October 22, 2018
Zoocasa Tech Spotlight: CTO Endri Gjiri on Hiring Developers
Working with a real estate agent is more important than ever in Canada’s hottest markets – but increasingly, prospective home buyers are turning first to online tools and resources to inform the starting point of their home searches. It’s this selection of proprietary features that make online brokerages such as Zoocasa stand out – along with our in-house team of top-notch developers.
As Toronto becomes an increasingly prestigious destination for tech companies and employees alike – interest from giants such as Amazon and Shopify to set up headquarters here could soon boost the already 82,000 tech jobs added over the last five years – the city has become a hub for aspiring coders looking to break into this burgeoning industry. It’s no wonder it was recently ranked fourth on an Engel and Volkers list of the top North American tech centres.
Those looking for a foothold in the tech scene have a few options, for example, enrolling in a coding bootcamp in Toronto, or investing in some of the best coding courses offered by the city’s post-secondary institutions.
Pro Tips for Aspiring Developers
However, participating in the best coding bootcamps is just the first step – it’s important to know how to effectively display your skill set and shine during interviews. For some first-hand advice, we sat down with Zoocasa’s Chief Technology Officer Endri Gjiri, on his best tips for standing out to prospective tech employers.
What are the most important skills for today’s aspiring developers?
The most important skill for any developer is the ability and desire to learn and continuously be up to date with the latest technologies. The landscape is changing so quickly that if you lose that drive to learn you could quickly be left behind.
What’s the best way to handle “tech challenges” sent by prospective employers?
One of the most important methods for employers to find the best candidates is to screen them with a “tech” challenge. If you’re put to the task, remember to start as early as you can, and anticipate that you may get stuck. Remember, just finishing the challenge won’t guarantee you the job – often, applicants make the mistake of stopping as soon as they get the code working. It’s even more important that the code works, is well-written, and is clean. Spend some time refactoring the code and getting it to a point where you would be proud to show it to someone else.
What technical challenges is Zoocasa focused on solving?
Zoocasa is focused on building tools for users to make the buying and selling process as simple as possible, especially those that offer powerful insight and ease tasks that are otherwise time consuming if done manually by the user.
One such tool is our school boundary feature which allows users to view listings within specific school boundaries, and filter properties based on price, bedrooms, etc. as they normally would. The user can select a threshold for the school rating that they are interested in, for example an 7/10 on the Fraser scale, and these schools would then be shown on the map with their boundaries highlighted and also all the listings that fall within these boundaries.
We feel it’s a very important feature as this info is highly valued by home buyers; however, implementing it was a tremendous challenge, and required multiple teams to problem solve; for example, we had to collect the school data, keep it up to date, and manage our large listings database, all in an efficient manner using complete polygon boundaries, not to mention the front-end implementation changes where we allow users to interact with the schools and their boundaries and provide an intuitive UI.