Compensation has always been one of the most confusing parts of management to me. Getting it right is obviously extremely important. Compensation is what drives our entire economy, and you could look at the market for labor as one gigantic resource-allocating machine in the same way as people look at the stock market as a gigantic resource-allocating machine for investments.
When I started building up a tech team for Better, I made a very conscious decision to pay at the high end to get people. I thought this made more sense: they cost a bit more money to hire, but output usually more than compensates for it.
I have done roughly 2,000 interviews in my life. When I started recruiting, I had so much confidence in my ability to assess people. Let me just throw a couple of algorithm questions at a candidate and then I'll tell you if they are good or not!
I do a lot of recruiting and have given maybe 50 offers in my career. Although many companies do, I never put a deadline on any of them. Unfortunately, I've often ended up competing with other companies who do, and I feel really bad that this usually tricks younger developers into signing offers.
The easiest way to be a 10x engineer is to make 10 other engineers 2x more efficient. Someone can be a 10x engineer if they do nothing for 364 days then convinces the team to change programming language to a 2x more productive language.
I haven't mentioned what I'm currently up to. Earlier this year I left Spotify to join a small startup called Better. We're going after one of the biggest industries in the world that also turns out to be completely broken.
Here's a problem that I used to give to candidates. I stopped using it seriously a long time ago since I don't believe in puzzles, but I think it's kind of fun.
Let's say you have a function that simulates a random coin flip.
I saw a bunch of tweets over the weekend about Peter Norvig claiming there's a negative correlation between being good at programming competitions and being good at the job. There were some decent Hacker News comments on it.