Thursday, January 16, 2014

"New Jersey" Recruiter Strikes Back

Some pisspot with a thick accent apparently calling from NJ [favourite DID termination for offshored agencies] calls my Canadian recruiter line [not protected with the usual anti-recruiter spells & enchantments] and says that he's got an opportunity [they always call it that] in San Diego, CA with Q*alcomm.

So I started to reel the usual info out of the dunderhead: salary? "80 thousand a year is the budget". Status? "f/t".

Right after my name the masthead of my Resume has spelled in big bold block red letters in the language known as English the warning "only call for contracts". I tried to keep it as simple as messages found in airplanes or subway carriages. Also my Resume on Monster.ca carries in the masthead the message "do not call for US jobs". Hmm.

I should have cursed the heaten at this point but I just hanged up. Must apply enchantments to my Canadian line if calls come from outside Canada but my VoIP provider is too thick to provide such a filter.

-ulianov

Friday, January 3, 2014

Ode to a Failed Perl Interview

I've been put in touch with S*mantec network ops by a nice local agency and they set me up for a phone interview for today (very considerate of the agency as I had no wish to trek around the metropolis to Markham for a screening).

The interview was geared around support of network monitoring systems in a network ops environment. The have mountains of Perl code that need maintaining/fixing and that was cool. All well except at the end I queried them about how much Python they want and they said perhaps & possibly a lot and that was the end of it as that's a "P"-word for me (Python).

The other steps that I did not take were solving a non-trivial problem in Perl and a face-to-face with the team.

This is a comical situation: they have a pressing need for a Perl guru (which are not as easy to find as people may think) to keep their code base alive and they go thru a lot of trouble to probe a candidate's Perl knowledge yet they forfeit that for a nebulous future need of a Python minion.

-ulianov

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Låb 126 is on the Prowl Again

I got an e-mail from J.P. of Låb 126 which ran (honey side up):
My name is J.P.and I work for Låb 126. If you’re not familiar with us, Låb 126 is a wholly owned R&D subsidiary of Amazon located in Silicon Valley. We design and engineer high-profile, portable, hand-held consumer electronics products, including the hugely successful line of Kindle eReaders and HD tablets.

I read a little about your work and extensive technical background, specifically your deep expertise with embedded systems, Linux kernel programming, ARM architecture, and divers SW development experience. I have a couple of development teams that would like to speak with you about some very interesting engineering opportunities here at our R&D site in Cupertino and Sunnyvale, CA. We're selectively looking for highly talented engineers to join our design and development teams working on both existing and next generation products, as well as number of "stealth projects" in emerging technologies that we feel will be "game changers" and soon be seen and used by millions of people.

In fairness he actually looked at my Resume however he did not put forth a job description or spoke of the the-what-that-corporate-recruiters-do-not-name ($$).

Having interviewed with this outfit before and having wasted my time on boring-to-tears whiteboard exercises [they did not bother to make it interesting] I kind of snapped at him:

Has Låb 126's interviewing style improved since my last in 2008? [...] As recall it the interview was dreary. [...] I have a strong preference for recruiters who come forth with a job description as the conversation has a subject. I do not like to discuss vague opportunities.
Not all battles are to be won, eh?

-ulianov

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Yet another "Dumb‭šhit Can‭‭ådian Agency™"

Got a call yesterday from a local agency about a TFS/build automation contract. This is a one-liner in a 700-line Resume and something I've done after getting drafted. [Mistake corrected, changed document to read "TFŠ".]

Being that the contract is local I engaged the recruiter. All went well, client wants a phone interview [3-cheers!] but after that the recruiter wants me to go to the HQ of the Agency so they get to know me. The said HQ is quite far and I have no wish to waste 1/2 day to see their faces but she insists on being their procedure.

She was shocked, shocked, shocked when I told her flatly that I won't move my carcass to Vaughan to make their acquaintance.

-ulianov

On hiding things in plain sight from "Control-F Recruiters™"

Lately I've been called by recruiters who ControlEffed and latched on small/unimportant/unsavoury bits of work from my past.

So I've been going to great lengths to disguise the baggage -- I have morphed the skills into:

  • Andrōid [they think I do mobile apps when I've done kernel/NDK stuff],
  • ÄS/400 [spawn of Sātan],
  • Javā [I only care about the emebbed/runtime side of it, they want EE Struts/Hibernate sh*t],
  • PĤP,
  • M$ TFŠ [the other spawn of Satān]
If they actually read the document with their own eyes they will find the stuff otherwise automated searching be dāmned. -ulianov

Monday, January 7, 2013

No Go with Pukes in Concord, ON

Today I have just passed a 12-month contract in Concord (which is on the bad side of Toronto traffic-wise). The contract was Embedded Linux but for some weird reasons they also wanted some W1nd0ws development [an idea I do not quite entertain]. The recruiter was professional but the pukes (aka. her client) wanted candidates to go in and sit a test. I.e. waste of half a day.

When will these Canadian pukes get in their heads that senior/competent guys have busy lifes an no time to waste on their HR flighs-of-fancy?

It is true that the amount of half-dimwit and/or straight incompetent developers out there is staggering [and I speak from experience working with them or recruiting them] but a 30-min phone call/interview can probe very well into a candidate's experience and competency. The HR person/hiring manager must then be competent as well which is now always the case.

-ulianov

Encounter with a Flesh & Blood Recruitress

Today at the indoor playground I've met a charming lady who used to be a recruiter. Unlike 90% of recruiters I've dealt with she had received training for this line of work and she was harbouring a few lovely old-school [and largely passé] ideas about her trade:
a) that candidates worth their salt would be marketed by a recruiter;
b) that recruiters keep in touch with former candidates [does happen but only the very best long timers do that];
c) that agencies add up only 10% on top of the candidate's hourly fee or salary [in reality this ranges between 30% and 50%].

-ulianov

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Recruiter Does the Hanky-Panky with my E-mail Verification System

Ria M. of Edison, NJ misspells my name and then hanky-pankies his way around my verification questions. His answers came like so (1st column is his authorisation ticket):
TPgPEU: 24.89.179.91 hav_j=y
TPgPEU: 24.89.179.91 red_r=y
TPgPEU: 24.89.179.91 lnx_j=n
TPgPEU: 24.89.179.91 emb_j=y
TPgPEU: 24.89.179.91 loc_j=y
TPgPEU: 24.89.179.91 msft=n
TPgPEU: 24.89.179.91 loc_a=y
TPgPEU: 24.89.179.91 bad_a=n
TPgPEU: 24.89.179.91 bad_a=n emb_j=y hav_j=y lnx_j=n \
loc_a=y loc_j=y msft=n red_r=y
TPgPEU: 24.89.179.91 lnx_j=y
TPgPEU: 24.89.179.91 bad_a=n emb_j=y hav_j=y lnx_j=y \
loc_a=y loc_j=y msft=n red_r=y
so if he did not succeed at first he tried again...

His sh*tty job ad for a W1nd0ws CE job ran like this:
I saw your resume on dice.com and thought you
might be a good fit for an Embedded Engineer position
in Norwood MA. Would you be interested? I have attached
the job description below for your review.

Position Summary: 5+ Year of Experience
§ Device Driver development experience using Freescale iMX
series processors, preferably iMX53 series.
§ Knowledge of In-circuit Debuggers/Emulators (Lauterbach T32
Power Debug emulator is a Plus)
§ Expertise on Microsoft Windows CE 5.0/6.0/7.0
§ Hands-on experience with Win CE drivers development
§ Must have prior experience with Win CE BSP
§ .NET / C# experience is a Plus
§ Ability to use Oscilloscopes is a Plus
• Medical Device experience is desirable
BTW I put a bit of JS/AJAX code on the on-line form so I get a log entry every time them recruiters click on a button... just so I know what they think ;)

-ulianov

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Tale of Two Pukes

Today I got phone calls from two pukes:

1. a local Torontonian recruiter who wanted to put me into a 3-year 24x7 on-call support contact somewhere in Scarberia [for non-Torontonians: it's some vast badlands where gangs shoot each other every other week in full daylight] [for Vancouverites: it's Surrey but bigger]. She was complaining that my phone screening system prompts her to answer some questions -- of course it does, it's supposed to keep the pukes away.

2. a slick puke from Omaha, Nebraska who dodged my phone screening system pretending he has a job in Texas. He wanted me to take a f/t job doing some C++ boring-stiff stuff in Omaha, Nebraska.

