Chris Moffitt

Chris Moffitt

Chief of Staff at Turing.com
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About Chris Moffitt

Chris Moffitt | Business Operations
www.turing.com
Stanford '22 | Computer Science

Developers Corner

Things to know to get hired as a Turing Engineer

To help you out, we’ve reached out to some Turing engineers who passed Turing’s tests with exceptionally high marks and are now enjoying their time working with Silicon Valley companies. We asked them to share what they think is most important for a software engineer to know or do before applying to Turing.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a software developer who is considering applying for Turing.com. You might have just learned about Turing a few minutes ago, or you might have already gotten past the teaser coding problem on Turing’s landing page, created a profile, and are now staring at an extensive list of Turing tests. Either way, you (most likely a high-achieving and high-aspiring software developer) are on the right track. The number of high-profile silicon valley companies that hire  remote software developers through Turing  is increasing each week, and more than 160,000 software developers have signed up for Turing in its first year alone. You’re smart to be jumping on this opportunity now! But, if you’re like most developers, some part of you is likely starting to wonder if you’re sufficiently prepared to dive into the application.

Even the most seasoned software developers can get anxious in the days or hours leading up to a technical interview. So, to help you out, we’ve reached out to some Turing engineers who passed Turing’s tests with exceptionally high marks and are now enjoying a remote software job with top US companies. We asked them to share what they think is most important for a software engineer to know or do before applying to Turing. We even asked the primary designer of the Turing Tests himself, Turing’s VP of Engineering, Zan Doan, (previously an Engineering Manager at Facebook) to give his thoughts. Here is what they said:

1) Sharpen your problem-solving skills

First and foremost, as in any silicon valley technical interview process, Turing engineers are expected to be expert problem solvers, able to manipulate data structures and common algorithms to solve a variety of problems while optimizing for speed and efficiency. Everaldo, a Turing engineer based in Curitiba, Brasil, gave the following advice:

 “Turing applicants should familiarize themselves with sites like HackerRank and Codewars, where they can sharpen their problem-solving skills. They should also study dynamic programming and Big O notation to understand techniques for coding challenges, since, if you implement a naive solution, it will get a lower score or might timeout if the solution is quadratic or exponential.”

Everaldo also recommended studying the well-known book “Cracking the Coding Interview” by Gayle McDowell. Not a bad idea considering one can always count on seeing a few Stanford CS students crouched over that “little green CS bible” in the Stanford dining halls during the interview season. Mastering the material there will put you in a position to get the same caliber jobs that many of those same Stanford students are pursuing!

2) Know your tech stacks

One thing that is relatively unique about Turing’s tests is that you have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery in an array of tech stacks with which you’re familiar. Whether you’re a Swift iOS developer, a MongoDB + React + Node.js full-stack developer, a Frontend developer with expertise in Flutter, a Python developer capable of scaling a Django backend, or anything else, you can find corresponding tests on Turing’s platform. Dhyey, a Turing engineer based in Ahmedabad, India, says, “Make sure to take and pass as many tech stack tests as possible. Proving you have a range of skills will make you eligible for multiple roles and increase your chances of getting hired.”

Doing well on these specific tech stack tests might require a little review before you jump into them. Zech, a Turing engineer, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, recommends you do the following:

 “Take a little time to lightly review anything about that particular technology or language you’re not very familiar with because the tests tend to assess your knowledge about it from end to end. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should dive into a full-on ‘study for exam mode’ but just refresh your knowledge of a few things. If you’ve used a language/technology professionally for some time, you should pass the test without much problem.”

3) Showcase your technical experience

Investing time into filling out all the details of your profile and past experiences may be a hassle, but it will give you an edge over other vetted candidates. Dhyey emphasizes this point saying, “since the process is highly competitive and there is very little human interaction, it is very crucial for your profile to accurately reflect your ability for you to get picked over other vetted candidates.”

If that alone doesn’t convince you of the importance of highlighting your past accomplishments, projects, and experiences, this is the area that Zan Doan, the primary designer of the Turing Tests, also believes is most important. He says: 

“The word I would use to describe the best Turing developers is ‘hands-on.’ Turing jobs often require developers to adapt to a startup environment and make an impact quickly. Because of this, Turing tests not only ask the candidates questions about their general work experience but also hands-on questions about detailed implementations.”

Showcasing your ability to excel in a hands-on environment by taking care to describe your past technical experiences in your profile accurately will prime you for success on Turing.

4) Finally, prepare your workspace for success.

