Posts from "March 2011"

Opower Labs

Helping DC Area Agile Testers Help Themselves

  • By rob.fagen
  • March 23, 2011

The DC Agile Software Testing MeetUp group met for the first time yesterday. Thanks to everyone that attended for contributing to a very positive experience.

We’re looking for “Better Ways To Make Better Software”.

Agile software development is a great way to make good software that satisfies real needs and creates real value to those who build and use that software. Everyone on the team is concerned with the quality of the product. However, sometimes it can be an overwhelming task being the team member whose job it is to insure that the quality of the product is sufficient.

DCAST was created to develop a community of those interested in agile software testing who are also interested in testing agile products more effectively and more efficiently. By sharing our hard won knowledge we can all help make each other’s lives easier and more productive.

If you’re interested in sharing how you have raised the quality bar of your agile processes, we would love it if you were a part of this community. If you’re interested in learning (or want to all learn together), you’re even more welcome.

We’re going to be meeting again in about a month. Come check out the group if you’re in the DC area.

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Opower Labs

Why Homework?

  • By ed.peters
  • March 10, 2011

The Discovery Channel spends an entire week every year convincing us how incredibly awesome sharks are.  How do they do it?  Do they take a mako shark out of the ocean, squeeze it into a suit, and ask it questions about being a shark?  Not hardly.  They let us watch the thing cruising through the open ocean, chasing tuna and scaring the hell out of everyone.

When you apply to OPOWER, we want to see how awesome YOU are in your natural habitat.  Our homework helps us do that — by giving you a project that you can complete on your own schedule, in your own environment.  Maybe you’re a “early-morning coffee and Eclipse” person, or an “up-all-night with pizza and vim” type.  Whatever it is, we want to see THAT.

Yes, we also have a more conventional part of our interview process.  You’ll talk to us on the phone and in person.  We’ll ask you about your current projects, make you answer some tough technical questions, and write code together on a whiteboard.  But the homework is our way of asking you to show us what you’re like, on your own terms.

We take our homework pretty seriously, and hope you do, too.  Think carefully about the problems.  Explain what you did (and what you didn’t do) using comments and READMEs.  And give us your best code — polish counts more than features.  Code that’s lean, appropriately commented, and thoroughly tested is going to earn high marks, guaranteed.

Our application process is hard.  We know, because every single person in OPOWER’s engineering group has been through it.  We do it this way because we want a team full of great people that can produce reliable, real-world solutions.  It may be more work for everybody up front, but we think it’s produced great results.  And we think you’ll agree when you join us.

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