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Search - "and the two are married"
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.25
You know. I have mixed feelings on the way people have been reacting to senzory's rant regarding the way he deals with clients. Some people believe that he is unethical, some people see it as just business(me included) but to see what the community says is somewhat interesting.
First, let me be clear on something: i have been fucked over by clients many times for being a nice guy and trying to play it nicely.
Because of this I am selective of who deserves good treatment and who gets to fuck off. But regardless of the client I do the same thing: regardless of who it is, nice or otherwise. If a project will take 1 week to complete then I tell them that it will take 3 to 4 weeks. Why? Well because I have many things on my plate, I am married and have two children, one lives with me and I try to spend as much time with them as I can. I work from 8 to 6, sometimes later and when I get home I sometimes don't do shit since at work I maintain the web services of 2 fucking college campuses.
I don't look for my clients. Through word of mouth they come to me. And being in a privileged position(there are about 5 devs here and they all suck) they can either do with my times and fees or can fuck off over the border where Pedro will do their shit on vbscript and classic ASP(which I like, but you know why this is not an option in 2018)
Apps can be sold for large quantities of money, regardless of what their use case is, if a company wants to outsource their apps to an external developer(such as yours truly) that means that they are willing to play the game. And that is what business is: a game, a survival game.
Where I live, a company will not think twice of firing a single mother for whatever reason. In the U.S of A, and specially in Texas, you can be fired for whatever reason. I have automated people's jobs without knowing it, I have made people lose their jobs and saved companies thousands with my apps. Things like that were not know to me, had I known that someone would have lost their jobs I would have tried differently.
If a company is willing to tell employees(loyal employees) to fuck off, then i do not regret charging what I do and hustling the way I do with rat faced dickheads that care not for people. If I could I would destroy entire companies here. But that is for another story.
I have been used, insulted, gambled with and have been lied to, to my face by these companies. Which has left me jaded.
Oh now, trust me. I am still highly optimistic and nice. And if someone has a small business and I can help them out, then I will lower my rate and give positive vibes in the hopes of making things better through karma. I want to see the best in people. But this does not stop me from being a shark and giving quotes the way I do.
Because companies, as an overall entity are not people with the best intentions(sometimes) and they will not take your kindness, they will take advantage if possible in an effort to save money. Its just dickhead business.
So why, as a professional and privileged developer that obtained his skills through intense study and practice, a wizard by all means, should lower to these nameless, Faceless entities?
Why should i give them the fairness they do not give others? Why should I play the high morale game and come out as a loser?
At the end of the day, I get to swim in my own pool of success, knowing that they did not get the chance to fuck me over
So if you tell me that you took advantage of your hard earned skillset, and built a cross platform app(which compiles to native binaries) and sold 2 products for one, I will tell you that you are an excellent player at their game. If you tell me that you finished before and got to charge for 2 weeks of work doing just 2 days I will say that you are an excellent time manager. And if you tell me that at the end of the day you managed to keep said customer I will tell you that you are a true professional.
There is a difference lads, in selling a product to big momma jamma's cajun restaurant, to the largest logistics company around.
Be nice to those that desserve it.11
It's was the forth year of my college, in the corner of the world in south India, I wanted to something to combine both medicine and the coding that I learnt, I started learning about heart murmurs, it's basically a skill based diagnosis that only 1 in 20 heart specialists can make by hearing the heart beat and listening to a small murmur that happens during the systolic cycle or the diastolic cycle. I wrote a program to learn a lot of sample murmurs and try to find (very bad hand made logic) the similarities between two wave patterns, the problem started with noise so I went out and built a new stethoscope with a carbon mic inside a normal stethoscope head and try filtering the sound at source (worked well enough at that time) I then tried to find people to test it on, but alas I was not able to find patients as doctors are not supposed to reveal them etc. I wanted to show them visually how a murmur pattern would look like and I stole some code and made a plotter for the wav file and presented everything. By that time I got a lot of close amazing friends involved and they helped me solidify the project and we won the best project award and I got my first gold medal of my life at the end of my academic life :) it was one of the best moments of my life. Second only to the joy of getting married to wife. May be third if I put getting a job in Microsoft India Development Center.
I still wish I could dig that code up and write it properly with what I have learnt today but work is never ending and I find great problems to solve everyday which I know I can make a difference, may be when I get retired I will dust out that CD with the decades old c++ code and write one last program...3
I am quiet these days although I had few materials to write about. Like my journey of devdesk. I bought a proper chair. New mouse and got a mechanical keyboard. Work is fine but it is definitely not lack of rant-worthy moments. I had deactivated my Facebook and I wasn't that active on any other social network from the start. So all the more reason for me to be active here.
But turn out I'm not. I was thinking about it and this is my outcomes.