I had to rework the screen to say basically "f/o if you don't have a job where I am willing to go" but phrased in a more obscure and indirect fashion. I hope they can read the subtext.

-ulianov

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Spam Honeypot...

g1mmem0respam@yahoo.com

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Automatic Carpet-Bombing of M0nster address from Spamm^HRecruiter

Merely one hour after I've updated my Monster/US profile [had to fix an e-mail address] I got carpet-bombed from this scumbag from a "genesis10" outfit [excerpt below, I have preserved the text colours for flavour]. The e-mail address I registered with M0nster is unique and differs from the one listed (sligthly obfuscated) in the Resume.

The prick even admits upfront that he's spamming and tells me "need not apply if not qualified".

I can safely assume that there's a cottage-industry of scrapping names of updated profiles from M0nster and selling the info to bottom-of-the-barrel recruiters who do not even bother to read a Resume.

I have blacklisted their domain in my mail server. Also JobDiva are re-affirming their status of confirmed spammers. Have to blacklist this scum as well.
Hello MyName...your resume has been auto-matched in our database as a qualified candidate for an Application Support Analyst permanent position in New York, NY.

This DOES NOT necessarily mean that you are an exact match….

Your resume probably had some key-words which our system picked up on and automatically sent an Email to you for this position. If you are not the right fit, please disregard this message or feel free to share it with someone you may know whom is qualified.


If you feel like you have the right background and technical skills, please respond back with your resume in MSWord format.
-ulianov

A Job Ad From a Spammer!!

I got the ad below indirectly from a buddy. I looked at the company and they call themselves "permission-based e-mail marketing" aka. effing spammers. The copy is well-written tho.

-ulianov
Position: Consultant Software Engineer

About the Opportunity

Our client is looking for talented and creative individuals to join its engineering team and help realize its marketing vision of the future. Successful candidate will work on development of ε e-mail platform, including new features development and extensions and enhancements of existing product. The Consultant Engineer is expected to assume technical leadership responsibilities on assigned projects with minimal guidance from the manager or team lead. The Consultant Engineer will be required to understand and analyze business and product requirements, properly interpret and translate them into technical software requirements, design, implement, document, maintain and support software modules following company software development practices and provide leadership to other engineers. Tremendous opportunity for career growth and personal development in a fast-paced, rewarding environment.

Key Responsibilities/Job Functions:
* Qualified individuals will be able to demonstrate past contribution in all stages of SDLC from conception and design through to delivery.
* Expert technical knowledge and proven software engineering skills in advanced technical languages and tools are a must.
* Candidate must be capable and comfortable operating in a team environment and as an individual. Candidate should be a self-starter and motivated individual who is able to work with minimal guidance and is able to provide guidance to and lead others.
* Must have the ability to serve as a technology consultant and team leader and provide consultation on critical organizational and corporate objectives.
* Must have the ability to provide supporting documentation for implemented solutions and provide necessary support with a sense of urgency for implemented and deployed solutions are required.
* Must have the ability to interact with internal and external customers or represent organization as primary customer contact.
* Ability and desire to learn new technologies and concepts are a must. Strong verbal and written communication skills with a varying degree of technical content are required.
* Must enjoy what you do and have fun while contributing to your team and organization's success!

Required Skills:
* Understanding and experience in engineering activities for all aspects of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
* Advanced understanding and experience with software engineering concepts and best practices
* Expert knowledge and experience in object oriented design and C++ development
* Advanced level experience writing and debugging complex scripts in Perl or other scripting language
* Experience analyzing application resource contention: memory, synchronization, and I/O bounds.
* Experience analyzing end-to-end system performance: finding efficiencies, estimating volume capacities, and extrapolating processing rates.
* Understanding and experience in service oriented architecture designs (SOA)
* Solid knowledge of internet technologies, network protocol, TCP/IP, SMTP
* Ability to perform software engineering tasks for applications in Linux, UNIX, and Windows environments
* Demonstrated expert analytical/problem-solving skills on unusually complex problems
* Ability to provide technical expertise by determining and developing approaches to solutions for a wide range of complex software engineering problems
* Demonstrated good judgment, creativity, and ingenuity in proposed technical solutions
* Ability to anticipate issues and address proactively
* Ability to create and have responsibility for project plans, budgets, and schedules
* Ability to work with minimal guidance/competing priorities
* Ability to complete work, and lead others in, following engineering standards and best practices
* Provide highly innovative, creative solutions to tasks/problems
* Ability to develops new software engineering methods or processes, and re-evaluate existing processes
* Proactively expands breadth of knowledge by developing proficiency outside immediate area of technical expertise.
* Proactively helps develop others by mentoring junior engineers and championing knowledge sharing initiatives
* Excellent interpersonal skills, both written and verbal
* Ability to work collaboratively across functional groups and effectively lead or influence others
* Ability to provide high quality technical documentation
* Strong understanding of overall business environment

Required Qualifications and Experience:
* Bachelor's or Master's Degree in IT or Computer Science/Engineering, or equivalent level of demonstrated knowledge
* 8+ years experience in software engineering, or equivalent level of demonstrated knowledge
* 7+ years of demonstrated working experience with C/C++.
* 7+ years developing sever applications integrated with databases.
* Team leadership experience

Nice-to-Have Skills:
* Experience with agile development methodology
* Experience with Tibco technologies
* Understanding of software and internet security
* Understanding of SMTP and e-mail applications
* Experience in large scale, 24x7, service oriented environment

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Workopolis Ended Up as the SH*TTIEST Job Board

Here I was thinking that C*reerbuilder was the worst job board ever, but no! Workopolis outdid themselves.

It used to be that I could upload my Resume as a Word file and have it decently-formatted on-screen. They introduced an "upgraded" Resume feature which instantly fucks up an existing Resume by "converting" it to their template format.

Uploading Word Resumes nowadays "parses" them into the new format in an aggravating borked manner.

Anyways here's what I've just written to these cretins:
Folks the new and the 'upgraded' Resume stuff is BEEPING braindead. I can no longer upload my Word resume correctly. You have a SEVERELY BROKEN Resume parser which scraps only junk stuff of the Resume.

I am considering DELETING my Workopolis account as Workopolis is now CRAP. Moreover it seems that only bottomfeeder recruiters post job ads on Workopolis nowadays.
-ulianov

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Most Idiotic Question Asked by Recruiters

To me (a contractor) the most irritating thing that can be asked of me is
"Why don't you want to take a f/t (perm) job?"
It's not like I don't spell out clearly at the top of my Resume posted on the job boards:
Please CALL/EMAIL ONLY FOR CONTRACTS.
and I expect moronsrecruiters to be able to read and parse a six-word sentence.

Well, here are some of the reasons I have for not wanting a f/t job ever:
  • In my field of work there's positively no career advancement prospects.
  • Seniority amounts to squat nowadays in a company being that DB pension plans have been replaced by fixed RRSP contributions and I can do the latter myself with equal or better skill than my employer.
  • The gov't grabs their dues immediately and almost no expenses can be deducted. If you do (C)CRA (or IRSthey-who-must-not-be-named) will get you audited.
  • I highly dislike paying UI/EU which is a huge government rip-off/scam: you can pay premiums for 3 years and get the same duration of benefits (or waay shorter) as a seasonal labourer who only paid for 6 months -- the rest of the money is palmed by the gov't.
  • Vacation time in N America is laughable, needs to be "accrued" and most companies require that one discloses his vacation plans 6 (six) months in advance. Unpaid vacation can only be requested on "special" grounds and seems to be a 4-letter word.
  • If one stays for too long in one place one gets caught in intra-company politics which can stink.
  • If one stays for too long in one place one gets to do the same over and over and over again (think release cycles) on the same subject area. It gets boring after doing roughly the same thing three times.
  • If one stays for too long in one place and gets good at doing a certain unpleasant/difficult task one gets stuck with it forever.
  • If one stays for too long in one place one may wish and petition the powers-that-be to be reassigned to a more challenging/interesting task. It never happens. No exceptions.
  • If one stays for too long in one place one sees his managers being replaced as often as socks. And all managers needs to have you "prove your worth" to them. It gets tiring after a while.
  • Some managers can be technically challenged, not being able to comprehend the work they are managing and positively dumb. Alas these stick around for the longest.
  • Some managers allocate "resources" (aka. meself) based on a round-robin algorithm regardless on capabilities/skills just to fill in a project plan.
  • Dealing with Human Resources can be exceedingly frustrating when they are outsourced and off-shored and only taking tickets for, well, human issues.
  • Company employee policies can be downright insulting and horrendously dumb. And they always span on 100 page minimum.
  • Apprehension of layoffs can ruin a perfectly good f/t job.
  • EP's update: If one stays for too long in one place and uses mostly proprietary technologies and toolkits one's marketable skills go down the drains.
If you see here elements of the contracting lifestyle and bitter traces of Murphy's laws you are not wrong but contacting pays about 50% better than perm which could be a good proposition if one can stomach the intrinsic uncertainty and the in-between contracts gap.

