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What developer candidates need to know about the Karat interview.
Pittsburgh keeps its top spot as the best city for hiring remote software engineers, Portland leapfrogs Texas into the top-5
Last year we took our first look at the rapidly expanding remote software engineer hiring landscape. As more organizations shifted to remote or hybrid working models we had started to see significantly improving candidate performance outside of the more-established tech hubs. Like 2020, Seattle boasted the highest concentration of top engineering talent, followed closely by the Bay Area, and New York City. But cities like Pittsburgh and Atlanta had comparable pass rates to the big three while boasting other benefits, such as a lower cost of living or more diverse populations. Today, as even more top tech companies commit to hiring remote software engineers, we’re taking a look at how this landscape has continued to evolve.
In updating our 2020 top-10 cities for developer hiring list, the first trend that stood out to us is the fact that we’re seeing historically strong performance rates on the coding portions of technical interviews since the beginning of the pandemic.
We see two primary drivers of the improving engineering talent pool:
Based on the current hiring trajectories we’ve observed, we expect that there will be another Q1 spike in 2022 as more companies seek to add headcount and bolster their engineering teams, while more candidates will begin seeking new positions early in the year.
Among major cities in the US, we also found that this trend of improving pass rates was consistent across major cities. Of 10 cities on our list, 9 saw improvement in their score compared to last year. Southern California looks to be a major winner, with both Los Angeles and San Diego seeing average pass rates jump significantly over the past year.
Interestingly, despite some high-profile tech organizations eyeing Texas as a new hub, the state’s average pass-through rates saw little change in 2021. This resulted in Houston and Austin sliding further down the list while Dallas fell outside the top 10 after coming in at #9 last year. Newcomers to the list are Portland, OR, rocketing up to #4 as Karat pass rates nearly doubled, and Washington, DC, appearing here at #2.
Karat technical interviews assess specific technical competencies. Our Interview Engineers make observations about candidates’ project discussions, coding performance, computer science knowledge, system design, cloud architectures, and other relevant skills based on the hour-long interview.
While different companies can set the hiring bar at a level that makes sense to them, we have a default set of scoring tiers. Out of these, the top two (“Invite To Next Round,” and “Fast Track”) indicate that the candidates have successfully passed their interview and will most likely be moving forward in the hiring process.
Unsurprisingly, the three established tech hubs — Bay Area, New York, and Seattle — have the highest percentages of candidates that pass the Karat interview. Decades of tech-talent concentration around these hubs have created strong developer pipelines.