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Root
35d

Root interviews for a job

So I've been interviewing for fun lately (and for practice), and it's been going mostly well. This one company in particular looks interesting, and they seem to really like me. This morning was interview #4 with them; tomorrow morning is #5.

The previous interviews were pretty enjoyable, especially the last one where I interviewed with one of the senior devs who gave me his "grumpy old man rails quiz." He actually asked some questions I wasn't able to answer! (Mostly dealing with Rails' internals.) Also when showing me the codebase, there were a few things I hadn't seen before, so it's exciting that I'll actually be able to learn something if I sign on. We ended up talking for almost an hour past our allotted time, and we got along famously. He said he was very surprised I did so well on his quiz because most people don't. Everyone else I interviewed with so far has liked me and gave positive reviews, too.

I don't know if I want the job, but that's beyond the scope of this rant anyway. The real reason for this comes next.

My interview today was with the VP of engineering. It was more of a monologue, as he wanted to give me perspective to see if I actually wanted to work there, but it was still very much a monologue. He's an old white guy who seems to loves to drone, and he never seemed very happy when I responded, so I let him drone and drone. Good information though.

But he's very set in his ways in some regards, and two of them were pretty insulting. We never really talked about technicals, and he just assumed that since I wasn't old and graying that I was a junior dev. He said, and I'll quote: "We run a lean but senior team, so we typically only hire senior devs here. But the dev team is all old white men. There's no diversity in talent, age, sex, race, religion, etc, and I'm looking to change that." He made several more allusions to my more junior level, too. He made a lot of assumptions (like how I'm not comfortable with structure because I've been the only dev so often) and got annoyed when I countered them.

I realize he has no idea of my skill level -- even though he should if he was listening to his team -- but to just assume that I'm not talented because I'm young, and bloody hire me just because I'm female? I don't want to be your diversity hire, old man. 🤬

So I'm feeling angry.
I might still take the job because the it offers considerable benefits over where I'm working (despite being quite happy here), but it will absolutely be despite him.

Comments
  • 16
    It is sad they are compelled to do such hires for reasons like this
  • 10
    @asgs Its sad that if they don't hire for these reasons they get torched by the media for being the spawn of Satan. They are damned if they do, and damned if they don't.

    Sounds like a tough spot to be in. It sounds like you are fully capable and experienced and this guy just was not informed at all.
  • 5
    Your involvement with the VP will probable not be direct or even better yet minimal, just assuming of course. Maybe find out for sure with a follow up inquiry.

    I would say go for it, everything else is favorable.

    Also show that mofo what’s up! He needs to break his archaic assumptions about people based on appearance.
  • 3
    Join up and make sure that they never stop hearing your name being associated with greatness! Make him eat his pre-judgements!
  • 0
    The fact that he sees that he will need more diversity is a good point...

    As for your more junior level, he could only be talking about experience, which is different from technical skills.

    Maybe he is more insensitive than asshole...
  • 16
    @jotamontecino Diversity over talent is bloody stupid. You hire those most able to fill the needed role, not the diversity quotas. Also, I have plenty of experience and talent -- I am very far from a junior dev -- he is just woefully uninformed, or blinded by my age/gender. But telling me to my face that's hes okay hiring a female junior over a senior for diversity is absolutely insulting.

    Fortunately the rest of the interviewers didn't see me this way.
  • 3
    If you’re good you’re good nobody and nothing can change that. There is actually not much people that are good in what they’re doing. That’s the sad fact so everyone is looking not everyone is seeing something.
  • 1
    @Root wouldn't you rather know upfront than to just simply suspect it? The more important question, did you get a vibe that he sincerely meant that he wanted to add diversity to the team or if it was more of a forced situation?

    What I'm getting at is that ignorance and ideals are separate variables, just because you see the need for a change, doesn't mean you know what or how to change.

    If you were a junior, I'd probably say avoid the situation just because that kinda thing can weigh hell on your confidence level, but beings that you've got experience maybe being their first "diversity" hire might not be such a bad thing. If they're really concerned with making a progressive change I mean. As long as they don't plan on paying you as a junior of course.

    And when they do hire junior females you'll get to be like that female drill sergeant we all had there to police up the female basics and make sure they weren't just hustling their way by all of the boys 😅
  • 1
    Man, fuck that guy.

    I don't think I would scorched earth that place though, considering that seems like only one negative vs a while lot of positives. I also doubt you'll see much of him, but I guess I would ask around about if he wanders a lot or not.

