Reader Mail – 06/23/2013 To 06/29/2013

commented on Offensive Interview Programming Tests And Assignments.
Just found this blog, and as an entrepreneur (read -- someone who hires programmers and employees) I must say I agree with your philosophy to avoid intensive and offensive interviews and tests, especially obvious attempts to extort free code.

My employment process is/was simple -- Where did you work, what projects have you done, either on your own or for others, can you answer a few questions, do you have references, etc... but here's the kicker -- When I did ask for code to check competency, I ALWAYS asked for something generic and unrelated to my business (so it was pretty obvious I wasn't trying to squeeze free work out of people).

My interviews were no longer than two hours and I barely looked at resumes (as most of them are pure BS). Let me see that you know how to think and solve problems, you can work on a team (we had 12 developers at one point) AND by yourself (cause let's face it, sometimes tasks are handed off and you just need coffee, cigarettes, and a closet to solve them).

I'm no Microsoft (very far from it) but have been in business (several of them) for decades. I deduce more in 15 minute by chatting informally with you than I could from a resume or test. Most successful business owners are also intuitive, so we know if you're capable or full of shit (ie -- worked on a team where someone else did 99% of the work). It's ashamed these same owners don't look for those traits when hiring recruiters.

To me, school means nothing when it comes to fast-paced technology. I've hired an 18 year old kid with no resume and no experience other than his own personal projects and a real-estate site he did locally. I liked him and saw tremendous potential. Was one of the best employees, stayed for 5 years until the company died, then started his own design firm and is still doing really well.

FYI -- I have programming experience (had to learn by necessity as I was too damn broke to pay anyone to implement my ideas years ago) which is why I'm on your site. Trying to decide what language to use for a re-write on an ancient Classic ASP site that's starting to pick up steam (Appears node.JS will not be a contender, although I really wasn't considering it to begin with). Heck, I still dabble in code and design and will probably play with .NET MVC , PHP, and a few others before leaning toward one direction.

Way too much is royally screwed up in this world, both from my perspective as an entrepreneur and yours as a job applicant. Kudos for taking a stand on what's right and only allowing yourself to be aligned with ethical entrepreneurs and prospective employers, even in a tough market. We need more people like you on both sides of the equation to make real progress.

PS -- If you haven't read it already, you might enjoy the book "LynchPin" by Seth Godin. You have the attitude he describes is necessary to climb the ladder in today's marketplace.

If it were me looking for a job, I would walk in there with no resume and refuse to take any test, discuss what they are looking for, and (assuming you could code what they asked for) state you can start ASAP. Tell them you're a perfect fit for the job, you'll prove it to them, and if things don't work out in two weeks they have the option of letting you go.

As an employer who WANTS my company to grow, I want employees who know more than I do for the task I am hiring them to do (except low-end jobs) and people with BALLS who can step up to the plate, produce, and give feedback, not be a cog in a wheel. If they say no, give em a card, leave, and say "you have my number if you decide otherwise".

Obviously this isn't going to work at Microsoft.

I've got another good story (draft queued for Tuesday) about someone who wanted to hire me for a small fixed-bid project.

Even for small simple programming assignments, I do them, know I did well, and still I don't get an interview.

Also, I learned programming on my own on my 8-bit Atari, and then got a CS degree. Theoretically, that's the best of both aspects, the ability to learn on my own and a formal CS degree. However, I'm not having any success looking for a job.

Holiday Rental Lorgues commented on Aaron Swartz Suicide - Was He Murdered?.
Aaron Swartz was an extraordinary guy and what happened to Aaron was shockingly bad.

The prosecutor went way overboard.

His contribution to society will be remembered for long time.

He will be missed by all his regular readers and friends. RIP.

XC3N commented on Will GCW Zero Deliver Their Kickstarter Handhelds?.
While it is true that some openpandora preorder are still not received (myself included) it's not true that Craig's company declared bankruptcy. Most openpandoras have been delivered now and, having kept a close eye on the whole story, a lot of the shit that happened truly wasn't their fault. It's also not fair to Evildragon who has been working like crazy to fix shit to be labeled as a cheat, which he isn't. m2c

Emery Figueroa commented on Offshorng Software Development Does Not Save Money.
An offshore team, there happens to be lot of potential problems. The offshore team will not have English as a first terminology, resulting in connections problems.

Mark Flowers commented on Reader Mail - 06/09/2013 To 06/15/2013.
1. Mark Flowers is a true dedicated Christian but a non denominational and non church going Christian, a praying man upon his knees and he gives all credit to his survival to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as his savoir and protector of him and his loved ones. Mark has to continually break all curses in Jesus Christ’s name, sent by witch craft and the Satanic agenda.

2. Mark Flowers is a fighter, a man that will never bow to any evil corruption, to DEATH.

3. Mark Flowers has had the fatherhood of his children stolen by the masons / system / The Australian Government.

4. Mark Flowers is a survivor of more than a decade of intense murderous Freemasonry Gang Stalking {a term he coined} and raised in the Federal Magistrates Court Parramatter Sydney Australia in 2009 & 2010 whilst defending his rights to father his children.

5. Mark Flowers has had so many attempts on his life in the process of Freemasonry gangstalking that they are too numerous to list, most have been whilst driving in road traffic accident setups by gangstalkers . But all manner of threats have come against Mark Flowers, One time a sour mason wielding a hammer at Mark’s head got a lesson in respect and kicked off Mark’s property. The police always fail to follow such death threats against Mark Flowers.

6. Mark Flowers has self-represented in some 60 appearances in the Federal Magistrates Court, the District Court and the Supreme Court in Australia and all with nil formal education, in fact Mark left school at 14 years and first job was in a lumber yard.

7. Mark Flowers is a Father first, and a former children’s safety film producer, but the dogs of gangstalking were released on him for doing so. Mark has been fighting ever since and will never give in, as the eternity in spirit and fear of God through Christ Jesus motivates him to be fearless against evil.

If I fall in this good fight it will be into the arms of my saviour Jesus Christ.

Brother Mark

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 06/16/2013 To 06/22/2013.
Perhaps you could enlighten us with your views on Mr Snowden.

He's a whistelblower rather than a traitor. However, the State media doesn't get that.

It's ironic that he's moving to "less free" countries, to escape prosecution in the USA.

Anonymous Coward commented on Small Fixed-Bid Software Contracts Are A Bad Idea.
Every time a low-life, like the manager in a factory that asked for free parser as part of a joelonsoftware job post, scams someone out of free work, it destroys the system in that nobody can trust one another.

2 Responses to Reader Mail – 06/23/2013 To 06/29/2013

  1. You were told to go to college, keep your head down and work. Now, you look up and see that you were screwed by those that led you there… now what?

    • There are two lies. One lie is the “broken social contact”. That’s the lie “Go to college, learn useful skills, work hard, and you’ll always have a job.” That turned out to be a lie for me.

      There’s the bigger lie, that the political and economic system is one big scam. For that, agorism is the only strategy I can think of that works. However, that requires some competent partners, to get an underground economy started.

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