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Founder Portraits: Ammon Bartram of Triplebyte

Creating a new more accurate test that gives access to high paying software engineering jobs to everyone, not just those from central casting

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Ammon Bartram is the cofounder of Triplebyte, a powerful force in how the best software engineers in the world are getting identified today. At triplebyte.com anyone can take a test to get their skills certified. The best candidates get top paying software engineering jobs like at Dropbox, Flexport and Cruise. Tech jobs have for too long been the domain of privileged credentials — resumes and expensive degrees from a small set of top universities are terribly limited compared to the magnitude of need for great software in the world. Triplebyte circles that square by helping firms identify and hire truly great talent through objective tests that anyone can take.

In Ammon’s words, here’s how he got into tech and why he chose to create Triplebyte:

When I was younger, I was into wood and metal working. I worked with a wooden boat builder every Thursday from age 12 to 16 (I was home schooled, and my parents helped set this up). The craft and skill of creating things with my hands was what drew me to this.

When I got into programming (age 14), it ticked the same box for me — creating things. Paining over details, getting them right, and then seeing something come to life.

My motivation for Triplebyte actually came from being home schooled. I ended up getting a GED at 17. I totally lacked the credentials that most universities look for. I ended up going to a pretty poorly-ranked school. And that, in turn, meant that, after I graduated, most companies just ignored my resume. I remember applying to 50 companies before anyone replied and was willing to interview me.

I got to experience the flip side of this once I joined Justin.tv, and was hiring myself. Most people who apply to your company are not great programmers, and your team has limited time. The incentives are all set up to encourage screening on credentials.

Basically, I started Triplebyte to fix this. I want to help people who are in the situation I was in after I graduated (and far more stark situations — I still had CS degree).

Photo by Garry Tan on Hasselblad 500cm with Portra 400 medium format film.