MaxCDN Blog

Recruiting Humans with HTTP Headers

March 12, 2014

Since joining MaxCDN 3 years ago, I’ve seen a lot of HTTP headers. In fact, I have a bash alias in my profile named icurl:

alias icurl="curl -I"

(The -I flag returns the HTTP headers without fetching the actual content of the page.)

Recently, a header struck a chord and made me say “%$#@ that’s cool”. It’s long been removed, but the geniuses at a little company named Automattic had a great recruiting technique hidden in a HTTP response:

X-Human: Hello Hacker. Work for us:

After seeing that, I added a todo in Evernote: “One day I will create something cool on the interwebs and add my own custom HTTP header”.

Well, during the Bootstrap CDN launch I decided the time was right, so I added the custom header with a spin:

X-Hello-Human: You should work for us! Email: or @MaxCDNDeveloper on Twitter

I didn’t really expect much, maybe an email or two from a tech recruiter (I guess they’d have to be much more clever than usual… *zing!*).

And… the tactic worked! We get 3-4 resumes a week from this method, not including the Twitter love that reaches all the followers of a potential candidate:


Here’s my favorite of all:


You can see more responses here:

While we haven’t yet closed the loop and hired anyone from this method, I will say say I’ve met amazing developers who are now in my rolodex.
And in the notoriously difficult world of tech recruiting, getting your company name out there and showing you’re a cultural fit means a lot.

Takeaway: Use HTTP headers as a 120-byte recruiting/marketing technique that filters for tech-savvy, inquisitive candidates. Try it for yourself:


Header set X-Human 'Work for us';


add_header X-Human 'Work for us';


appcmd set config /section:httpProtocol /+customHeaders.[name='X-Human',value='Work for us']



That’s it for today: go find qualified nerds with HTTP headers.

Want to learn more about EdgeRules? Visit our site today.

  • Ahmet Alp Balkan

    This was cool in 2008, maybe even earlier. It’s not anything fancy anymore. I was able to view headers of pages when I was 15 and it is probably the worst way of getting applications. Instead, put up a few problems you had while development of your product and get solutions to your recruiting email. Evaluate answers and see if people can come up with similar or better things. This will make you find better engineers. Headers will get you script kiddies.

    • Chris Ueland / MaxCDN

      Hey Ahmet! You’d be surprised at some of the awesome people we’ve met this way over the past few years. It’s a great conversation starter with enthusiastic people.

      That being said, I really like your idea – it’s simple but very effective. Can you give an example of a question/problem you’d get a good feel of someone from in a short period of time?

      Thanks a lot and happy Friday!

  • Fabian Becker

    Can I apply by sending you a request with X-Job-Application: “Find my CV at xURL”? :-)

    • jdorfman

      haha. sure thing.

  • Cesar Del Solar

    Awesome =)

  • Dejan

    If you really want to have some fun with headers, try sending something like: ‘; DROP TABLE headers

    I’ve seen it in the wild :)

  • Hoover2630

    They usually look like a cylindrical or flat steel cage covering a black (or glowing bright orange) double helix structure, about an inch and a half long.The silicon carbide glowbar behaves as a resistor, and generates heat when electrical power runs through it. It’s wired in series with a bimetallic strip located inside the gas valve, which heats and bends when enough current to heat the glowbar also flows through it.The method used by the finger oxygen monitor is as follows. A light is passed through your fingertip, which reads the level of your oxygen saturation and then this information is displayed on the finger pulse oximeter screen. This is a small portable device and can be carried easily.

    But their life can be extended more or less; no matter they are expensive or cheap, as long as we take care of them properly. If what you own is a pair of Nike air Jordan shoes, you should pay more attention to its maintenance. Here we offer you some practical cleaning methods, as well as some tips for attention in the course of maintaining your shoes.All the teams of Canada and America belong to the league. Three years later, its scale was enlarged twice. Finally, North American founded NHL formally in 1910.Analysts in average predict NKE’s revenue, EBITDA, and EPS to rise by 2-year CAGRs of 6.2%, 8.9%, and 11.One of these is DDAVP, a medication that works by decreasing the level of urine that the body produces throughout the night. In accordance with the study outcomes of this medication, bed wetting teens again in diapers relish the believed of a thing to assist guarantee they don’t moist the mattress. They may use bedwetting diapers when they 1st start off getting this medicine since they are not certain if it’ll work or not.

    Some of those people became professionals, and the office worker came into prominence. Goods could be produced on a massive scale, and don’t forget they now had steam engines that could transport the goods extensively. It was a time of telecommunication for them, and traveling that could be done via steam-engine trains and ships.Hiking boots should be strong enough for handling the rugged conditions in your outdoor activities such as hiking, camping or even hunting. Durable boots should be heavy to endure the pressure from the feet particularly in long distance walking. For a long hiking you need the lightweight hiking boots .An electrician probably isn traveling overseas to work but the price of copper on international markets could affect the price of wire. A farmer knows that international demand for grains affect domestic prices, and a Realtor knows that global real estate markets may drive more foreign buyers to American Cheap Nike Air Max soil.Those in retail or e-commerce might sell to global markets.

    ~ Ernest NewmanOrang-orang yang sukses telah belajar membuat diri mereka melakukan hal yang harus dikerjakan ketika hal itu memang harus dikerjakan, entah mereka menyukainya atau tidak. ~ Aldus HuxleyIn Q2 2013, revenues from this region were up by 17% annually. Continued innovation and the participation in major sporting events have helped sustain Nike’s growth in North America. We feel the company will continue to perform well in this region in the near term on account of its superior brand image and strong marketing strategy.Shops are typically infrequent. So, before you leave, make certain you view the web to find the one that’s nearby to you. Likewise create sure that you have great tips.

    This is perfect for your houseplants, peppers, roses, potatoes, and tomatoes. This is because Epsom salt contains sulfate and magnesium, two important minerals needed by plants. To do this, combine one tablespoon of Epsom salt to one gallon of water.For example, the traditional implementation of Timberland shoes and our outstanding contribution to environmental protection! Dear Shoes Timberland Fici general netiquette, if you buy the shoes to carry high-speed lines, including life after the loss. Developed with the trends in your heart of business and bankruptcy, particularly in the first division, the system needs of the individual activities of market development.

    , I knew you would like this one. Paula and I are sending it to Christina for her new baby boy. I put your name on there too!We have Xbox One coming out in November 2013, this will have the so many new games for the Xbox franchise.Here I shall preview the future kinect games and show trailer videos, Sign up for my Kinect Monthly Newsletter and I will let you know what new kinect games are going to be coming upDead Space 3 has finally been released and you get to play Isaac Clark, this journey to see his girlfriend while coming to repair the ship she was on.”If it were not impertinent to lecture one’s Cheap Nike Blazer publisher – you are a great deal too much afraid of the public, for whom I have never cared one tuppenny button. I am sure that it is that attitude of mind which has enabled me to keep up the series. Most people, after one success, are so cringingly afraid of doing less well that they rub all the edge off their subsequent work.

  • hiker salike

    is a great pastime hobby for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy being close to
    nature. thanks share the post Hiking
    shoes for women

  • Cagri Celebi

    Zappos has been doing this for years. Check theirs. I first saw their “core values” header in 2010, probably it’s dated back earlier. Generally, it’s nice for a geek to find these easter eggs (:

  • root

    :-) just saw it. lol