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kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Paolomania posted:

My admission: I feel like a change in direction is coming up for my programming career and I have no idea where to go next. I've been working as research staff in academia for a few years and although the high-level problems have been interesting, as a non-academic there is no upward mobility and I've been given mostly the uninteresting grunt-work and the tech has all been highly specialized nuts-and-bolts stuff that I really don't want to make a career out of. I'm feeling like I'm a mile wide and an inch deep and I need to train-up expertise in something with more commercial appeal so that I can move into a position with some prospect for growth.

However, the choices seem daunting and I don't feel like I have a finger on the pulse of where the industry is headed. Is mobile going to continue to be big? Are there trends conspiring to waylay webdevs? Is high-performance computing a safe niche? I'd appreciate people's thoughts on what tech is a good bet for the near future.

I was pretty much exactly in your shoes, up until about six months ago.

I was 10 years out of school and outside of a stint working as a consultant for an international vendor of ERP software, my entire career was research staff in an academic lab. Admittedly we were very well funded so we had some crazy compute resources and some novel big data problems. However, while cutting edge bioinformatics work was going on there, I wasn't doing that myself; I wound up getting pigeonholed as an infrastructure reliability developer. I was basically dealing with all the pipeline glue software we wrote, and trying to unwind layers of hasty decisions so as to make things more robust.

While my immediate and middle management folks realized this was important because we were getting buried under technical debt, upper management didn't really see that as a priority (they wanted results as quickly as possible). So without a lot of resources allocated, I was perpetually behind the 8-ball and I just felt like I was doing constant gruntwork trying to keep up. Career-wise, it was also plainly evident to me that I just wasn't going to get anywhere further there without a PhD.

I wound up hopping into mobile instead. I had already done some seriously small-time freelancing, having built a few little iOS and Android apps. I had a friend who worked remote for a Silicon Valley software company doing iOS work; I asked him for a referral and wound up getting hired in August.

Honestly I have never been happier at this point. I'm doing interesting work, I'm making a product that I enjoy dogfooding, and it's just pretty damned awesome to see your team's app get featured in the iTunes store. I've had a fair amount of impostor syndrome to chew through, because I had done zero full-time mobile work and felt like I had totally just backed my way into this. But my boss and colleagues aren't stupid; they are good at spotting lovely developers, so I can't insult their judgment.

If you want to go into mobile, I would definitely recommend starting in iOS versus Android. Some of the tooling sucks (I don't like Xcode, but I dislike Eclipse and IntelliJ more) but like Dr 666 says, you'll have a lot less surprises in terms of little elements of sub-surface brokenness in Android. Now that we've pretty much shipped our major iOS release, I've hopped over onto the Android side and I am honestly regretting having told my boss that I was cool with that. Making a big app that people actually would want to use just seems a lot less headache-inducing in iOS.


Doctor w-rw-rw- posted:

I was just looking for a thread like this, thanks! I'm being considered for a senior software engineering position, but I've got to ask: What does it mean to be a senior software engineer? I'm comfortable with my skills, but I know there's more to it than that. Any veterans care to chime in?

I think this really does differ between organizations. At my last job, a senior software engineer was one who was primarily a mentor. We had a lot of really green fresh out of college kids on the team and you were expected to pair with them so they learn and have someone to bounce ideas off of. At this job, there's probably a dozen people on my team and I think all but two of us are senior developers, so there's no mentoring really going on. The expectation there is you're supposed to have honed your ability to analyze a larger problem, solve it on your own, and be able to cogently justify your decision.

kitten smoothie fucked around with this message at Feb 8, 2014 around 06:08

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kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



We've basically just determined that there's about a dozen devices we really care about and we'll use for our automated test suite, mainly recent Samsung, HTC One, Galaxy Nexus/N4/N5, and recent Moto. For devices not on that list, then API 15 or GTFO. That's made my life easier.