-ulianov

P.S. My parents' notion of a "career" went off the window: one cannot advance in an organisation or get a significant pay rise in time (at best one will have a flat salary, or rather negative wrt. to the inflation). Hard work and persistence do not pay (professional advancement dividends). The best option for a perm staffer is to hop jobs every few years. Sad.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

R*M Job Turns Survivor Island

I got this contract in mid-May when I was just about to go to Sunnyvale, CA on another contract. Not quite in my line of work but not bad, solid work.

Six weeks ago they had a round of lay-offs just for show to pump up the share price. This Monday they have started in earnest. To me this looks like peristalsis.

However the top bicephalous job has not been cut and IMNSHO many of the failings come from there (lack of direction, uninspiring locked-in products, overinflated head count).

The unpleasant part is that my boss quit (apparently he was made an offer made-for-refusal) and with him went the business reason(s) I am here as he stormed out the door and did not do perform an orderly handover of tasks.

So this is turning into Survivor Island... I've been thru this kind or crap in 2001 and I definitely think I need to set sail to a calmer island.

-ulianov

Jan 23, 2012 update: The dynamic duo of clowns at the top is gone but they installed as CEO Mr.Herr More of the Same, former COO, aka henchman.

One of the clowns now heads an Innovation Committee which is worse than useless as lately innovation around here was done ostrich style: plunge head in the sand and hope Android and iPhone implode. Ditto for the bladeless knife which lacks the handle, aka. Playbook.

Monday, July 25, 2011

No Go for f/t Job in San Francisco

I got approached by a recruiter from R*verbed on Friday; he had an old copy of my Resume. I've interviewed with these folks about 5 years ago and somehow we did not click.

He was very skilled at selling the company, the work environment and job perspectives. He even assuaged my desire for a job that's not a dead-end (which is hard to get for a hands-on grunt like meself).

Anyways I would only take a f/t job in the US if and only if it came with a green card and I made it clear to the recruiter.

The technical interview was brief, general things about L2 (Ethernet)-L7 and UDP/IP. Another question was how an ELF binary gets loaded/executed in Linux. Nice stuff, made my cogs turn.

Near its end I started asking questions about the nature of the work and apparently it was a support/extend type of gig [i.e. a mid-stream product].

Alas this is not what I am looking for. R&D with new development and hardware, hardware, hardware is much more interesting tho after two years of that I cannot say I am better off.

-ulianov

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Newest Dumbest Recruiter Spam - Twïttēr

The latest spam sent to my Monster-only e-mail address by a dumb recruiter I've never talked to:
Nick - IT Recruiter wants to keep up with you on Twitter
No "How are you?", no "I have reviewed your resume and I have an exciting opportunity"?

And I thought that the drive-by LinkedIn requests were dumb. The funny thing is that I don't have a Twïttēr account as I have no use for it.

-ulianov

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Weird Hook & Bait

This one fished my Resume from Monster and sent his hook. The weird part is the "seriously searching". The fact that the note is devoid of details and purposely vague is just in the nature of hook & bait.

The way this uses English in the 1st paragraph is vaguely weird... reminds me of classic 419 scam e-mails. The referral part may or may not stink of a scam not unlike Bernārd Haldāne.
Attention Mr. Myself

During some recent applicant screening for interviews here we were impressed with your resume.

Your qualifications and experience do not match our specific current requirements. However, we could offer to refer you to a company we know who do focus on working with select individuals like yourself.

We would, of course, need your permission to pass along your information. Simply reply to this email and re-attach your resume if you are seriously searching at this time. Otherwise we wish you the best in your career.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
XXX YYY,
YYY Consultants
-ulianov

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Road Not Taken

(Professional) dreams have a perverse way of coming true.

I had it so close I could smell it: a great contract (Embedded Linux, early hardware bringup) at a SAN maker in Silicοn Vålley, great people and interesting work. Pleasurable weather and knowledgeable colleagues.

I signed the contract, I bought the plane ticket and got my work visa and after a week I learned I have another little one on the way, due in Dec. Blood is thicker than ink. Taking care of my offspring and spouse preempts dreams and my given word.

I feared I would get here one day.
They told me that the road I took would lead me to the Sea of Death; and from midway I turned back.
And ever since, all paths I have roamed were entangled, and crooked, and forsaken.
(free translation by A. Strugåtsky after Yosanø Akikø)

On the other hand after having a dream job twice and learning how it ended it makes me less gloomy. Must be the age showing in my being almost blasé.

-ulianov

Monday, March 21, 2011

A 'New and Improved' Torture Implement for Recruiters

Years ago I wrote a weeding system for recruiters who carpet-bomb me with emails. Now the time has come to do it for my gvoice numbers.

This was sparked by me wasting one minute on my cell phone [which I pay by the minute] while driving in traffic to respond to a query by a recruiter who want me to work in San Jose, CA for $45/h and who asked whether I am 'sure' about my rate.

Mind you I have SPELLED CLEARLY and in red what my rates are and for what US IT hubs at the top of my Resume as published on Monster and Dice.

Now that I refreshed my Resume on these job boards I expect more dumbarse calls.

So I put in place a little 'screening' (aka. 'torture implement') to weed out some of these types. The crux of the yes/no questions is:

I have a database of people who have cleared the screening or need not to.

-ulianov

P.S. I block all calls from Indïa, period. Offshoring has its limits: I strongly object to an overseas agency taking a $20 cut on top of my rate.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The LinkedIn Question

Many recruiters (many of which I've never even talked to) and their brothers wish & demand to connect with yours humbly on LinkedIn.

I use LinkedIn to keep in touch with former colleagues (work-only). It's a convenient tool to do the thing known in the past as networking.

Yet recruiters don't work for me and there are very few I've worked for. So there is no point to stuff my LinkedIn account with people whose modus operandi is basically "don't call us, we'll call you [when we have a need]".

-ulianov

P.S. Lately I took to purging my account of recruiters I've allowed in in the past. So went off the names I did not have a face for.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

On Skills that I am Not Very Fond of

Sometimes one has to do professional things (shameful things) and then deny doing them to no end. Paul Venezia enumerates such a trait:
Veteran Unix admin trait No. 8: We know more about Windows than we'll ever let on
For me things that I know but would never list on my Resume lest swarms of recruiting drones would fall upon me [their cognitive abilities/reading proficiency extend only as far as looking up buzzwords by hitting Ctrl+F in Word] are:
  • Perl scripting on Win32
  • Java, Swing and servlets
  • LAMP webapps (P is Perl in this case)
  • PHP
  • GUI apps in general.
In a pinch when I want to secure a job (maybe it's 5 minutes from home) I may elect to flog such skills and sweeten the deal for my clients.

-ulianov

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Quick and Easy Interview

I was contacted by a local recruiter about a 3-month contract in downtown Toronto. The requirements were almost absurd:
• C / C++
• Windows 2000/XP/CE, Linux, Apple Macintosh OS, as well as embedded operating systems (QNX, VxWorks, Integrity)
• Strong knowledge in 3D graphics technology (OpenGL, D3D)
• Knowledge of embedded graphics such as LCD interfaces or bus configurations
• Experience developing device drivers
• Experience in performance analysis of graphics pipeline
• Experience in 2D / 3D graphics, DirectX, OpenGL, Audio, Video, or Game Software Development is an asset
• Experience in networking, data communications, wireless is an asset
• 10 to 15 years experience in professional software development
I tend to call this everything under the sun.

Never mind the job ad. The recruiter was professional, listened to my objections to the job ad and paid attention to my preference for 6+ month contracts.

