June 6, 2020

Building Senior Engineers



Dalton Mitchell


Given feedbacks is really hard. I am leading my team since 3 years ago and I did tons of interviews, and I can say today that for our team the culture fit was definetely the most important factor. We have developed people to improve their tecnical side and sometime later they became the MVP of their teams.

This was great, and after sometime I started to have problems with my HR team because I could not clearly communicate the values I was "seeking"-for in the candidates and they were always asking me a list of techonologies that the candidate must have. But truth be told, no one knows Clojure in Brazil, 90% of our hires did not know it and we actually rejected a nice technical clojure dev because of not good alignment with the team.

We were a "startup" and most of the environment is very very high-paced, not well structured and very varying. You need to be ok of putting a lot of effort in something and suddly one morning that project is discontinued. It is shocking. Bad feeling. But it will happen.

What we did was to focus on the learning journey. Most of this dead projected contributed to team knowledge of the domain and new ways to solve our particular project. Proof of concepts in high speed with high stakes.


"We’re looking for a more senior candidate" - Most feedback I got

Look for these attributes: communication, curiousity, passion, determination

Determination: They won’t give up when things get tough.

Determination: Rather than complain, they’ll propose solutions.

Determination: They’ll show empathy to others, and try to help when they struggle.


  1. High standards

  2. Focus on team impact

  3. Experience over head knowledge

  4. Be clear about that you value on your team

  5. Identify traits that actually matter

  6. Give useful feedback

  7. You received free, give gree.

Tags: software principles