How I joined Toptal

Back in October I got an invitation to join Toptal which is a platform that connects top class engineers with software companies.

What makes it different from other freelancing networks is that all the applicants go through a selection process and only 3% of them are accepted.

I decided to give it a try leveraging the fact that I was unemployed during November. And after a tough but rewarding process I got accepted a couple of weeks ago.

English proficiency

The first call was a short explanation of the whole process and they use it mainly to check your English level assuring that you can communicate properly.

Coding exercise

In the next 48 hours after the call I had to do a coding exercise in Codility, a Polish start-up that tests programmers. It consisted of three tasks to be solved during 90 minutes; although it’s not necessary to finish them all and I managed to resolve just two.

These algorithms are evaluated both in performance and correctness. And the training center it’s a good place to challenge yourself resolving problems.

Technical interview

A couple of days later I got the link to schedule a technical interview with a senior engineer. The talk started with the evaluation of the previous exercises and after I was asked to share my screen while writing code on a JSFiddle.

Whereas Codility’s tasks were more “mathematical” and could be solved in any language, this was a front-end specific task and I chose AngularJS to solve it gracefully in less than 10 minutes.

Final project

For the final project I was given some old wire-frames that I had to transform to HTML with valid mark-up and proper styling in CSS, implementing the dynamic functionality with JavaScript and paying special attention to the responsiveness on mobile devices.

The code had to be committed to their private Git repository as if it would be a real life project. After two weeks working hard I showcased my project to another senior engineer who evaluated the code and the development itself, accepting me into the network.

Conclusion

I haven’t started yet to work in any project but the mere act of going through the selection process was enriching. And even though the amount of time invested to get inside is huge, I have read nothing but satisfied opinions about the platform. So if you want to face a new challenge don’t hesitate to apply.

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4 thoughts on “How I joined Toptal

  1. Hi!
    I’ve a first interview with TopTal in few days from now. I was wondering how was your experience with TopTal after the selection, and if you’ve been able to find some remote works.

    Thaks
    Lucia

    • Hi Lucia!

      When I joined Toptal back in November I had already signed a new contract with another company so I couldn’t try it. But four weeks ago I finished with them and just one week after I go my first remote job with Toptal. So far so good.

      What’s your speciality?

      Cheers, Pablo.

      • Hi Pablo,
        thanks for the answer 🙂
        I’ve mostly worked in back-end development: for several years with Java (JEE) and now with .NET C# (Micro services, API, async messages). But I must say that my weak point are the front-end technologies. Do you think that it’s possible to find “back-end” jobs on TopTal?

        Ciao,
        Lucia

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