technology from back to front

How to apply

There are three steps to our recruitment process:

  1. Initial application
  2. Distance assessment
  3. Full interview and “meet the Shiftees”

Recruitment consultants must talk to Elaine Lynch-Harwood to discuss terms before submitting CVs. Any CV submitted speculatively by an agent on behalf of a candidate without first having agreed terms with LShift in writing will be deemed to be providing a commission free service.

1. Initial application

To evaluate your application we’d like the following


It’s our experience that CVs are often not as informative as we’d like; most CVs are focused on a specific set of technologies, whereas we are interested in your wider experience, your general attitude to software engineering and appetite for the role. We are also interested in hearing about projects outside of work.

Cover letter

Cover letters should summarise anything notable we should consider, such as a technical blog or Twitter feed, published articles, contributions to open source projects, anything that demonstrates an interest in computer science or computing outside work.


We like candidates with opinions! We’ve found that asking candidates to share opinions with us gives us rapid information on what kind of techie they are. To that end our online application form includes these questions. The answers should be short; but please don’t give us definitions, we need opinions!

Code sample

This is often the most informative part of the application pack. If you’re the kind of person we want to recruit, then we’re probably a lot like you. What sort of code sample would impress you?

You probably wouldn’t want to pointed at some really mundane and uninteresting code, or something that would require an enormous time investment to make head or tails of. It’s fine to point us at a larger project or something fairly specialized as long as you give a bit of context and steer us to the highlights. Pretty much any programming language should be fine.

Our enthusiasm for the work may wane if they have to trawl through a lot of source code to find the good bits so please do not just send us a link to a large GitHub account. A brief overview along the lines of “Project X demonstrates Y in class Z” would be very helpful.

If you have concerns regarding commercial confidentiality and we can make an assurance that all code can be deleted after review, if requested. There is no implicit or explicit transfer of intellectual property rights to us by sending us code.

In a few cases candidates are unable to provide code samples. If the rest of the application pack is clearly exceptional, it may still be possible for a candidate without code samples to be granted a distance interview.

Your CV, covering letter, answers to questionnaire and your code sample should all be submitted via our online application form.

2. Distance assessment

If we like the initial application pack, the next stage is the distance assessment, which has three components:

  • A very short coding exercise you in their own time in advance of the distance interview using a simple web-based shared IDE.
  • A distance interview lasting around an hour, over Google Hangouts, Skype or by telephone; we’ll talk briefly about the role and about you, and solve a longer coding exercise using the web-based shared IDE.
  • A coding challenge lasting three hours, which you solve using your own PC and coding environment. This is designed to match real day-to-day programming as closely as possible. If you prefer, this can also take place in the LShift office; you can use your own laptop or we can provide a Linux machine with some useful tools preinstalled.

We support a range of programming languages here. Candidates reaching this stage will be sent a more detailed document describing the distance assessment.

3. Full interview and “meet the Shiftees”

If the code challenge goes well, you’ll be invited to our office for a face to face interview. This usually includes a conversation with our Chairman, Andy Wilson who’ll provide an overview of the company review your general suitability, and then a more technical conversation with the Lead Developer who has been assigned to review your application. This interview process generally takes around two to three hours.

After the interview, you’ll have a chance to sit down with developers individually and learn about what LShift is like from their perspective, and some of of the work we do. Hopefully you’ll also be able to join us at a nearby pub that evening!

A T-shirt and jeans is fine—there’s no need to dress up, or wear a jacket and shirt unless that’s what makes you feel most comfortable.

It is possible to slightly vary the details of the process if the circumstances require it, for example with applicants from overseas.

If you’d like to apply, please use the online application form.

2000-14 LShift Ltd, 1st Floor, Hoxton Point, 6 Rufus Street, London, N1 6PE, UK+44 (0)20 7729 7060   Contact us