Do all the things like ++ or -- rants, post your own rants, comment on others' rants and build your customized dev avatarSign Up
From the creators of devRant, Pipeless lets you power real-time personalized recommendations and activity feeds using a simple APILearn More
Search - "hiring problem"
Was lead developer at a small startup, I was hiring and had a budget to add 3 new people to my team to develop a new product for the company.
Some context first and then the rant!
Candidate 1 - Amazing, a dev I worked with before who was under utilized at the previous company. Still a junior, but, she was a quick learner and eager to expand her knowledge, never an issue.
Candidate 2 - Kickass dev with back end skills and extras, he was always eager to work a bit more than what was expected. I use to send him home early to annoy him. haha!
Candidate 3 - Lets call him P.
In the interview he answers every question perfectly, he asks all the right questions and suggests some things I havent even thought of. CTO goes ahead and says we should skip the technical test and just hire the guy, his smart and knows what his talking about, I agree and we hire him. (We where a bit desperate at this stage as well.)
He comes in a week early to pick up his work laptop to get setup before he starts the next week, awesome! This guy is going to be an asset to the company, cant wait to have him join the team - The CTO at this stage is getting ready to leave the company and I will be taking over the division and need someone to take over lead position, he seems like the guys to do it.
The guys starts the next week, he comes in and the laptop we gave him is now a local server for testing and he will be working off his own laptop, no issue, we are small so needed a testing stack, but wasnt really needed since we had procedures in place for this already.
Here is where everything goes wrong!!! First day goes great... Next day he gets in early 6:30am (Nice! NO!), he absolutely smells, no stinks, of weed, not a light smell, the entire fucking office smells of weed! (I have no problem with weed, just dont make it my problem to deal with). I get called by boss and told to sort this out people are complaining! I drive to office and have a meeting with him, he says its all good he understands. (This was Friday).
Monday comes around - Get a call from Boss at 7:30am. Whole office smells like weed, please talk to P again, this cannot happen again. I drive to office again, and he again says it wont happen again, he has some issues with back pain and the weed helps.
Tuesday - Same fucking thing! And now he doesnt want to sign for the laptop("server") that was given to him, and has moved to code in the boardroom, WHERE OUR FUCKING CLIENTS WILL BE VIEWING A DEMO THAT DAY OF THE PRODUCT!! Now that whole room smells like weed, FML!
Wednesday - We send P a formal letter that he is under probation, P calls me to have a meeting. In the meeting he blames me for not understanding "new age" medicine, I ask for his doctors prescription and ask why he didnt tell me this in the interview so I could make arrangements, we dont care if you are stoned, just do good work and be considerate to your co-workers. P cant provide these and keeps ranting, I suggest he takes pain killers, he has none of it only "new age" medicine for him.
Thursday - I ask him to rather "work" from home till we can get this sorted, he comes in for code reviews for 2 weeks. I can clearly see he has no idea how the system works but is trying, I thought I will dive deeper and look at all of his code. Its a mess, nothing makes sense and 50% of it is hard coded (We are building a decentralized API for huge data sets so this makes no sense).
Friday - In code review I confront him about this, he has excuses for everything, I start asking him harder questions about the project and to explain what we are building - he goes quiet and quits on the spot with a shitty apology.
From what I could make out he was really smart when it came to theory but interpreting the theory to actual practice wasnt possible for him, probably would have been easier if he wasnt high all the time.
I hate interview code tests, but learned a valuable lesson that day! Always test for some code knowledge as well even if you hate doing it, ask the right questions and be careful who you hire! You can only bullshit for so long in coding before someone figures out that you are a fraud.16
In a user-interface design meeting over a regulatory compliance implementation:
User: “We’ll need to input a city.”
Dev: “Should we validate that city against the state, zip code, and country?”
User: “You are going to make me enter all that data? Ugh…then make it a drop-down. I select the city and the state, zip code auto-fill. I don’t want to make a mistake typing any of that data in.”
Me: “I don’t think a drop-down of every city in the US is feasible.”
Manage: “Why? There cannot be that many. Drop-down is fine. What about the button? We have a few icons to choose from…”
Me: “Uh..yea…there are thousands of cities in the US. Way too much data to for anyone to realistically scroll through”
Dev: “They won’t have to scroll, I’ll filter the list when they start typing.”
Me: “That’s not really the issue and if they are typing the city anyway, just let them type it in.”
User: “What if I mistype Ch1cago? We could inadvertently be out of compliance. The system should never open the company up for federal lawsuits”
Me: “If we’re hiring individuals responsible for legal compliance who can’t spell Chicago, we should be sued by the federal government. We should validate the data the best we can, but it is ultimately your department’s responsibility for data accuracy.”
Manager: “Now now…it’s all our responsibility. What is wrong with a few thousand item drop-down?”
Me: “Um, memory, network bandwidth, database storage, who maintains this list of cities? A lot of time and resources could be saved by simply paying attention.”
Manager: “Memory? Well, memory is cheap. If the workstation needs more memory, we’ll add more”
Dev: “Creating a drop-down is easy and selecting thousands of rows from the database should be fast enough. If the selection is slow, I’ll put it in a thread.”
DBA: “Table won’t be that big and won’t take up much disk space. We’ll need to setup stored procedures, and data import jobs from somewhere to maintain the data. New cities, name changes, ect. ”
Manager: “And if the network starts becoming too slow, we’ll have the Networking dept. open up the valves.”
Me: “Am I the only one seeing all the moving parts we’re introducing just to keep someone from misspelling ‘Chicago’? I’ll admit I’m wrong or maybe I’m not looking at the problem correctly. The point of redesigning the compliance system is to make it simpler, not more complex.”
Manager: “I’m missing the point to why we’re still talking about this. Decision has been made. Drop-down of all cities in the US. Moving on to the button’s icon ..”
Me: “Where is the list of cities going to come from?”
<few seconds of silence>
Dev: “Post office I guess.”
Me: “You guess?…OK…Who is going to manage this list of cities? The manager responsible for regulations?”
User: “Thousands of cities? Oh no …no one is our area has time for that. The system should do it”
Me: “OK, the system. That falls on the DBA. Are you going to be responsible for keeping the data accurate? What is going to audit the cities to make sure the names are properly named and associated with the correct state?”
DBA: “Uh..I don’t know…um…I can set up a job to run every night”
Me: “A job to do what? Validate the data against what?”
Manager: “Do you have a point? No one said it would be easy and all of those details can be answered later.”
Me: “Almost done, and this should be easy. How many cities do we currently have to maintain compliance?”
User: “Maybe 4 or 5. Not many. Regulations are mostly on a state level.”
Me: “When was the last time we created a new city compliance?”
User: “Maybe, 8 years ago. It was before I started.”
Me: “So we’re creating all this complexity for data that, realistically, probably won’t ever change?”
User: “Oh crap, you’re right. What the hell was I thinking…Scratch the drop-down idea. I doubt we’re have a new city regulation anytime soon and how hard is it to type in a city?”
Manager: “OK, are we done wasting everyone’s time on this? No drop-down of cities...next …Let’s get back to the button’s icon …”
Simplicity 1, complexity 0.16
Please don't make junior developers feel they're a burden.
Have you ever googled "how to mentor junior developers"? It's quite mind-blowing how many articles, talks and panels are on this topic. And yet still junior developers are not feeling welcomed in their companies.
Yup, you guessed it, we also have something to add (based on our own experience):
1. Asking for help is not easy. Please don't blow juniors off by telling them to read docs when they ask a question. Always assume they've read it and did a sprint to solve the problem. They ask you, because they see you as a mentor and really need your help. If you can, spend more time with them and guide through the entire problem solving process.
