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How I didn't become a SoundClouder

At the end of March 2017, I decided to leave Concur. I had been working there for a year and I had a lot of fun with great teammates around me. However, the project I was working on was canceled in the beginning of the year. The new assignment we got was completely different from the one I joined the company for in the first place. So I started to look around for new opportunities.

SoundCloud logo

I sent my CV to SoundCloud in April and got an immediate response from a recruiter. We had a 20-minute Skype call when she asked me basic questions about my history and motivation. I asked her specifically about the financial stability of the company, since in the beginning of the year, SoundCloud announced it might run out of money. She told me the situation was bad but it was solved. She said: “if I didn’t believe in the future of the company, I wouldn’t work here”. I believe she wasn’t lying. She had no idea what was about to come.

The next step in the process was a code challenge. I was to create a simple memory game with images downloaded from SoundCloud’s API. The assignment was nicely written and it was clear what SoundCloud would be focusing on the most during the evaluation. The challenge wasn’t trivial and I spent the whole weekend working on it (~20hours). Several days after I submitted the challenge, I was invited for the onsite interview.

SoundCloud flew me to Berlin and provided me with a nice hotel. The onsite interview itself was similar to what you would expect. Pair programming session with the iOS tech lead, iOS app architecture interview, lunch with the hiring manager, info about career progress at SoundCloud, and finally an interview with a product manager. I really enjoyed every single interview! Everyone was very friendly, professional, and the overall atmosphere was really nice. It was a great day spent in Berlin.

Two days after the onsite interview I received a call from the recruiter. She told me the feedback was positive and she gave me an offer which I accepted. I was super happy and excited about moving to Berlin! This happened at the end of May and we agreed on the start date in the middle of July. The next day I received a DocuSign request with my employment contract and I signed it.

SoundCloud was to provide me and my girlfriend with a temporary accommodation for the first weeks in Berlin. We were supposed to get the keys to the apartment July 13th with my start day being July 17th.

On Thursday, July 6th, in the evening, I noticed somebody on Twitter shared the article on The Verge about SoundCloud laying off 40% of its employees. I immediately sent an email to the recruiter asking whether this also affects me. I was quite calm because the article was mainly about shutting down the offices in London and SF.

On Friday morning I received an email from the relocation agency saying that they had paused my relocation process and they were waiting for SoundCloud HR to get them more info. They also said that everyone at SoundCloud had a day off to process the news. That was the moment when I realized that I’m probably screwed.

For the whole day, I was sending emails to every contact person at SoundCloud I had, asking them about my planned start day, having no response.

In the evening, I finally received a response from the recruiter. She was on the sick leave without knowing any details about the situation. She forwarded me to her manager.

Friday, July 7th, at 8 pm, I received a call from SoundCloud’s CTO, saying my position at SoundCloud had been canceled. I told him I already quit my job, let my apartment in Prague go, and was supposed to move to Berlin in just a few days! I also asked him about the possible compensation. The response was negative.

“So it means we are gonna act like my application to SoundCloud never happened?” I asked him.

“Yes”, he replied.


Long story short, I’m looking for new opportunities in Berlin and I’m ready to start immediately.

If you want to know more about me, here’s my CV, LinkedIn, GitHub and Twitter. Feel free to contact me at stavik@outlook.com or +420-608-759-145.

Update: July 12th, 2017

I received a PDF document titled “Notice of dismissal for prior to the commencement of employment”. I was informed the hard copy of the document was also sent to my address by post mail. According to the document, my notice period will be 4 weeks (as written in our employment agreement), starting by the delivery date of the document.

However, SoundCloud claims they are not going to pay me my salary during those 4 weeks. I’m currently looking for a lawyer to consult my situation with.

Update: July 13th, 2017

SoundCloud confirmed I will be receiving my salary during my notice period. I also received an email from Artem Fishman (CTO) with further explanation of the situation.

With this, I consider this episode in my life closed. What a WEEK!