Joshua Hynes

Joshua Hynes

Senior Product Designer at Stack Overflow Joined over 4 years ago via an invitation from Matt G.

  • 60 stories
  • Posted to Ask DN: Why is it so hard to find a junior design job?, Mar 16, 2016

    My 2 cents here: This isn't a problem relegated to junior designers. This problem exists no matter how much experience you have. While you might qualify for more jobs when you have more experience, you also will have more demands then you do right now (because you're older and possibly have more responsibilities to consider) and finding a match with an employer is still a problem.

    My advise here piggybacks on what others have said:

    • Keep gaining experience.
    • Continue to pushing yourself personally.
    • Don't be limited by a job title. If the job description sounds interesting, APPLY! The worst they can say is "no!".
    • And speaking of "No's", you'll get a lot of them. But a no isn't always because of you. It's because for one reason or another, the people on that team didn't feel you were a good fit for them at that time. Personal fact: the last time I was looking for a job, I applied to almost 100 jobs. You feel you're overwhelmingly getting rejections all the time. Only about 15-20 places reached out to interview me. And they all were interesting and exciting companies, but for one reason or another, most of those said no in the end. Yet all I needed was one to say yes.
    1 point
  • Posted to Ask DN: What books to read in 2016?, Jan 26, 2016

    First: Great goal! I hope you hit your goal. That said…

    Second: If you haven't built reading time into your regular schedule, you might find reading almost a book a week a bit ambitious. If you have and you can read that much: awesome! Personally I'd love to read that many books but life gets in the way. My goal this year is 24 books.

    Third: +1 for fiction writing. Writing which stirs the imagination can help feed your creativity.

    Here are some books I've enjoyed recently (fiction, and non-fiction):

    • Blue Remembered Earth, Alastair Reynolds
    • House of Suns, Alastair Reynolds
    • A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith
    • Frame Innovation, Kees Dorst
    • Design for Dasein: Understanding the Design of Experience Design, Thomas Wendt
    • Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
    • Creativity Inc, Ed Catmull
    • Replay, Ken Grimwood
    • East of Eden, John Steinbeck
    • The Yearling, Marjorie Rawlings
    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: What books to read in 2016?, in reply to derek l , Jan 26, 2016

    Devil in the White City is a great book.

    0 points
  • Posted to Site Design: Santiago Baigorria - Product Designer, Nov 02, 2015

    Looks nice.

    Lack of case studies is a bummer though.

    0 points
  • Posted to Facebook for Work, Oct 26, 2015

    @Suganth — Story link? Never mind. Found it

    1 point
  • Posted to Ask DN: Who is hiring?, in reply to Samantha S , Jun 17, 2015

    Sam, "Product" here means "web products" such as the development of our Question and Answer communities and our Careers-related products.

    2 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Who is hiring?, Jun 17, 2015

    Stack Overflow is ramping up its design team. You can learn more about our product design position here:

    If you consider yourself more of a visual designer, please contact me: hynes [at] We're looking for a number of visual designers as well.

    If you like working in an office, you can work out of our Denver, NYC, or London offices. We also offer remote working as well. (Note: 5 out of 6 design team members work remotely).

    2 points
  • Posted to Hiring: Anyone give candidates a trial project?, Apr 13, 2015

    I've experienced this on both sides. While interviewing a few years ago, I experienced some who did white-board exercises and others who did a trial project. The only company who paid me was Stack Overflow, who I work for now.

    As a Senior Product Designer I help the team identify potential projects for designers we're interviewing. A quick background on our hiring process:

    1. Our Creative Director reviews all resumes.
    2. Any candidates he deems having potential, he circulates to the rest of the team for review. Mainly it's a yes/no. The CD isn't beholden to the team's feedback, but he considers it.
    3. Any candidates deemed worth calling back, our People team will reach out to and field the first interview.
    4. Candidates will generally interview with at least 4-5 people before progressing to a trial project. They'll interview with other design team members, PMs, and developers. At any point anyone can NO HIRE anyone.
    5. If candidates get through the interviews, we give them a paid trial project at their current freelancing rate for 10-15 hours. At least that's the ideal. The last few hires we've given them 2 trial projects: 1 more of a visual design test and 1 more of a UX/product design test.
    6. If the trial project goes well, the candidate then interviews with a VP or the CEO.
    7. If that goes well, an offer is extended.

    I've been involved mostly in formulating the UX/product design tests. Our process is still rather new here, but we approach trial projects like we would any other project. We identify a something we would actually work on. We provide a project brief, a chance for the designer to ask questions, and a way for the designer to ask questions and solicit feedback throughout the process.

    On that last point: that's big. It's highly unlikely someone will pitch you an idea in 10-15 hours that will blow you away. The tests are largely a way for us to get a feel for a person and how they work. A candidate wouldn't make it to a design test if we didn't already think they were smart, talented, or capable enough for the position. Now we're testing each other out. How communicative are they? Are they asking the right questions? Are they pushing beyond the main idea (i.e. do they solve the problem only or do they solve the problem and see the next 2-3 steps the solution potentially provides)?

    It's a long process. Hires take about 2.5-3 months to come on board. Yet we're really pleased with the net result so far. Since January 2014 we've hired 4 designers using this approach. All 4 are still on the team. All 4 are super talented.

    PS. We're hiring.

    2 points
  • Posted to We Tried Building a Remote Team and It Sucked, Mar 15, 2015

    You can't take the way you might work in an office environment and directly apply it to remote working. It's different. You have to allow for greater team-member autonomy. You have to document more. You have to create asynchronous work patterns.

    For better or worse, some people don't enjoy working remotely or can't make it work. It's a skill. You have to work at it. But if you're able to make it work, it can be a truly rewarding experience.

    1 point
  • Posted to How do you like to organize your large SASS projects?, in reply to Colm Tuite , Feb 13, 2015

    Nice write-up Colm!

    0 points
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