2. Please don't think "I learnt it this way so you should too". If you're in charge of teaching a junior developer, don't expect them to be a carbon copy of yourself. Because even though in your opinion your approach is more "pro", they might not be there yet to use it properly. And last, but not least:
3. Of course, juniors will compare themselves with seniors on their team. And there'll be moments they feel so guilty and so afraid that they cost the company too much, that they need training, and supervision, or are between projects and are not bringing in any money, and they'll fear that their company regrets hiring them. Make sure they don't feel like a burden. As juniors, we often
have this misconception what is expected from us.
Dear tech companies, please set very clear expectations and tell your juniors you're happy. Don't get us wrong here. We don't expect unicorns, roses and pats on the back from companies. We do understand- this is business, and at the end of the day we all are here to make money. To do so, companies need to make smart investments. Junior dev with a great assistance, planned support, and a clear training program will become a great asset. It really is as simple as that.12
PEOPLE. DO NOT LIE ON YOUR RESUME. IT. IS. NOT. WORTH. IT. Ok, backstory.
We had a guy apply for this position at work. It really needed to be filled but also required someone with just the right certifications, so hiring the first schmuck to come along Was not an option.
We search high and low and as time passes without an acceptable applicant we become more desperate and open to negotiation. Basically, you name your price, we’ll agree to it at this point.
So finally a guy comes in, got everything we need but one minor certification. No problem. He can get that on the job, he doesn’t need it to start. He’s hired.
So he quotes us a salary 10% above our top range of what we’d usually pay a guy for this position, we don’t care. He gets it. Plus a housing allowance.
So we’re getting him registered with a place to handle his certification process and they call his four year institution to verify his transcript. We work with hazardous materials and a four year degree in a relevant field is required. It’s standard for the certification training institution to check. Especially when it’s a prestigious big name place like this guy had. And here I used to think that was paranoid of them.
They call and tell us the school says they have no record of him. We do some digging. He was never registered there. I’m like “that’s not possible, his professor is a listed reference. We call that reference.
He worked on a project with this man, he never taught him. Is very fascinated to learn this man has been presenting himself as though he attended the university. Asks to be delisted as a reference.
So long story short it comes out this guy did have a degree in this field, just from a less prestigious university.
The insane thing is, he would’ve still gotten the same job and salary package if he’d been honest about his university!
It is a loss for all involved. He doesn’t have a job. We don’t have anyone working in this position. It’s really unfortunate. Don’t lie on your resume people. Your employer will find out and the risks are not worth the benefits.14
I'm hiring and I'm fucking done with recruiters buttering up skills etc and sending me BS candidates.
Interview earlier today...
CV: MySql skill level 10 (out of 10)
Reality: Can't write a simple JOIN!
CV: PHP 6+ years exp, self proclaimed ninja/jedi/oracle.
[Me]: Write me a function to map an array to x.
[Ninja]: What's an array?
I've come to the conclusion that the type of dev I want on my team is highly unlikely to be looking for work much less using some piece of shit shady agent to find work so I need to hunt him / her down personally and can use the phenomenally large recruiters fee as a hiring bonus / incentive.
Only problem now is finding quality full stack devs in the area (Johannesburg, South Africa).
I'm thinking of posting a 'challenge' job add to filter out good candidates - some kind of code challenge to be solved that gives them my contact info. Any one have any creative ideas I could try?31
I was thinking today about a certain aspect of running a software startup and then it came to me...
Hank Scorpio, from the Simpsons, was right in his approach.
So many time I have seen people get hired only for the company to get a less-than-optimal performance from them.
But why is this? Of course, it is many factors but one of the major ones is...
Employers seem to lump employees in together and assume that since most developers operate in one way that the new devs should be the same way.
The problem with this seems to be that we are all pandering to the lowest common denominator.
Let's face it, most devs (like most people) are not good, and almost everyone is not living up to their potential because of a lack of understanding of themselves and how they can achieve more.
On top of that, most devs are just employees who will do what you tell them to.
Since those above developers are the norm (Reference Seinfeld "95% of people are undatable") we have to assume that there is a 5% who are exceptional.
The difference between the 5% and the 95% is NOT some built-in superiority but that the 5% has a good idea themselves and an understanding of how to get the most out of them. They set goals and then find the right path to achieve them. They don't coast.
By assuming these developers are the same as the others is REALLY hampering their potential and by doing this the company only hurts itself.
So, that's a lot of talking but what actionable things can be taken away from this?
Hank asks Homer "What is your dream?"
Well, employeers should take the time to identify which of these developers are in the 5%. A problem arises though when the 5% decide it is in their best interest to blend in.
Like when home says his dream is to "Work for you?" Hank shuts him down and wants to get to the truth. He makes Homer comfortable with not only vocalizing but achieving his dreams.
When an employer is looking for their types they should be looking for the following...
1. A real genuine desire to achieve
2. A real plan to get their goals done
3. Critical thinking and self-evaluation
But more importantly, when they identify these types they should be asking questions like...
- How can we help you be more productive?
- Is there anything about our current operating norm that is hindering you?
- How does your productivity workflow look?
3 difficulties arise though…
1. Most hiring managers are incompetent, and quite frankly, everyone thinks they are in the 5% and for those managers who delude themselves into this without putting in the work, they will have an impossible time actually identifying those who are actually good and productive employees.
2. Showing special treatment to these folks may upset the people below.
3. You will hear things you don’t like…
- That new fancy open-office that you got because it was the trendy thing to do, you might hear that this is a huge hinderance.
- These days people seem to treat devs like nomads, “just give him a laptop and a table and he is fine”!. You may hear that this is complete BS. Real achievers may want a dedicated desk with multiple monitors, a desk with drawers etc.
- This WILL cost you money. I know of developers who cannot work without a dedicated whiteboard. Buy them whatever they need.
- They may want BOTH a standing desk and a chair to sit on.
The point is that it seems to me to be a foolish strategy to tailor your entire company to force everyone into the same work habits. Really good employees have the self-awareness to develop their own productive practices and any keeping of them inside a box will NOT help.27
A little over a year ago I was in the hiring process with a new company and countered their initial offer. I was told by the CTO that it was no problem and they would get back to me soon.
A couple days go by and I'm then informed that they're hiring a new IT director and would like me to interview with him as well. It felt kinda lame since I'd already been offered the job but I rolled with it.
When I showed up to the office for an interview I tried to call and let them know I was there and couldn't get a hold of anyone. 30 minutes later I get a call from the CTO saying they couldn't find the new IT director and when they got him to answer the phone he said he had left early and would call me to do a phone interview.
Obviously the whole experience so far has been pretty lame but I stuck with it because I knew the CTO personally. I did the phone interview and quickly realized this dude was a prick, and would be a terrible boss, but I spoke with the CTO again who told me to stick with it and eventually I did get the job.
Fast forward about a month and it's clear the new director is trash. He literally bragged about firing a dude over an accidental outage (wtf!?).
He had the technical experience you'd expect of a junior help desk and his management skills were pretty clearly sub-par.
He was also, for whatever reason, completely unable to communicate with the only woman on our team. When assigning work he would always feel the need to ask if she could 'handle it' rather than just assigning it to her like it's done for everyone else. He was pretty clearly sexist.
The whole team hates this dude by this point but he's somehow managed to woo the executives into thinking he shits gold.
I was helping him set up a Python venv on his machine when I noticed another VPN client installed which certainly piqued my interest. After a bit of digging it was clear he was using company time and company equipment to continue working for his previous employer.
We turned over logs and he was fired the next day. He tried to add me on LinkedIn afterwards and I have never declined something quicker.
Moral of the story is don't be a dickhead.1
An excerpt from the best rant about whiteboard interviews posted on the internet. Ever.
