First things first. We look for aptitude over APIs. It doesn't matter whether your resumé says PHP or PhD: if you're smart, know some stuff and have empathy, we want to work with you.
Pivotal's goal is to change the way the world makes software and we kinda sorta really mean it. We're broken into three basic divisions: Pivotal Labs (yes, that Pivotal Labs), Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Pivotal Big Data. Rotations between divisions, temporarily or permanently, are possible.
We have offices in San Francisco, New York City, Santa Monica, Palo Alto, Seattle, Boulder, Denver, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, Toronto, London, Dublin, Tokyo and Sydney. We will soon be opening an office in Berlin as well, with more to come. Relocations, temporarily or permanently, are possible.
Each of the three divisions has a constantly evolving and deliberately cross-pollinated culture. We are constantly thinking about how we work and how we can work more sensibly, effectively and enjoyably.
-- Pivotal Labs, from which the company draws its name and cultural seed, helps clients to become better at development. For engineering we are religiously lean and agile. In practice that means we pair program and TDD every line of code from the outside. Our product managers are fantastic at keeping products sharply focused, our designers are masters from users to pixels. We have a growing data science practice, and some engagements include all four roles.
-- Cloud Foundry solves application deployment and management. We're the main contributors to CF. We're expanding what is the leading opensource PaaS and our distribution has the fastest-growing sales of any opensource product ever. It's also the only PaaS I'd personally bet a company on -- except for integrated upstream code, every line is pair programmed and TDD'd. We dogfood the cutting edge of the technology on our own commercial public cloud (Pivotal Web Services). It works because we took the XP and Lean DNA of Pivotal Labs and scaled it up to build the best cloud platform bar none.
-- Big Data is home to a fleet of battled-hardened products that we have been progressively open sourcing. Greenplum Database tackles some of the largest datasets in the world with the comfort and familarity of PostgreSQL. Apache HAWQ (incubating) brings Greenplum's distributed query planner to Hadoop. Gemfire, which we donated as Apache Geode (incubating), is an in-memory distributed grid with years of high performance in high-stakes systems.
At our offices we have free breakfast, weekly tech talks, good benefits and competitive pay. Ping pong is not mandatory, but it's popular. I think west-coast ping pong is harder to beat, but east-coast style is more entertaining to watch. The beer fridge has more IPA than I prefer but I guess that's life in paradise.
We provide visa and relocation assistance. In the NYC office we have about 15 people from overseas, including Australians like me.
You can apply through our website: http://pivotal.io/careers. You can also email me at email@example.com to answer any questions you might have and potentially help me score one of our generous referral bonuses.
That said, we are still improving our hiring workflow -- I have my own list of pet peeves. We've gone from dozens to thousands in a few years; turns out it's easier to scale software than hiring.
Edit: speaking of asking, I asked some more about our feedback. Sometimes it's hard to give specific feedback, sometimes it's not easy to be tactful, sometimes the interviewer can't point to single concrete examples rather than a vibe arising from tiny observations and so on. On top of that there are multiple people involved in giving hire/no-hire opinions and several people coordinating different parts of the logistics.
On top of that we go through a lot of interviews every week, only a few of whom we hire. The only people with a sufficiently global view of the decision are directors, and they're too swamped by all their duties to give detailed feedback to every candidate.
So on the one hand, we can't always give feedback, so my original statement was wrong. On the other we default to saying no, because even if we wanted to always give feedback, we simply couldn't handle the volume.
The pairing interview is, basically, the job. You sit next to a real engineer working on a real product on a real business need.
There's no whiteboard. No brain-teasers. No CS101. Just the real thing.