Interviewing at 8th Light

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At 8th Light, we want all candidates to feel welcomed, confident, and ready to showcase their craft potential and capabilities. This post will provide an overview of our interview process so you can prepare for a successful experience.

We know pursuing a new career opportunity can be daunting. We strive for our process to be empathetic and considerate of both the candidates we meet along the way and the team members we introduce to you. Interviewing can be stressful and often filled with self doubt or the imposter syndrome, and we get that. We’ve outlined our process in hopes that it will help dissipate any of those sentiments.

By the end of the interviewing experience at 8th Light, we aim to provide every candidate with a realistic preview of their work-life in the company. Whether through the conversations with technical team members or with leadership, we want you to walk away feeling seen, heard, and given every opportunity to succeed.

Interested in joining our team? Check out our current job openings.

TL;DR

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Here’s what you can expect:

Our goal is to have candidates complete the interview process within one week. However, we can accelerate or decelerate as needed based on a candidate’s preference and availability. Frequently asked questions are included at the end of this post.

Please keep in mind, we are constantly iterating and evolving our process to make it more efficient, informative, and equitable to all — if at any point you require accommodation in your application or in the interview process, please email recruiting@8thlight.com.

Video Chat with a member of the Talent Acquisition Team

This 30-minute Zoom meeting with a member of the Talent Acquisition Team will allow you to understand more about 8th Light’s people, culture, clients, and project work. As an introductory conversation, we’ll also allow you to get acquainted with the expectations for our team members in their role; ensuring you feel aligned and motivated to be successful in the role. There will be plenty of time for discussion, so feel free to get your questions answered.

Meet the Talent Acquisition Team: Camille Shrouder-Henry | Juan Santana

The Technical Coding Challenge

This brief assessment aims to evaluate technical skill and proficiency. We understand that technical assessments can be overwhelming; we aim to make our challenge clear with realistic requirements. We ask candidates to spend no more than an hour on this challenge, and submit the assignment within 36 hours of receipt. This stage is intended to assess your technical ability in the following areas:

  • Completeness and correctness (adherence to the specifications)
  • Tests that describe the requirements and protect against regressions
  • The design and structure of your code
  • Code that is well documented and works as described

We encourage you to choose the language and tools you feel most comfortable with.

There is also a short-answer question to gather your thoughts on scalability. You may pick one of three questions to answer. This should take no more than a few short paragraphs to answer, and you should reserve time within your one-hour window to answer it.

Pair Programming Interview

The 90-minute Zoom Pair Programming Interview includes two collaborative 8th Light senior or principal developers/crafters). This session is "bring your own environment." Come prepared to code in your editor or IDE of choice, sharing your screen via Zoom, and we'll work along with you to develop code and tests to solve the problem presented.

There will be two segments of this interview.

  • Pair Programming (approximately 55 minutes): Candidates will work on a command-line app, driven by unit tests.
    • Language Choices*: JavaScript/TypeScript, Ruby, Python, Java, Elixir, C#, Scala, Clojure, Swift or Kotlin
    • Goal: Complete the exercise, while incorporating test-driven design (TDD) practices and working collaboratively with the interviewers.
  • Code Review (approximately 25 minutes): You’ll review code of a small web-based application, providing feedback and commentary along the way to the team.
    • Language Choices*: Ruby, Python, or TypeScript
    • Goal: Explain issues to the junior and to identify aspects that prevent the code from being production ready or overly buggy.

*Candidates must choose two different languages for these two segments (e.g., if you select Ruby for the first segment you cannot use Ruby for the second). This allows us to evaluate a candidate’s comfort working across multiple languages.

Candidates will be allotted time to ask questions to the interview team.

Architecture & System Design Interview

In the 90-minute Zoom Architecture & System Design Interview, you’ll role-play with two experienced 8th Light developers/crafters in a hypothetical client conversation.

As consultants, clients often look to us for answers on how their systems should be built. Sometimes we make decisions unilaterally, sometimes we need to convince clients, and sometimes we need to work within their constraints.

Goal: Demonstrate ability to be adaptable and to apply concepts and knowledge base to help a hypothetical client identify the right approach. Expect to discuss the following:

  • Technology choices and trade-offs
  • Distributed Systems
  • Security
  • Scalability
  • Maintainability

The Consulting & Culture Interview

During the final 60-minute Zoom consulting interview, we would like to understand how you approach managing clients and team dynamics. A team of two senior leaders from 8th Light will focus on your project management ability and interpersonal skills to observe how you manage working with clients and teammates. We will be specifically interested in how you collaborate, include, mentor, and extend empathy to the people with whom you work.

