10 Things You Didn’t Know About Working In Product and Tech at TheLadders

Posted by Todd Hoza

May 16, 2011

There seem to be a lot of questions out there lately about what it’s like to work at TheLadders – especially on the product and technology teams. A recent photo of the company we sent to our members revealed that over 400 people work here. A significant chunk of that group works in product and technology. What do those people do? How do they work? Here are a few interesting insights that may help answer the question:

    1. There are more than 30 people working on the Product team at TheLadders. Their focus is getting to the core of the conversation happening offline between job seekers and recruiters and translating it into a compelling online experience.

    1. Of those 30 Product people, 13 work in User Experience. Yep, our UX team is bigger than most startups.

    1. Nearly 60 people are in the technology organization. The work they do spans everything from front-end dev to database administration to CRM system maintenance.

    1. We have three people focused on nothing but improving search functions. We affectionately refer to them as “Sergey”; “Larry”; and, um, one other name.

    1. We’re an Agile shop. Have been for more than two years now. Like Brad Pitt in “The Devil’s Own,” we’re not going back (to waterfall).

    1. We run six Scrum teams that are each focused on solving an explicit business problem.

    1. Each Scrum team has at least one representative from each discipline – Product management, user experience, dev and QA.

    1. Like most folks, we run two-week sprints. We tried to get it down to one week, but for us, that didn’t provide enough time to bring the awesome each sprint.

    1. We have 0 cubicles in our space. Why? Because cubicle walls stifle conversation, which is the lifeblood of our innovation. So, yeah, it gets a little noisy, but it’s nothing Dr. Bose or Dr. Dre couldn’t help out with.

10. The products we create help nearly 5,000,000 people advance in their careers.

So what do all of these folks work on? We focus on collapsing the black hole that persists between job seekers and recruiters. Relevant, meaningful communications between these two groups produce quick hires. The more we can help initiate those conversations, the faster people get jobs. It’s not easy, though. Our data sets are in constant flux, the content in our systems is not standardized, and our user base is not familiar with the intricacies of a 21st century job search. We work to overcome these challenges so that when the right person comes across the right job, it’s obvious to both parties. We work fast, test a lot of our ideas, fail quickly, learn and iterate  Eric Ries would be proud.

We learn a ton, and we share that knowledge. In the past year alone, TheLadders employees have spoken at SXSW, Startup 2011, Agile 2010 (and 2011 too) and countless local tech meetups. In fact, we host a lot of them in our Hudson St. office. It’s pretty inspiring to work with such smart folks every day.

If any of this sounds appealing to you, there’s good news: We’re hiring! Drop your resume in there and come solve problems, learn new things, and do some good.

Jeff Gothelf

Jeff Gothelf is Director of User Experience at TheLadders.com. Having worked in a variety of software companies and interactive agencies, Jeff's developed a passion for creating elegant, efficient and sophisticated online experiences. His most recent focus has been Lean UX which is the (totally) legitimate lovechild of Agile, Lean Startup and UX.

Topics: TheLadders Dev