not a hard limitation. The open remote role mentioned earlier is open to remote worldwide except for close-to-GMT+0-timezones.

> It's not even clear to me to me what types of roles they place (e.g. SREs?)

Primarily product-eng roles, although by chance the open roles right now skew towards low-level optimization. Our interview is definitely not optimized for SREs - you could sign up if you wanted, and we could even try and match you, but we wouldn't be able to make very strong guarantees about skill for an SRE yet (and we'd tell employers that). FWIW, Triplebyte didn't have a dedicated SRE track for four-plus years; we haven't even been doing business for four months.

> Lastly I want to throw in a tidbit that it's my personal belief, at the later stages of a long career in tech, that technical skill is really not that important to most employers nor even most roles nor getting promoted (as compared to things like Jira-fu, making your manager look good, handling conflict).

There is some truth to this, but it's less true in the startup world in which we currently operate (and will be for quite a while). If there's not demand, there's not demand, and we'll just fail as a company, but even in this market there's so far been enough demand to bring in some clients.

zug_zug 7 days ago [-]
> unlike Triplebyte, we interview you only if, conditional on you doing well, we have a job you'd be interested in

That sounds really prudent.

> What you're saying, in essence, is "you should lie to me and tell me you're bigger than you are if you want to get off the ground".

I'm not asking you to do that, I'm glad you're being so honest. You're right the network effect is challenging and fomo/dishonesty is a common attempt to try to circumvent it.

There's probably no easy legal way to do this, but if there were a way to give like $50 bucks of stock to each serious resume uploaded, or double that to anybody who recommends you to their current company [not sure what's involved with that] then it might create more of a sense of "rooting for you"

rachofsunshine 7 days ago [-]
That is a fantastic suggestion, and I would love to do something like that if we can make it work logistically. I'm not at all sure that's on the table, but it's a great idea.
0xpgm 8 days ago [-]
What are some other examples of startups that 'failed' because their model was not VC friendly i.e. were unable to sustain hypergrowth, but were profitable at a small-scale?
dr_kiszonka 7 days ago [-]
Do you hire only software engineers? This page doesn't mention it but it seems like you do based on your sign up page.


(I am asking because I am more of a data science / research person.)

chantepierre 8 days ago [-]
The little test was fun. I scanned it a bit too quick, and was confused when my tests failed with real user input. I did not see the "1-indexed" instruction for user-supplied coordinates while playing against the clock. I guess that's what can happen when you want to hit a target..
sitkack 8 days ago [-]
Meta comment on the post, if you just land on the blog post, there is little to no context to what they solving or what Triplebyte was. One sentence saying, "Triplebyte set out to innovate the ways that highly skilled computer technologists are hired" or something.
JCzynski 7 days ago [-]
Glad to see you back. Signed up, and unlike when I was using TB in the early days, my resume should hopefully be the kind of thing companies are looking for.
tdy_err 7 days ago [-]
Thanks John Krazam!
susanhea 7 days ago [-]
noname120 8 days ago [-]
The website[1] (not the blog) looks like it was designed using a Bootstrap theme from 10 years ago. It doesn't inspire confidence about the legitimacy of the business.

[1] https://www.otherbranch.com/for-engineers

neilv 8 days ago [-]
> The website[1] (not the blog) looks like it was designed using a Bootstrap theme from 10 years ago. It doesn't inspire confidence about the legitimacy of the business.

The post is of a somewhat candid, high-information concentration blog post, by a bootstrapped company... and the stereotypical HN response is to criticize them for not using the latest purely stylistic glossy marketing brochure Webrogrammer resume keyword on their Web site? :)

Maybe just like tech companies are still stuck in VC growth investment scam kinds of thinking, where the quality of their software developers didn't matter so much (since Potemkin Villages don't have to be structurally sound), and now companies institutionally have little clue how to hire or even recognize great software developers... So are we stuck in forming opinions of companies based upon our VC scam era criteria?

"You're not investing in the most frivolous image BS, and any good VC scam company knows it's all about what image you present to the marks, so you're not even a legitimate business."

Did we swap the definitions of legitimate and illegitimate?

monkpit 8 days ago [-]
It looks like they don’t have a designer, which is a smell for sure if you were looking for some indication of how serious the place is. It’s not the choice of framework that makes the difference, it’s the fact that it looks like it was made by 1 lone engineer who is doing their best, but still isn’t a designer.
rachofsunshine 8 days ago [-]
We don't have a designer. In fact, I appreciate your optimism in thinking the website was built by an engineer, because it wasn't (I did it myself over a weekend).

We're a bootstrapped startup in a hostile environment being funded by me throwing a chunk of my savings at the problem. Do you think that's the most important thing for us to spend money on?

monkpit 8 days ago [-]
You do what you want, but you might consider listening to potential users and being a little less defensive.

Nobody is forcing you to use your savings for this, I can understand that you’d take any feedback personally but you should try not to.

rachofsunshine 7 days ago [-]
You know, that's fair, I was a little defensive about it. Sorry about that.

I do still think you're expecting something somewhat unreasonable from a company at our stage, but I shouldn't have said so and my mindset replying earlier was not in the right place.

mech422 6 days ago [-]
Personally, I'm an old school, social mis-fit geek .. So I actually prefer something a bit quirky/less glossy as long as the information is there.. For some reason that feels more 'human' and 'honest' then some bland,shiny PR firm crud that is solely focused on 'conversions' (signups).

But to each his own I guess....

neilv 8 days ago [-]
Can they be serious without taking on VC (which they've implied is misaligned with customer goals)?

If so, what would that serious look like?

threetonesun 8 days ago [-]
Using memes as marketing material was more questionable than the design (which I agree is equally uninspiring).
tptacek 8 days ago [-]
No, it isn't.
monkpit 8 days ago [-]
Do you have anything to back up your claim other than anecdote?

I was able to find this study:


tptacek 8 days ago [-]
I didn't even supply an anecdote; why would I need one? It's a self-evidently false claim.
monkpit 8 days ago [-]
I’m not sure I follow, but you have a good day.
griftrejection 8 days ago [-]
It's true. Everyone knows you can actually only judge a book by its cover.
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