He agreed to pre-screening call. Have done it after lunch. Apparently these guys make in-flight entertainment systems and are having problems with the OpenGL on a custom graphics board based on an ATI/AMD chip. They need troubleshooting. Unfortunately this is not within my experience and me having said that put an agreeable end to the phone interview.

This is the kind of recruiting that I like: expedient, no time wasting & useless face to face interview with the recruiter and putting the client's needs above the ego and "methods" of the recruiter.

-ulianov

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Very Pushy "Keen" Recruiter

GH of a keen agency called me about a contract at a remote control/PC peripherals maker in Mississauga. He did not give me the name but the job ad made it abundantly clear that is was the RC company and that they are gearing up for G00gle TV product.

I replied to his ad and said I know their director of eng. who had contacted me on LinkedIn one year ago. GH became interested and peppered me with calls in the night (9 pm) and then at work asking all sorts of questions he should have asked in one session.

Then he insisted to see me downtown Toronto for a face-to-face interview. As the traffic and parking to his premises are onerous for me and I am on a work schedule I refused and I proposed to meet him close to home. He agreed and we met at a Go [suburban train] station.

The interview was short and unsatisfactory: he did not actually read my Resume tho according to him he's been recruiting for 10 years, asked questions with answers found in the Resume [this may be a valid tactic to check that one actually wrote his/her own Resume but I doubt that].

Also he requested that I come for an interview with the RC company at his premises downtown. The contract was for 3 months and I made it clear to GH that I only take 6+ month contracts. He then sold it as "3 but will be extended to 6".

Now I have interviewed with the RC company in 2006, I know my way to their location and it's weird that they chose the recruiter's premises. I agreed to meet with them downtown but I requested that I have a pre-screening phone call so I can assess them and see whether I am interested.

That did not sit well with GH who recommended his client not to see me. This is dangerous as it may be mis-representing me and I have no control as to what's been said about me. In many ways GH reminds me of a used car salesman from Upstate NY. One thing I am sure of is that I added GH and his outfit to my "avoid" list of recruiters.

I could go direct but having not clicked in 2006 I doubt I would click now.

-ulianov

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A New Title, an Old Posting

Got a call from a local recruiter which referred to my skills as "tenured". He was buttering me up for a job in Burlington, ON at a company which I know would not pay my rate as I have been submitted there two months ago.

On the other hand the position is still unfilled so they are either very pick or very stingy and I am inclined to consider the latter.

The guy even had the gumption to ask me to "come at a more competitive rate".

-ulianov

Friday, January 21, 2011

Attack of the IdhaSoft Clones!

Yesterday I got swarmed by no less than three recruiters from IdhaSoft who were fishing for the exact same position in Burlington, ON.

The drone with whom I talked first asked about salary expectations and quoted the lowest figure Workopolis permits (side-note: Workopolis does not allow to specify a number on the profile, just a range, i.e. 75K to 100K) and was very surprised that I was not willing to work for that.

Told her my hourly rate. Then I e-mailed her and the other two stooges asking them to talk among themselves and have only one contact me.

Today she called me to say that my Resume is "not being considered because of the hourly rate" and whether I would like to downbid myself. I told her I cannot help her client and hung up.

This is annoying. Maybe I should have a phone filter the way I implemented my e-mail filter.

-ulianov

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Financial Company Contract

Like never before I had an interview yesterday w/ a financial company, got an offer thereafter and today I signed the contract.

There are is a gotcha: it pays 23% less than what I make for Embedded Linux contracts.

However it's a 10-minute commute from home and requires no straining of neurons. And it's darn close to my marina ;)

-ulianov

Monday, January 17, 2011

Interview with VB Equipment Maker in Toronto

Went to an interview with a video broadcast equipment maker in Toronto/North York.

This company had all their ducks in a row:
1. were prepared to discuss salary from the get-go so I do not waste time;
2. did a phone pre-screening where they asked the right questions;
3. were nice and paid attention to my hourly preferences [traffic in Toronto can be hell at certain times of the day];
4. in the panel interview they asked technical questions and made it quite interesting; also they discussed what they were doing at the company.

Their only faux-pas was an interview with a fairly green HR person who asked me 'behavioural' questions from a sheet of paper and then [creepily] was jotting down my answers.

Now I tried to restrain my answers as not to spook her -- if she has experience only from reading books it could be easy for me to trip a dumb no-go checklist.

In my not so humble opinion and experience a seasoned HR person will discuss freely, assess the person in front of her and take notes after the end of the interview.

-ulianov

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hook & Bait, Revisited

I have more thoughts in addition to my previous post on this topic.

I got this automated Monster spa^H^H^Hemail:
Subject: as per your posting on Monster - Embedded Software Developer

Hello MyName, my name is John Doe, a recruiter with XYZ.

I recently came across your posting on Monster while conducting a search for an Embedded Software Developer, and I currently have an opportunity which I feel you would show a strong interest in.

If you could please reach back to me at your earliest convenience we can discuss this opportunity further.

Thank you.

John Doe
Recruiter
[contact info]
I replied to his ad (he's local) asking for job description/pay rate/location and got this reply back:
My supervisor Sean Doe will be reaching out to you shortly to discuss this role in more detail. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
Diggin into XYZ's website (BTW don't you wonder why they always have a dumb Flash intro page whose only function is to say "Enter site"?) I learned that XYZ requires that all candidates be seen face to face by the recruiter.

Yet Another Mandatory Waste of My Time (YAMy-WaMyT).

-ulianov

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How I Declined an Interview with an STB Maker in Mississauga

I got contacted by a local recruiter about an Embedded Linux job. By Googling for significant strings in the job ad I discovered that it was with XYZ, a STB maker of Mississauga, ON. This being very close to home I obliged.

Two weeks later he came back to me with a request that I attend a two-hour test on the 28th of Dec. He was nice to me and sent me some previously-asked questions:
1. Algorithm with O(n logn).
2. Algorithms with no solution.
3. Design class diagram for board game engine with pluggable algorithm.
4. Decorate, observer and strategy patterns.
While #1 and #2 are covered at length in Horowitz and Knuth I have no interest in #3 (I do Embedded Linux after all) and have no clue about #4.

So I asked myself whether it's worth wasting 4 hours and gas on this in lieu of the customary phone grilling or on-line test and here's what I replied to him:
Just as corporations (e.g. XYZ) I do have a policy when it comes to hiring [after 100+ interviews I know what flies and what not].

To me an interview is a two-way conversation that allows me to assess the company and the people I would be working with. A test is none of this. Some interviews have tests embedded -- this is fair and expected.

This is outside of my comfort zone & against my policy: what I like to see is a phone interview followed (maybe) by an in-person interview. I have deviated from this before with no positive outcome.

Thus I am not going for this waste of my time.

Unless you can arrange a phone interview [or maybe one full in-person interview] with XYZ I am afraid I am not willing to work for a company that has such inflexible and silly policies.

On the other hand I have hired for a Fortune-500-Company and I learned that it is very hard to find qualified talent -- and they were paying much much better. So it's up to them.
Alas some Canadian corporations feel that it's allright to abuse of the candidates' time and to summon them for such pointless tests.

I have noticed that this job was posted on XYZ's website for more than a year. This means that either they are incredibly picky or that they have a dizzying turnaround rate.

-ulianov

P.S STB = set top box

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

AMD/ATI Contract Rate?

This just off CareerBuilder: ATI (a well-known Canadian sweatshop) is hiring for a fairly senior Embedded Linux position (requirements below). Aside for XYZ's (an agency) boastful BS and if I can take the numbers at face value I read that ATI pays max $65/h to the agency for this position. Very stingy and in line with their reputation.

-ulianov

# Driver bring-up and qualification on new hardware platforms
# Debug, analyze and resolve quality and certification issues as reported by Customers and QA
# Improve driver performance
# Write detailed design notes for new features
# Coordinate closely with peers and colleagues to ensure timely and effective communication of all assigned work activities
# Execute software assignments as a highly motivated, self-starter
# Experience in implementing Embedded Linux System on various microcontrollers

This is a contract position with XYZ. XYZ is a Fortune 1000 company with over 350 office throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. XYZ is in the top three in staffing in the nation and in the top 5 in the world and has been serving some of the nation's strongest companies for 60 years. As a XYZ employee, you can expect the highest level of on-site support. As an equal opportunity employer, we have a long-standing tradition of developing lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with its employees. XYZ is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and we maintain a drug-free workplace.

