The opportunity gap

I lost 6 years of my life getting rejected from every job I applied to — until Microsoft took a bet on me. When I started recruiting for my team as a staff engineer, I quickly learned that years' worth of rejections had a lot to do with me being from Pakistan. I was enraged.

So I intentionally set interviews with people from developing countries who had been screened out based on their CVs. One of these candidates was David. His coding interview didn’t start well - he typed painfully slowly yet seemed smart. Why the disconnect?

Turns out he learned how to code on a blackboard. He didn’t have access to a computer until he became a cyber-cafe janitor but knew most Linux kernel functions by heart. This felt like a Hollywood kind of story.

Still, I couldn’t hire him because he was born in the “wrong country”. His English was broken, the culture gap would make integrating him in the team difficult, and working together would be a nightmare: his northern Uganda city was plagued with electricity blackouts.

I considered hiring him as a contract, but realized another challenge: he was just too junior 🐣. It would take longer to explain tasks to him than to do them ourselves. I’d rather wait for another company to bear his training cost.

And that’s what everyone is doing! Some companies are even vocal about refusing to hire juniors, like Netflix.

Covid aggravates the situation - an early employee at Elastic told me the single rule that helped them scale one of the first large remote companies was: “no juniors.”

In the meantime, juniors are flooding the market. CodeAcademy just reached 50 million users. The future is grim for people like David. Unless we do something about it.

Engineering a solution

With GitStart’s developer community, engineering teams farm out coding tasks without the challenges of integrating junior engineers worldwide.

The secret sauce has 3 ingredients: Community, abstraction, and security.

1️⃣ GitStart Bot pulls juniors together and automatically assigns reviewers until everyone agrees the code is perfect. Juniors ship code on production codebases with users years before they could do it on their own. Seniors save review time.


Joining the Community also makes a huge difference for juniors! They get to bond with people from 15+ countries over online and offline events, mentoring and pairing sessions, game and movie nights, etc.

2️⃣ To remove discrimination, GitStart abstracts away the engineers. Users assign coding tasks to the GitStart Bot and receive Pull Requests.

In other words, it’s 100% about code quality and 0% about accent, cultural (mis)fit, and CV formatting.

3️⃣ Airbnb’s biggest challenge was to get people comfortable letting strangers in their homes. In software, we can go a step further by eliminating the need for trust altogether.

One example is a tool that enables teams to share only a subset of their codebase. It scrubs the git history, syncs updates, and enables GitStart engineers to get CI-CD checks results without ever accessing the whole system.

In summary, seniors save time, and juniors accelerate their careers.

It’s changing lives

Alumni got into Google, Amazon and Facebook. Star engineers include Afghan women who struggled because of the Taliban (in partnership with CodeToInspire).

It’s also changing lives for users. 2 senior engineers used GitStart to build a C++ compiler now worth 9 figures. The catch is that the GitStart Bot managed up to 35 engineers, all hidden in the cloud.

Engineers are humanity’s bottleneck. If we succeed at building a tool that accelerates engineering teams by growing promising talents, we have a shot at bringing humanity closer to a state of abundance.

We need you. To destroy the wall that’s holding junior engineers back. To unlock the potential of millions. To build a fairer world that brings us closer to abundance. Join the movement as a user, a Community member, an HQ team member, or a supporter.