"Well, maybe your maximum subsequence problem is a truly shitty interview problem. You are putting your interview candidate in a situation where their employment hinges on a trivia question. — Kadane's algorithm! They know it, or they don't. If they do, then congratulations, you just met an engineer that recently studied Kadane's algorithm.
Which any other reasonably competent programmer could do by reading Wikipedia.
And if they don't, well, that just proves how smart the interviewer is. At which point the interviewer will be sure to tell you how many people couldn't answer his trivially simple interview question.
Find a spanning tree across a graph where the edges have minimal weight. Maybe one programmer in ten thousand — and I’m being generous — has ever implemented this algorithm in production code. There are only a few highly specific vertical fields in the industry that have a use for it. Despite the fact that next to no one uses it, the question must be asked during job interviews, and you must write production-quality code without looking it up, because surely you know Kruskal’s algorithm; it’s trivial.
Question: why are manhole covers round? Answer: they’re not just round, if you live in London; they're triangular and rectangular and a bunch of other shapes. Why is your interview question broken? Why did you just crib an interview question without researching whether its internal assumption was correct? Do you think that “round manhole covers are easier to roll" is a good answer? Have you ever tried to roll an iron coin that weighs up to 300 pounds? Did you survive? Do you think that “manhole covers are circular so that they don’t fall into manholes” is a good answer? Do you know what a curve of constant width is? Do you know what a Reuleaux triangle is? Have you ever even been to London?
If the purpose of interviewing was to play stump the candidate, I’d just ask you questions from my area of specialization. “What are the windowing conditions which, during the lapping operation on a modified discrete cosine transform, guarantee that the resynthesis achieves perfect reconstruction?” The answer of course is the Princen-Bradley condition! Everyone knows that’s when your windowing function satisfies the conditions h(k)2+h(k+N)2=1 (the lapping regions of the window, squared, should sum to one) and h(k)=h(2N−1−k) (the window should be symmetric). That’s fundamental computer science. So obvious, even a child should know the answer to that one. It’s trivial. You embarrass your entire extended family with your galactic stupidity, which is so vast that its value can only be stored in a double, because a float has insufficient range:"
Author: John Byrd
➡️You Are Not A Software Developer⬅️
When I became a developer, I thought that my job is to write software. When my customer had a problem, I was ready to write software that solves that problem. I was taught to write software.
But what customers need is not software. They need a solution to their problem. Your job is to find the most cost-effective solution, what software often is not.
According to the universal law of software development, more code leads to more bugs:
e = mc²
errors = (more code)²
The number of bugs grows with the amount of code. You have to prioritize, reproduce and fix bugs.
The more code you write, the more your team and the team after it has to maintain. Even if you split the system into micro services, the complexity remains.
Writing well-tested, clean code takes a lot of time. When you’re writing code, other important work is idle. The work that prevents your company from becoming rich.
A for-profit company wants to make money and reduce expenses. Then the company hires you to solve problems that prevent it from becoming rich. Confused by your job title, you take their money and turn it into expensive software.
But business has nothing to do about software. Even software business is not about software. Business is about making money.
Your job is to understand how the company is making money, help make more money and reduce expenses. Once you know that, you will become the most valuable asset in the company.
Stop viewing yourself as a software developer. You are a money maker.
Think about how to save and make money for your customers.
Find the most annoying problem and fix it:
▶️Is adding a new feature too costly? Solve the problem manually.
▶️Is testing slow? Become a tester.
▶️Is hiring not going well? Speak at a meetup and advertise your company.
▶️Is your team not productive enough? Bring them coffee.
Your job title doesn’t matter. Ego doesn’t matter either.
Titles and roles are distracting us from what matters to our customers – money.💸
You are a money maker. Thinking as a money maker can help choose the next skill for development. For example:
Serverless: pay only for resources you consume, spend less time on capacity planning = 💰
Machine Learning: get rid of manual decision-making = 💰
TDD: shorter feedback cycle, fewer bugs = 💰
Soft Skills: inspire teammates, so they are more productive and happy = 💰
If you don’t know what to learn next — answer a simple question:
What skills can help my company make more money and reduce expenses?
Article by Eduards Sizovs
Part 3: today has become a blog post.
WARNING: this is loooooooooooong
Background is my boss and I were talking about hiring the right people, also generalists vs specialists.
Essentially John and I are the specialists. When something goes wrong it ends up escalating to either him or me. But this is not sustainable as I can't handle the stress and most likely he eventually won't either.
And this goes back to general hiring standards.
All the good people leave and the remaining ones are stuck with all the problems and eventually for one reason or another they leave as well... or the code keeps getting worse... until someone decides to scrap everything and build a new one... But now the only people left to lead teams are monkeys.
Now current problem is the only person that can replace me is John and the only person that can replace John, at least in handling issues, is me...
It's a certain type of person, people that have a growth mindset and can pick things up.
Google and strong tech companies are full of these types of people where if needed there's always someone that can step in and help. They have the background and the ability to quickly learn. This also lets them innovate and identify and solve new problems.
I think that's what the technical interviews are for, to find these types of people.
And you really can't train this. I'm not sure how effective our "new" training program on high quality development is but I'm guessing it's not. Excellence has to be in the culture and it's not something that can be built overnight or by randomly hiring people.
So in a sense, tech companies aren't really paying well, they're paying cost to what their hires are really worth, after they've verified it, and enough to keep them from leaving.3
Having one of my projects go so well, that the co-ordinators asked me to speak at a conference they are hosting next year (will be my first time).
Hiring 2 developers in a row, for the same position, both unable to debug a problem, both unable to use google, both with a tendency to just stop working if they get blocked.
Sadly my 2018 interviews will now contain these questions:
- *opens www.google.com*, Have you ever seen this?
- What do you do with it?
- *shows screenshot of a 'file not found' command line error*, tell me what this means?
- Bonus question, how do you fix it?1
Instead of a rant I have a story for you.
I was browsing my emails and eminently pissed off, as I usually am. Came across an email from
and thought "fuck this guy and his adverspam!"
Because whats more rational than hating someone you don't know, over something they didn't do, because of something completely unrelated to them of which they have no control?
The email looked like this
"I have some fantastic news for you:
Clean Components will be released again on April 21!
With a "🎉" emoji. I'm in a more vile mood than usual today.
It goes on.
"Even better, I'm significantly dropping the price, so you'll definitely want to pick it up!"
I fire off a quick reply.
"What a bunch of bullshit.
I decide to change careers and a month later, just like in 2008, this fucking pandemic happens and the economy and hiring
And here I am getting sent this bullshit.
I had to rewrite and shitcan the response a few times for civility. I guess this is me being polite, but I was suddenly compelled to vent to this total stranger over what in all likelihood was an *automated* email.
Six and a half hours later I got a reply.
"Hey James, I'm sorry this pandemic has been rough on you.
I hope things turn around for you soon.
If it would help, I'd give you the course for free, but if you've switched careers I'm not sure it's relevant any more?
My god. A lone voice of calm in a wasteland of 24/7 bad and worsening news. Sometimes simplicity is the soul of class.
Hes got it in spades.
And here I was thinking "today might be the day. Thank god for giant bottles of hydrocodone."
It's not true that all gingers are soulless demons.
Some of them are angels in problem glasses.
No but seriously, hes a cool guy in my book.