XYZ is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Minimum Requirements:

# Proficient in object oriented programming (3+ years)
# Proficient at C/C++ programming language (3+ years)
# Experience with software debuggers such as kgdb (3+ years)
# Experience with Kernel mode driver programming under Linux environment (3+ years)
# Good understanding of PC architecture
# Excellent understanding of operating system fundamentals and multithreaded programming issues.
# Strong oral and written skill
# Experience with graphic driver (optional)
# Experience with low-level hardware device programming (optional)
# Experience with embedded systems and/or real-time programming is an asset (optional)

Location: Markham, ON

Type: CONTRACT

Duration: 180 - 365 Days

Pay Rate: $29.00 - $45.00 Hourly DOE

Ant & Bēe Strikes Again

I got a cold call from the Toronto office of Ant & Bēe. N.C was calling asking whether I reviewed the job description she sent me. Apparently she used an old Monster ephemeral address (I keep changing them as Monster from time to time pads their bottom line by selling the candidate database to scammers).

Tho I explained to them about the ephemeral address and gave her my current one I never got a job description from her and I've waited for a week. Very unprofessional.

She grilled me in a stern manner as if she was going thru a checklist gave me her e-mail address and demanded that I send the CV so she can hook me up to an Embedded Linux job in Burlington, ON. She did not extend the courtesy of telling me the name of her client and asking whether I've applied at that company already.

Without my asking or permission she submitted me for another job as an Implementation Analyst. Had she read 2 lines from my Resume she would have realised this is not my trade.

Last I heard of N.C she called me "Daniel" in an e-mail (not my name). I got so pissed that I phoned her boss at Ant & Bēe and asked for them to stop contacting me.

This is the most unprofessional agency I've worked with, even worse than Oxford Intl in the US. N.C is the type of recruiter I would give a wide berth.

-ulianov

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Getting to see Ian M*rtin at last!

For the past 8 years I have sporadically applied to job posted by IM on Workopolis and got no reply whatsoever. Not a peep. So I reckoned that this outfit may be a Resume troll.

To my surprise having applied two weeks ago for a f/t Perl job I got a reply back from M.D. She had me reshuffle my Resume so my Perl deeds stand out. Fair enough. Mind you I have used Perl as a tool for 16 years and I have for it (Perl) the love that dares not speak its name. (I have used it for things it was never meant to do and to great success.)

IM has this silly rule that a recruiter must see you face to face before they submit you. So here I am dragging myself to downtown Toronto at rush hour. Last time I did that was 2 1/2 years ago in Mass.

So I saw her and I think she was OK tho she/the account manager had qualms about my motivation (having made a good coin on contracts what made me go for a relatively low-paid Perl job? what if I take off in one year for a contract?). She also had me flag all places in my Resume where Perl was relevant.

Well, I like Perl and I need to stay close to home to care for my new addition to my family so I think for the time being I will be staying put in TO.

She shared with me a few horror stories with candidates that want to pull a quick one. Having interviewed/hired people myself I could sympathise with some of her problems.

Jan 2011 update: have been contacted again by the same recruiter about the same position; the company would like to see my resume but formatted so that Perl is even more underlined. Would not bother.

-ulianov

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A New Fad in Identity Theft?

Each quarter Monster seems to sell their candidate database to whomever and his dog, preferably scammers & fraudsters. I got this letter on my 3rd ephemeral e-mail address I use for Monster.

I never contacted this "agency" so their explanation below is a lie. As I have been around the block a few time I know big corps ask you to self-identify after you have completed a job application. I think they are fishing for marks.
TO: POTENTIAL JOB APPLICANT

FROM: Superior Group includes Superior Technical Resources, Inc., Superior Staff Resources, Inc., SDC Information Services, Inc., Superior Design Co., Inc. and Sudesco Systems, Inc.

Superior Design International Inc. (SDI)

Superior Group and SDI comply with the Affirmative Action rules of the U.S. Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which requires us to maintain data on the race and gender of job applicants. To comply with these rules, our recruiting software automatically sends the Voluntary Candidate Self-Identification link to persons whose resumes are attached to positions that we are trying to fill, as possible candidates for the positions.

To help us comply with the Affirmative Action rules, we ask you to please fill out the Candidate Self-Identification form by Clicking here.. Your response will not be seen by a recruiter or anyone making a hiring decision; however, because the form is voluntary, you are not required to fill it out if you do not wish to. If the Voluntary Self-Identification form is not completed, we will assume that you have declined to provide information on your gender and race/ethnicity. Please note that failure to complete the above referenced form will not subject you to any adverse treatment.

This email and the link for the Voluntary Candidate Self-ID are being sent to you AUTOMATICALLY either because you directly submitted your resume for a position we are trying to fill, or your resume was accessed by one of our recruiters during a search for candidates. Your resume may or may not have been actually reviewed by a recruiter. If you are actually considered for a position, you will be contacted directly by one of our recruiters.

We apologize if you have previously received this form. If you have already completed this form, please disregard this notice.

Thank you for your consideration.

Affirmative Action Department
Superior Group/SDI

-ulianov

Thursday, August 5, 2010

On Interviewing for a Contact in Tōrōnto

As never before I went for an interview with a startup located in downtown Tōrōnto. Tho it's located 12km (7.5m) from my house it took me an hour to get there because of the unbelievably bad traffic.

As a rule I require that the 1st interview be conducted on the phone as a quick means of weeding the job offers. This time I let the recruiter sweet-talk me into hauling myself to their premises. Never a good idea.

An oddity about the Qu*kPlay job description was its purposeful vagueness - the recruiter says that they keep it like that "to attract talent". Not a good sign. Another odd thing was that they wanted to hire "yesterday" and that the customary two-week notice wasn't good enough.

So I went to the 1st interview; it was with some technical guys: apparently they use BREW from the CDMA company and this piece of work is quite buggy. They needed some low-level debugging. All good. They hinted of other projects as well.

A week has elapsed and they scheduled another interview at 3pm against my morning preference (3pm+ is hard rush hour in Toronto). So I went. This time I saw the Architect [think Matrix] who's asked me lots of SW design questions, behavioural questions [a bit odd to do that for hired help] and hinted of a third interview.

Having sunk six hours already in coming to their place and showing my face I said that the next interview must be conducted over the phone as they had seen plenty of me. This didn't quite go well so I did not get the job.

The last two oddities were that the Architect had no idea that he had an interview scheduled so he was laate and that in both interviews they were insisting that I come join their company as a f/t perm employee and asking me for justifications for my dislike of perm positions.

I think this startup is growing rapidly and they cannot make their minds as to who does what. And that they want to enlarge the staff by adding low-ish paid perm staffers (it's much cheaper to have perms in Canada than the US as the health insurance is taken care of by the taxes we pay and the government-run insurance scheme).

-ulianov

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Attack of the Cyb3rC0ders Drones

Lately this outfit has been blasting my M0nster-listed e-mail address with "personalised" e-mails that read
Hi Name,

I noticed your background and thought you,
or someone you know, may be interested in
finding out more about our new job opening,
which is pasted below for your review.

The position is for a Title in Location, State.

[...]

Good luck in your searches,
Scumbag

Scum Bag | Executive Recruiter | Cyb3rC0d3rs
Read my full recruiter bio!

Cyb3rC0d3rs | address | optout
The opt-out link is not working: I keep getting spam from these low-lifes.

Obviously these ads are matched using keywords and they don't match at all what I do for a living. I have to block this scum outfit in my mail server.

Jun 16 update: these trolls are carpet-bombing my Dice e-mail address; they are fishing for resumes on Dice.

-ulianov

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Dodecalogue of Candidates' Sins

This person is spamming a LinkedIn group that subscribe to with gratuitous career advice but once she got it right: 12 Deadly Sins that Kill Your Job Search .

However I disagree on some finer points:
- #1 May be advisable especially when you want to "thin out" your experience for a position for which you may be perceived as over-qualified;
- #3 Cover letters are use by recruiters as trashcan liners period;
- #12 While talking to your references is a good idea, if they give you too "stellar" references that make you seem like a super-hero the references may sound fake. I think the references should reflect your work and be a fair representation of you as a person.

-ulianov

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Season's Greetings" From Recruiters

This year there's a new fad among them recruiters: they carpet-bomb everybody with "greetings" e-mails.

