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I asked for a t-shirt, I got a job (unfiniti.com)
117 points by mahmoudimus on Oct 10, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 29 comments

Funny, the exact opposite happened to me with Airbnb.

I asked for a job:


.. and all I got was a t-shirt!


Note: I failed epically and didn't deserve the job. No hard feelings, though - this led to some awesome opportunities! Also, I love this shirt and wear it all the time. Super comfortable. Props to Airbnb.

This reminds me of the time Instagram held a contest[1] promising a T-Shirt, reneging and offering stickers, and finally not delivering anything.

[1] http://instagram-engineering.tumblr.com/post/12651721845/ins...

Wait, I thought they sent out t-shirts and just ran out.

Due to overwhelming response, we’ve run out of our entire stock of tee-shirts! With future challenges we’ll be offering a reward for the first group of people who respond.

So, did anyone get a shirt or just the first few people?

Seems like a really silly thing to renege on. Do you have any more posts discussing what happened?

> I’m not sure what made them rethink their [remote employee] policy, but Balanced again asked me to come work for them, this time as their first remote developer.

I can answer that. We changed the policy to allowing remote team members as long as they are primarily contributing to open source projects.

The problem with being remote is how much you lose in communication when working on a project. You don't have that problem with open source projects. The design mocks, discussions, etc. on Github are the same as anything someone in the office would see.

Also ... it just got to the point where it was stupid not to hire remear (Ben).

How much do you lose in communication when working on a project remotely?

I've been working from home for many years and, work-wise, it was really not that different communicating with the team vs if we all were sitting in one room.

It is just the personal feel that is different. Things like you miss some side-jokes, which might not be that fun without personal presence; Hanging around after work; etc...

I've worked with a remote dev team for 5 years as a product manager working in the office. The team-level collaboration was probably better than in many office environments I've worked since.

This was circa 2005, so as you can imagine the tools weren't quite as well developed as they are today. This meant that everyone had to make sure they communicated extra well. Rule of the road was that you were available on IM same time as office hours, you announced coming and going with an email to a shared distro list, etc. No rocket science.

The current headline is eye catching, but a more accurate one might be "I wrote their iOS library for free and I got a job offer".

iOS and android libraries for free. He was hired after that

And contributed a bunch to the ruby one.

My favorite part about Ben, is before he was an employee, he would take over the morning support shift on IRC.

He would help with technical integration, redirect to support, etc. I was very appreciative - it also allowed me to see how much he cared about fostering the community :)

Agreed. It's a great story, but the premise is a little disingenuous.

Completely disingenuous would be more accurate. More hits that way tho, I suppose.

They wrote an Android library, too!

Good read. So the title is pretty catchy but it can be expanded into:

- Built a relationship with Balanced over time by engaging on IRC

- Did some free work for them developing iOS and Android libraries.

- Open sourced the work. Balanced team knew what I could do.

- Really got to know the team and they liked me a lot.

- Asked for T-shirt.

- Got a job.

On a side note, "They used Github issues to not only track problems, but also to openly design features and prioritize them for implementation."

I do this all the time.

That's more like a bullet point synopsis than a title.

Hence the word "expanded".

While I agree with the synopsis, I don't think it makes a better title.

Nobody ever suggested it does.

The biggest takeaway is the last sentence: "... the key to finding happiness in my career isn’t just by doing what I love, but by also being part of a team that openly appreciates everyone’s achievements and gives people the freedom to thrive in their passions."

"At the time, I was working for a “closed” company. One, in fact, that practiced stacked ranking, and prohibited contributing work back to open source projects."

Sounds like a certain company occasionally known as "The Beast of Redmond."

Also "stacked ranking" is a MSFT thing.

We're thrilled to have Ben finally working full-time at Balanced. This is the kind of extra little stuff he did that really impressed us.

Here's a stand-alone vanity page he built to showcase his balanced-ios SDK: http://balanced-ios.unfiniti.com/

This is an awesome story about how to hire great developers (not so much a story about how to get hired.)

Any hiring companies out there who work in the open and the company chat is a public IRC - advertise at us[1]! :)

[1] well done Balanced, this was a good advert too.

That was a great story! And inspirational as a Software Engineering Student! :)

Great story.

I like the title. It's mysterious and makes me want to know more.

Beautiful personal site and congratulations!

One good turn deserves another. Congrats!

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