Check out his site if you're interested in Vue at
Been working on 'MVP' features of a new product for the past 14 months. Customer has no f**king clue on how to design for performance. An uncomfortable amount of faith was placed on the ORM (ORMs are not bad as long as you know what you are doing) and the magic that the current framework provides. (Again, magic is good so long as you understand what happens behind the smoke and mirrors - but f**k all that... coz hey, productivity, right?). Customer was so focussed on features that no one ever thought of giving any attention to subtler things like 'hey, my transaction is doing a gazillion joins across trizillion tables while making a million calls to the db - maybe I should put more f**king thought into my design.' We foresaw performance and concurrency issues and raised them way ahead of the release. How did the customer respond? By hiring a performance tester. Fair enough - but what did that translate into? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Hiring a perf tester doesn't automagically fix issues. The perf tester did not have a stable environment, a stable build or anything that is required to do a test with meaningful results. As the release date approached, the customer launched a pilot and things started failing spectacularly with the system not able to support more than 15 concurrent users. WTF! (My 'I told you so' moment) Emails started flying in all directions and the hunt for the scapegoat was on (I'm a sucker for CYA so I was covered). People started pointing in all directions but no one bothered to take a step back and understand what was causing the issues. Numero uno reason for transaction failure was deadlocks. We were using a proprietary DB with kickass tooling. No one bothered to use the tooling to understand what was the resource in contention let alone how to fix the contention. Absolute panic - its like they just froze. Debugging shit and doing the same thing again and again just so that management knew they were upto something. Most of the indexes had a fragmentation of 99.8% - I shit you not. Anywho, we now have a 'war room' where the perf tester needs to script the entire project by tonight and come up with some numbers that will amount to nothing while we stay up and keep profiling the shit out of the application under load.
Lessons learnt - When you foresee a problem make a LOT of noise to get people to act upon it and not wait till it comes back and bites you in the ass. Better yet, try not to get into a team where people can't understand the implications of shitty design choices. War room my ass!3
Got demoted, got a pay raise and don't know how to feel about it. A story of how not to drink with your coworkers?
The story begins roughly 8-9 months ago. Me and this coworker (let's name him Tim) go out drinking after a Friday party at the office. We do some rounds and we're both smashed. Tim starts telling me how he's happy with life and that he's earning a nice salary right now. He told me his salary. It was the same as mine. Which was weird - He codes in a more hardcore languages than me and has almost double the time in the company as me. I think after some more drinking I've confessed that I make the same as him. This part is sort of a blur (drinking). I've gotten a pay raise(+30-40%) roughly a few months ago from that point backwards because another company gave be a much higher offer. The company I work for matched to keep me. Anyway, 3 months or so after the drinking,Tim is promoted to team lead, and me and a few other people are added to his team. Conversation slips and he told me his new salary - quite a bit more than me.I think it's safe to assume what happened.
The problem with that is that I was a team lead of 1 person (me) at that time, and I was managing my own time and my own tasks, was working with people individually. I was part of the weekly meetings with the CEO and other team leads. Being stripped of this title wasn't a problem at the beginning, as people still contacted me because of their problems, suggestions, whatever. A few more months pass (to now) and less and less people are contacting me - instead they are talking with Tim, and are asking of his opinion on tasks I should do, where he has no experience and roughly 0 lines in the programming language I code in. This is starting to piss me off.
There are a couple other things to take into consideration as well - The company is hiring a lot of people right now. The whole structure for team leads changed a bit, more team leads then ever right now and new roles added pretty fast.
I've gotten a pay raise a few weeks ago though(10%~).
I'm not sure on how to react to this. Should I comply and just keep on working on these tasks? Or should I still keep contacting people directly on their requests and talk to them directly, take credit for the projects I complete publicly and the stuff I do as I was previously doing? Part of me wants to reroute all of the stupids questions people have to Tim, as he is now responsible for these tasks and get this weight off my shoulders.
I'm starting to shift to learning a new programming language and thinking of jumping ship. Thoughts?6
Project manager, who i've complained in the past is neglecting critical things that he doesn't want to do, decided today to cancel our weekly planning meeting, to have the below conversation with me 1:1. Its very long, but anyone who has the will to get through it ... please tell me it's not just me. I'm so bewildered and angry.
Side note: His solution to the planning meeting not taking place ... to just not have one and asked everyone to figure it out themselves offline, with no guidance on priorities.
PM: I need to talk to you about some of phrasing you use during collaboration. It's coming across slightly offensive, or angry or something like that.
Me: ok, can you give me an example?
PM: The ticket I opened yesterday, where you closed it with a comment something along the lines of "as discussed several times before, this is an issue with library X, can't be fixed until Y ...".
"As discussed several times" comes across aggressive.
Me: Ok, fair enough, I get quite frustrated when we are under a crunch, working long hours, and I have to keep debugging or responding to the same tickets over and over. I mean, like we do need to solve this problem, I don't think its fair that we just keep ignoring this.
PM: See this is the problem, you never told me.
Me: ... told you what?
PM: That this is a known issue and not to test it.
Me: ..... i'm sorry ..... I did, that was the comment, this is the 4th ticket i've closed about it.
PM: Right but when you sent me this app, you never said "don't test this".
Me: But I told you that, the last 3 times that it won't be in until feature X, which you know is next month.
PM: No, you need to tell me on each internal release what not to test.
Me: But we release multiple times per week internally. Do you really need me to write a big list of "still broken, still broken, still broken, still broken"?
PM: Yes, how else will I know?
Me: This is documented, the last QA contractor we had work for us, wrote a lot of this down. Its in other tickets that are still open, or notes on test cases etc. You were tagged in all of these too. Can you not read those? and not test them unless I say I've fixed them?
PM: No, i'm only filling for QA until we hire a full time. Thats QA's job to read those and maintain those documents.
Me: So you want me to document for you every single release, whats already documented in a different place?
PM: ok we'll come back to this. Speaking of hiring QA. You left a comment on the excel spreadsheet questioning my decision, publicly, thats not ok.
Me: When I asked why my top pick was rejected?
PM: Yes. Its great that you are involved in this, but I have to work closely with this person and I said no, is that not enough?
Me: Well you asked me to participate, reviewing resumes's and interviewing people. And I also have to work extremely close with this person.
PM: Are you doubting my ability to interview or filter people?
Me: ..... well a little bit yeah. You asked me to interview your top pick after you interviewed her and thought she was great. She was very under qualified. And the second resume you picked was missing 50% of the requirements we asked for ... given those two didn't go well, I do think its fair to ask why my top pick was rejected? ... even just to know the reason?
PM: Could you not have asked publicly? face to face?
Me: you tagged me on a google sheet, asking me to review a resume, and rather than tag you back on 2 rows below ... you want me to wait 4 days to ask you at our next face to face? (which you just cancelled for this meeting)
PM: That would have been more appropriate
Me: ..... i'm sorry, i don't want to be rude but thats ridiculous and very nit pick-y. You asked my opinion on one row, I asked yours on another. To say theres anything wrong with that is ridiculous
PM: Well we are going to call another team meeting and discuss all this face to face then, because this isn't working. We need to jump to this other call now, lets leave it here.5
Most people I talk to in the industry hate the "puzzle-y" nature of interviews (e.g. coding on a whiteboard, now get it to run in linear time, oh wait there's a trick you don't know but could totally look up if given the chance) and acknowledge that it does a poor job determining the value of the prospective hire.
Why then is there no sign of this changing? I realize it's a hard problem to solve but in theory the entire company is at stake when it comes to hiring good/bad devs. You'd think somebody would have come up with a better way.10
I got a dayjob in a company. I got an error. I cannot solve it and I am so desperate. So I go to stackoverflow, nobody answers. I post on git issue, but nobody solves the problem. So, I pay someone to solve it, like Hackhands.com to find a mentor. There is no mentor that can help. So I pay more, hired a peer, and finally a development team just to help me. They get paid only if they solved it.
But each of my folks repeat my same steps, asking on stackoverflows or github, and none of these help. So, they end up hiring their own friends and mentors. Their friends also end up paying (pay before problem solved) someone to help them.
their friends pay for friends of friends, then friends of friends of friends
And all of a sudden it becomes a giant MLM scheme.