The Turing application process is similar to any technical interview, with the added caveat that the online tests (and later on, the possible interview) are all done remotely, meaning you’re in charge of preparing your space. 

On this point, Zech recommends, “make sure you’re in a relaxed environment with little to no distractions. You’ll need to have a working and stable internet connection, especially since you can’t retake an exam within three months in the event you fail.”

Similarly, if you qualify for an interview, Everaldo says, “it’s just like a regular interview: be ready, on time, dress code, be polite, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also, it helps to have a good setup for the interview. Have a strong Internet connection, headset, mic, and test the setup before the meeting.

And that’s about it! If you feel well-enough prepared in the above four areas, you should have no problem feeling confident clicking “start” to begin taking Turing’s tests or signing into a remote Turing interview. Silicon Valley opportunities are at your doorstep. The most beautiful thing about Turing’s application process is its hyper-focus on finding talent. We believe talent can be found anywhere and can be of all races and genders. And if, by chance, you’re not successful in your first shot at applying to Turing, a computer science education has become so democratized that we’re confident you can study up, come back, and succeed another day.  Remember, at Turing, we know that not only is talent universal, but opportunity as well.

Ready to get started? Apply to Turing’s remote software developer jobs now

By Sep 17, 2020
Hiring developers

With these companies leading the shift to remote work, Turing engineers are well-positioned to excel.

With at least half of the American workforce working from home, remote work is the new normal. And, as major company after major company announces their plans to extend remote work policies for the long term, it’s looking like this new normal won’t be ending any time soon.

It’s almost stopped being a surprise anymore. As each new announcement comes in of work-from-home policies being extended later and later than previously planned, most of us have stopped questioning, wondering, or even worrying. If anything, we find ourselves signing into our next scheduled Zoom meeting a little relieved. “Why would I even want to go back to the office?”

With at least half of the American workforce working from home, remote work is the new normal. And, as major company after major company announces their plans to extend remote work policies for the long term, it’s looking like this new normal won’t be ending any time soon. Here’s the break down:

Twitter

In many respects, Twitter was the trendsetter that made a more all-in approach to remote work “cool.” It was back in early May when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sent an email to all Twitter employees saying that they can continue working for home for as long as they see fit. That means remote work at Twitter can continue for as long as…forever. A spokesperson for Twitter revealed that this decision stemmed from Twitter’s “emphasis on decentralization and supporting a distributed workforce capable of working from anywhere.”

Square

Jack Dorsey is also CEO of Square, which is why the mobile payments company was quick to echo Twitter’s earlier announcement and make work from home a permanent option. And yes, they did use the word permanent.

Facebook

Just last week, Facebook announced its decision to extend the work-from-home option to July 2021. Although this policy change was largely driven by ongoing COVID concerns, in a live-stream posted to his Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that he is also catching on to the larger vision of the future of work: “When you limit hiring to people who live in a small number of big cities, or who are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, have different backgrounds, have different perspectives” It’s clear that Zuckerburg has seen the potential of remote work to advance opportunities for talent around the world. To his staff, he pitched the idea as a way of creating “more broad-based economic prosperity.” With this vision for the future, Zuckerberg has announced that it is going to “aggressively” ramp up the hiring of remote workers. The Facebook CEO now predicts that 50% of the company’s employees could be working remotely in the next 5 to 10 years.

Google

At about the same time as Facebook, Google also announced that its employees will have the option to continue working from home until at least July 2021. With concerns for how the COVID pandemic will impact families (especially given the possibility of having to provide home-schooling for children) Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote to his employees that he hopes the remote work policy “will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”

Shopify

Back in May, Shopify joined Twitter in giving its employees the option to continue working from home indefinitely. Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke is also looking beyond the current COVID concerns and seeing the vision for the future of work. In a tweet, he explained that “COVID is challenging us all to work together in new ways. We choose to jump in the driver’s seat, instead of being passengers to the changes ahead. We cannot go back to the way things were. This isn’t a choice; this is the future.” What is this new future? Lutke made it very clear: “Office centricity is over”

What this means
With such large and influential tech companies like these transitioning to more permanent remote-work policies, it has never been a better time to be a Turing engineer. Opportunity is spreading across the globe. Silicon Valley is growing and Turing engineers are uniquely positioned to ride the wave of remote work jobs that is already here (with more coming). Like Zuckerberg’s sentiment, it’s time to stop cutting off the many brilliant and talented engineers who live in “different communities, have different backgrounds, and different perspectives.”

By Aug 13, 2020