When I say I regretted going into Android I think I can really boil it down to that I do not like developing in Java. My prior experience with my day job was in Perl and Ruby primarily so I just have developed a negative reaction to seeing all the boilerplate necessary to make things happen in Java. I find all the fluff distracting when trying to read code, and I hate having to write it all, and I just think it's a testament to that fact that IDEs will attempt to fill in what boilerplate it can for you. I also really, really miss blocks and GCD.

That having been said I've found that iOS has its own share of rough edges, especially in iOS 7. I can grep through our codebase for "rdar" and find plenty of places where we are doing workarounds for iOS bugs. You just don't have to deal with them as long because people upgrade faster.

But maybe that all belongs in a "share your mobile dev war stories" thread.


Doctor w-rw-rw- posted:

Wearables aside, what do you see as big opportunities in the industry? Mobile payments has already had a couple of years to reach a critical mass and a glut of companies jumping into the space make it unappealing to jump into, and the incumbent players in hardware are going to benefit from scale and tend to push out competition with price and distribution.

What kind of software is going to be important in the next five years that hasn't yet been made (or hasn't yet reached maturity)?

I think the health tracking space is going to be really, really big, and this is why I believe the rumors of Apple getting into this. You've got an aging baby boomer population carrying iPhones, they have money, and their doctors are telling them they need to keep a closer eye on their health.

Counting steps is great and the trackers we have now are pretty revolutionary in terms of helping people keep tabs on their lives, but that's only barely scratching the surface. I think we're going to see software that will provide people a tighter loop between what they eat, what they do, and how their biometric info reacts.

Obviously this ties back into wearables, too, though, and those nifty wearable sensors for things like blood sugar and the like. It's a huge market opportunity that in TYOOL 2014 diabetes patients still need to prick their finger and look at a device with an LCD numeric readout, and pretty much apply some heuristic to that to decide how to go about their day.

Also as much as I left bioinformatics to go into the mobile world, that's still a huge space that will only get more important. At this point the sequencing technology is starting to get really commoditized, at least in terms of a box where you put in DNA in on one end and get a 350GB file with 30x sequence coverage on the other. The analysis of that data, however, is still pretty greenfield. There still has yet to be a clinical analogue to 23andMe for whole genome sequencing where a doctor could send in a tumor biopsy or a data file for that tumor genome, get back a list of possible genes involved, and correlate it with a list of possible drugs that target expression of those genes.

At some stage in the future we'll basically move toward a desktop analysis suite where a hospital lab can sequence a patient like they do bloodwork now, and then the doctor can run the analysis on the cloud and get back actionable results.

kitten smoothie fucked around with this message at Feb 8, 2014 around 19:01

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Yeah, I'd see if you can't buy yourself some space back with two columns on the expertise section at the very least, so as to get everything on one page.

Publications might be something I'd consider striking too. It's great street cred in academia but in industry it's something you can just bring up in an interview conversation.

Also I always can't help but at "taint tracking."

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



I think what looks weird about it being two pages now is that the second page is nearly blank.

You could either strike unnecessary stuff and better manage space to get it to one page, or flesh it out to use more of the second page.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



You've got to have a pretty amazing job on deck if you expect me to burn a week of my vacation time to come into work a week for someone else.

For roles on my team (mobile development), we do a small "build a toy app that does X" problem that we send out after the initial phone screen with HR. We do not explicitly timebox it in any way other than that we ask that it gets sent back within 24 hours. The recruiter works with the candidate to set a convenient time to send over the problem and start the clock. They'll usually give you more time if you ask.

The problem really is pretty simple and if you're even minimally qualified to the job then you're probably finishing this in a couple hours tops. The requisition calls for senior engineers with 2 years' iOS experience. Without sharing too much, the test basically just makes sure you can crack open Xcode and write something that's maybe a little bit beyond hello world.

We get a lot of submissions that do not perform the task as specified, crash instead, or just outright don't compile. So in that regard it acts as a high-pass filter to keep everyone from wasting their time interviewing unqualified folks in-person.

