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Photo by Shoaib SR on Unsplash

One of the best things about being a Principal Engineer at Mailchimp is the time I get to spend chatting with other engineers who are earlier on in their professional journey. After two years, I’ve talked to quite a few, and at one point or another, almost all of them ask me how they can develop their career.

It’s clear that deepening your craft, being diligent about tests, and writing documentation are good things to work on. But there’s one thing I mention whose importance people often haven’t considered. …


Moments from a special relationship

Emily Benjamin and I were officially married on August 31st, 2011 and divorced on September 27th, 2019. In between we had two recommitment ceremonies, one in England and one in Australia. The following are some words I shared with special folks at a few important moments.

Irreconcilable differences

Welcome to our Irreconcilable Differences party! Emily and I are glad you could make it, thank you! Dearly beloved, we’re gathered here tonight to celebrate the failure of our marriage. Wait, no. We’re here to celebrate the end of our relationship. Hang on, let’s try that again. We’re here to celebrate our enduring friendship…


Building a platform to help people understand the world, and each other.

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https://www.producthunt.com/upcoming/pinian

Pinian is a forthcoming publishing platform designed to increase thoughtfulness in the world and make it possible for more people to participate in answering the big questions of the day. Sign up to be among the first to gain writing access when the limited beta launches.

Public opinion shapes the world around us. It informs the social and economic policy of the day and acts as a check on those in power.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. — Frederick Douglass

What people read and hear forms the basis of public opinion


Internal terms, externalised

With the release of our growth framework, I realised that lots of people outside Medium wouldn’t know what many of the examples were describing. When putting the rubric together, we deliberately used very concrete projects from Medium’s history as examples, so that our engineers had a clear understanding of the kind of complexity or scale we’d expect, but now that it’s public, some of those require a little more explanation. They also give a sneak peek into Medium’s culture!

Series Reader

This is the project that enabled Series to be read on Medium’s native apps.

ResponseScreen

Our standardised technology for rendering a screen…


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Juan Julbe

At some point in the past, when conglomerates did not yet exist on the internet and the primary mode of investigating the web was following links from blogs without knowing where you would end up, I stumbled across a site where people could tell short stories anonymously. Called Postcards from Nowhere, or Messages to No-one or somesuch, it was a sort of online confessional, where people told the kind of truths they couldn’t tell in person.

Among them, I found a set of words that has stuck with me for close to two decades. I think it’s the saddest thing…


Providing transparency in what we look for

For a growing company, interviewing is one of the most important tasks employees are asked to do, but one challenge is that interviewers don’t always feel adequately qualified to assess candidates. Lacking shared standards, it’s easy to rely on gut feeling and subjective impressions, which can depend on mood and incorporate many forms of potential bias. Many agree that the technical interview process is broken.

At Medium, we’ve long recognised the need to be intentional in our hiring process and have been thinking about how to improve it for most of the company’s existence. At the beginning of the year…


We recently undertook a project to improve Medium’s engineering interview process. As part of that, I wrote this document to describe why we needed to improve on what we were already doing. It was originally published to Hatch, our internal version of Medium, on February 26, 2016, and is reproduced below without modification, except for link destinations. For more information about Medium’s practice of making internal documents public, see Hatching Inside Medium.

Engineering interviews: refining our process

While we are more thoughtful about interviewing than many companies, our process could nevertheless do with some refinements. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working with a…


We recently undertook a project to improve Medium’s engineering interview process. As part of that, I wrote this document to describe the qualities we are seeking in engineering candidates. It was originally published to Hatch, our internal version of Medium, on February 26, 2016. For more information about Medium’s practice of making internal documents public, see Hatching Inside Medium.

This is the actual document used by Medium to define the criteria we look for in engineering candidates and has replaced the version on Hatch as the source of truth. …


We recently undertook a project to improve Medium’s engineering interview process. As part of that, I wrote this document to describe qualities that we aren’t specifically seeking in engineering candidates. It was originally published to Hatch, our internal version of Medium, on February 26, 2016. For more information about Medium’s practice of making internal documents public, see Hatching Inside Medium.

This is the actual document used by Medium when hiring engineering candidates and has replaced the version on Hatch as the source of truth. …


We recently undertook a project to improve Medium’s engineering interview process. As part of that, I wrote this document to describe how to assess the qualities we are seeking in engineering candidates. It was originally published to Hatch, our internal version of Medium, on February 26, 2016. For more information about Medium’s practice of making internal documents public, see Hatching Inside Medium.

This is the actual rubric used by Medium to grade engineering candidates and has replaced the version on Hatch as the source of truth. …

Jamie Talbot

Ex-gaijin, kangaroo-loving software simian from Merrie England, building @Mailchimp and @Pinian. Formerly @Medium and @StumbleUpon.

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