Der Berliner Jäger - Part 1

First read the summary: Der Berliner Jäger

Working In Berlin

I recently moved to Berlin to start the next chapter in my life. Although it seems quite open and friendly, the city is surprisingly challenging to settle in. The shared house market has demand far exceeding supply. So call early, call often.

Berlin has also become a tech hub for mainland Europe, and as an iOS developer there were multiple options to choose from. Some useful resources I used to get started (in order of usefulness):

Some tech companies with established iOS teams in Berlin:

I Get Knocked Down…

I first applied at Blinkist, a company that condenses non fiction books into a short 15 minute read, or audio book. I’m a big podcast listener, so was really excited about a product that would let me learn on the go. However, two business days after submitting my resume and cover letter, I got a rejection email. I was really disappointed to be knocked out so early, without even an interview. The thing that helped me the most was getting back in the saddle, and shifting my focus to other job opportunities.

…But I Get Up Again

I was lucky enough to have a friend who connected me with some cool people looking to build on their already successful startup.

My friend sent a simple group email to myself and the startup founders. With just a couple more short emails, I set up a face to face meeting with the CTO. The cool thing about early startups is the laid back style. We met in the afternoon in a cool beer/coffee bar in Mitte. The meeting didn’t feel like an interview. It felt more like a friendly chat, getting to know each other, and talking about our experience, views on technology, and also values. It was such an enjoyable conversation - we chatted for over 2 hours.

The next step was to meet with the CEO. This was also a super laid back meeting over drinks. It was really inspiring to see the energy of the CEO and hearing their ideas first hand. It’s near impossible to chat with the CEO of a big established company, let alone during a developer interview! This conversation was more about users, and value based objectives like privacy and trust. We could have talked for hours and hours, but I had to head off to see a shared house (which I got, thanks for asking).

Quick Finishers

The startup moved really quickly. They were focussed on hiring and able to progress outside of business hours. It felt more like getting to know a new group of friends than proving my technical competence. I really liked this, and it made me feel special, respected.

I sent some code from WhenDo to the CTO so they could check my style, and then had one more meeting with the CPO (Chief Product Officer). This was over skype, but was no less friendly and warm. We had a great conversation about the plans for the product, and I talked about my past experience.

11 days after the initial email from our shared friend, I had an offer. The salary was very competitive, but I respectfully asked for some time to think as I was also interviewing with another company.

Continue reading: Part 2 - No Bullshit.

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Written on August 19, 2018