The people we've recently hired have also been really sharp people who have been great to work with. I do wonder if more good people were turned off by the "there will be a test" aspect of things and maybe we'd have been able to fill those positions quicker.

I went through this when I hired on last year and I didn't have a problem with it. My personal viewpoint was that I had nothing to lose by having them send me the test and looking it over. If it was reasonable, then awesome, I'll do it and send it back. If it turned out to be something ludicrous then I can just politely thank them for their time and walk away. Neither of us owes each other anything, and that holds true until offers are extended and signed.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Dear recruiter: I didn't respond to you when you emailed me at work the first, second, or third time. I am baffled as to why you think emailing me at work a fourth time will result in a different outcome, and why you think it's a good idea to hire the sort of person who thinks it's a good idea to use work email to correspond about leaving their job.

Does emailing people at work actually generate actionable leads and responses? Is it the same thing as selling dick pills via spam, that you'll annoy 99.99% of people and they'll trash your message, but the .01% of idiots that respond will make it all worth the trouble?

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



sarehu posted:

For example the place I worked at didn't know that CA law requires paying out accrued vacation time when the employee leaves

They probably also didn't know it needs to be accounted for as a liability on the books, either, because in CA accrued vacation time represents earned, yet unpaid, compensation.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Good remote job boards? Specifically for mobile jobs? I see SO careers has openings tagged as such, curious what others might be out there.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



WHERE MY HAT IS AT posted:

Ask them to pay for a coworking space in your city? They tend to be reasonably cheap, especially for a single person.

Good idea. My company does this, it works out pretty nice. The few hundred bucks a month for a small office in a shared space is still a pretty minimal dollar amount compared to an engineer's salary.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



mortarr posted:

Not so hypothetical question... You're being interviewed for a job where an ex-colleague of yours and of the interviewers once worked. The ex-colleague left the place you're interviewing at on ok terms, but left your current work follwing conflict with the team and subsequent HR process.

The interviewers aren't aware of this, and ask how their old workmate is doing and what he's up to. How do you respond without coming off like a dickhead and sabotaging your interview?


I think I lost a job because of some offhand commend I made in that situation, after the interview was finished. I'd be interested to hear anyone elses approach.

"S/He has moved on from there, I haven't heard from him/her in a while" (if that part is the truth).

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Sorry if this belongs in an E/N thread.

My team is understaffed at the moment and has been, well, since my team was formed 8 months ago. We were a small skunkworks project that they decided to productize but not throw lots of resources at. Engineering leadership at the company is unwilling to hire to solve this problem. Even if they were it'd be moot on the short-to-mid-term; it took us six months to find someone competent and qualified last time we tried hiring.

I'm getting burned the gently caress out and feeling completely checked out at work. I definitely feel it's time to GTFO and find a new job.

I also have some weird feeling of duty to my remaining teammates because they'll be screwed even further if I leave. This combined with a healthy helping of impostor syndrome is keeping me from aggressively looking for a new job.

Maybe I just need someone else to tell me I don't owe anyone poo poo but myself, and then I'll internalize it.

But also I'm curious how you deal with developer burnout because I'm going to still have to work here until I get around to finding a new job.

kitten smoothie fucked around with this message at Mar 25, 2015 around 20:39

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Thanks for all the posts, folks. I definitely agree I'm letting myself get way more personally invested into the success than I should. I really need to follow the lead of a colleague of mine. Unless there's an absolute business burning problem (which probably is defined as the building on fire, since I've never seen him stay late), he's out the door at 5 and on the 5:15 train home every day.

He's been in the game for 20 years, compared to my 10. If I expect to make it to 20 years in this industry without a catastrophic failure of my mental and physical health I had better quit caring so much.

I did actually like the job and found it to be fairly low stress/rewarding. It's the last six months or so and upper management changes + expectations that have happened during that time that have been putting me over the edge.

