The Shining Path of Least Resistance


Archive for the ‘interviews’ Category

Making my Whack IT Predictions for 2009

Posted by mattray on December 17, 2008


I got a chance to be on the IT Management Podcast yesterday with Michael Cote’, John Willis and Dave Rosenberg.  Had a good time making my whack predictions for 2009:

  • Microsoft buying RIM (and shutting down Windows Mobile)
  • Apple making a cloud move
  • Sun getting diced up in a hostile takeover
  • Amazon selling Android apps
  • Amazon buying up some of the cloud providers
  • The Big 4 not buy any open source competitors
  • and more!

Missed out on my chance to call 2009 the Year of the Linux Desktop, but it could happen, I’ve got a good feeling this time.

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Interviews from Hell, Part 2.

Posted by mattray on March 24, 2008

Back to John’s interview. Despite his run-in with Dave, the interview continued on to the VP of Engineering. After a few perfunctory questions, he hands John a list of acronyms.

VP: Can you define each of these?
John: Yes.
VP: It's important that you know these.
John: ummm... OK.

John quickly rattles of acronyms like “XML” and “SQL”.

VP: Very good.
The interview continues on to some more of the business-side stuff.

VP: So one of the things we do here validation of leads for our CRM app. If a customer doesn't know exactly who has purchasing authority, our call center in Manila will call in and pretend to be running a technology survey and try to get a hold of the person in the lead app.
John: (thinking this sounds sleazy) ...I guess that makes sense.
VP: It sure does, we used to have a center in India, but those guys were getting expensive.
John: What about quality control?
VP: That's the beauty of it. We have another call center here in town to cross-check some of the leads. I've got one guy who calls up the companies and tells them he's a student researching technology here in town. People are always more sympathetic to college students, and for all I know, he really could be a student.
John: Right...

After the interview, John is pretty creeped out on the company and know they have hired at least 1 crazy person. Even though he didn’t enjoy the process, at least he has a few good stories out of it.

Of course they call him back a few days later and make an offer.

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Interviews from Hell, Part 1.

Posted by mattray on March 19, 2008

This wasn’t my interview, but I had to get this out in public. One of my recently laid-off friends (we’ll call him “John”) was interviewing with a CRM-type company for a Tech Lead/Senior Developer position. He did the standard in-house process of several 30-45 minute interviews with assorted people on the team until he got to “Dave” (John said he doesn’t even know if he gave his name).

Knights Who Say Ni

After a series of mumbling technical questions, here’s a paraphrased transcript:

Dave: ... and that's why Left Outer Joins are so great.
John: Sure thing.
Dave: So in Monty Python's Holy Grail, what is the word that the Knights who Say Ni can't stand?
John: What?
Dave: You know, Holy Grail.
John: Seriously?
Dave: It's "it". Moving on.
John: OK.
Dave: What is Asimov's Second Law of Robotics?
John: What?
Dave: You know... I, Robot?
John: I have no idea.
Dave: Hmm.... ok, here's a tricky one.
John: OK.
Dave: Given an 8 hour workday with lunch and breaks, how much wood would a woodchuck....
John: Don't know. Next question.
Dave: Oh... well how about...

Dave continues to ask a series of nerd questions to which each response is:

John: Don't know. Next question.

Dave: (at end of list) Well, it looks like the only thing you have going for you is that you knew about Monty Python.
John: (stands up and walks out of interview)
Dave: Wait!
John: Insulting people in an interview is a waste of time, I'm not a sci-fi geek.

To quote a former IBM tech writer… “YOU GODDAMN NERDS ARE WEARING ME OUT!”.

…to be continued.

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