Like any tech-based business we work on many problems unique to our shop. We have our own ways of organizing work, approaching problems, designing architecture, implementing code, and maintaining infrastructure.

We draw heavily on our past experience in product development, and borrow just as heavily from external ideas that we discover along the way. We believe that “not-invented-here” is a uselessly incurious mindset.

We’re experts in building teams and slinging code. Our team is small, high-powered, tight-knit, and colocated in Austin, Texas, in an office full of freewheeling communication and challenge.

We have a hard time finding developers who can keep up with us. Their senior is our junior.

Do you want to join us? Try out some of the questions we post here in the blog based on what we encounter in our work. Broad and deep skills and strong desire to learn are essential. Answer some of the questions and show us your strengths.


$10k x $10k Plan

Vertalo is hiring, and we want the best. The best usually come from your network. Of course we work with recruiters as well. Those recruiters get paid when they land candidates with us. So why not offer similar rewards when our network produces great hires? Now we do! Check out our $10k x $10k Plan where you will be rewarded for introducing us to our next hire!

Energy in the Room

Face-to-face makes a better team

The energy in our office is off the charts compared with most places. We work on lots of big problems. We are growing fast. Our clients demand more and more of us. We are a tight team, and we work face-to-face. Our team has been in the office together since June 2020. We bucked the work-from-home trend because it doesn’t support our dynamics and pace. It would be nearly impossible for anyone to keep up with us while working remote. [Read More]

The Interview Process at Vertalo

What to expect when you interview with us

The Basics We believe it’s important that you, as a job candidate, have a clear idea how the interview process works here at Vertalo and so we’d like to share some insight on what to expect. While we like to keep things friendly and informal, there is a sequence of steps we follow during the interview process: Our Homework Of course, we look closely at your resume. But we also look to other resources to gauge your qualifications: [Read More]

Shell Is Underrated

Essential unix skill

How much time do you spend at the command line? Most programmers say they are very comfortable there. Most also say they are good shell programmers. Shell programming is quirky, and not particularly elegant. Yet it is both universally available under unix and extremely powerful. Programming in shell is an easy way to cobble together simple experimental programs, especially if you master the art of unix filters. Sadly, very few people are competent shell programmers. [Read More]

Terraform count vs. for_each

Don't count on it

Terraform has two mechanisms for provisioning multiple resources (and modules since version 0.13): count and for_each. The count feature predates for_each. Now that for_each is available, there is no reason to use count. The Terraform documentation says “If your instances are almost identical, count is appropriate. If some of their arguments need distinct values that can’t be directly derived from an integer, it’s safer to use for_each.” This is bad advice. [Read More]

Vertalo $10k x $10k Plan

Help us find great hires, and get paid for the effort!

Incentives Matter Vertalo is hiring, and we want the best. The best usually come from your network. Of course we work with recruiters as well. Those recruiters get paid when they land candidates with us. So why not offer similar rewards when our network produces great hires? Now we do! Who is Eligible? This offer is available to non-recruiter members of our network. If you are a recruiter, this is not for you. [Read More]

What Do You Mean Atomically?

Know your filesystem

Once I worked on a project whose origin predated the widespread use of DNS. They used /etc/hosts files to map host names to IP addresses. This system had grown to thousands of hosts, and the /etc/hosts file was about 1M in size. After any update, which was handled by a sysadmin, they pushed this file to all production hosts. “Wow! You update those files atomically when you push, right?” I asked the sysadmin. [Read More]

From Zero to Tom Lane

Safety in constraints

The PostgreSQL documentation has this to say in the context of constraints: The NOT NULL constraint has an inverse: the NULL constraint. This does not mean that the column must be null, which would surely be useless. Instead, this simply selects the default behavior that the column might be null. The NULL constraint is not present in the SQL standard and should not be used in portable applications. Of course the description of the NULL constraint is correct, however requiring that a column must be null does in fact have utility! [Read More]

JavaScript Question Zero

How are numbers stored?

What does .1 + .2 equal? Easy math problem, the answer is .3 no problem, right? Well, not quite. In the magical land of JavaScript, .1 + .2 = 0.30000000000000004, because obviously. This was actually the first thing I learned about JavaScript, my first intro to the language being a lengthy conversation about all the worst things in the language (glances at the this keyword). But, back to math… why doesn’t . [Read More]

Terraform Modules as Functions

Using no-resource modules to build config maps

How do you create user-defined functions in Terraform? The definition of a module in terraform resembles that of a function with side effects implemented through resources. We use zero-resource modules as Terraform functions. Below is a simple example use of for_each_slice taking input from var.config.hosts. For each element in the input map it slices out the corresponding value the named keys, throwing an error for missing keys or keys that fail a requirement, such as being a non-empty string. [Read More]

The GraphQL Test

How are your GraphQL skills?

This is a simple test designed to evaluate your GraphQL skills. GraphQL is a key technology here at Vertalo and one that we make heavy use of. We expect candidates that we consider to have real-world, professional experience with GraphQL (or have a firm grasp of it through their own side-projects). So with that, on to the test… Using the following info: GraphQL endpoint: https://7onqiz6vuffs3aommsb53zueom.appsync-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/graphql API key: da2-xjxr3thnwzd4jido2afokc3hcu The endpoint uses basic API key authorization …do the following: [Read More]