Marcus Wood

AboutProductsBlog

Reimagining the job search

Alcamine
Alcamine landing page

Alcamine

As someone who has dallied in the job market, and is consistently spammed by recruiters, I was well aware of the frustrations of both looking and finding quality jobs. But when I tried to address these issues head on, I couldn’t find a way to keep my personal information from spammy recruiters or to find the quality job opportunities.

Alcamine is a job search platform that puts the job seeker in charge by filtering through the spam and sending special opportunities to their inbox each week. In addition, it only shows users the jobs they want to see so they don’t have to wade through irrelevant or spam emails.

How it Works

I wanted to create a way that kept users' personal information safe and secure. With this in mind, I built Alcamine to allow users to create a unique email address and input their job search preferences. From there, they are able to add that email address to their portfolio, resume, Github, job boards, and anywhere else they are likely to get contacted by recruiters, taking their personal email out of it. When an opportunity comes into their inbox, Alcamine scores it based on what they have listed they are looking for and delivers an email once a week with the best opportunities.

Once users find a job they're interested in they can take it offline. Alcamine only helps you organize the search and to send additional opportunities from our partners we think you'll like. Starting the conversation with the recruiter is from the user's personal email address to maintain privacy.

Alcamine connect job boards

Marketing

Marketing this product had more challenges than we anticipated because it was tough to nail down the cove value proposition we wanted to go with. Was it a special inbox? A job aggregation platform? A job board scraper? A recruiting tool? Ultimately, we landed on making it an inbox first tool after conducting research within the community and based on our own experiences as developers that get bombarded by recruiter emails all the time.

Being inbox first gave us a unique ability to pivot the product into various ways and to deliver on our ultimate vision of making the job search inbound, not outbound for the entire industry.

Our ultimate vision is to make the job search inbound, not outbound for everyone. Never apply online again.

Tech Stack

Alcamine Mobile

Creating an email service is something I had never attempted before. There were a lot of unique challenges like ensuring email names are unique, ensuring deliverability, and scaling.

Frontend

There are two frontend applications: the landing page and the web application. The landing page is built with Gatsby, React, and Styled Components. The web application is built with React, Typescript, Apollo GraphQL, Styled Components, Firebase Auth, Jest, and Ant-Design.

Backend

For these quick hitting apps, I traditionally choose Firebase to hit the ground running fast, but chose a more traditional infrastructure here to get closer to the metal. As Alcamine scale, it'll need a message queue, granular control over the DB, autoscaling, and machine learning. To accomplish this, I went with Hasura, Postgres, Node, and AWS Lambda.

To handle deployments I served the frontend from Netlify to allow us to have nice CI integration with Github and to manage branch deploys + A/B testing. The entire server was deployed in AWS onto Fargate, ECS, and RDS with horizontal autoscaling. All of the code was housed in a monorepo to encourage reusability between every facet of the application which has sped up development time and stability by a lot.

Alcamine Weekly Email

Where it is Now

Alcamine is currently in beta and available to use! I am currently in the process of gathering feedback before starting on the next iteration of features. Check it out and let me know if you have any ideas - I would love to hear them as we grow!

Credits

I couldn't have made this product a reality without the help of my friend Aaron Decker. He helped architect out our Lambda based queing system for handling the emails and helped create the vision for Alcamine. Be sure to check out his blog, especially if you're a recruiter 😉.

Want more content like this?

Sign up to receive my newsletter, where I feature early access to new products, exciting content, and more!

Marcus Wood is a JavaScript software engineer that focuses on building products using Typescript, React, and GraphQL. He has built and delivered solutions for some of the largest companies in the world.

Contact

Newsletter