Ask a Hiring Manager

What Does FreshDirect Look for in Developers?

Josh Hirshfeld / 3 April 2017
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Since 2012, Flatiron School has worked with a lot of hungry software engineering students – and almost as many companies who come to Flatiron to hire technical talent. Sometimes they’re kind enough to pull back the curtain and demystify their hiring practices for interested students. Today, as part of our Ask a Hiring Manager series, we share our conversation with Thomas Connors, Director of Mobile at online grocer giant FreshDirect. Read on to see what Thomas looks for in candidates and his advice for students hoping to work at FreshDirect.


Thanks for chatting with us, Thomas! First, let’s dive into what you look for in candidates when hiring developers.

Being self-motivated, creative, and analytical are the top qualities I look for in a developer. I look for someone who can balance solving a problem on their own, asking questions when they are stuck, and constructively arguing their viewpoint when it differs from the team. Programming languages and technologies change all the time, so I’m more interested in someone who can (and has the drive to) solve a hard problem over someone who has X number of years developing in one language.

I look for someone who can balance solving a problem on their own, asking questions when they are stuck, and constructively arguing their viewpoint when it differs from the team.

Where do you look for talent?

I’ve had success in the past on online sites like Github and Linkedin, but mostly through internal recruiting.

What’s your impression of the Flatiron grad you’ve hired?

He’s been a fantastic fit and has far exceeded our expectations. I was also really impressed with the grads I met during the initial interview. For the latest role we filled, we went through a rather extensive interview process, pulling from multiple recruiting sources, and three of the four final candidates were from Flatiron School

Any advice to prospective FreshDirect applicants on how to stand out in the interview process?

Embrace your background and make a case for how it will make you a successful developer. Some of the best developers I know have diverse backgrounds from design or liberal arts that they have combined with technical education. Your past experiences – even if they are far removed from technology – can help you creatively solve complex problems.


Interested in more advice on starting your career in tech? Download our new eBook, How to Be a No-Brainer Tech Hire, for more advice from Flatiron School and our network of employers.

Employers: Interested in attending our next campus recruiting event? We’ve got another series of them running from May 1 through 4. Click here for details!

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