Welcome
to Team Lego

Team Lego is an initiative of xe.gr. The idea is very simple: we will create a new software engineering team that will be led by one of our senior developers but will be staffed with developers without any prior working experience.

Once formed, the team will go through a phase of familiarization with xe.gr and then it will take on a project to be taken live in the xe.gr production. The project will offer opportunities to work on every part of our software stack, including back-end and front-end, testing and quality assurance, infrastructure management, deployment and monitoring.

Update: The initiative is over for this year. We are very happy with the results and the people that will be onboarding our team! We were happily surprised to find more people than initially expected who engaged with us and wanted to be a part of Team Lego, so we increased our investment to hire 20 people instead of the original 5 we planned to. Click here to learn more about our experience with the initiative.

Stay tuned for the next round that will take place in 2022!

How does it work?

The steps are simple:

  • You apply to the initiative by 24/05/21.
  • At 25/05 an online selection process will begin. The selection process will consist of an online test that can be taken from a place of your choosing.
  • Candidates that pass the online test will participate in an online interview, which will help us to compile a short list of the final candidates.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be offered a place in the Team Lego initiative and will be given a few days to respond to the offer.

Who can apply?

Here's a list of the ideal candidate qualities:

  • Have a degree in Computer Science or related field or a similar field. It's OK if you're in your last semester before getting your degree.
  • Being able to work on a full-time basis.
  • Be eager to learn. You will be doing a lot of that!
  • Be smart and driven to get things done.
  • We verbally communicate in Greek but you need to have business-proficiency in the English language as a lot of our documentation and written communication is in that.

We require no previous working experience and in fact candidates without experience will be given priority during selection.

What happens after I apply?

First you will be asked to take an online test. The online test will be a mix of multiple choice questions and algorithmic problems. You will be given a few days during which you may start the test but note that once started the test cannot pause. You will be given one and a half hours to complete the test.

If you pass the test you will be invited to an online interview with more candidates in small groups. During the interview, we will be asking you a few questions about your programming experience so far and will also focus on your soft skills.

A shortlist of candidates will be compiled after these two steps. If you get shortlisted, you may be invited to a final online meeting and we will make an offer to which you will have to reply within a few days.

We are looking to start the team with four of five team members excluding the team leader which will be one of our own senior developers. The shortlist will be sorted so we might not be making you an offer if the team is assembled before we get to you.

Regardless of the outcome, we will be letting you know how you are progressing at every step - this includes applicants that are not selected for the online test.

Development paths
after
Team Lego

Web


Everything that our users and customers see falls under the responsibility of the web team. Ruby on Rails with React is their preferred technology stack. The web team does not live on the browser only, so they often deal with some back-end components and they make use of APIs provided by the back-end teams.

Back-end


The stack of the back-end teams is dominated by Java, with other technologies like C# and Javascript also present to a lesser degree. The back-end teams maintain our existing internal and public-facing APIs and create new ones according to the needs of the development pipeline. They use SQL and NoSQL data stores daily and deal with systems such as Postgresql, MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, Oracle, Memcached and Elastic Search.

Devops


Infrastructure and operations are the purview of the Devops team. But not only that. The DevOps team is instrumental in assisting the other teams to establish good development, cloud-friendly approaches to software development through continuous-delivery of incremental releases. The team uses an extensive tool chain that includes Terraform, all shorts of scripting languages, speaks only Linux and is intimate with the Amazon cloud.

Mobile


The newest engineering team of xe.gr, the mobile team is tasked with making our mobile applications look great. The tech stacks of the mobile team are strongly dictated by the rules of mobile development: Kotlin and Java (to be migrated to Kotlin) on the Android side and Swift on the iOS side.

Data


One of the strongest points of our company is that it generates and accumulates its own data. The data team is using Python, Spark, Kafka, EMR, AWS Dynamo and other technologies in order to gather all sorts of events that happen within our systems and turn that to useful and actionable insights and information.

QA


Last but not least, the Quality Assurance field is one of the most vital for a company that wishes to invest in integration and end-to-end testing and avoid painful regressions. The QA team uses Java, Selenium, Appium and BrowserStack and is fairly knowledgeable in HTML/CSS as well. Along with the DevOps team, the QA team is perhaps the one that has the broadest understanding of every system in XE.

  • Web

    Everything that our users and customers see falls under the responsibility of the web team. Ruby on Rails with React is their preferred technology stack. The web team does not live on the browser only, so they often deal with some back-end components and they make use of APIs provided by the back-end teams.

  • Back-end

    The stack of the back-end teams is dominated by Java, with other technologies like C# and Javascript also present to a lesser degree. The back-end teams maintain our existing internal and public-facing APIs and create new ones according to the needs of the development pipeline. They use SQL and NoSQL data stores daily and deal with systems such as Postgresql, MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, Oracle, Memcached and Elastic Search.

  • Devops

    Infrastructure and operations are the purview of the Devops team. But not only that. The DevOps team is instrumental in assisting the other teams to establish good development, cloud-friendly approaches to software development through continuous-delivery of incremental releases. The team uses an extensive tool chain that includes Terraform, all shorts of scripting languages, speaks only Linux and is intimate with the Amazon cloud.

  • Mobile

    The newest engineering team of xe.gr, the mobile team is tasked with making our mobile applications look great. The tech stacks of the mobile team are strongly dictated by the rules of mobile development: Kotlin and Java (to be migrated to Kotlin) on the Android side and Swift on the iOS side.

  • Data

    One of the strongest points of our company is that it generates and accumulates its own data. The data team is using Python, Spark, Kafka, EMR, AWS Dynamo and other technologies in order to gather all sorts of events that happen within our systems and turn that to useful and actionable insights and information.