This is pointless as:
a) one does that only to the fellow employees in a professional environment;
b) coming from a recruiter this looks like spam -- maybe I corresponded with 20 this year? I get 20 greetings then?

-ulianov

Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Attack of the Resume-Grabbing Drones

This is an agency that ping-ed me once about a job. I was not interested. Apparently they have fished my e-mail address from Monster and have started this new & improved spam campaign.
Foobar Placement Services, LLC has just launched their new and improved website. It has some interactive features you can take advantage of today!

Foobar Job Alert - Simply register your search criteria in our Job Alert function and you will be notified via email whenever a job is posted to our website that fits your criteria. You will also be entered into a quarterly raffle to win tickets to the See Science Center just for registering.

Email a Friend - If you happen to be searching our jobs and see a position that could benefit a colleague, you can easily forward that job posting to them.

Polls - There will be new poll questions and results every month on hot topics related to the current employment market.

Timecards - Easy access to our standard timecard that can be printed for contractors currently on our payroll.

Please visit our site www . foobarplacement . com and allow Foobar to start working for you!!

Regards,
The Staff at Foobar Placement Services
-ulianov

Monday, October 26, 2009

Job Posting on Crāigslist/Tōrōnto

Here is a mock job posting on behalf of the typical agency I found on the list:
[...] Our tense, open-concept, uninsulated work environment, emphasis on work-life balance (90%-10%) and tepid rewards help make us nearly indistinguishable from the rest. Founded too late in the tech boom, our state-of-the-warehouse-art headquarters is located beside a busy stamping plant.

We are looking for developer wannabees to restock our demoralized developer pool and be another faceless cog in our digital sweatshop.

The Softheaded Engineer is mainly responsible for generating billable hours. If the customer complains, the Softheaded Engineer is then responsible for the lack of technical specifications, technical design, code, unit and integration tests, despite the insane schedule and zero budget. He/she will also be subjected to ridicule at unscheduled occasional design and code reviews, none of which results in high quality software services and offerings. The deliverables are expected to pacify, or at least confuse the customer, by at least seeming to meet the statement of work. Softheaded Engineers are also responsible for continuous post-release fixes to bugs that were hidden from the customer. Softheaded engineers rarely participate in initiatives to improve processes, standards and practices. [...]

• The ideal candidate is a programming whiz with low self-esteem, with degrees in Confuser Science, Election Engineering, or Behavioural Physics.
• 1 - 2 years industry experience desired, max. Any more and you'd know enough to avoid shops like ours.
I think the best bit is «The deliverables are expected to pacify, or at least confuse the customer.»

-ulianov

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Call from a Finnish Recruiter

Last year I talked to a Finnish agency and that ended up with a job offer from Nokia, so this things are for real. Yet this guys wrote to me from a .hu e-mail adress. His name is Finnish tho. Strange.
I did find your contact info from the Romanian Bestjobs website. Consequently, I would like to inquire your initial interest in co-operation in a field of IT consultation in Finland/other Scandinavian countries as we are looking for the contractor/consultant to work in our customer projects.

[...]

Mainly we are looking for consultants to a project based assignments. Projects duration vary from 6 months to a year.

May I ask you what would be ideal position for you?
The last question sounds interesting or it may be this guy's wobbly English.

-ulianov

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An Annoying Piece of Virāl Mārketing

I got in the e-mail this piece of personalised "new-medium" marketingspam from an agency I had interacted with in the past:
You've trusted Ant & Bee with your resume over the years
and our Recruiters have been working hard to help you with
your job search. I would like to personally thank you for
working with us and also take this opportunity to extend a
new service too you:

Control your own career.

”Worker ants. Busy bēes.®” is our recruiting engine at work
on Faceboōk. Using the exponential power of referrals, you
can now tap into Faceboōk's 300 Million users to help you
find a job. Just like Wikipēdia transformed encyclopedias,
we believe social networking will revolutionize your ability to
post your resume and find a job.

As the President of Ant & Bēe, I am extending you an
invitation to join me in revolutionizing the Recruiting industry.
I encourage you to send me a friend invite on Facebook
(Find me as Alecō Bōrba, http://www.facebook.com/aborba?ref=name)
and to post your resume too (http://apps.facebook.com/antandbee).

You and your friends get the benefit of referral fees paid
directly to you, and employers get the benefit of hiring
someone that was referred by a friend.

See you online!

Alēx Bōrba (aka Alecō)
President
Ant & Beē Corporation
facebōok@antandbēe.com
These creeps will use any medium or channel to advertise their inept slogan and ineffective [for me] services. Somehow this "ant" metaphor (and the knowledge of the nature of ant hills) suggest a sweatshop to me. Just an impression tho.

An their use of the (R) character in a piece of spam is sweet!

-ulianov

P.S. I use "funny" characters to shield this page from being indexed by a search engine for the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

When Spammers Read^H^H^H^HRip Off Job Boards

Monster is magnificent at letting spammers harvest e-mail addresses. I had to change my Monster e-mail address thrice so far.

But what do you do when you address is myaddr@mydomain.com and spammers send you mail at myaddrdd@mydomain.com? Well make up a fake MTA and pick it up and see what they wanted.

The most shameless spam I got this way had a "confidentiality" notice attached to it which read:
                No part of this newsletter may
be reproduced in any form or by
any means, electronic or
mechanical, including
photocopying, recording or via
any other information storage
and retrieval system, without
our written permission.
And the spam was even copyrighted!

Cool! You have to admire their gumption.

-ulianov

Monday, March 30, 2009

An Annoying Trait of Character

K.DE. of Burlington, MA called me about a contract at a company (A) that had called me before. Last time A was looking for a Principal Eng. but was quite unwilling to pay the market rate so I did not waste time engaging them.

So I knew what to expect of A.

The recruiter e-mailed me than talked to me and promised to submit my Resume to the company. All fine. Early next day he calls asking if I am "sure" about my pay rate. As a matter of fact I am and I am charging exactly the amount required for my skill level and experience.

Don't you find that recruiters keep bugging you asking whether you are "sure" about your rate? Maybe you have doubts and are willing to work for less? How about 60% less?

I find this to be a very annoying flaw in the recruiters' characters. What irks me is that after I secure the contract the recruiter becomes a humongous parasite that makes $15-20 for each hour I work. So for a week this guy makes $800. For six months say $19,200.

Not bad at all I say. And as he's pushing you to charge less he will get more which in my book is unacceptable.

-ulianov

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Being on the Other Side of the Fence

My current employer uses us chickens (aka. contractors) to evaluate potential new hires [other contractors].

So I got to see how hard is to recruit a new hand. The fact that the company is located in a forsaken hole in Upstate NY does not help either.

So I got to talk over the phone to "embedded Linux" programmers. About four of them. Three were beyond hope, having no idea about the topic at hand.

One of them was such a retard that was not able to parse our technical questions an kept droning on and on and on how "we" (i.e. people at a former company) did this. His blabberings had no bearing on the current question being asked of him.

And I find that when a candidate says "we did this and that" he actually did not do any of that and is taking credit for some other people's work. This is just WRONG because a candidate is evaluated based on his own skills and accomplishments.

Coming back to the fourth potential hire: they guy gave half-decent answers to technical questions but (and this is a big one) his past six positions read literally "Some Company in Some Place in MA or NH".

This just does not smell right to me. Queried by the hiring manager he stated that he did that because recruiters would keep calling him and asking about openings at past companies.

In my experience this is a lie: a recruiter would not waste his time this way (as he knows contractors come and go and don't maintain links to the powers-that-be at past companies). Also in my experience a recruiter asks only about whether the current company is hiring [which stands to reason].

On a different note I started asking questions and challenging a candidate's answers. I must admit that I was a bit unprepared at first (I did not have a mental list of things to ask) but lately I quite enjoyed it.

-ulianov

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Worst Formatted Email from a Mor^H^H^HRecruiter

This is the ad (click on it to see better):
And the prize goes to Kumar who inflicted a horrendously formated piece of spam upon me (see below). Note the miss-speleling and the funny looking vertical bars that showed up real nice in my Yahoo mail.

What's worse this clueless recruiter wants .NYET, Visual Basic (the horror!) from a Linux developer.

-ulianov

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On Being Idle

I got a job in NY in Dec 2008 so I am busy with that. I stopped taking calls from recruiters or checking their e-mails. Anyways their memory is short so this has no implication for future "relastionships". (Have you tried talking to a wall? Did it talk back when you were not stoned? ;)

I must say that I do keep in touch with those recruiters I like (only a handful of them). A polite refusal of a job offer goes a long way.

