Startup of the Day – Codility

The BizSpark startup of the day is Codility, based in the UK. You will find below an interview with Greg Jakacki, CTO of Codility. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!



Interview with Greg Jakacki, CTO of Codility

Tell us who you are and your role in the company:

I am Greg, CTO of My role is to make sure that the product is engineered in a sound way and that it delivers value to customers, so I also wear Product Manager’s hat.

What did you do before creating your company?

I used to hack compilers for electronic design automation industry in US and China at Synopsys and HED, then moved to Exoweb to work on distributed Web applications. In the meantime I translated the “The Art of Computer Programing” into Polish. In 2007 I founded my own software consulting company, again taking on compiler projects. I was also involved in development of OpenC++, front-end meta-compiler of C++.

How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?

It is really cool to be recognized as the most promising “Startup of the Day”! Also - we are excited to be exposed to our target (tech) community, which we believe uses Microsoft BizSpark a lot!

What is your company’s mission?

Our mission is to improve the quality of software by helping sotware talent recruiters to weed out underqualified candidates early.

How did you get the idea for your company?

In 2005 I started to work at Exoweb, Beijing-based software company, which just started a large hiring campaign to expand a team of software developers. Interviewing hundreds of job candidates I figured out that most of them make fundamental programing mistakes. I figured out an automated way to filter them out to save time of senior engineers. Surprisingly, we found that with no doubt we can reject 90% of candidates without wasting a minute to talk to them. The idea got perfect validation, so I made it into a product!

Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?

Initially bootstrapped with own funding, and after winning Seedcamp 2009 in London we got funded by Seedcamp and are currently looking for angel/VC investors, who will help us scale globally, beginning with US and UK.

How many employees do you have? How many developers?

We have 3 full-time employees, 2 of them are developers, and 2 developers working part-time.

Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?

We are currently looking for 2 interns in London - community manager and business developer, and 1 intern in Warsaw - software developer with strong computer science background.

Which platform are you building on? Why?

Our service is SaaS, hosted in the cloud, using bits and pieces of different technologies (our proprietary secret magic formula) to handle submissions in 10 programming languages - C, C#, C++, Java, Javascript (beta), Pascal, Perl (beta), PHP, Python and Ruby (beta).

Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?

I think there is a lot of technology in place that just waits to be applied in mainstream home automation. I am surprised how long the idea of smart home was around and how few smart homes I see.

What do you think about the BizSpark Program?

It is definitely helping start-ups exploring the Microsoft technologies. Such low barrier or entry is crucial in the early days of a new venture. The BizSpark support in the area of of business development and media buzz generation is also very useful and appreciated!

Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?

Become ramen-profitable as soon as possible!

Who’s your role model?

Edison Design Group, a tiny company of three developers. For many years they are constantly delivering top-quality software product and cater to giants like AT&T, Fujitsu or HP.

What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?

Never hire programmers without checking their coding skills first!

Comments (8)

  1. Zeljko says:

    Great interview! I also work in the company that sells online programming tests:
    I have to say Codility is a great inspiration and a company that started the field.

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