  • QA

    Last but not least, the Quality Assurance field is one of the most vital for a company that wishes to invest in integration and end-to-end testing and avoid painful regressions. The QA team uses Java, Selenium, Appium and BrowserStack and is fairly knowledgeable in HTML/CSS as well. Along with the DevOps team, the QA team is perhaps the one that has the broadest understanding of every system in XE.

Who are we?

XE is the leading classified ads company in Greece, specializing in the Real Estate, Jobs, Auto-Moto and Business sectors. More than 2 million people in Greece browse xe.gr every month.

Our ambition in XE is to create a unique environment that will help people effortlessly match supply and demand. Whether it be in real estate, jobs, auto/moto or any of the hundred other categories we support, our goal is to offer an efficient marketplace that promotes such transactions.

Helping our customers find what they are looking for easily, quickly and unambiguously is the sole most important factor that influences what we do in Engineering at XE. Areas of focus of our engineers are developing high traffic and always-on web applications specialized in classifieds, optimizing code to run faster and adding features that make the journey of our customers easier. Almost all of our systems are running in the AWS cloud and we make extensive use of AWS services.

Why are we doing this?

Our goal is to grow our own product and delight our users and customers. To do this we need to innovate in many fields. There are no ready-made solutions for most of the things we do in our core business. Therefore we need to develop our own stuff.

During the last two years and for the foreseeable future we will be in an almost always-on talent-seeking mode. Since mid-2019, our development team has grown 3 times its original size and we will keep growing it at the fastest pace that is sustainable.

To grow the engineering team we need the right mix of skills and seniority. Senior developers always make significant contributions and can be instrumental in mentoring people with less experience so they can grow. More junior developers always bring in a more energetic and fresh approach with them, sometimes constructively stirring the team with their openness to new ideas and their eagerness to learn.

On-boarding a junior developer to our team is usually a stressful and tiring exercise both for the new developer but also for the team as well. We know from experience that a non-trivial percentage of the capacity of the team is devoted to each junior team member we hire. And we are OK with this because the results are always worth it.

The Team Lego initiative is an effort to make this process more sustainable and productive. By having a team made exclusively of junior developers we have a lot to gain. We can streamline the on-boarding experience. We can create an environment that is easier for the new developers to adapt to and learn quicker. We can make it easier both for us and new developers to start this new relationship. And since it's going to be easier, we can increase our investment in this area and give an opportunity to more people without experience to start their career.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When do I start if I'm selected?

    If we make you an offer and you accept - great!

    We want the team to get together at the end of August or the beginning of September. We will let you know of the exact date well in advance.

  • Is this a full employment opportunity?

    Yes. You will have full-employment status from the first day you start and will also be part of the private insurance plan of the company.

    Part of the job of the team leader is to help you get started on what may very possibly be your first full time job. You will be given regular guidance and feedback and you will have to be ready to adjust to the requirements of the job and the need to pick up hard skills as you go.

    We have previous experience with such an initiative and we have good reason to believe that everyone is going to do well. Having said that, it is possible to find out during the initiative that, despite your efforts and ours, we are not a good match for you. In that case you will be compensated for your work up to that point and we will have to let you go.

    To be clear, this is not an initiative where we want people that will complete a project and then leave. Our intention is that everyone that starts in Team Lego will complete the initiative and stay with us afterwards.

  • What will I be doing?

    Initially we will take you through a few on-boarding sessions. You will need to understand what the company is about, what we're trying to achieve and how we prioritize work. You will also need to understand how we're making a living and how the engineering department works.

    After that, the team is going to progress through a very rapid simple project in order to ensure that everyone goes through the steps of our development life cycle. This will be an intense two-week period where everyone gets familiar with the Scrumban cycle we use and has the necessary access they need. Most importantly, the individual aptitudes of team members will be measured and assessed in order to see what roles can each one assume.

    Once this period is over, we will take a look at our priority pipeline and a for-real project will be assigned to the team. The team will spend the next 3-4 months implementing this project and getting it live. You will surely have to learn a new technical skill. This might be Java, Ruby on Rails, React, server-side Javascript, Amazon Web Services infrastructure or other technology. Also, you will almost certainly encounter infrastructure that you will have to understand and use, like Jenkins, Postgresql, Mongo, MySQL, Redis or other such things.

    The project that the team will undertake will definitely not be a small one. The team will need to understand requirements, go through software design, implement functionality in phases if possible with incremental rollouts and monitor the performance of the deliverables. This will be a demanding time. But we can promise that it will be a very interesting and learning experience.

  • Is this an internship or assistance-ship opportunity?

    No, this is a full-employment opportunity. You will be paid a full salary once you start and you will be part of the private insurance plan of the company.

  • I will definitely need to learn new stuff. How can I be productive enough?

    New languages and technologies are the so-called hard skills. It is surprisingly easy to pick up new hard skills and the younger you are the easier it is. As a developer you are bound to be doing that throughout your entire career anyway. This might feel daunting at first but we understand that and we will create room for it. You will be given time to practice and learn new stuff. You will be always guided and assisted directly by your team leader and indirectly by every engineer in XE to get where you need to be.

  • If I apply, will I be notified of the results of my application?

    Yes, even if you don't progress past a stage.

  • How large is the team?

    The engineering team currently has 34 members.

  • Where will I be working?

    That depends upon a few factors. If you are not based in Athens, you will be working remotely permanently. You will also be working remotely while the COVID-19 pandemic is not contained. When the pandemic finally ends or is well contained, people that are based in Athens will work in our new offices 2 to 3 times a week, with the rest of the time working remotely.

  • What equipment will I use?

    We issue a laptop to every engineer. The laptop is equipped with a latest-generation i7 processor, M.2 disk and 32GB RAM.

  • I still have a question about Team Lego.

    Send your question here and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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