Edit: this just came across my Twitter timeline

https://twitter.com/nickstenning/st...697408448958464

kitten smoothie fucked around with this message at Mar 26, 2015 around 17:30

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



minato posted:

Well, that's the theory. In practice, there's lots of ways to do Agile wrong and screw this up

Yeah. My team basically works on this awful combination of agile and waterfall. We've got the feature roadmap set up, already broken down into user stories by our product designer. We focus on the stories, what can be delivered in an iteration, and at the end we release it internally for dogfood. If it didn't blow up then we ship it to our customers the following week. Every two weeks, we're putting new features in our customers' hands. Yay!

The problem though comes in that the roadmap is defined basically as "these are the features that the business demands to have implemented absolutely by some date D" Of course engineers are awful at estimating two or three months out. Oh, yeah, we can hit that. And since this edict came from on high, it's not like we can really say no anyway.

So we work on our sustainable pace for a while. Then we get to the last iteration or two before the deadline. Crunch time!

The thing about working to arbitrary dates like this is that it turns priorities and incentives completely wrong. There is a large penalty for failing to deliver or slipping the date. The penalty for bugs found after release is far lower. So when crunch time hits, everyone starts trying to shovel features in as quickly as they can. QA gets just as sloppy on testing. We end up delivering a worse product and we're all stressed out, but hey, it's on time!

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Seems like at least at the bigger companies, internal recruiters either often are contractors or it's a high turnover line of work anyway.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Hughlander posted:

Accept LinkedIn request then go silent.

Do people accept LinkedIn friend requests from recruiters in general? I've always ignored them because I figured it was just a way for them to dig through my network for leads for free.

Among those I know, it seems people are pretty polarized on this, I know folks who will accept every recruiter who sends a request, and others who will ignore 100% of the time.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Don't focus so much on recruiters, get out in front of other engineers who can refer you into open positions at their workplaces. Hit up local meetups/conferences and get to know people.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



I too work remote, my team is mostly in the Bay Area but we've got about 6 or 7 remotes. I'll basically echo the positive and the negative things. I generally love it though.

bonds0097 posted:

I would say that you should only work in a fully or mostly remote team so that everyone's in the same boat. Also, unless your team uses some creepy collaboration software where you all have cameras and mics trained on you all day, your level of social interaction with coworkers will necessarily be less than if you worked in an office. You'll possibly need to seek out social outlets outside of work more so than you would have before.

My first observation upon going to the office was that they seriously limit the amount of work conversations that don't go in chat, video call, or our message board. It's like everything goes on over chat until lunchtime when someone stands up and says "hey let's eat." Even if you have a question for the person next to you it goes in chat. While that's generally a courtesy to keep people from getting knocked out of the zone, it also limits out-of-band work communication and makes it easier for those who aren't in the room.

I set up in a coworking space a day or two a week and that has helped with the social/human aspect of work quite a bit. It also helps me get into a mindset of "going to work" even if I'm not going to a company office.

bonds0097 posted:

Personally, I'm never going back to an office.

Yup.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



down with slavery posted:

What does your office layout look like? This is one of the reasons I *really* hate open office layouts.

My company's actual offices are the standard open office layout with probably 15-20 desks in a room. But people work from home somewhat often rather than ride Caltrain, and on any given day half the desks are unoccupied. Conference rooms around the edges. None are of the "unscheduled" variety for moving ad-hoc meetings out of the main room, but there's usually a room you can grab for 15-30 mins somewhere. The conference rooms all have video linkups, and as a remote I can warp into any conference room from my laptop or iPad and participate in such an ad-hoc meeting.

Anything at all is better than a past open-office situation I was in. We had about 30 people in a room, with three unrelated functional teams collocated in it. Rather than sit people working together near one another, they let people homestead the desks with the order determined by # of months of seniority. So the lifers chose the desks where nobody would see them slack off and everyone else just filled in the gaps. No breakout meeting rooms located off the "bullpen." No chat or other communication mechanism beyond using your voice.