Offer Stage

Once a candidate has successfully completed each stage of the interview process, the team gathers to discuss each stage carefully. As an employee-owned organization, our team’s perspective is critical to how we grow. Once there is agreement, an offer will then be made. We will do our best to provide as much verbal feedback as possible.

Offer Presentation

The Talent Acquisition Team will contact the candidate to share offer details, seek feedback on the process, and share initial developmental opportunities for a successful career at 8th Light. Prior to accepting an offer, we invite and encourage candidates to meet with our HR Manager to discuss employee benefits and perks. In addition, we can arrange coffee chats with our team to help candidates gain additional insight before making a decision.

Did not receive an offer?

Although this is not the news most plan for or expect, we hope that your relationship with 8th Light does not stop here. We invite all candidates to reach out to our recruitment team for feedback on ways to progress toward a stronger candidacy in the future.

Resources for a successful crafter interview

Please note, these tools are mere suggestions that work for some people in preparing for interviews. The most important thing is to be yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What If I need an accommodation
Absolutely. We are committed to making sure every candidate has an opportunity to showcase their abilities under the appropriate conditions to their needs. If you require an accommodation, please email recruiting@8thlight.com.

Can you sponsor my visa?
Unfortunately, we do not sponsor visas for prospective candidates. We ask that candidates have legal eligibility to work in the United States of America or England, United Kingdom.

If I have applied previously, can I reapply?
Yes! Take some time, perfect your skills, then reach back out. We ask that candidates wait at least six months before reapplying.

What is the salary range for this position?
We encourage you to request the salary expectations in the first interview and phone call with the Talent Acquisition team. We are happy to provide the salary information for your market. Please also refer to the original job posting.

What perks and benefits do you offer?
We take pride in offering competitive perks and benefits that empower our team to do their best work while finding a comfortable and sustainable work-life balance. View a more detailed list of 8th Light's perks and benefits for employees in the United States and United Kingdom.

Do I need any special degrees or certifications to be considered for this position?
No. At 8th Light, we do not correlate credentials with a person’s likelihood for success in the role. We are more interested in the passion, perspective, and expertise that you bring to the role — whether it was learned in the classroom or you are self taught.

What is your Remote Work Policy?
We are a fully distributed remote team. Although we do have a dedicated office space in Chicago and flexible workspaces available in London, these offices are for optional use.

What timezones do your teams work in?
Work-life balance is important to us. Although we are flexible with work hours, most team members work in accordance with a 9 am - 5 pm or 8 am - 4 pm workday in their local time zones.

Are there internal diversity groups/communities?
We have people from many different backgrounds, perspectives, and walks of life. We have several internal channels and groups for our people to gather such as:

  • People of Color / Black, Asian, & Minority Ethnicities
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Parents/Caregivers
  • Communities of Practice
    • "Thinking Out Cloud" (cloud infrastructures)
    • Data Science and Engineering
    • Front-End Development

What is your PTO Policy?
All new employees are given four weeks of paid time off. In addition to paid time off, employees are provided with wellness days and an annual day of service. In the UK, employees are given 5.6 weeks/28 days of annual leave and 15 days of sick leave.

Do you offer a new hire home-office stipend?
Yes. All new employees are offered a one-time reimbursement for $200 (or £200) to offset any home office related expenses.

What can I expect for home office technology?
Our work devices are Apple computers. You’ll receive your device within your first few weeks of employment. You’ll be provided access to a portal to order any additional technology you may need, such as:

  • 4K displays
  • Keyboards and mice
  • Adapters

Who are some of 8th Light’s clients?
We work with Ticketmaster, Groupon, GrubHub, Cars.com, Shure, LegalZoom, and more. We’re in many industries including fintech, healthcare, ecommerce, logistics, and inventory management

What kind of languages do you use?
We're "language agnostic," which means we are generalists and polyglots who are comfortable jumping in and delivering idiomatic solutions in any tech stack. We work on Macs (or occasionally Linux) and typically deploy to the cloud, browser, or mobile devices. The top languages in use by our teams and clients are: JavaScript/TypeScript, Ruby, Java, Python, Elixir, C#, Swift, Kotlin, Go, Clojure, and Scala.

What kind of projects do you work on?
Our teams often work alongside existing tech teams working on software design and software development, consulting, training, and mentoring client developers explicitly or implicitly; for some clients, we are their entire tech team. We work across all kinds of platforms: cloud APIs, native mobile, microservices, web front-end, and more.

How does project assignment work?
We have a staffing specialist who works to match skills and client needs. Our staffing expertise works to align your interests and goals to the best opportunities in our roster.

8th Light, Software is our Craft

8th Light is a software consultancy with offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Madison, and Austin. You can follow upcoming 8th Light University events on our Meetup page.

Interested in 8th Light's services? Let's talk.

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