1) I'm focusing more on my tasks after adoption and practicing pomodoros technique. Hence using devrant lesser.
2) My right hand was literally unusable and unmovable for two times in past 5 weeks. Hence using phone lesser.
3) There was that notifications bug period and I thought people were just quiet like me. Hence more reasons to be less active.
4) devRant algo is good but not smart. It knows that I have a relation with PHP. But it doesn't know that I don't hate PHP. >>> How many times a week can you listen/ignore to people saying "Hey your wife is a silicone doll?" Fuck you. I know. But I'm married to my silicone doll. So fuck off. <<< PHP is just an example. I literally close devrant whenever I see "(noun) is (something negative)" posts.
My hand will fully recover soon. (I do hope so). My tasks will not always be super overwhelming. The app's bugs are getting fixed.
However I have a doubt about the last point.1
I subscribe to many copywriting newsletters. Here's an article that shows how it's like on "the other side", marketers struggle, too.
How Kevin's Massive Mistake
Completely Changed His Life
Kevin H. made a huge mistake.
The biggest, he would say, if he could tell you himself.
And he knew it immediately.
It was, he said, "instant regret."
Within milliseconds, he was asking himself "What have I done..."
Kevin, see, had just jumped the rail of the single most popular suicide spot in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge.
On average, the site gets another distraught jumper every two weeks. Kevin was one of them.
It wasn't like he hadn't tried to quiet the voices in his head. Therapy, drugs, hospitalization.
Time to die, those voices still said.
And yet, in the minutes his bus dropped him off at the bridge, he hesitated and paced with tears in his eyes.
"I told myself if just one person comes up to me and asks if I'm okay... if one person asks if they can help... I won't do it. I'll stop and tell them my whole story..."
But nobody did, so he jumped.
It was in those next milliseconds, he would later say, he knew it was the biggest mistake of his life.
He didn't want to die.
But now, he was sure, it was too late.
From its highest point, it's a 245-foot plummet into the icy bay waters below.
Out of the 1,700 people that have jumped from the bridge since it first opened in 1937, only 25 have survived.
Kevin, against all odds, would be one of them.
He slammed into the water like hitting concrete. Three of his vertebrae instantly shattered.
When he surfaced, he couldn't hold his own head above water. But, incredibly, a sea lion kept pushing him up.
The Coast Guard soon arrived and pulled him out.
From there, he began a long recovery that required intense surgery, physical therapy, and psychiatric care.
While still under treatment, a priest urged him to give a talk to a bunch of seventh and eighth graders.
Afterward, they sent him a pile of letters, both encouraging and full of their own pained thoughts.
He also met a woman.
Today, Kevin lives in Atlanta and he's been happily married for the last 12 years.
And he tours the country, sharing his story.
So why re-tell it here?
Obviously -- I hope -- you don't get lots of copywriters looking to snuff it after a flopped headline test.
Just the same...
We've talked a lot in this space about the things one needs to get by in this biz.
My friend and colleague Joe, over at the publishing powerhouse Agora Financial, likes to list requirements.
You need intense curiosity...
You need a killer work ethic...
And you must, MUST have... resilience.
Meaning, you must have or find the capacity to bounce back from failure and flops, even huge ones.
Now, again, Kevin's story is an extreme and in this context -- I hope -- a hyperbolic example of somebody giving up. In the worst way possible.
It is also, though, a metaphor.
See, I get a lot of notes from some of you guys... and at conferences, I get to talk to a lot of people...
And I often get the sense, from some folks, that they're feeling a little more overwhelmed than they let on.
Some are just starting out, and they've got a lot on the line. For some, it's everything. And some are desperate to make it work.
Because they have to, because their pride or livelihoods or a family business is at stake, because it's a dream.
And yet, they're overwhelmed by all the tips and secrets... or by piles of confusing research or ideas...
For others, even had some success, but they're burned out, feel antiquated, or feel like "imposters" that know less than they let on, in an industry that's evolving.
To all those folks... and to you... I can only say, I've been there. And frankly, go back there now and again.
Flops happen, failures happen. And you can and will -- even years and decades into doing this -- make the wrong choices, pick the wrong projects, or botch the right ones.
The legendary Gene Schwartz put it this way, according to a quote spotted recently in fellow writer Ben Settle's e-letter...
" A very good copywriter is going to fail. If the guy doesn't fail, he's no good. He's got to fail. It hurts. But it's the only way to get the home runs the next time."
Once more, nobody -- I hope -- is taking the trials of this profession hard enough to make Kevin's choice.
And believe me, I don't mean to make light of the latter. I just want to make sure we hit this anvil with a big hammer. To drive home the point that, whatever your struggle, be it with this biz or something bigger, that you don't want to give up. Press on.
As Churchill put it, "Success, is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."
Or even more succinctly when he said, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
Because it's worth it.