Career: FAQ


Generic Questions

What are the stages of the interview process?

Our interview process usually has the following steps:

  1. You submit your application in (X)HTML5.2 or alternatively, DIN A4 sized PDF.
  2. We do a 1-2 hours remote interview with you (preferably via Google Hangouts).
  3. We invite you for a one-day on-site interview.
I want to apply for a particular role, for example, tester. Do you have any openings?

No. At Nelkinda, there is only one role: Software Craftsperson. We do not look for any other role but Software Craftsperson. A well trained Software Craftsperson can and will work in any of the traditional roles like developer, tester, project manager, scrum master, business analyst, product owner, delivery manager, coach or whatsoever at any given point in time. A Software Craftsperson has a holistic experience and way of thinking and works that way.

We will happily hire you if you want to become a software craftsperson (polyrole) and pass the interview. But we will not hire you into a segregated, non-holistic role.

I am a developer in a particular language, for example, a Java developer. Do you have any openings?

No. At Nelkinda, there is only one role: Software Craftsperson. And that role implies that you're polyglot. A well trained Software Craftsperson can and will work in a variety of languages and technologies like Java, Ruby, Perl, Python, C, bash or whatsoever at any given point in time. A Software Craftsperson is not limited to a single or small set of languages and technologies and will choose whatever is best in a given situation.

We will happily hire you if you want to become a software craftsperson (polyglot) and pass the interview. But we will not hire you into a segregated, non-holistic technology expert position.

I am a student or graduate looking for internship. Do you have any openings?

We are big supporters of education. Indeed we take students and graduates for internship.

We want to ensure that your internship is successful and awesome. Therefore, the number of seats is very limited.

Do you accept applications from recruitment agencies?
Why no applications from recruitment agencies?

We're not looking for people who just want to get placed. Working as a software craftsperson is a conscious individual decision that no agency can do for you. We are looking for software craftsperson who have passion and aspire to be among the best of this industry.

Questions about the Job Application

Why do you want (X)HTML5.2 or alternatively DIN A4 sized PDF?

We want (X)HTML5.2 for various reasons.

First of all, in all our activities, (X)HTML5.2 is involved. Even if you're working on an embedded project, the documentation will certainly involve working with (X)HTML5.2. It is easy to learn and fundamental knowledge for all software craftspersons. Treat this as an entry hurdle. But don't worry, if you do not yet know (X)HTML5.2, we also accept DIN A4 sized PDF.

Which means that when you can't send (X)HTML5.2 but send DIN A4 sized PDF, this will also be fine. In that case, we're basically testing whether you're at least able to generate PDF in the desired paper size.

Second, (X)HTML5.2 is a great opportunity to show off various of your skills already in your application letter. You can show how you understand the semantics of (X)HTML5.2 by choosing the right elements to support the content of your document with good structure. Also, you can show how well you understand CSS3 to style your document nicely, in case you're not happy with the browser's default style sheet. Please note that we expect you to show off quality. We prefer correct (X)HTML5.2 over more fancy but bogus tag soup.

Last but not least this is a test for how well you understand requirements by reading them up and how well you follow them.

Clearly, if you send us a Microsoft Word document, you have already failed the first gate of how we select good Software Craftspersons because you've already failed to follow requirements in your job application before you even started the job.

Can I use LaTeX for my letter and résumé?

Oh yes of course! Absolutely! We love LaTeX!

Just make sure you convert it to PDF before sending, we can't guarantee our configuration will have the same styles and modules available that you are using. But if you want to include the LaTeX source code, go ahead, we'll be more than pleased to take it into account to evaluate your dedication and style of working.

What happens when I send you Microsoft Word Documents or anything else?

We asked you to apply with (X)HTML5.2 documents, or alternatively with DIN A4 sized PDF. When you apply for a job with Nelkinda, you basically want Nelkinda to become your client. If you send us a Word Document or anything else other than (X)HTML5.2 or DIN A4 sized PDF, you show us that you do not care about client requirements. We need Software Craftspersons, and Software Craftspersons do care about client requirements. Sending us something else than (X)HTML5.2 or DIN A4 sized PDF as a job application will not bring you in the next round.

find -name "*.doc" -or -name "*.docx" -exec rm '{}' \;
I applied with a Microsoft Word Document and got rejected. Can I try again with the right formats?

Of course, you can! Everyone makes mistakes. Just apply again in the right formats, which are (X)HTML5.2 or DIN A4 sized PDF.

Why do you want an application letter explaining specifically why I want to work for Nelkinda?

If we work with you, we will have to invest a lot. Our standards are quite high. We expect that it usually will take at least six to nine months for you to break even. That means, in the first 6 months we probably invest much more into you by getting you started and training you as you earn for Nelkinda. The return of invest usually happens after twelve to eighteen months.

Therefore we want to be sure that the choice of working together is well thought, well understood and well made.

By writing an application letter explaining specifically why you want to work for Nelkinda, you automatically have to think about why we should work together. You have to think about why you want to work with Nelkinda, and you have to think about why Nelkinda should work with you. It helps both, you and us, making the right decision.