-ulianov

P.S. I see that most of the hits on this blog come from people googling for "What makes a good resume?" [which BTW I am not answering]. This is boring. I want controversy!; I want to be in the recruiters' face!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Unusual Job Ad in Phoenix, AZ

M.C. sent me this ad for a "Direct Embedded Position" (up to 95K):
You'll be writing C/C++ code for Diagnostic Equipment
OOD and UML Technologies
Experience with Graphical User Interface

Desired Qualifications
- Embedded Linux
- .NET and C#
- JAVA
- HTLM ,XML and SOAP technologies
- Development experience using networking protocol (TCP/IP, UDP, SSH, SSL)
- Experience with low-level driver development
- ClearCase / ClearQuest tools
- FPGA/CPLD logic using VHDL code
Alas at this moment I am busy professionally but...

I simply love Phoenix, I am a total groupie when it comes to Phoenix [and I am a male] and I'be been looking for something there for two years.

The sour grape in this is the C# which is the very last thing I would do, the second to last would be working for Micr0soft [I shall blog about my interview there one day].

Other than that it looked great, especially the dollar figure (jobs in that area have a ceiling around 80K). I did not answer this call.

-ulianov

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Job Ad for NaviG* in downtown Toronto

I got a job ad for a "Mobile Software Specialists" from a local recruiter:
- CS or EE degree (or equivalent)
- 3+ years relevant experience
- self-starter, energetic, disciplined
- strong C++ programming skills
- experience with building applications to run with limited resources
- experience with Windows Mobile application development
- exposure to GPS based applications
- strong mathematical background, especially as related to mapping
- some experience in GUI design and implementation
- a solid understanding of algorithm design principles
- experience with Linux and client/server applications
- familiarity with TCP/IP networking
- familiarity with MySQL and SQL-Lite
- familiarity with a range of programming languages: C, Java, Python, Perl, Awk
- an interest in the company's core business lines
And the employer reckoned CAD 90K is a way too high for this. Yep, as a wise man said put there everything under the sun and pay at the new grad level.

I have seen this job ad for a few months so I reckon it's hard for them to match talent/skills with low pay.

-ulianov

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Perl Jobs, Revisited

I saw a req for a Perl contract in Toronto that reads:
One of our dynamic clients in Mississauga is looking for a highly skilled Perl Developer for a contract to full-time position. This company has developed a B2B application that is used by the travel industry. The Perl Developer will be required to translate software requirements from their clients and produce the desired outcome, based on the technical specifications. In addition, the Perl Developer will make proper use of source code control, tickets, and other project tools to meet task requirements. [...]
There are two points here:
1. dynamic client is a new piece of nonsense in recruitspeak;
2. the pay range ($31.35 to $36.30 per hour) is twice laughable: it's precise to one hundredth of a dollar (I mean thirty-five pennies?) AND that is very low.

Again Perl is treated like Cinderella, and I really love it (i.e. the programming language).

-ulianov

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Avid Reader?

Today I was looking at my logs an noticed that somebody from the IP address 137.71.23.54 (which is registered to A*alog Devices) read 56 postings of my blog. He or she discovered the blog by googling for "Cambridge, MA Startup".

And this person spent between one and two minutes reading each article. Just hope it's not another recruiter ;)

A funny bit: somebody from Portsmouth, NH got to my blog via a web search for
How much house does 85k salary get me [in] Andover?
-ulianov

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

AWOL Recruiter Resurfaces

I was complaining in this post that recruiter X left me stranded on an interview as he quit his job the very day.

Today he resurfaced: he contacted me via Linked In and asked for my Resume.

Then we talked over the phone and I asked why he quit his previous job. He replied that he moved to a bigger company that staffs contracts with the US government and that he felt that this job would be more secure as the gov't will need contractors regardless of the economic situation.

-ulianov

Saturday, October 25, 2008

On Flying a US Airline

I am back from an interview in Boston, MA.

They put me on a one-stop flight from YYZ to BOS. The stop-over was in Philly. Big mistake. Actually the 1st mistake was accepting this flight instead of insisting on a direct flight to Boston. But the company had already paid for the flight when they e-mailed me the itinerary and I did not want to fuss over it.

When I got to the airport I got the first shock: US airlines now charge $15 for each piece of luggage checked in. Luckily I had every thing packed in one carry-on bag.

On my first stop on Philly my departure flight to Boston was delayed 45 minutes while burning gas on the tarmac. As the plane left the gate at the prescribed hour it was reported as "on time". This sounds like a nice scam to me.

On my way back in Boston the airplane has taxied for 90 minutes wandering thru various places of the BOS; I think they were sightseeing. They said there was a "security issue" at Philly and they were not departing. To add insult to injury they said they burned to much fuel and may have to return to gate for refueling.

A frequent flier told me that nowadays airlines only carry the minimum legal amount of fuel. This reckless stinginess may lead to some problems in the future.

Eventually we departed. When we touched down in Philly we kinda hanged around on the tarmac as they had to cross TWO active airstrips in order to get to the gate. Half an hour of this. Kind of idiotic traffic planning IMNSHO.

Again we departed "on time" but we waited in a queue of 32 planes for about 45 minutes. Another example of brilliant airport planning.

So I arrived in Toronto one hour late. I am told that this is very common with US airlines. And I thought that Air Canada sucked big.

-ulianov

P.S. I wasted seven hours travelling each way on something that could have been a 90 minutes flight. Next time I shall not let myself be talked into such a crappy deal.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Market Volatility Hits Recruiter

I had a phone interview scheduled for today by recruiter X from a Massachusetts agency. The hiring manager did not call so I phoned X first on his agency number (no answer), then on his cell number.

X answered and told me he's no longer with the agency as of today. Bummer. I am in limbo with nobody able to reschedule my interview. I phoned the hiring company and left a voice message for the hiring manager.

Here I was thinking: wow! things must be quite in turmoil in the US if I get the rug pulled from under my feet like this. This is the last thing I would expect from a recruiter.

Eventually the hiring manager phoned; after the interview I managed to get thru to a replacement recruiter.

-ulianov

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Two Heavy-Weight Interview Questions

The two make-or-break non-technical questions I encountered in interviews so far were:
1. What is your dream job?
2. Where do you see yourself [your career] in five years?

So far I gave honest and direct answers; most of the time it has worked out good for me as long there was some inter-personal chemistry with the interviewer. Lately I learned that actually you should not do so.

B.O. of Norwood, MA wrote a preparatory e-mail for my interview with a company in Maynard, MA. Here is what he put in writing:
Don't fall for the "Dream Job" question! Managers will often ask about your ideal position. Your answer should be a paraphrased version of the description for the job for which you are interviewing. Otherwise, the manager may assume that you are not interested in their job.
Over the phone he added that if the candidate sets out goals that are far-fetched and he/she does not have the skills for it then he cannot assess himself correctly and therefore is unfit for the current job.

Also there is a latent fear that if the dream job is more than is being offered the candidate will take off at the first opportunity.

The exact same reasoning applies for the second question. The same answer should be applied.

My own take: this is BS by the truckload as people change jobs [in my profession] every three years and they always want more if they can get it. But as with many other things one must learn to play this part to the correct tune in order to go over the hump.

-ulianov

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Nice Chat with a Romanian Recruiter

From time to time I get calls from Romania as I left my Resume posted there to test the waters and keep an eye on the job market.

E.S. of Bucharest, Romania seems like a nice fellow endowed with a sense of humour (this is not something readily available in the recruiters populace). I shot back a short e-mail at him asking for pay level and letting him know I have this blog.

Here's an approximate translation of what he replied:
[...] Judging from the number of talks you've had with recruiters one could say you are a quasi-pro candidate :)

The reasons why I haven't given you more details about the payment level at this stage of our conversation are:
1. the employer only gave us a range, not a fixed number; the actual number is negotiated directly between employer and candidate according to your level of experience and according to the pay scale of the respective company. [...]
2. the specificity of the Romanian job market (rather chaotic with significant pay variations for equivalent positions between similar companies and even within the same company). The salaries are supposed to be confidential so they never get published on a job posting unlike the Western Europe and N America where the market is well-structured and one can speak of a "market level".
Well I've been at this for 10 years so I am a pro altho this blog only extends six months in the past.