Since your work most likely had jack squat to do with the people next to you, you'd have to go over to someone else's desk to ask a question. And if someone came over to your deskmate you were guaranteed you'd be knocked out of the zone with something completely irrelevant to you. Typically there were always two or three conversations going on in the room at a time like this. In order to be heard, people would unconsciously speak louder in an vocal arms race that eventually led to near-shouting. If I wanted to get any actual work done, I was escaping up the street to a coffee shop with free wifi.

I think if I were to work in an actual office, my optimal solution would be a semi-private office shared with one or two teammates. Enough social interaction and being able to whiteboard problems together, but at the same time we can go heads-down and ignore one another. Remote feels like the next best thing though.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Vulture Culture posted:

I have strong feelings on stack ranking regardless of what a handful of companies are pulling from Jack Welch's experiences running GE in the eighties.

I'm sure it works great if you, like Jack Welch, started running a company which had accumulated 100,000+ employees worth of dead weight over decades.

But I have a hard time thinking these conditions exist at any modern tech company with a high hiring bar.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Skandranon posted:

I suppose it works fine if your "percent who suck" metric is accurate, and evenly spread through the company. It doesn't take long to start cannibalizing your good people and turning them against each other though.

Yeah, the instant you staff a team entirely with A-players because you want the project to succeed, you're just some TV cameras short of Survivor XVII: Silicon Valley.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Dearest Bay Area techies:

I want to be comfortable during an all day interview loop. Am I going to be underdressed wearing nice slim fit jeans and a button down? Maybe throw on a jacket? That seems to pass for business formal in Palo Alto as far as I've seen.

My phone screen was over Skype with a company VP and he was wearing a hoodie so that's kind of my baseline for the office.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Had a good interview yesterday, and the hiring manager at the end of the day basically asked how I felt about the place and what kind of convincing I'd need to join up. So I'm going to take that as a good sign.

Hopefully I can get out of this burnout-inducing project soon. In the last six weeks, 5 people on my team have turned in their notice. The wheels are coming off the bus fast.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Latest in my burnout saga: signed an offer and turned in my two weeks today. I'm #7 to bail out from my team in the last two months.

Got out from under a toxic project, nice pay bump, I get to work on a high profile app that'll be awesome for me career-wise, and I still get to work remote. Can't lose.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Doctor w-rw-rw- posted:

Congrats! Any more details?

Forgive me for being intentionally vague, I don't know who's reading this. I'll be working on an Android app for a company that's a household name. Not any Silicon Valley darling company, but it's still probably better than even odds you're a customer, even if you don't have the app.

Millions of installs, but minSdkVersion 18 Their demographic is such that they're able to get away with this -- they found that their customers are typically the type of people who upgrade their phones every 2 years on the dot.

After some soul-searching I concluded I'm totally ok doing Android development work, and I am definitely ok with the paycheck that comes with being a competent Android developer. I'm just not cool with toxic work that happens to be Android development.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



I mainly meant mobile developers in general when I said that. Supply and demand. It took us six months last year to fill an open req for my team, and we'd take either iOS or Android since we needed both. We had that req open in three different cities, even. Plenty of applicants flowed in, but the majority failed the initial screens.

That having been said, my technical interview for this position consisted of a few softball whiteboard questions, and then the remainder was a lot of casual bullshitting about Android's idiosyncrasies and cursing Samsung's name.

So there's probably at least some specific salary determinant in being an Android developer, just because of the trial by fire that you'll have gone through if you shipped an Android app of any significant size.

kitten smoothie fucked around with this message at Jun 27, 2015 around 14:19

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



A past job did 22/year plus 1 bankable sick day accrued per month. Job before that, I had 20 days of catchall PTO. Considering I worked remote from home at that job, if I was sick I'd phone it in from bed and not burn a sick day.

One thing that really sucked was a company I was poking around at last year. 10 days, with 20 beginning the calendar year following your 2nd hire anniversary. They were prorated based on hire date otherwise. So if you hypothetically hired on tomorrow, you'd get 5 days in 2015, 10 days in 2016/2017, and you wouldn't see 20 until 2018. I didn't want to pursue the company further for other reasons, but if I had actually wanted to go forward with them I would have aggressively negotiated to get grandfathered into the 20-day tier from day 1 and told them to gently caress off otherwise.