And those people they paid for actually work for a company behind the scene which I am a founder of 😁
Multi billions startup idea, is it?4
I have seen in a lot of forums (here, Imgur, reddit, LinkedIn etc) that there are a lot of developers without a job.
And most of them live in USA. I have not seen a person who is struggling to find a job in EU or some other place.
Why is this the case? In USA where the demand for developers is very high.
I read a post on LinkedIn: "40 INTERVIEWS and no one HIRED! Yet another friend telling me she can not find good talent. My thinking - If you interviewed 40 people and did not hire someone, then it's time to look in the mirror. The problem is recruiters and hiring managers are looking for the 'PERFECT" candidate. NEWSFLASH! There is no 'perfect' candidate. If you have someone with the right attitude and skill set, and they fit in with the team, why not HIRE them? There are so many qualified individuals still job searching. Yet I see the same jobs re-posted, over and over again, being left vacant for months. Who took a chance on you? Maybe it's time you a took chance on someone."
I don't think it is the "competition" because I see everywhere. I have seen entry-level or JR. open positions that are not filled for months.
It took me 1 month, sending nearly 20 applications every day to find a job in USA.
And the second one I got lucky. I applied in Europe and after some month I got transferred in offices in USA.
I do not know how true this is, but seriously, what's wrong with companies in USA that require the PERFECT candidate. Or is it something else?19
This is either a shower thought or a sober weed thought, not really sure which, but I've given some serious consideration to "team composition" and "working condition" as a facet of employment, particularly in regard to how they translate into hiring decisions and team composition.
I've put together a number of teams over the years, and in almost every case I've had to abide by an assemblage of pre-defined contexts that dictated the terms of the team working arrangement:
1. a team structure dictated to me
2. a working temporality scheme dictated to me
3. a geographic region in which I was allowed to hire
4. a headcount, position tuple I was required to abide by
I've come to regard these structures as weaknesses. It's a bit like the project management triangle in which you choose 1-2 from a list of inadequate options. Sometimes this is grounded in business reality, but more often than not it's because the people surrounding the decisions thrive on risk mitigation frameworks that become trickle down failure as they impose themselves on all aspects of the business regardless of compatibility.
At the moment, I'm in another startup that I have significantly more control over and again have found my partners discussing the imposition of structure and framework around how, where, why, who and what work people do before contact with any action. My mind is screaming at me to pull the cord, as much as I hate the expression. This stems from a single thought:
"Hierarchy and structure should arise from an understanding of a problem domain"
As engineers we develop processes based on logic; it's our job, it's what we do. Logic operates on data derived from from experiments, so in the absence of the real we perform thought experiments that attempt to reveal some fundamental fact we can use to make a determination.
In this instance we can ask ourselves the question, "what works?" The question can have a number contexts: people, effort required, time, pay, need, skills, regulation, schedule. These things in isolation all have a relative importance ( a weight ), and they can relatively expose limits of mutual exclusivity (pay > budget, skills < need, schedule < (people * time/effort)). The pre-imposed frameworks in that light are just generic attempts to abstract away those concerns based on pre-existing knowledge. There's a chance they're fine, and just generally misunderstood or misapplied; there's also a chance they're insufficient in the face of change.
Fictional entities like the "A Team," comprise a group of humans whose skills are mutually compatible, and achieve synergy by random chance. Since real life doesn't work on movie/comic book logic, it's easy to dismiss the seed of possibility there, that an organic structure can naturally evolve to function beyond its basic parts due to a natural compatibility that wasn't necessarily statistically quantifiable (par-entropic).
I'm definitely not proposing that, nor do I subscribe to the 10x ninja founders are ideal theory. Moreso, this line of reasoning leads me to the thought that team composition can be grown organically based on an acceptance of a few observed truths about shipping products:
1. demand is constant
2. skills can either be bought or developed
3. the requirement for skills grows linearly
4. hierarchy limits the potential for flexibility
5. a team's technically proficiency over time should lead to a non-linear relationship relationship between headcount and growth
Given that, I can devise a heuristic, organic framework for growing a team:
- Don't impose reporting structure before it has value (you don't have to flatten a hierarchy that doesn't exist)
- crush silos before they arise
- Identify needed skills based on objectives
- base salary projections on need, not available capital
- Hire to fill skills gap, be open to training since you have to pay for it either way
- Timelines should always account for skills gap and training efforts
- Assume churn will happen based on team dynamics
- Where someone is doesn't matter so long as it's legal. Time zones are only a problem if you make them one.
- Understand that the needs of a team are relative to a given project, so cookie cutter team composition and project management won't work in software
- Accept that failure is always a risk
- operate with the assumption that teams that are skilled, empowered and motivated are more likely to succeed.
- Culture fit is a per team thing, if the team hates each other they won't work well no matter how much time and money you throw at it
Last thing isn't derived from the train of thought, just things I feel are true:
- Training and headcount is an investment that grows linearly over time, but can have exponential value. Retain people, not services.
- "you build it, you run it" will result in happier customers, faster pivoting. Don't adopt an application maintenance strategy
@Owenvii made a post over at (https://devrant.com/rants/2359774/...) and I want to write a proper response.
The biggest thing you have to look out for as a new dev is the jobs which you accept to begin with.
This isn't minimum wage no more, this is "big league", well, maybe not apple or google big league, but it's not $9.25 an hour either.
Basically you don't want to work anywhere where 1. your labor will be treated as a highly disposable commodity. 2. where the hiring manager doesn't know how to do the job themselves.
The best thing you can do is, if you're new, and just breaking through (and even if you're not), is ask them common questions and problems/solutions that crop up doing the work. If they can answer intelligently that tells you the company values competence (maybe), enough to put someone in place who will know ability from bullshit, merit from mediocrity, and who understands the process of progressing from junior dev to a more involved role.
It also means they are incentivized to hire people who know what they're doing because the training cost of new hires is lowered when they hire people who are actually competent or capable of learning.
Remember, an interview isn't just them learning about you, it's your opportunity to interview *them* and boy, you'll be making a BIG mistake if you don't.
Ideally you want them to ask you to pair program a problem. If your solution is better than theirs then they aren't sending their best to do interviews, and it tells you the company doesn't fire incompetents. The interviewers response can tell you a lot too, if they critique your work, or suggest improvements, and especially if they explain their thinking, that is an amazing response to look for, it says the company values mentorship and *actual* teamwork (not the corporate lingo-bingo 'teamwork' that we sometimes see idolized on posters like so much common dogma).
Most importantly, get them to talk about their work and their team. If they're a professional, it'll be really difficult to pry anything negative about their co-workers out of them, but if they're loose-lipped and gossipy thats a VERY bad sign, regardless of what they have to say.
Ask to take a tour and do a meet n' greet of who you will be working with. If they say no, then it's no thank you to a job offer. You want to take every opportunity to get to know everyone there, everyone you'll be working with, as much as possible--because you'll be spending a LOT of time with these people and you want to rule out any place that employs 'unfireable' toxic assholes, sociopath executives, manipulative ladder climbing narcissists, and vicious misery-loving psychopathic coworkers as quick as possible. This isn't just one warning flag to look out for, it's the essential one. You're looking for the proper *workplace culture*, not the cheesy startup phrase of "workplace culture", but the actual attitudes of the team and the interpersonal dynamics.
Life is really short, and a heart attack at 25 from dipshit coworkers and workplace grief can and will destroy your health, if not your sanity, the older you get.
Trust and believe me when I say no paycheck is too grand to deal with some useless, smarmy, manipulative, or borderline motherfuckers at work constantly. You'll regret it if you do. Don't do it. Do you fucking do it. Just don't.
Take my words to heart and be weary of easy job offers. I'm not saying don't take a good offer that lands in your lap, I AM saying do some investigating and due diligence or the consequences are on you.1
A long long time ago ( 2007 I think ) I worked for a company that made landing sites, so basically an email campaign would go out, users would be sent to a 1 page website with a form to capture their data, ready to be spammed even more. You know how it was back then.