If you cannot come up with good reasons why you want to work with Nelkinda and why Nelkinda should work with you, you probably should save your time and energy and not apply.

Questions about the Remote Interview

How long does the Remote Interview take?
The Remote Interview usually takes around 60 minutes. Be prepared for a longer interview (up to 120 minutes) in case the interview is somehow particularly interesting.
I don't have equipment for the Remote Interview, what to do?

We do not mind the environment in which you take the Remote Interview. You can do it at home, at Starbucks, at an Internet Café, at your college campus. This doesn't matter to us. Just make sure that the connectivity is good enough for audio and video, and that screen sharing is setup.

In case you will have to pay fees for the Internet Café, tell us beforehand and we will reimburse.

What types of questions do you ask in the Remote Interview?

We will ask you questions that depend on your experience, which we conclude from your Job Application. Be prepared that for all APIs, frameworks, languages, methods, processes, technologies, tools etc. that you have mentioned we will ask questions. You should be able to rank yourself on a scale of 1-10 on each of them (0 means you don't know anything about something, and that shouldn't happen when you mention something in the Job Application). We will ask you questions accordingly. If you rank yourself 3 or higher, you need to be able to produce "Hello, world!" in that topic.

We will also ask you questions related to your education. For example, if you are a computer scientist, we will ask you questions about algorithms and data structures. If you are a physicist, we will ask you questions about relativity and quantum mechanics (sic!).

Also, we will ask you why you want to become a software craftsperson and why you want to work for Nelkinda. You should have already elaborated on this in your application letter, now we want to hear about this in more detail.

The remote interview will include a 30 minutes hands-on programming session on a problem of our choice in a programming language of your choice. Be prepared for that, have your IDE (preferably a JetBrains IDE) ready for screen sharing in Google Hangouts.

Do I need to program during the Remote Interview?
Yes, you do. Therefore make sure that screen sharing is setup for Google Hangouts.
What is the ideal setup for the Remote Interview?
The ideal setup for the Remote Interview is:
  • Good webcam (for example Logitech C920)
  • Good headset (for example Logitech G430, Razer BlackShark or Razer ManO'War)
  • Good screen resolution (at least 1280×720, better 1920×1080)
  • Google Chromium or Google Chrome with screen sharing enabled
  • The IDEs for your strongest language(s) installed and setup, for example, vim, Emacs or IntelliJ IDEA

Questions about the Onsite Interview

How long does the Onsite Interview take?
The Onsite Interview usually takes a whole day.
What is the process of the Onsite Interview?
The Onsite Interview involves the following parts:
  • Interview rounds with your future teammates
  • A 3-4 hours pair programming session with a senior developer who will have a triple role of interviewer, product owner, and weak peer in order to observe how you code and communicate.
  • An interview with one or more of the CEOs
Do I need to bring my own laptop for the Onsite Interview?
No. You can bring your own laptop if you like, but you don't need to. We have enough equipment that you can use (Note: It will be Linux).

Questions about the Job

I like Windows. I don't want to use Linux or Mac OS. I want to use Windows.

We don't work much with Windows. A little bit of web design verification here and there on Windows, that's it. If you want to work with Windows, you have to work elsewhere. Even our accounting is done on Linux.

Therefore, if you want to work on Windows, we're the wrong place for you. Better find a job elsewhere.

But you are working on some things that require Windows, I know it!
Yes indeed, there are some programs which do not have Linux ports, like the Keil ARM MDK. But they run happily in Wine. If we would encounter something which we need but which doesn't run in Wine, we would contribute to Wine to fix it.
Are there opportunities to travel?
That depends on your skills. Our client base is international. If you're skilled enough, you might get opportunities to work in various countries and cities around the world. Currently, the travel opportunities include cities like:
  • Barcelona
  • Bengaluru (fka Bangalore)
  • Berlin
  • Goa
  • Hong Kong
  • Hyderabad (India)
  • Jakarta
  • Kampala
  • Kochi
  • Lisbon
  • London
  • Mumbai (fka Bombay)
  • Munich
  • Mysuru (fka Mysore)
  • Nairobi
  • New Delhi
  • New York
  • Oxford
  • Pune
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
  • Zurich
I like to speak. Are there opportunities to speak?

That's excellent! Sharing knowledge is one of the foundations of mankind. We are a very active member of the international software engineering community.

We support conferences and meetups. We host coderetreats, hackathons, hour of code and meetups ourselves. We perform in-house and classroom training and workshops. We send our craftspersons to conferences, hackathons, and meetups. And we support education - schools, colleges, and universities.

So, if you want to speak, we provide an excellent environment for that.

I want to learn API / framework / language / library / method / skill / technology / tool XYZ. Can I?

Yes, definitely! We support learning and improvement of our software craftspersons in multiple ways. We have a large library of more than 180 books ranging from Advanced JSP to Zope. Miss a book? Just tell and we'll get it! We provide you with online learning material like Safari and Clean Coders. We send our craftspersons to training and workshops. We host coderetreats, hackathons, and meetups. We support conferences and meetups. And we send our craftspersons to conferences, hackathons, and meetups.