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Job Search

2004-08-17 19:33:16.098689+00 by Dan Lyke 9 comments

Before I settle into my daily coding, my morning routine is going through the various job listings on Craigslist, HotJobs, Dice and Monster. I run through various searches, middle clicking on what looks interesting, then go through the resulting tabs looking for details.

For the most part I'm not excited. What amazes me most is the number of companies, especially small ones, who claim they're looking for full-time employees, but end up listing "familiarity with [some obscure spec] a must!". If you want full-time employees, if you want to build institutional knowledge and value in the company, then hiring for a specific technology is counter-productive.

Because that stuff can always be outsourced; there is always a specialist out there who can implement some specific technology. So pay 'em with a 1099, or just send the work over to Russia or India, and be done with 'em. What builds value in a company is hiring people who are smart enough to both decide what the right technology is, and then use that technology to implement it (or just outsource it), but paying attention to thinkers with broad-based coding experience is far more likely to make me believe in the eventual success of your venture than hiring full-time people to do jobs that are better treated as commodities.

The other thing that turns me off is the number of typos and mis-spelled acronyms and the like. If you don't care at least as much about your job posting as I do about my response to it, then I shudder at the future prospects of your venture.

I want to work with people who care about building real, long-term value. Where the f*ck are you people?

[ related topics: Dan's Life Software Engineering Work, productivity and environment Heinlein ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-17 20:27:15.046718+00 by: meuon

I've had a handful of interesting 'interviews' locally, and will follow up on a couple after we get back from the )^(. The most interesting one made me almost feel like I was doing it: he knew a bit about me but had no clue about what real skills I did or did not have. He was interested in talented people that could learn new things and how they would fit in with is existing people. My goal is a little easier than yours though: To get paid for doing something interesting with good people.

No-one does the 'real long term value' in the tech world in the interesting things world, that I have seen anyway.

My point is, maybe it's time to evaluate what you want out of life, and more specifically, where you get it.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-18 00:48:46.847163+00 by: Shawn

They're all gone.

I think the dot-comers had the right ideology, but obviously fell down on the business end. Those that did strike the right balance and survived have been gobbled up and/or been forced to team with the evil ones.

I'm currently pursuing a few independent projects, which we hope will get us noticed and/or make us some side money, with a few friends while holding down a mediocre "official" job. I'm kind of making it up as I go along, but I'm hoping this will be a solution of sorts.

I also see the growing acceptance of Linux[Wiki] and Open Source[Wiki] as a promising move towards more interesting, creative, independent business opportunities.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-18 01:28:33.381823+00 by: other_todd

[comment deleted as too cynical]

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-18 01:40:37.722458+00 by: Dan Lyke

Y'all are making me more and more believe in my harebrained scheme of consumer applications for Linux[Wiki]. As I watch various startups fumble because they're hiring for this week's problem (rather than looking forward 9 months or a year to actually shipping), or Sun[Wiki]'s "must reload, I still have toes left" thrashing, I'm thinking that this shit just can't be that hard.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-18 13:59:19.473935+00 by: meuon

The hard part is actually bringing a project to completion. Good geeks get bored when all the hairy problems are solved. Capitilistic geeks like me start to get interested when it's almost ready to make money from. It takes both kinds to get something off the ground. I'm about to release a little e-com hosting system that is starting to look good, the hard part is psyching myself up for actual marketing and end-user support. Yech.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-18 16:52:57.808157+00 by: ziffle

"My point is, maybe it's time to evaluate what you want out of life, and more specifically, where you get it"

I concur - the issue is whats next?

The internet and programming is no longer a technical thing - its all marketing now. Like cars, boats, planes, and restaurants for example.

In 1918 there wer 3000 car companies and the best mechanics were gods - now its all in a a flat rate book and they simply swap parts till it 'works'. We are in the same place. We are the car mechanics of our age. Its over. There will be a few bubbles but statistically its like the lottery.


#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-18 20:08:59.922087+00 by: meuon

Ziffle, that was why I got out of "BioMedical Engineering", I went from being a hands on component level electronics and mechanical systems person to a 'contract administrator' as the manufacturers no longer permitted end-user/owner/3rd party repairs due to liability. It was time for a change...

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-19 22:28:20.362454+00 by: Dan Lyke

"What's next" is what it's always been: building on what's already there; the commoditization of one class of products doesn't mean that there isn't opportunity in enhancing the technology in new and interesting directions. We just have to start doing it at lower levels, or in more interesting ways.

And while the mechanics who stuck with automobiles alone ended up out of work, there are still people refitting machine tools, lathes, milling machines, scrapers and the like, from that era to modern control, and those people are still gods. And they're then using those technologies to do things like build autonomous airplanes.

Which is why I loathe the idea of tying myself to a specific set of buzzwords and technologys; my knowledge is only important as experiences to influence my judgement and decision making, not in itself.

And having fielded a couple of calls from recruiters now: I'm more likely to take you seriously if you've actually read my entry and requirements.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-20 00:06:09.814669+00 by: Larry Burton

Right now auto mechanics are in high demand. I don't know of a time when good one's weren't. Current skill sets for being a good mechanic are different in a lot of ways than they were twenty-five years ago but that change occurred slowly enough for the folks that started in the field to keep current. Diagnostic skills are still what puts an auto mechanic in high demand. Parts changing is not acceptable in a quality shop.