So I worked with a guy who we had just hired, I didn't do the hiring but his CV checked out, so I gave him one of my tasks. Now most pages were made with js and html, with a PHP backend ( called with Ajax). Now this guy didn't know PHP so I was like all good, ASP works too at the end of the day we don't judge, we do like 2 or 3 of these a day and never look at them again. So he goes of and does is thing.
3 weeks later, the customer calls up to me they still haven't received their landing page. Ok so he probably forgot to email the customer np, I tell him to double check he has emailed the customer. Another week goes by end the customer calls back, same problem. At this point I'm getting worried, because we're days away from the deadline and it was originally my task.
So I go back to the guy and I tell him I want that landing page so I can send it myself, half thinking to myself that we had a freeloader, that guy that comes in to companies for 3 weeks, doesn't work, but still cashes his pay. But no, this was much worse.
So he tells me he has finished yet. I ask him why, what's the blocker ? You had 4 weeks to tell me you were blocked and couldn't progress. And his answer was simply, because I wasn't blocked I have been working on it this whole time. So I tell him to zip his project up and email it to me. We didn't do SVN or git back then, simply wasn't worth it. So he comes back to me and says the email server is telling him attachments can't be bigger then 50mb. At this point I'm thinking he didn't properly sized the art or something, so I give him a flash drive to put it on.
When I then open the flash drive, the archive is 300mb, thinking to myself, the images weren't even that big to begin with.
So I open it up, and I don't even find any images, just a single asp page. About 500mb. When I opened that up and it finally loaded, I saw the most horrendous things ever.
The first 500 lines was just initializing empty vars. Then there was some code that created an empty form with an onChange event that submits the form. After that.. it was just non stop nested if's. No loops, no while, for, foreach, NO elseif's, just nested if's, for every possible combination of the state the form could be in. Abou 5000 of them, in a single file. To make matters worse, all the form ( and page ) layout was hardcoded in the if's. Includes inline css, base64 encoded images, nothing but as dynamic, based on the length of the form he changes the layout, added more background etc. He cut the images up for every possible size of the page and included them in the code.
I showed it to my boss, he fired the guy on the spot. I redid the work from scratch, in under 4 hours. Send it to the client. they had no ammends to make, happy as Larry. Whish I kept the code somewhere.
Morale of the story, allways do a coding test on interviews, even if small things just to sanity check.3
I was noticing in a MMORPG a problem and solution that can apply to the real world.
In MMORPG land, to get the best gear, you need to work in teams.
But to get invited into a team, you need the best gear..
Kinda like, to get a job, you need experience in the job first..
As such, one solution employed in the MMORPG world is to start your own team, hiding the fact you have shitty gear and only hiring folk with good gear to help carry you !
So, I guess in the real world, the similar answer is to start a business when you have no experience and hire people who do !
Then later one, if your business ever goes bust, you will at least then have experience to get a job. :-)7
I’m in a high-stress work situation where the organization is way too reliant on me to maintain day-to-day operations. We’re working on hiring a second person for my role, but it’s likely to take six months to find someone and get them on board.
And I’m afraid that I’m burning out now. I’m tired all the time and grumpy. Worse, in the last couple weeks I seem to be losing the ability to think. I’ll read an email and be unable to make sense of the words, or unable to figure out what to do with it – it’s just a blank white fog in my brain where I should have words and ideas and next steps. My productivity is less than half what it should be, and I’m horribly embarrassed and ashamed of myself.
I’m taking sick days and leaving work early when I can, which helps a bit, but not enough. I’m also doing all the recommended self-care stuff – diet, sleep, exercise. I’m scheduling a doctor’s appointment for next week.
I have a very good boss, which is the only reason I haven’t said screw it all and bought a one-way plane ticket to Tahiti. (I hear it’s a magical place.) Any thoughts on how to approach this with him? Under normal circumstances I’d try to arrange for some vacation time, but I’m afraid a week or two of rest isn’t going to fix the problem, just delay it a while. Any substantial amount of time off is going to really hurt my department. They may need to bring in someone to cover for me, which would be very expensive. I’m afraid it’d destroy my reputation as someone who can be relied on. What options do I have? What should I be doing next?1
Why is it so hard for people (especially managers) to learn to work smarter not harder....
FIX THE GODDAMN PROBLEM CORRECTLY... THE FIRST TIME SO WE DON'T HAVE TO KEEP FIXING ITS BLOWUPS ON WEEKENDS....
AND STOP HIRING MONKEYS THAT JUST KNOW TO PRESS BUTTONS RATHER THAN DESIGNING FULLY FUNCTIONAL SOLUTIONS THAT DON'T BLOW UP OR LEAVE A TRAIL OF SHIT BEHIND THAT I NEED TO DECIPHER N CLEANUP....2
I tried to go for a job as a ReactJS junior dev.. I got my first interview and they liked my prototype.. but..
A week later they reply: "We decided not to go with you because we hired an expert in ReactJS".
Err.. really? You're hiring expert-level ReactJS developers for a junior position?! What the frig.
You want to know what I think? This whole "It's ok that you don't know everything, you'll learn on the job" thing is a hoax. No, the job market doesn't want novices. With every single interview, I'm met with: "but you're not an expert and we can't afford that".
This reminds me of the best advice my professor (seasoned expert in the field, real engineer with more than 20 years experience) once gave me:
"The job market doesn't have the time nor patience to mollycoddle you. When you enter it, you have to already know things to an expert degree because companies want value. They're hiring you because you have these skills and knowledge.
You have to already know what they ask before they ask it. You're required to know things by yesterday, so to speak. It is an exigent industry out there. This is why we bring you the foundations - so that you go further on your own and you can take on any problem"9
A few days ago I decided to install Windows 7 on a VM (bad idea as it turned out). All fine and dandy and I ran Windows Update a few times to get it at least as up-to-date as it'll get.
I noticed that out of the 4GB RAM I had allocated, an svchost process responsible for the updates was gobbling up all the available memory, just leaving 82MB for everything else. The process itself was as you might imagine consuming over 3GB RAM just for itself. That's how an OS should work right after installation, I'm sure you'll agree.
So I complained about it. Haven't used Windows anywhere for a while so I wasn't used anymore to this level of efficiency. Disk activity went through the roof, though to be fair the underlying disk wasn't an SSD (qcow2 on ZFS on a spinning drive). RAM consumption is something I already covered. CPU temperature shot up to 95C.
So as any idiot would do, I disabled the service related to that process (the svchost process for wuauserv) and the problem went away. But I complained of course, saying that such amazing system utilization metrics wasn't something I expected. I mean for 4GB allocated, having as much as 82MB usable to get stuff done with! 95C on the CPU, on a lot of chips that's the junction temperature! Absolutely beautiful.
When I complained I heard that I had to replace the thermal grease. I do that twice a year. I wrote a custom fan driver for my system that works absolutely great. It was obviously shit. I must be a horrible sysadmin for solving a problem by eliminating the cause, and companies hiring me must be ashamed of themselves. My hardware must be shit (that's a common one with Windows users) despite being a business laptop and the guest system being a VM. Oh and I'm an idiot of course for complaining about such amazing system metrics in Windows.
