Posts from May 2015

Last week at Tech Fest Vancouver (a local recruiting event), I pitched the audience of ~700 on “why you should work for Hootsuite”, in two minutes, with no slides.

The shorter the time frame for a speech, the more effort required to distill only the essentials. Mark Twain said If you want me to give you a two-hour presentation, I am ready today. If you want only a five-minute speech, it will take me two weeks to prepare.” [1]

I spent some time thinking about why our organization is special, above and beyond the more obvious and public facing perks (a poor substitute for culture), and decided to tell a story about what motivates me to go to work everyday.

Channeling my inner rockstar.
Blinded by the lights. Photocredit https://www.facebook.com/techvibes

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The KISS Principle

The KISS Principle states that most systems work best if kept simple, avoiding unnecessary complexity. By applying this idea to the Hootsuite App Directory, we were able to make a massive difference in speed and functionality, while simplifying the overall process.

What is Hootsuite’s App Directory?

Hootsuite’s App Directory is a program for 3rd party developers to build apps and integrate them into Hootsuite web dashboard. We currently have over 100 apps in the App Directory, including popular apps like YouTube, Tumblr, Mailchimp and WordPress.org. These apps not only extend the dashboard’s functionality, but also provide great value to our customers.

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Each semester, Hootsuite Engineering hires five to ten cooperative education university students (co-ops). We treat them as full-time software engineers and give them real problems to solve. In the past two years, 34 co-ops joined our Engineering department at Hootsuite. Of those 34, ten of them (29%) joined us as full-time employees after graduation. We hope to increase this ratio as more of our co-op alumni graduate.

From left to right, Adrian Zhu, Jason Dippel, Paul Kim, Jon Jeffery, Mackenzie Marshall. Jason and Paul are currently co-ops on the Dashboard team, where Jon, Adrian, and Mackenzie are former co-ops now working full-time.
From left to right: Adrian Zhu, Jason Dippel, Paul Kim, Jon Jeffery, Mackenzie Marshall. Jason and Paul are current co-ops on the Dashboard team, whereas Jon, Adrian, and Mackenzie are former co-ops now working at Hootsuite full-time.

I have attended multiple co-op hiring events, and I am frequently asked “what does Hootsuite look for in a co-op?”. I personally hire co-ops onto my team, and review hundreds of applications every semester. I see many outstanding job applications, and want to share what I look for when reviewing them.

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It’s mid-April. Winter is over and spring has sprung, but it’s not quite nice enough yet to hit the beach (or roof) after hours. Your team has been working really hard, and could use a pick-me-up to celebrate their successes – something exciting that’ll get the blood racing and maybe work off some of that winter beer. At Hootsuite, we opted to set loose a wildly creative group of people with nothing more than imagination, vague guidelines, and a common goal. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?

How about a full 18-hole mini golf course that defied logic, gravity, and convention; a bunch of money raised for a great cause, and an evening unlike any other, even by Hootsuite standards?

On April 17th, we turned the second floor of Hootsuite’s HQ1 into a full mini golf course to raise money for the Special Olympics. Eighteen departments were selected to build a hole each, and each player donated $5 to join a random team of four. When the course officially opened at 5:30pm, many surprises were in store for our excited players. Read on for a small sampling of the creativity, ingenuity, chaos, and engineering triumphs that went into #hootputt 2015!

#hootputt pictures by Candice Charleton
#hootputt pictures by Candice Charleton

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