There's a lot more to engineering than coding
How Ezoic's engineering manager grew the startup using Byteboard
By Sargun Kaur
Ezoic is a rapidly growing AI-based web optimization startup based in Carlsbad, CA. We chatted with Ezoic's engineering manager, Jason Bauer, about his experience with using Byteboard over the last year to grow their technical team.
What were your biggest challenges in your interview process before using Byteboard?
The time spent was the biggest problem Byteboard helped solve. The people that were doing our interviews are engineers. We don't have a dedicated hiring team. We don't have technical recruiters. So we were taking engineers away from their job, not just for the hours interviewing, but they've got to read the resume. They've got to prep. They've got to decide the question that they're going to be working on. It took a lot of time and interrupted the flow of their core work.
We also realized that our traditional interview may have excluded people that we might otherwise want on our team. Not everybody is great at these algorithms type questions. But you could write a graphing tool to show publishers some data. That's what we're looking for. So we realized that we were probably disqualifying engineers that might have been great for us just because of the types of tests that we were doing.
The Byteboard interview looks quite different from traditional technical interviews, as it simulates asynchronous engineering work by asking candidates to work through a technical design spec and coding implementation exercise.
How have Ezoic candidates responded to taking the Byteboard interview as a part of your interview process?
I've heard from a lot of candidates that they really like the two parts and that it's more real world—not just theoretical algorithm questions asked by most online assessments. I've heard that from dozens of candidates, even ones that don't necessarily do well. They still really liked the interview process and enjoyed doing it.
Great editor and I loved, loved, loved that I was tested practically. I felt like I really got to showcase the kind of skill and efficiency that I ACTUALLY be using if I were to be hired for a position. Really cannot praise this style of interview enough. I felt comfortable and having the resources I would have in a real job scenario really made me feel like this was a great assessment of what I can do.
Byteboard provides you with a structured report of the candidate's performance and a recommendation calibrated against the skills you're looking for.
How have the recommendations and reports enabled your team to hire more confidently and efficiently?
The recommendations made by Byteboard work really well. I really like seeing the breakdown of where the candidate is strong or not and I trust Byteboard to show all the right highlights. That saves me a ton of time, especially because I don't feel like I need to review the entire design document or the entire coding sample. I can get a really good summary and understand what the candidate did well and what they didn't through the Byteboard report.
Whenever there is a candidate I do need to review further, I like the color coding breakdown of the skills. It allows me to easily see what skills that candidate is lacking in. Just last week we had a candidate who was weak on ‘attention to detail.' We ended up moving forward with the candidate, but that was something I was able to discuss with the team and make sure to address that skill gap in the final interview. We didn't have that skills breakdown with our previous interview system.
Byteboard focuses on assessing for on-the-job software engineering skills. By having a more holistic interview process, how has your approach to hiring changed?
It's interesting to see that some people do really well on the Byteboard coding portion, but poorly on the design exercise. Those are the people we probably would have moved forward with before using Byteboard because they are a great coder, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they would have been a great engineer since they might struggle with the design of some of the features. That's one of my favorite parts about Byteboard—is that you have both sides (the design and the coding) and assess the full range of engineering. Engineering is not just coding. There's also a lot more to it.
By using Byteboard, Ezoic increased their onsite-to-offer rate from less than 20% to over 45%, while saving their engineers hundreds of hours to focus on engineering. Over 87% of Ezoic candidates rate their experience with Byteboard favorably.
Ezoic has many open roles across engineering. Apply to their open positions here.