Diversifying your engineering team and recruiting top talent

By Giorgio Regni, CTO, Scality.

  • 6 years ago Posted in
There are many differences between the tech scene in Silicon Valley and in Europe. In the US, it has always been perfectly normal to share a conference about coding with people from India, China, the middle East, Africa... some with engineering experience, others who had never even heard about coding, some with a law degree others with no degree at all. Compare this to Europe where traditionally most of the actors are men, hold a degree in software engineering schools and have been immersed in a geek subculture since their younger age.

There is a lot to be said for encouraging diversity. This means people thinking out of the box and having a chance to find new solutions. However, successful developers in Silicon Valley may not pass the first filter of technical recruiters in Europe since they do not seem to have the mathematical and theoretical computer science knowledge that European engineers acquire during their tuition. At the same time, we are always hearing about the lack of engineering and IT talent in the industry today. It is important to come up with fresh recruiting ideas and bypass some of the conventional hiring methods in order to find highly performant, extremely motivated and resourceful individuals that will immediately be operational and autonomous.


And this is where hackathons can play a crucial role. For a certain period of time – it can be a day, or a week, or a month – you invite selected interested candidates regardless of background to join your team to work on a specific task or short term project. It’s a great way of seeing how individuals go about solving certain tasks as well as seeing what skills they bring to the table. They're an open brainstorming session and fun also. Additionally, these events really let the developer stars shine and become a great recruitment vehicle. 


At Scality, we have had great experience with hackathons as a recruitment method. They provide a wonderful way for us to stretch the bounds of our product and bring in new creativity and ideas into our development. Talent we have recruited this way has been influential in key developments within our company such as our S3 connector technology enabling customers to use the Scality RING on any platform. If it hadn’t been for a well-timed hackathon, we would never have been able to create this new solution in record time. Hackathons can also change the life of the individual who take part, many of whom are either destined for or stuck in other career – law, communication or even medicine.


Hiring is an art and the most humbling act of leadership of all, and as a hiring manager, you should diversify your talent pool and try to innovate as much as you do when it comes to your service offering.

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