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Byteboard nabs $5M seed to change the way engineers get hired – TechCrunch


Byteboard nabs $5M seed to change the way engineers get hired – TechCrunch

Byteboard founders Sargun Kaur and Nikke Hardson-Hurley were working at Google when they recognized a fundamental problem with the way engineers were being hired. They saw a process of obscure algorithms, and those with access to the content could (and usually would) study it for months. They thought engineers should be judged by their ability to code and do the job on a daily basis, so they started a company to create a different kind of engineering job interview.

Today, Byteboard announced a $5 million seed round led by Cowboy Ventures along with a diverse set of angel investors, with half being women and more than a third Black. The investor funds are similarly diverse, with 84% led by a woman managing partner and 57% BIPOC-led (Black, Indigenous, person of color).

The two founders met at an internal hackathon at Google, bonded over their shared experience around technical interviews, and decided to do something about it. As two women of color, they saw people from historically underrepresented groups facing an unfair disadvantage in this process, which favored people who had the means to access the prep materials (not unlike SAT prep courses in high school).

“Byteboard is a software-based solution that’s actually helping companies replace their pre-on-site technical interviews with a project-based interview that helps them hire faster through a much more positive, streamlined, practical interview process,” Kaur told me.

She explained that the traditional interview process was designed by Big Tech companies like Google and Microsoft to hire Ph.D. computer science candidates from Stanford, but in her view, the industry has changed, and the interview process hasn’t kept up.

“It’s a very broken interview process, and it disproportionately impacts people that look like me and look like my co-founder, Nikke. It’s very easy to be discouraged by this interview process. And this kind of leads into kind of why we started Byteboard,” she explained. They wanted to shift that process from the theoretical to the practical, where people showed off their coding skills.

As Kaur put it, when an NBA…

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