    Regardless, I wish you luck!
  • 2
    Maybe you could have told him you want to be hired because of your skills, not your gender.
  • 5
    @electrineer I wanted to. I couldn't get a word in until it had passed and been too long. 😕

    But if he wasn't informed and just made snap judgements, I dont really care about his opinion. The three other devs I interviewed with had already judged my skills and approved.
  • 1
    @Root you can always return to a previous subject when you feel like you should have said something in a conversation. It's only too late when you've left the room, if then.

    But good that the general atmosphere seems better.
  • 2
    Have a phone call with the senior dev you're talked to previously and ask him, how involved you would be with that VP as you don't feel respected as a professional by him and give him a rough outline why.

    This could achive two things. First of all you'll know if you'd have to deal with that asshole and second, probably more important, a pissed of senior dev, that will chew the VP out for not respecting talented engineer, and potentially costing him a good coworker.
  • 0
    Ruby sucks anyways
  • 2
    I feel that. I started coding in Python at 16. I have a bunch of my tools and projects online, on my computer ,open source contributions and company references that still use them. Owned my own company developing stock trading algorithms and automating of financial tasks...
    All in all I have proof that I’ve been working with it in professional environments for 6 years and 2 just coding for myself .....I am 25 and they pay me the same as they do a completely new beginner...
  • 0
    @root

    TL;DR:

    * Leave

    * Be the change from within

    Well, IMHO you can do two things:

    * Leave the opportunity, take your chances elsewhere with a better VP

    * Go for the job, tell that VP that you ARE a senior developer, that you can contribute to the diversity of the team BUT ONLY IF the company is actually prepared to do so on all levels, especially on the management level (Cause honestly this is a mentality shift) and propose to create or use existing committée/oversight group to evaluate periodically to measure progress and plan next course of actions.

    That way you can actually be a key person in the company and make life perhaps a bit more accessible for a more diverse but equally capable people to join the company?
  • 3
    @NeatNerdPrime Oversight committee? Hard pass.
  • 0
    @Root definitely go with grumpy old dev! From my personal experience having someone to learn from is as important as a good pay/working conditions.

    And about the senior engineer, don't worry about his ageism/sexism, i actually pitty him. I'm sure that in the future karma will bite his ass for the attitude that he has.
  • 0
    that old man is a bitch. impeach himmmmmm
  • 0
    @OmerFlame Impeach yourself
  • 4
    @Root diversity over talent isn't how proponents see it. There are some who are coerced, either by law or by public opinion and those should be forgiven. And then there are those who champion diversity hires. And they presume that given the same environment, all possible groups of people would preform equally. Given that base assumption, every statistic showing unequal distribution is prove of a conspiracy to keep people down. The funny thing. It isn't even bloody stupid. It's just a false premise. But if that premise were true, it actually would make sense to diversity hire.

    But that seems to be a universal constant about people. Highly rational and intelligent, but irrationally defensive of their premises.
  • 5
    @TheCommoner282 I agree with everything but calling people highly intelligent and rational. Those are exceedingly rare qualities; rarer still when found together.
  • 2
    It was interview #5 and #6. They decided to have me meet with both a "product" person as wil as a QA for half an hour each. There might he a seventh this week.

    Most interviews I've ever had for the same company. Meep.
  • 0
    @Root I get what you say, and the feeling can be insulting.

    That being said, I have never hired someone for his "technical skills", but for his/her overall add value to the company/group. I have never hired someone "technically unskill" for a skilled position, but technical skills are only the basic stuff I search for when recruiting.

    If you hire only people who come from the same socio-economic background, with the same education, sometimes with the same paradigms, you'll have a problem!

    Perhaps they search a more junior profile, which will add some diversity! Both. And if he is a good VP, he will not try to validate your technical skills. The team should do it.
  • 0
    @jotamontecino "I have never hired anyone for their \"technical skills\" but for his/her add value..."

    What are you trying to say? That you previously hired a person based on "ye, ye, ye, enough of your skills, you're a girl and we need one, so you are hired"

    Or

    "This guy knows shit, but he's funny, let's get him as the class jester"

    I dont understand in what way are you trying to spin this...

    I would agree that I also dont look only for skills.. first is the abillity to learn, then current skillset and then still if he/she will fit the team.. their ego and such... Sure... But how is that an excuse for diversity hiring? The old white guy in Roots interview gave a clear message of "yeah, shut up women, because you're not a man and young you are obviously dumber than everyone here" and that's quite a toxic attitude.

    If the job pays well and has good benefits then It's still worth it, but the guys attitude definitely is a con in this case...
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