When you’re in crazy startup mode like us, you don’t often get a chance to sit back and reflect on the things that make it all possible. After growing our engineering team by 160% in the past quarter with amazing Google-caliber talent, we thought we’d take a moment to celebrate the team.
As anyone who works in Silicon Valley knows, the battle for talent here is as heated as ever, and it’s not easy – especially in the enterprise space – to compete with all the other hot startups out there for the best engineers. But building the right core team is critical to hiring more great engineers, because smart people attract smart people. As a matter of fact;
The other 40% of the team are pretty incredible as well. Chung Wu, spent five years at Google, most recently as a tech lead, and actually declined the Stanford Ph.D. program for Infer. Before that, he graduated from UC Berkeley, where he was labeled the “TA of the century” for the intro to computer science course there. We’ve also hired Joe Gershenson, a Carnegie Mellon computer science alum (both undergrad and grad) who founded a company that was acquired by Facebook.
And we have a CEO with a strong technical background as well. Vik Singh graduated from UC Berkeley with a computer science degree, and worked with Jim Gray at Microsoft Research. He’s filed 13 patents in search, social networking, systems, and content optimization, and was named to MIT Technology Review’s Top 35 under 35 Innovators list at the age of just 24.
So, how does Infer attract this type of talent?
- The best thing we’ve done so far is build a core team of brilliant engineers, which is creating a virtuous cycle of attracting superstar engineering talent. As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The best engineers want to work for a company where everyone is at the top of their field – from the CEO, to product managers, to sales and marketing.
- Our interview process is heavily inspired by Google’s (where all three of our co-founders used to work). We focus on algorithmic questions as opposed to questions that test aptitude with a particular programming language, because we know smart people can pick up anything quickly.
- We back this up by fostering a culture of innovation that is not found in your typical desk job. It’s a mix of cutting-edge research and practical engineering. You get to work the full stack, switching between optimizing machine learning algorithms, extracting signals from the web, scaling infrastructure, and creating visualizations.
- Finally the work that we’re doing has real-world business impact. We’re completely re-imagining how companies should operate based on data. The code we write helps them operate more efficiently, and drive revenue growth.
Having a stellar team of engineers worked wonders for Google, as you can tell from the talented teams who built web search, MapReduce, self-driving cars, etc. At Infer, we intend to do the same for the enterprise.