This mysterious company Temboo writes the most compelling job posts. They’re located in TriBeCa. And yet otherwise, I’ve never heard of them. Their company website is unlike any other I’ve seen. Instead of providing a list of services and client case studies, they tell you nothing — actually, they call you out:
Apparently you are part of the population that goes systematically on a website to gain information on a company.
We do things differently. Don’t be afraid to call us at…
Now that’s balls!
I have seen two job posts from them on the NYC CHI mailing list. I include them here, in their entirety, because their communication style is unique for a job post (that I’ve seen): familiar, innovative, casual, honest, funny, clear, exciting, out-of-the-box. It makes me feel like working there would feel the same way. I think that’s the point ;) I recognize them here because I have a special appreciation for people who practice what they preach. And in this case, understand the “user experience” of a job candidate.
If you know anything about this company, please fill me in. I’m very happy with my full-time job and definitely not considering leaving, but I live in TriBeCa and am really interested in making the connection.
Post 1: October 2007
Subject: Interaction Design Rock Star Wanted
So I’m sitting at my desk in the office. It’s a summery New York afternoon and outside the Tribeca streets are lined with little cafes where people sit with their laptops by the open windows. On other days like this, I’d go down to the corner coffee shop to work while enjoying a latte and a croissant. But today, I’m still in our sunny loft, worried because I need to figure out how to fill this job opening.
In theory, filling this position should be easy. After all, Temboo is a great place to work. In addition to the casual atmosphere and the product itself (one of the most challenging, elegant, and innovative software systems I’ve ever been involved with) it’s the people that make it a pleasure to come here every morning.
Earlier today, for example, I found myself discussing philosophy of language with the two developers who sit beside me (are there real-world equivalents for the concept of mathematical equality?), and a co-worker who just got back from Europe shared some Swiss truffles while we played a quick video game on the Wii in our back room. The Temboo team isn’t just fun; they are also the brightest group that I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. Last week, a few of the problems we tackled include tactile metaphors in the GUI, the pitfalls of visual programming semantics, and the architecture of distributed file systems.
The problem I’m facing now is now to find a person who will thrive in this kind of environment. And it’s tough, because the usual language of job postings doesn’t manage to express all the really important things – like what makes a company special, what makes a job rewarding, or what type of individual we’re looking for.
So in the end, I suppose that the person we’re looking for is just as frustrated with the traditional clichés of career postings as me, and also someone who can pull their weight in the following:
• Have a sturdy portfolio of schematics, maps, interaction specifications, and information design documentation, as well as finished products you’ve contributed to.
• Have a genuine respect for the human beings who will use the products you work on.
• Understand the critical balance of utility and pleasure in design.
• Have at least three years experience designing rich internet applications, software, or games.
• Are excited to use your deep knowledge of user interface standards and usability help us design beautiful products that are both surprising and joyful.
• Can reconcile apparently conflicting user requirements.
• Dig multi-tasking.
• Have a great curiosity and quick sense of humor.
Our unique company culture promotes individual contribution, innovation, excellence, and the belief that work should also be fun. We offer competitive compensation, flexible working hours, a casual office environment, and respect for individual contribution and autonomy. We’re looking for people who have interests outside of work as well (please mention some of these in your cover letter if you like).
Does this sound like you? If so, there may be a place for you at Temboo. Candidates outside the New York area will also be considered for employment on a remote basis, or for relocation to NYC (where everyone should experience living for at least part of their lives).
Post 2: January 2008
Subject: Mary Poppins, with Project Manager experience
If you want this choice position
Have a cheery disposition
Rosy cheeks, no warts!
Play games, all sort
You must be kind, you must be witty
Very sweet and fairly pretty
Take us on outings, give us treats
Sing songs, bring sweets
If you won’t scold and dominate us
We will never give you cause to hate us
We won’t hide your spectacles
So you can’t see
Put toads in your bed
Or pepper in your tea
Hurry, Dear PM!
– The Temboo team
If Mary Poppins was in the software business, she probably would have been a Project Manager. After all, what makes a great PM isn’t so different from what it takes to be a wonderful nanny: knowledge of a wide range of subjects, a sense of humor, an ability to keep people happily working together, and an occasional touch of magic.
At least that’s the kind of person we’re searching for to join the Temboo team.
Temboo is a small technology company located in Tribeca, NYC, where we’re building technologies that – we believe – have the potential to change the world. Put simply, we are developing a set of next-generation visual tools that allow non-developers to build complex applications. By empowering average users to create software that truly meets their needs, our products pave the way for a new paradigm of software development. Our platform is currently being used to build everything from rich AJAX applications to infrastructure systems for major financial institutions.
We are looking for a flexible, creative, tech-savvy Project Manager to help guide the development of our products. In this role, you’ll participate in virtually every aspect of the software lifecycle from brainstorming about design concepts to defining processes, tracking progress, and collaborating with other teams to ensure the success of our projects.
Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:
• Experience building and managing a software development team
• Fluency in at least one programming or scripting language
• Ability to juggle multiple timelines, priorities, and requirements
• Experience negotiating successful compromises between multiple project stakeholders
• Excellent communication skills, including writing specifications and explaining technical concepts in non-technical language
• Familiarity with the software development lifecycle and agile methodology
• Experience in the financial services or health care sector
• Ability to translate user requirements into concrete software implementation plans
Our company culture promotes individual contribution, innovation, and excellence. We offer competitive compensation, flexible working hours, a casual office environment, and respect for individual contribution and autonomy.
If this sounds like the right position for you, contact us by email at email@example.com with a CV and cover letter, detailing your past experience and personal interests.
Qualified candidates outside the New York area will be considered for relocation to NYC (where everyone should experience living for at least part of their lives).
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