Fellow WP blogger Mr. Angry has an excellent post on bridging the gap between the business wants and technological realities. The best products always come from people who are passionately working on something they will actually use, but that doesn’t put food in the fridge. Instead we’re left with two different camps — the People Who Know the Problem and People Who Can Solve the Problem. They speak different languages, and the act of translating is fraught with danger, frustration and attempted murder charges. Mr. Angry gives the following 5 steps:
- Play dumb and treat the person you disagree with as an expert (Socratic Irony). Eventually, they’ll talk themselves into a corner.
- Clearly articulate the central problem you’re trying to solve before trying to solve it.
- Avoid analysis paralysis. The right amount is however much it takes to execute the project successfully – don’t stop too soon and don’t go on too long.
- Articulate what is going to be delivered in a way that’s clear enough for the business side to understand yet precise enough for the development side to deliver on.
- Don’t let emotions rule when confronted by ignorance. Walking away is always the right response no matter how satisfying you think it might be to strangle them.
This post is by a guest blogger.
This is my first guest column by friend and fellow blogger AJ Valliant. AJ is a regular writer at Beats Entropy. I wasn’t expecting something of this quality, and I’m sure you will enjoy it.
In an inexplicably poor lapse of judgment (ET — one of many), engtech has recruited me to write a column relating my experience as a former arts student trying to make a living in the cold, heartless and geeky IT world. I can only assume this is a misplaced gesture of friendship, or some repressed blogocidal urge; either way I agreed and will attempt to drop some knowledge. I do internal technical support and problem co-ordination for one of the largest corporations in the world with no background other than a B.A. in psychology.
It looks like Cambrian House is doing pretty well with their concept of Crowded-source Software. They already have several products developed.
One of the products is an online computer to computer fighting game called Gwabs. I’m impressed with how rapidly they go from idea to development. I decided to spend the $9.95 and support them (hey, they gave me an X-Box and a t-shirt). The pre-order deal looks pretty good, as it gives you an unlimited free play account, plus a pimp cane. Talk about knowing your demographic.
After the break, a trailer of the game in action.
TechCrunch, a notable blog about start-ups, has created a forum for high tech job postings. It’s targetted towards software / web2.0 start-ups, as you can see from the categories: Admin/Office, Design, Executive, Other, Product, Programming, Sales/Marketing, Venture Capital.
They’re charging companies $200 to post a job listing. It’ll be interesting to see if this takes off, as it is missing key features like sorting by location, search inside postings, etc. The $200 fee to post should guarantee quality posts. Being part of the “CrunchNetwork” should guarantee it enough page views to be worth the posting fee.
At the moment there is only one non-California job posted by a company in New Zealand.
I think perhaps they launched the announcement too soon. It is functional but it is missing many key features to even get listed with the competition, not to mention differentiate itself from them. As one of the commenters on the TechCrunch announcement said: “It’s 2006!”.
It looks like there’s a pretty slick web app on the market at emurse.com.
The blog looks like it’s under active development and the feature list looks complete:
- Create resumes using expert advice and an easy to use builder
- Style your resumes and download in DOC, PDF, RTF, ODT, HTML or Text
- Manage multiple resumes.
- Make changes simply and easily.
- Send your resume out via email, fax or ground.
- Track where you’ve sent each resume, online or off.
- Stay on top with reminders, updates and thank you notes.
- Create a resume webpage, http://yourname.emurse.com
- Create resume sharing groups with friends and co-workers
There’s no indication of a usage fee, so enjoy it while the enjoying is good. This is a market space where even a piss poor application seems to turn a buck.
This is an interesting article on blogs from the point of view of people who are interviewing candidates. They talk about how blogs can be easily found by doing a search on the candidates name and how some candidates clearly mention their blog in their resume.
While the article doesn’t go into any true detail, it does cover some salient points like:
- how blogging gives interviewers more information of a personal nature then they would normally have during a job interview
- how the focus of the blog may skew their opinion of the candidates’ experience and/or interests
- how even if the blog is sanitary when talking about previous workplaces, co-workers and dirty laundry that there is the implied risk that may not always be the case
- how there is an underlying suspicion that time will be wasted maintaining their blog instead of working
The overall gist is that interviewers feel that having a blog at all is a negative on a candidate’s application.
Chronicle Careers: 7/8/2005: Bloggers Need Not Apply
- Posts tagged with Dooced
- Dooced: To get fired because of blogging about your company
When going on job interviews, keep in mind that if it is on your resume, then they will ask you questions about it. Have a friend with a similar technical background take a superficial glance at your resume and say what stands out. During the interview process you will most likely have someone who is only glancing at it and will only ask the questions that most readily jump out.
The corollary to this is that if you are listing your achievements based on perceived importance rather than chronological order, then they you will get asked questions about something that was not fresh in your mind. Either be prepared by reviewing these older achievements, or by gracefully redirecting the question to a more recent projects (which might be unlikely to happen in a nervous situation).
Another common theme is that they are going to ask you questions from 10,000 feet. On large projects where you may know the specifics of one area very well, they will ask you overall questions where you had better be prepared to say something to explain the general and work the way down to the narrow features you are comfortable with. Keep in mind that when you are being interviewed by someone, the focus of their interview will most likely be on the areas THEY are comfortable with, not the areas that you are comfortable with.
If you are going through a cyclical interview process you may start with a technical interview with someone in a similar position and then work your way up the hierarchy of command. As you move up each level, the questions will be more general and you have to be prepared to discuss things at a higher level than what may be specifically required for your job position.
Some questions for ASIC Verification positions that have thrown me for a loop because I wasn't prepared:
- Describe the interfaces on project X? Have to explain it from a systems point of view.
- What process geometry did you use with your last project? Have to understand the big picture and the general flow of semiconductor manufacturing.
- What fab did your company use with your last project?
- If the company is a start up, be prepared to answer some questions about why you want to work for them.