I love Windows and its community...8
Boy oh boy.. Reminds me of good ol college days. I was in my final sem when Amazon came to our university for campus hiring. I was very confident that I will get selected. Funnily enough I went till the final round and I had a feeling that it went well if not excellent. It was a Friday night and we had to wait two excruciating days for the final shortlisted result to come. On the evening of Monday my friend T called me and told me my name is not on the list. I was heartbroken. I asked him who all got selected and he said our friend A did. A was, and still is a good friend of ours and I was happy for him. That night we sat down for drinks and as the night progressed I anguished over my selection. I still remember solving a binary tree problem holding a glass of whiskey in my one hand. The next morning I woke up at 6, detoxed myself with fruit juices and sat in front of my laptop feeling full rage from last night. I sat till lunch and hacked a chrome extension in one sitting. Mind you I had no existing knowledge of extensions at that point of time. I sometimes look how my life has turned since that time and now I am one of the devs in a team which work on a product that itself is a browser extension. :)
DFW the client decides to not renew the contract, and so their start hiring their own developers. This guy decides to fix a layout problem by putting everything in a table element, breaking a bunch of other shit he didn't test for before committing. Fucking end me now, please.
Applying Occam's razor and I might be wrong..
Hiring a candidate and job hunt, both are fucking exhaustive process.
We, as a human race, have aimed for Moon and Mars but are unable to solve the problem at hand which can save millions of hours each year reflecting in immediate cost savings.
Here's my (idealistic) solution:
A product to connect job seekers and recruiters eliminating all the shitty complexities.
LinkedIn solved it, but then hired some PMs who started chasing metrics and bloated the fuck out of the product.
Here are some features of the product I am envisioning:
1. Job seeker signs up and builds their entire profile.
2. Ability to add/remove different sections (limited choices like certifications, projects, etc.), no custom shit allowed because each will have their own shit.
3. By default accept GDPR, Gender Identity, US equality laws, Vetran, yada yada..
4. No resume needed. Profile serves as resume. Eliminate the need to build a resume in word or resume builders.
5. Easy updates and no external resume, saves the job seeker time and gives a standard structure to recruiters to scan through eliminating cognitive load.
6. Recruiters can post their jobs and have similar sections (limited categories again).
7. Add GDPR, Vetran, etc. check boxes need basis.
8. No social shit. Recruiters can see profiles of job seekers and job seekers can see jobs. Period.
9. Employee working in Google? Awesome. Will not show Google recruiters thier profile and employee such job posts.
10. No need to apply or hunt heads. System will automatch and recommend because we are fucking in AI generation and how hard it is to match keywords!!
11. Saves job seekers and recruiters a fuck ton of time hunting the best fit.
12. This system gets you the best job that fits your profile.
Yes, there are flaws in this idea.
Yes, not all use cases are covered.
Yes, shit can be improved and this is hypothetical.
But hey! Surely doable with high impact than going on Moon or Mars right now.
Start-up world has lost its way.12
Just remembered that I still had a foobar invite link in my email inbox 😋
The challenges are odd though, first challenge was super easy (basically an idiot check), but while I was able to convert 3 cans of energy drink into a functional solution in half an hour, the verification utility is not very verbose at all. So in Python 3.7.3 in my Debian box it worked just fine, yet the testing suite in Foobar was failing the whole time. After sending an email to my friend that gave the link (several years ago now, sorry about that! 😅) asking if he knew the problem, I found out that Google is still using Python 2.7.13 for some reason. Even Debian's Python is newer, at 2.7.16. To be fair it does still default to Python 2 too. But why.. why on Earth would you use Python 2.7 in a developer oriented set of challenges from a massive company, in 2020 when Python 2 has already been dead for almost a whole year?
But hey now that it's clear that it's Python 2.7, at least the next challenges should be a bit easier. Kind of my first time developing in SnekLang regardless actually, while the language doesn't have everything I'd expect (such as integer square root, at least not in Debian or the foobar challenge's interpreter), its math expressions are a lot cleaner than bash's (either expr or bc). So far I kinda like the language. 2-headed snake though and there's so much garbage for this language online, a lot more than there is for bash. I hate that. Half the stuff flat out doesn't work because it was written by someone who requires assistance to breathe.
Meh, here's to hoping that the next challenges will be smooth sailing :) after all most of the time spent on the first one (17.5 hours) was bottling up a solution for half an hour, tearing my hair out for a few hours on why Google's bloody verification tool wouldn't accept my functioning code (I wrote it for Python 3, assuming that that's what Google would be using), and 10 hours of sleep because no Google, I'm not scrubbing toilets for 48 hours. It's fair to warn people but no, I'm not gonna work for you as a cleaning lady! 😅
Other than the issues that the environment has, it's very fun to solve the challenges though. Fuck the theoretical questions with the whiteboard, all hiring processes should be like this!1
Welcome to post 2 of WHY WOULD I WANT TO WORK WITH YOU?, a saga of competence, empathy and me being dick, even tho I didn't want to be one.
This is a follow-up to: https://devrant.com/rants/2363374 It's title is: "Oh, you can post only every 2h. Didn't know that". I also didn't know that the rest of my rant would be put into a comment. For consistency tho, this time I am still splitting the story.
A wise person once wrote in their book: "People judge other people by two things: Empathy and competence." This may not be an accurate quote, but it carries the same message. Also, I don't really remember who was the author. I only know they were probably quite wise. Anyway, I just wanted to share that sentence. Have a moment and think about it. Or don't. Here's my story:
A was a software house that looked pretty promising. They were elegant, their page and offer looked nice. Well, unless you consider the fact that they offered me internship. Unpaid. But I decided to meet with them anyway, since I had hope that I could negotiate some sort of paid internship or a job contract even. I did my homework after all, and I was confident I am able to keep up with their requirements. I arrived a little bit... no, way to early. One damn hour. Whatever, I waited. I was greeted by a woman. We had a cultural conversation, she had a list of 12 questions I needed to answer, as a form of a test. We begun. First question: How do you change a value in Oracle Database? "Wait a minute", I thought, "What kind of question is that?". Why in seven hells would you want your frontend developer to know how to handle oracle db? Well, I gave my answer, I did lick some of that SQL in my life. Next question: Java stuff. The bloody gal didn't even care to check what position I am applying to before the interview! At this point I didn't really have very high hopes. A shame on them forever.
The story of B and C is connected and a little bit more complicated. More on that in part 2. B stands for Bank. A big corporation then, by definition. A person I know decided called me that day and told me they're hiring, that he referred me and that they would like to arrange a meeting. And so we did. It was couple of days before Christmas. C was a software house again. Or a startup. Idk really. Their website wasn't finished so I couldn't read anything useful up on them. They didn't tell me much about themselves either. They also started with "unpaid internship".
In C, they would greet me and instantly sit me down next to a mac laptop and told me, "hey, do this stuff in python". What the fuck, not again... I told them that I am frontend dev, they guy said "it's no problem, you said you know python, it's a simple task". And yeah, I did host some apps in Flask and I did use psycopg2. It was in my CV. But never, ever, have I mentioned knowing heuristics nor statistics. I'm no data scientist, monsieur. Whatever, I tried, I failed a little bit, I told them that maybe if I did want to spend half of my day there I would finish this task, but back then I was way too nervous to focus and code. I told them what should be done in code and that I just was unable to code this at the very moment. They nodded, we said goodbye and I was sure not to hear from them ever again.
In B, I was greeted by a senior frontend dev. He told me the recruiter is sick and he couldn't come, so we're talking alone. I can buy it. We sat down in said meeting room, and he asked me if I wanted a drink. No thx, I had digested so much caffeine during last 24h, next dose could be an overdose. And then, he took out my resume printed in paper. With notes on it. With some stuff encircled. That bloody bastard did his homework. We spent over an hour, just talking in friendly atmosphere. It was an interview, but it was a conversation also. We shared our experiences, opinions and it went just perfect.
On December 20, I was heading home for Christmas. My situation looked like this: A called me they could offer me only unpaid internship. I was getting kinda bored of rice and debts, tbh. I gracefully rejected their generous offer. B didn't give me feedback yet(it was a most recent interview, so I didn't expect any message until after Christmas anyway). C told me that they could give me internship, but I managed to convince them to make it paid internship. After three months of very bad times, things were starting to get better.
