Join the team
Where is Oso located?
Oso has a corps of folks in the New York City area, but more than half the company is remote. Once it's safe to return to an office, we plan to get office space in New York City (probably near Grand Central).
Are you okay with remote employment?
Yes! As we grow the team, we expect roughly half the team to be remote and half to be in the New York City area.
What’s the interview process like?
The interview process varies by role, but here are our core principles, plus the specific process for the Software Engineer role farther below.
- Make the interviewing process reflect the work as closely as possible. We try to achieve this in two ways:
- Domain - We deliberately pick problems that are tied closely to the work we’re doing, as opposed to computer science fundamentals, for example.
- Format - We try to give you as much context in advance as possible, including having you do part of the problems before the onsite. That's because it's unlikely we'd ever give you a problem in real life and ask you to SOLVE IT ON THE SPOT 🙂 We don't, for instance, ask you to solve algorithms at the whiteboard. You should ask questions – lots of them – and we'll answer them.
- Make the process bi-directional. We want to see what it would be like to work with you, and equally, we want you to get the chance to see what it would be like to work with us. To this end:
- The main technical interview is effectively a pairing session with Sam, Oso's cofounder & CTO
- We budget lots of time throughout the process for you to engage with us in discussion on the problems (and hope you do!)
- Be as transparent as humanly possible. Oso cofounder & CEO, Graham Neray, wrote a blog post on this topic, but some of the basics here include:
- Sharing the principles
- Sharing the process
- Being straightforward about exactly what we're looking for
- Giving you feedback at any point throughout the process
Here's the interview process for a Software Engineer (taken from internal company Notion). Note: we are constantly evolving this process, so what's on this page might lag slightly.
- You learn about what we're up to as a company, the team, and how developers are using Oso
- We learn about what's important to you in where you work, why you're interested in Oso, and get more color on who you are
- You learn more about the product, the technology, and how the engineering team operates
- We learn about projects you've worked on and what types of problems excite you
- Do the work samples
- Read some short pre-reads to minimize context-gathering over Zoom
Over Zoom: (can be all one day or split up over 2 days)
- Meeting with Cofounder & CTO, Sam, to go through the work samples (1.5-2 hrs)
- Debugging exercise in language of your choice with your preferred debugging environment (45 mins)
- Product engineering discussion (45 mins)
- Chat with Cofounder & CEO, Graham, on who you are when you're at your best (45 mins)
- Q&A — you chat with a couple of the other folks on the team to get to know them and ask anything you like (15 mins)
We're always happy to hear from you if you think there's a different interview or process that we should try to see who you are when you're at your best 🙂
What is work/life balance like at Oso?
Oso is a startup. Effort matters a lot at this stage, so the company doesn't operate 9-5. We don't have a big brand, large team or war chest. What we have is our ability to focus, set big goals and out-ship everyone else. So we work hard and we wouldn't want to hide this reality from candidates.
But we also don't manage to ‘time spent in seat' and we're not wed to specific hours. Some people (like our Cofounder & CEO) drop off at 6 pm every day for dinner with their kids. Others start their day later and end later. We have a small number of recurring meetings, so the emphasis is more on achieving our objectives as a company vs. ‘being online.' And we expect that everyone has a life outside Oso (hobbies, errands, exercise, regular vacation, etc.).
How do you think about diversity, equity and inclusion?
We're not perfect, but we have made a point to start prioritizing this early having seen how hard it is to change when a company gets big. We borrow some of our thinking on this topic from Jessica McKellar, Founder & CTO of Pilot.
- Diversity - We prioritize building a diverse top of funnel over speed and volume. We're agreed on this at the executive and the board level. We do not have hard requirements on things like what schools candidates have gone to (or even that they have a CS degree), rather we look for any way someone can demonstrate that they achieve our core requirements. To help support our funnel, we build relationships with organizations that attract diverse talent pools, like the Recurse Center.
- Equity - We set compensation based on how we expect folks will contribute to the team (not, for instance, years of experience). And we assess contribution based on a predetermined set of criteria laid out in scorecards for each interview. Each interviewer delivers their hire/no-hire assessment based on the scorecard – behaviors and outcomes that the candidate demonstrates in the interview – and nothing else.
- Inclusion - We're a feedback-driven company, and give every member of the team a number of avenues to safely voice concerns and opinions about anything. We meet regularly as a team, once daily to check-in on how everyone's doing as well as once every 2 weeks to do a team retro (led by a member of the team). Everyone has regular 1x1s with the Cofounder & CTO as well as the Cofounder & CEO.
Have you raised any money?
Yes, we have raised $10.9M from investors like Sequoia, SV Angel, Company Ventures and Highland Capital, as well as entrepreneurs like Dev Ittycheria (CEO, MongoDB), Calvin French-Owen (Founder, Segment), Charity Majors (Founder, ), and Edith Harbaugh (Founder, LaunchDarkly).
What do you look for in candidates?
Our job description is the best representation of what we are looking for. The requirements are the only requirements in terms of raw skills and experience. The Who You Are section is equally important, as we believe not everyone will enjoy and thrive in a startup environment and it's in everyone's best interest to find the right fit on both sides.
One additional point that we often discuss internally is that we value performance at the end of Year 1 vs. performance on Day 1. If we wanted to build a company to get acquired in the next year, we’d optimize for a new hire’s performance on days 1-90. But we are building a company for the long-term, which means that we optimize for long-term upside in the people we bring into the team. Given the choice between a candidate that is good immediately but has limited upside, and a candidate that will take a bit of time to ramp but will be a much stronger contributor to the company after 6/12/18 months, we choose the latter.
Do you provide any healthcare benefits?
Yes, we provide generous benefits for medical, dental, and vision. We also have a 401K program (no match). We're also proud to offer mental healthcare to all employees and anyone in their family through Spring Health.
How will Oso make money?
Oso is currently free and open source. In the future, we'll build on on top of the open source library with commercial products similar to other successful open source companies like MongoDB, Elastic, Confluent and Databricks.
What’s your tech stack?
We build the core of Oso in Rust. We build our host language libraries in their respective languages (e.g., Python in Python, Node.js in Node.js). We use Github for source control and Github Actions for CI.
Are you open to bringing on interns?
Not at this time—unfortunately, we don’t have the bandwidth necessary to offer a stellar internship program. We need to invest every ounce of energy into making a successful product and community first.