The company I'm leaving does "unlimited" vacation and it is a goddamned scam because you aren't "entitled" to anything. Any time you ask for a day off it's the businesses' requirements over yours. Screw those policies, which are intended just to make the books good (due to California labor law) at the expense of the employees.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



I can't find a link now but I read a great blog post recently that discussed unlimited vacation. The author put forth a thought experiment where you had an "unlimited" salary -- need money for rent or groceries or whatever, just send in the receipt and expense it. Of course every charge you run up has to be approved by your boss. If you're using "too much" salary (by some metric that varies from manager to manager within your company), you might wind up in hot water.

Sounds like lunacy, but that's exactly how unlimited vacation works. Vacation is part of your comp package, and you should get what's coming to you.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Xerophyte posted:

I realize that this goes both ways but, man, american labor laws are weird. You can pry the 10 public holidays and 25 vacation days mandated by law from my cold, dead, socialist nanny-state hands.

Funny thing is that it's really an unfortunate and unintended side-effect from a labor law that favors workers. In the state of California (and about half the remaining states too) your accrued but unused vacation time is a liability on the books. It's earned compensation that just hasn't been paid out to you. And they have to cash you out if you quit. If they give you a raise, now that liability just goes up because so did the value of a day's pay.

In other states, accrued vacation is not earned compensation, it's just treated as an agreement between you and the company that they'll still pay you for N days if you don't come into work.

So in the last 5 years there's been this flood of companies starting with open vacation, or moving to open vacation policies, where they basically just declare a cutoff day, cash people out, and go to open vacation. It's a loophole into making vacation an "agreement." And I especially imagine if you're a venture backed startup your board is going to force you into running such a policy, because losing an employee could otherwise impact your cash position.

It pissed a lot of people off at my company because the non-CA offices were all in states where vacation is imaginary. So on conversion day those employees accordingly got imaginary payments for their accruals.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



What does disparagement even mean? Do both of these statements, at either end of the spectrum of extremity, fall under that?

A) "I left my job because the engineering team had frustrating communication issues"
B) "The team was hostile, their product is expensive trash, their customers are stupid for buying it, and their CEO cruises mens' rooms in the park late at night*."

*Assuming that the CEO actually does do that, or else it's libel/slander and you're legally liable anyway for that, disparagement clause or not.

I would feel like B would, A seems like simply a statement of neutral fact. But I don't think I'd sign off on such a clause because I'm sure that the company's general counsel would not agree on that.

kitten smoothie fucked around with this message at Jul 6, 2015 around 15:13

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Munkeymon posted:

I've accepted a job at a consulting firm. They do full team projects and staff augmentation on contracts generally shorter than a year. Any advice? I'm going to update my business casual wardrobe and make a kit that fits in a messenger bag that'll hold the poo poo I normally keep at my desk like a thermos, tea and snacks, but that's as far ahead as I've planned.

Are you traveling to client sites, or working locally? If you're traveling hit up the business travel thread in BFC. Between all the complaining about how lovely the airline industry has gotten, there is very good advice about how to stay sane and not gain 50 pounds while traveling weekly on business.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Flew out to the office for a week to start the new gig in person, before going remote.

I haven't had a remote job before where they sent me home with a remote access appliance. It's preconfigured to broadcast the same wifi network as in an office and tunnel it straight through.

Nice that I don't need to deal with flaky VPN clients

Past job had a VPN client that would randomly screw with your routing table and network config and basically require a reboot to fix. They switched to a different vendor, whose client didn't jank your routing table, but it crashes if you have more than one monitor connected.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



I wouldn't sweat the title if the money is good. I've been hired in as both "senior engineer" and just plain "engineer." Each move came with a pay bump; my current title is just "engineer" but I'm making almost double the money as I was as a "senior engineer" a couple years ago.

