Friday, October 26, 2007

Drone For Hire

I recently took some advice and spent $30 of my hard earned cash. Yep. I wrote the dreaded resume and posted it on and paid for an "executive job board posting" . It took the better part of a day and then another 4 hours to re-write the total pile of crap that I first posted.

I haven't interviewed for a real job in almost a decade. I haven't "submitted my resume" to anyone since some graphic designer at an ad firm was nice enough to forward the pile of slog I had pasted together to a real tech company that jumped at the chance to hire me without pay for my first job.

Wow. What a couple of days.

The things I learned while testing the waters....

1. Wildly Complicated Platforms are being developed in NYC
Damn, I think I want to get into the "Trading Platform" business. Not for the money or the absurd hours I'm sure I'd be committing to it, but for the cool array of technologies that these folks seem to come up with. I want in.

2. Enterprise Software Development is still a "check the box" exercise
This was probably most distressing. The number of new software projects that were still touting J2EE and the like. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but... well... C'mon. Does any corporation use PHP, ROR or (egads) Python?

3. Recruiters are your friend.
At least they're you best friend right now. Recruiters are sure a lot nicer than they were when I was 21 and sweeping floors to make rent with 12 typos in my resume and a $95 from the Mens Wearhouse. Amazing what 11 years experience at a decent hourly can do for you.

4. There's a real limited number of smart people on the market
....And hiring the right one for your company is still a crap-shoot. Because hiring someone that's really bright can still be a complete waste of time if they don't fit in. I found hundreds of jobs I could do and would completely suck at at places where I would make the air unbreathable.

So... No smart folks... Hard to fit people into an organization... I say hold on tight with both hands to the people in your company that kick ass. Pay 'em more than the crowd and promote them into custom positions that keep them doing whatever they're doing.

5. There's a lot of smart people in the market
It's amazing the quality of resumes that are floating around now as compared to 10 years ago. You're competing for gigs all over the world with people from all over the world. Thank the good flying-spaghetti-monster that the dollar's in the tank (at least for this). Keep your skills sharp. then stay up all night making them a little better. Some Peruvian sheep herder with a laptop just wrote a great jQuery plugin... and is willing to work for about a quarter of your grandma's social security check.

6. Career Management By the Numbers
I talked to 10 people. They all asked the same questions. I realized you're way behind if you don't do these simple things.

a. Get your LinkedIn page spic-and-span. Get someone other than your mother to write a recommendation too. Everyone is going to read it.

b. Get your Blog up to date (hence this note). Everyone is looking for what you're really like.

c. Get a pro to critique your garbage-in-garbage-out CV. The 15 minutes you spend on the blower will make you look like an all star.

d. If you don't need a job and have plenty of money and love where you are then take a day as write a resume and post it, you moron. It's brilliant. And fun. And I met some really interesting people (I swear). It's by far the best use of a day and a half I've had since I

e. Get Back to Work!
You lazy freak. And stop playing with Google Reader and Del.icio.us too. Write something tiny. Anything... and open-source it. You'll look like a champ.

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