Scalyr Distributed Systems Engineer Hiring Overview

We’re excited to introduce you to our great team and culture at Scalyr, and the opportunity to learn more about you. Scalyr’s core values include honesty and transparency, which we exercise even before your first interview.
Our goal with this page is to give you an understanding of the interview steps (and even the questions you will be asked) so you can show off the depths of your skill. We value interview discussions that resemble work you’ll actually do on the job, so you won’t find whiteboard coding problems or a CS pop quiz in our interviews.handwritten attributes for success

Phone Screen:

You will be scheduled for a 60-minute phone call with one of the engineers on your prospective team. Their goal is to have a technical conversation with you about your recent work and interests and will work with you on a 45-minute coding problem on HackerRank.
Scalyr takes an index-free approach to text search at massive scale, but that’s not because we dislike indices! They’re great, and we frequently use them behind the scenes. In this coding exercise, you’ll be asked to implement an indexing strategy for plain text data with some specific requirements. For this problem, you are welcome to use your preferred programming language.


The onsite is usually our first chance to meet you in person, so we do our best to give you a sense of what it’s like to work with us.

Pair programming exercise (2.5 hrs)

The majority of the onsite will be spent in a pair programming exercise where you’ll work with some members of the team. You’ll receive the exercise three days ahead, giving you a chance to digest the problem. We encourage you to bring your laptop and keybindings along so you’re working in a familiar environment!

The question

We’ll provide scaffolding for a small Java project simulating a real-world producer-consumer task. We will be looking for your ability to implement a throughput-optimized and robust solution.  Some freshness in concurrency concepts and the primitives available in the JDK will be useful, so that’s worth brushing up on if you’re not recent (here is a great primer).

Lunch (30 mins)

We’re buying! There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re being interviewed while wondering if you have lettuce in your teeth (don’t worry, we’ll politely tell you if you do). The lunch session is a time for you to take a breather and get a chance to meet a few engineers from another team. Feel free to grill them about Scalyr, or just chat about hobbies. Your call, you run the lunch agenda.

Code review (45 mins)

We maintain a code review culture at Scalyr and value readability, so we’re looking for engineers who can give us great reviews. In this session, we’ll give you a mock pull request (in Java) to see how you approach this part of the job.

Manager chat (45 mins)

In this session, you might discuss Scalyr’s architecture and plans, or run through a high-level system design question with Bill Farner, your prospective manager. He’ll be looking to see that you’re motivated to tackle hard problems with us. Engineering is in Scalyr’s DNA, so Bill also has hands-on experience working in building high-scale systems and loves deep technical discussion. This is also a good time to ask about the team, culture, and engineering plans to get more insight into your day-to-day.

After the Onsite:

We’ll follow up with you a day or two after the interview to discuss feedback and next steps. If things went well you may expect a short call with someone from our leadership team to dive into any unanswered questions you might have as well as giving you further information about Scalyr.