In a past job I got sort of screwed by getting a promotion from "engineer" to "senior engineer." That came with a raise, but the problem was that I was not maxed out at the pay range for the regular engineer title (and my new salary as a senior engineer was still lower than the top of the engineer range). With a more senior title, there were organizational rules regarding tenure and whatever else that made it more difficult to secure a raise later on down the line. The next time around, my boss had to fight with HR for months to get me a raise. Had they moved me up the pay scale for my existing title, we would've had an easier time.

I don't know what MBA program you'd be looking at applying to, but any good one is going to have you write application essays and do an in person interview to discuss your background. That's a good opportunity to actually talk about what you've been doing in your career, rather than strictly on what job titles you've had.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



When I applied to my current job, the dates on my resume were completely jacked (like some formatting mishap in Word completely scrambled that column in the table and I didn't catch it).

I only found this out after I got an offer, and I looked over my resume one last time before sending it over to their third party background check service.

I let the hiring manager know just to be sure; he didn't care, and of the ten people or so who looked at my resume, nobody noticed the dates were glaringly messed up.

So my anecdotal evidence suggests nobody even looks at the dates, let alone cares about a few month gap.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Does anyone experienced go to hackathons? Or really, is it the sort of thing that anyone over 30 is going to feel welcome at? There's an event going on in my city soon and the organizer has been putting the full court press on me to attend.

I'm really split on whether to go or not. I categorically refuse to bring a sleeping bag and code into the night because that's goddamned stupid, so I wonder if that's going to be a dealbreaker.

Realistically, if I have to share a $30K prize with a team of potentially 10 people, and there's 10-15 teams, that puts the expected value of my share of the prize down below what I could bill if I just worked freelance for the same time period.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



This event's previous incarnations made the winners sign over their rights to the project in exchange for the prize money; this time around it's more community/open data focused and the conditions apparently are simply that you have to open source what you make. They've got a bunch of civic booster groups ponying up the prize money this time, instead of previously where they had some corporate sponsor basically use the thing for free consulting hours. That at least seems like an improvement.

I have zero compunction about showing up, seeing what the deal is, and walking away at the outset if it looks like it sucks.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Since I work remote I feel like I don't have a whole lot of good ways to stay connected with the local developer community where I live, so I wound up pulling the trigger and signing up.

If nothing else it'll help me identify more of who in the community is cool and who's a jerk.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



"Hey, I'm going to be out from X to Y on Thursday."

With maybe a "I'll catch up on anything I missed later tonight, so if you've got anything in particular me, just shoot me a mail."

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Hackathon trip report: would have been better off skipping the event altogether, and just having a dinner and beers out with my would-be teammates.

The assigned challenge was way too narrow, so it came down to 45 teams basically building the exact same thing. Very little way to differentiate yourself into a winning project.

Was good to meet some local developers but at the same time I feel like I pissed away an absolutely gorgeous fall weekend.

I'm not going to do one of these things again.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Yeah, the organizing group's tag line was "the worlds best hackathons," which in hindsight kind of reads like "the world's best asbestos."

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kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



Cryolite posted:

If you're a software developer with a few years of experience and claim to be a lead developer at your current position, should you send a thank you e-mail after an interview?

I had an interview this past Friday at a company I think I'd actually like to work for. It's a strange feeling. I'm not sure if I should sent a thank you note or not. It seems like such an outmoded concept, but I feel like I've forgotten how to actually try hard to get a job someplace so I have no idea if this is a good or idea or not.

I think it's not a bad idea at all to send a real quick "hey $MANAGER, was great speaking with you on $DATE, look forward to hearing more from you" email the following business day. It's a nice touch. You don't need to go all Emily Post or anything, just two or three sentences.

The last two times I've done this, they responded within an hour with with something along the lines of "we enjoyed talking with you too; HR is already writing the offer as we speak, so hang tight." So the email wasn't what got me the job, but it was a nice polite thank you, and also a good oblique way to find out sooner that they were getting an offer out.

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