Located in Palo Alto, California, Quixey was founded in 2009 with the intention of creating a search engine for apps. The popularity of smart phones and tablets meant that millions of new apps were being developed. Finding apps could be difficult, as users were limited to scrolling through categorized lists or using text-based keyword searches. Quixey began developing a search engine that let people search for apps based on what they wanted an app to do rather than just on keywords describing an apps function.
Functional Search Technology:
In a 2012 video, Quixey co-founder and CTO Liron Shapria explained the Quixey's Functional Search™ technology and why it is different than the text-based search used by website search engines.
"The kind of search result matches we wanted were different from the kind of things you get in a web search," he explained. "We don't want to just match the text in your query to the text in an app. We actually want to find you apps that do what you want according to your query."
As an example, he points out that a user may be looking for an app that will let her see where her friends are. Typing "see where my friends are" into a typical search engine would not give any results for a phone tracker app unless the app developers had put those keywords in their app description. By integrated metadata from the app itself, comments about the app and reviews, Quixey's Functional Search is able to find apps that "see where my friends are."
It's strictly an "app-centric view of the world," Shapria says, rather than being platform-centric "because developers take an app-centric view of the world and users take an app-centric view of the world."
"Our goal was to model things the way things are in real people's mind and not just the way things are in naive extensions of existing search."
Engineers and Designers
Quixey employs software engineers, software engineer interns, UI/UX designer and quality assurance leader. Engineers should be generalists able to work on projects related to search, infrastructure, crawling and data mining. The designers will be working on "top secret" new projects involving mobile technologies and the web.
Quixey employees engineers from schools like Stanford, MIT, CMU, and Berkeley and from other employers like Google, Facebook, LinkedIN and Mozilla.
Projects include building an SEO dashboard for app developers, improving web crawlers, data mining and scaling a search engine to handle over 10,000 queries per second.
Current job listings can be found on the Quixey jobs page.
Working Conditions and Perks
The standard setup for an engineer is a MacBook Air connected to Amazon EC2 and two 30-inch monitors and a sliding cubicle door that doubles as a whiteboard.
Perks include three catered meals, a well-stocked fridge, a free gym membership and company retreats.
Applying for a Job
The best way to apply to Quixey is to first take the Quixey Challenge. This is an online contest for engineers to demonstrate their skills and problem-solving abilities. Contestants must first finish three practice puzzles, like finding the largest common divisor in a set of numbers, or finding a bug in a few lines of code. Once you have completed the practice puzzles successfully, you can have the chance to compete in a live event over Skype, where you have one minute to find one but for a prize of $100.
If you feel you have the right stuff after solving at least three practice puzzles, you can then check out their job board to see what positions are currently open. Be certain to include your Quixey Challenge username when you contact them.