How I started working at CFEngine

Created: 2017-02-01 — modified: 2017-02-09 — tags: life CFEngine

Soon after change of owner in Opera, just another round of layoffs rolled through the company, this time affecting also me.

So I went for a job hunt. Sent CVs to old friends, got replies from several companies, and started employment process. It was quite interesting to see how differently it happened in different companies - last time I was applying three times to the same company, this time - to several different companies an once. Most of them were quite slow to respond - usually it took almost a week to get an answer, even a negative one.

Only one stood different. Just a bit over one week passed from the day when I was contacted by one of my friends working there to the day when I received an offer. Such impressive speed tells not only that they make decisions fast and you'll never get into a situation when someone's decision blocks your work, but also that everyone in the company up to CEO are easy reachable, and they can find and jump into new product areas quite fast.

For example, their primary product - CFEngine - is a tool to manage hundreds of big servers. And now they're working on a new product - Mender - a tool for distributing autoupdates to thousands of small (Raspberry PI-sized) devices. That's quite different, especially technologically. They haven't released it yet, but they already have some clients, who are literally waiting in line to get it.

And that's where I fit in. Especially with my passion for quiet devices when I'm ok to sacrifice some performance in favour of usage comfort, and my recently acquired skills of shell scripting.


Now a bit about the hiring process. Since my friend recommended me here, it could've been shortened compared to normal one.

I had three interviews, but the last one wasn't really an interview - we just discussed details of contract like start date and how long the offer is valid. First interview was HR-ish with CEO, where he explained me how the company works and tried to understand if I would fit in. I tried to convince him that I will. Successfully.

Second interview was technical and thus much more interesting - here I was doing a white-board programming (although the actual color of the board was red), for the first time in my life! I won't write exact questions here so we could use them again ;) but I must admit it was very interesting to answer them. Although answers to some of the questions I had to guess, and to some of them I just didn't know.

Also guys who were making interviews looked at my website and found some old script of mine, and asked me to explain what it does. Turns out, it's quite hard to understand the code I didn't touch in two years! Probably I should write more comments :) They didn't ask me a lot of questions regarding my code - dunno if it's good or not (either everything was clear or they couldn't understand anything). Probably good, since soon after it I got the offer, and will gladly start working here.