On part III we will explore further events of my very recent past. That post will be same amount of storytelling and possibly a lesson for those who seek an employer and for those who seek an employee.6
Why do some people feel the need to prove their stupidity and utter lack of skill in the face of the world?!?!
Yesterday I learned that a sister company is hiring an intern civil engineer to code some application plugins connected to our IS ?!?!? How the fuck do you think he can only understand what the fuck we do?
To put it in context, I'm kind of the CDO of a French medium group (a little cluster of companies), as the group is in the construction industry I'm the CTO for all Computer things. Inside the group, I'm the CTO of the digital factory. So the group IS is a microservice decentralized API REST-based architecture.
Next Monday we'll have a meeting, so I can explain to them why it's a FUCKING STUPID IDEA!!!! The only good thing is that any application programming done outside of the Digital Factory will be handled as an External Company Application, so it's not my problem to secure it, debug it, or simply make it work. And they already know that I'll enforce this ruling!!!
But WHY the fuck do they still think any mother fucker can professionally program!!!!!! Every time I have to deal with them It's horrendous!!!! I had to prove them why using a not encrypted external drive for a high security mission It's stupid!!!, and why having the same password for every account is FUCKING STUPID!!!
The most ridiculous part is they have a guy who really believe he has some IT skills!! Saying things like "SVN" it's a today tool (WTF), firewall are useless, etc....
Recruiter reached out on a certain other social network where people seem to be humbled a lot.
First interview (a day later) goes well
Second interview (a week later) also goes well. They tell me there's one more technical interview, but that shouldn't be a problem.
A week later, that interview is a breeze too. Interviewer said they'll prepare the paperwork.
Another week goes by without communication, so I ping them.
A week after that they send me an email saying that they need references they can talk to. A co-worker and a direct manager.
Uncommon in my part of the world in general. But coming up with that idea this late in the process? Really? But ok, I provide those in like an hour.
They take their time, but eventually call the co-worker. Another week after that, they still haven't called the manager, so I ping them again.
Silence for another couple of days, then a very sad email about how the general situation has changed and they've now stopped hiring indefinitely1
No wonder it’s hard to hire devs with even a basic level of competency or some kind of promise that them might be able to learn shit given time, opportunity and guidance. The sheer amount of idiocy and stupidity and straight up incompetent cringe I witness on every platform giving us devs a voice (yes, including here) is mindboggling…5
I have an idea of starting my own business and I need your feedback guys. Literally appreciate any kind of feedback.
So Im an android dev who has 3 years experience under his belt. I am working fulltime and I think its time to scale. I want to open my own agency where I would take on big clients and build apps for them. I personally am able to manage/see through the whole project, handle all communication and also work on the android side if necessary. I would start from smaller projects worth of 30-40k for startups, basically create MVP for them and charge for support after that.
Problem is that as far as I understand if you want to "open your own kitchen" you need to be well connected. I dont know any big clients who would trust and purchase my services, because after all who I am? Im nobody just a dev at this moment. So I need a strategy to build some relationships with businesses.
So Im thinking long game. What if I would first open a recruitment/hiring agency? I would focus in specifically mobile dev recruitment. I have the soft skills and I already participated in dozens of recruitment processes. I also have the tech skills, I would be a competent recruiter. Maybe I could do that for a year, just communicate between devs and clients and place devs. My thinking is that in around one year I would be able to build a massive network of clients and devs.
And then, I could try opening my own dev agency. Using my gathered contacts hopefully I could land some decent projects for start and build my team or outsource from that point on.
Ofcourse Im not sure if I could pull this off alone, I would need a detailed strategy and some mentoring. But what do you think is this a viable plan?2
So we've been doing the final project for college which has 2 parts
1. preparation of a project
2. creating an application
The first part wasn't a problem, making UML diagrams(ERD, Class Diagram, Use case) and SCRUM related documents.
But BLOODY FUCKING HELL was the second part bad.
You get a premade preparation for the second part of the exams... it was the most disturbing thing ever! The ERD which you have to follow is entirely made out of varchars, terribly built for the system you're creating by the way.
We ended up being able to use our own preparation instead after going back and forth... but damn. A company makes these things and the government pays millions for it! What the fuck are they doing? Hiring third graders to play around with lines??
No wonder IT is looked down upon in the Netherlands.. the government is entirely at fault due to their terribly outdated exams, projects, etc.
I thought i had seen it all... but holy fucking shit
thought of the day :
machine learning does not totally automate the end-to-end process of data to insight (and action), as is often suggested. We do need human intervention. And having the right mix of specialists is equally important as they have the expertise to build prototype projects in different business lines. Thus, one must hire the right team in the context of her organization to ensure an assured path towards success.
Besides, it is important to note that organizations don’t have machine learning problems. Instead, there are just business problems that companies might solve using machine learning. Therefore, identifying and articulating the business problem is mandatory before investing significant effort in the process and before hiring the machine learning experts.1
My vague naive extreme understanding of interview questions are on a spectrum from situation a to situation b.
But what should the industry be doing? Is the industry just going wrong blindly copying big N companies hiring process without the same rationale? (e.g. they need computer scientists able to deal with problems specific to them at their size and that often means creating new tech, unreal problem solving abilities and cuh-rayzee knowledge)
a) stupid fucking theoretical shit that some people argue you won't ever need to be doing in practice for most companies, while giving you no ability to google, leetcode hard problems kind of stuff
b) practical work similar to what you'd be doing on the job, small bugs, tasks, pair programming on site with your potential future coworkers
Lots of people hate option a because it's puzzle/problem solving that isn't always closely related to what's on the job. Whiteboarding is arguably very much a separate skill. (Arguably unless it's like a big N company where you want computer scientists to deal with specific problems that aren't seen elsewhere, and you're making new tech to deal with your specific problems.)
We could go to the extreme of Option b, but it tends to trigger people into shitfits of "NO, HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME DO REAL WORK, BUT NOT PAY ME FOR IT AT THE INTERVIEW STAGE"
That's before we get into how to execute option b whether or not it's being given as a take home assignment (which is a huge pain in the ass and time sink, among other issues) vs a few hours at the potential workplace working with some of the future potential coworkers and soaking in the work environment (you have to figure out how to take the time off then)
Is it really just poor execution overall for the wrong use cases for the majority of the industry? What should the industry be doing in which cases.
Then this is all before HR screening with shit like where they might ask for more years of swift experience than its existed.
Worst recruiter experience...
Found out RHT took 40% of what the company was paying me. In combination with the unfair company who ended up hiring me, the problem is...you start low and you stay low, hard to move your wage up! 🙄😌😥
So, management seem laser focused on hiring folks with work visa. What’s up with that? The latest five new employees. At least two of them utterly useless (have not worked with the others).
These are devs. ”Senior” as stated by closest manager. 😬 Yeah…ok.
It such a worthless leadership. It’s alot about
”We successfully filled the position for a senior developer”
”I am happy to announce that the new release manager for system X has been hired”
All about numbers. Closing the deal. Never about quality.
I guess salary is a BIG issue here and that is why we see this. I have no problem with VISA employees. But they seem bad at what-they-are-doing. Just…incompetent. *sigh*2
Do you recommend hiring junior or mid-level dev for a python role that involves mostly data transformations with pandas, growth and marketing projects like social media bots, consuming APIs for data and some experience with Azure SQL db? I’m worried if we hire too senior then they will leave as the role doesn’t involve any advanced software engineering, like caches, web apps, rest apis, etc. It’s more of a handyman that can automate and hack a solution to a business problem: for example, learning openCV to automatically crop thousands of images extracting only the text2