Engineering Some Magic

Scout’s Engineering Week

When employers and search firms use Scout to connect to the right talent at exactly the right time, our engineers make it happen. In real-time, across any channel or platform. They write the code, create the algorithms, analyze data structures and deal with bugs. They customize the experience for customers and operate “in the customer environment,” meaning they experience exactly what customers experience on their computers, tablets and phones.

At most technology companies, engineers work behind the scenes. They connect via Slack or daily standups (conference calls) and then return to their tasks at hand. But Scout is centered around people – and connecting people through AI – so it’s important to us that everyone is connected to the operation in real life.

So, we created our own event to make that happen.

Every year at Scout, we celebrate something called Engineering Week. It’s when we bring our engineers from across the country together and connect them to the clients, search firms and candidates who are directly impacted by our work.

Karin Orstrom, Product Manager at Scout, explains the week as “Coming together in a shared space for the week helps us get a better sense of our teammate’s communication styles, and understanding of how others approach or solve a problem. This team-building makes a significant and positive impact on how we work together.”

This year’s Engineering Week took place at our Boston headquarters from November 4-8. The theme was “magic,” which is exactly how the week felt. On the first day, April Estes, founder of the search firm ProEnlist, talked about a recruiter’s day and the challenges they face. That gave the engineers a chance to see the problems they try to solve from a whole new perspective. They also heard customer perspectives to give them a full picture of all points of view in the marketplace.

One of the week’s highlights was our Hackathon, where everyone is split into teams to develop ideas that could enhance our product for employers and search firms, automate internal processes and improve overall efficiency. According to Johan Bilien, SVP Product and Engineering, “The Hackathon is an opportunity for the product and engineering teams to take a step back from day-to-day assignments and connect with business stakeholders and customers. The exercise generates increased business awareness and an opportunity to partner with colleagues from other areas.”

This year, 13 teams presented ideas to a panel of expert judges. In addition to a “People’s Choice” winner, two ideas were selected and will be implemented by Scout in 2020.

We count on our engineers to constantly innovate and stay a step ahead of customer needs. If there are new skills needed, new roles defined or new ways of recruiting top talent, we challenge our engineers to know it first. As far as we’re concerned, our engineers are some of the most talented people on earth. They’re passionate about the work they do. And that’s exactly why we work so hard to connect them to the people who are impacted by it.

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