He provided me with good insight on things that happen back in Romania: nothing much has changed in eight years; employers still rip you off at every turn (think of the intra-company wild pay level variations).

The only thing I don't have an answer for is whether employees are still treated like property or garbage as it happened 10 years ago. This should have improved because of the massive work-force drain towards the Western Europe at the end of 2006 but you never know.

-ulianov

Monday, October 6, 2008

Recruiters have Problems with HR Drones Too!

I was talking to B.O. of Norwood, MA who's a fine recruiter. He was trying to submit me for a position in Maynard, MA. He was insisting that I add some lines to my Resume to stress my experience with "x86, SMP and TCP/IP".

Now my Resume speaks loud and clear about these topics and I explained to him why. However he was still insisting and eventually admitted that he has to go thru a HR person and he wanted that monkey (my description, not his) to recognize the keywords he/she was looking for.

Aha, so recruiters can be as frustrated by HR monkeys as everybody else. And they soo deserve it ;)

-ulianov

Thursday, September 18, 2008

An Interesting Note on How To Not Hire A Job Applicant.

This guy makes an interesting inventory of no-nos on his blog.

In my experience I encountered situations:
#1 "Make sure the job's responsibilities are unclear",
#6 "Make it clear in the interview that you're reading the applicant's resume for the first time" (very often, apparently hiring managers are busy-busy people),
#7 "Take personal calls during the interview",
#9 "Be absolutely inflexible about benefits" (very much so with big companies; stingy small companies also chime in on this)
and especially often
#10 "Be evasive about your company's financial health and market strategy" with start-ups.

And the best part comes in a comment of his entry:
Fill the job requirement with every computer language, operating system, database, application, middleware product, and hardware brand the last employee ever touched and require 10 years of experience in each. Pair that with a salary offer appropriate to a new college grad.
-ulianov

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Toronto Recruiter is Green to Boot

Got a call today from a young recruiter working for a local agency. She asked to speak to me and said she had a job. She wanted to know whether I am still looking for work.

Then I started to ask the "golden three" questions (location, pay rate, job description).

She said that the job is in the Greater Toronto Area (which is pretty big). I tried to get her to narrow it down (for there are some areas of the GTA where I don't go because of a ridiculously overpriced toll motorway that's involved). She said that before seeing my Word Resume she can only say "Toronto".

Hmm, then I asked about pay rate and she started to give me super-BS about how she won't do that until she sees a Resume. Oh my. I stated my last hourly pay rate which is about double what the average annual salary [in my line of work] in Toronto is. She started quoting from my workopolis profile where I listed "between 75 and 100k" which is a wide range which makes it useless.

I tried to explain to her that she's kind of new in this block and "time=$$" thinking that she gets the idea that she's wasting my time. She stared to blabber about her time being precious too and that she must "follow procedure".

Well, faced with such blatant pigheadedness I said "goodbye" and hung up on her.

Dear Recruiter, whoever you are, please keep these things in mind:
1. you are annoying people in various ways;
2. being inflexible and trying to have people follow your script makes you even more annoying;
3. unwillingness to talk about dough makes you look like a conceited stiff as the candidate will have to learn about that eventually, preferably before wasting his/her time to go for a face-to-face interview;
4. sometimes the people you call do know about your profession more than you do.

-ulianov

Thursday, August 28, 2008

An Eternal Recruiter's Hook & Bait

S.S. of Burlington, MA sends me this boilerplate hook & bait:
I recently came across your online resume and after reviewing your qualifications, I feel you would be a great fit for an application developer opportunity we have available. Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience and we can discuss this opportunity in further detail.
Three cheers to this: no location, pay rate or even job description. A conversation opener as they call it. I hate when they send me such useless e-mails.

-ulianov

A Recruiter Misfires on an Ottawa Job

Z.L. of Newton, MA writes:
I hope this email finds you well. My name is Z.L. and I am a Technical Recruiter for Deleted’s engineering team based in Newton, Massachusetts. I saw your skills and experience on Dice.com and wanted to reach out to you to see if you would ever consider a web developer position with Deleted. The position entails working with Javascript and PERL. We have a number of exciting projects going on in our Ottawa branch and your skills match up really well with the caliber of candidates we are looking for right now. If you are interested in learning more please don’t hesitate to contact me.
The only thing he got right is my love of Perl but he did not catch my dislike for LAMP jobs, be them Perl or PHP. What's worse he did not read one line of my Resume.

-ulianov

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Micr0soft is at it Again!

B.A. of WA who works for a a recruiting agency that subcontracts for Micr0soft HR sent me the following note:
I found your resume on the internet. After reviewing your skill set I thought you may be interested in our upcoming recruiting event. Please review the description below and let me know if you would be interested.

Have you imagined yourself working for one of the largest software development companies in the nation, and working on cutting edge technology?

....

Thank You and I hope to see you in Redmond.
There are a few things that annoy me: he sent me the e-mail from an address that is not @micr0soft.com (which is already blocked in my e-mail server) and he's fibbing: the e-mail address he used is one that I planted only on monster and dice so he did not pick it off the Internet.

-ulianov

P.S. He got stuck in the e-mail validation step. Gosh it's so good to have that. Nevertheless altho the e-mail sent by these creeps bounce [and they see it as "Not Sent"] I do save a copy so I know who called ;)

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Recruiter that is a Useless Tosser

C.B. of NC wanted to hook up with me on LinkedIn with the following pickup line:
I hope this finds you well. My name is C.B. and I am a Technical Recruiter with the Deleted Group in Raleigh Durham, NC. I wanted to contact you, not for the initial intent of asking to be in your network, but because your resume is impressive and reflects a lot of what we are looking for in an Embedded Software Developer. We actually have a direct hire embedded position with a GREAT company that is new to the Raleigh area. I have the job description but they are too long to include in this memo. Is there an available email address I could send them to? Thanks, I appreciate all your help. Thanks in advance, C.B.
Mind you, the lack of line breaks and the churning of words (not unlike James Joyces' stream of consciousness) belong to her.

I connected with her and sent her an e-mail and learned that she has a f/t job. Bah.

-ulianov

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Super-Stingy Employer in California

M.M. of Burbank, CA sent me this funny piece (in a e-mail that uses many font colours):
The ideal candidate will be someone who only has a couple of years exp. a real go-getter, they DO NOT want to see candidates with more than 4-5 years of exp. they would like to mold this person and looking for candidates who are interested in growing with the Company into a Director level at some point. Must be very FLEXIBLE. Needs a “trainable” type person. Culture is Jeans & T-Shirts, no sandals or shorts. Interviews will be conducted of a panel of managers & leads in the group.

The position will pay a base salary between $80-100K and this is based on salary history. We offer a base salary, bonus (not eligible this year), Stock options and matching 401K. Local candidates are preferred but a great candidate with all the intangibles would be worth taking a look at from out of state. They do an EXTENSIVE criminal background check.
The requirements are on the hacker side (e.g. SoftICE, 2+ years of MS-Wind0ws drivers), yet they are exquisitely, bitterly cheap for California.

Such stinginess gives me the creeps. The company makes forensic analysis tools sold to law enforcement. Must be making lots of money for them... And to add insult to injury they do EXTENSIVE checks on you; I bet they even fingerprint people. Yuck, yuck, yuck!

-ulianov

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Most Annoying E-mail Subject from a Recruiter So Far

M.S. of Andover, MA sent me an unsolicited e-mail with the following Subject line:
Urgent: Read Carefully - Immediate need for experienced blah-blah Software Engineers
So this creep is looking actually for ASP/C#/.NET and ActiveBatch. Of course he did not pass my e-mail validation with such idiotic requirements.

-ulianov

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A WinCE Job in Montreal?

B.B. of Farmingdale, NJ wants to send me to Montreal, QC to work on a Wind0ws Mobile drivers & stuff for a Smartphone. This bloody creep did not read a line of my Resume or he would have effing noticed that I have no SDL, UML and Wind0ws crap.

-ulianov

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Stubborn Recruiter Clears All Hurdles

B.J.1 of Orange County, CA managed to e-mail me [from a Yahoo!Mail address] a useless Sysadmin contract job after clearing all hurdles placed by me in front of him/her.

Here's what I replied to B.J.
Your persistence is admirable:
1. you noticed that your @deleted.com e-mail is rejected by my e-mail system;
2. you noticed that in the validation page I list your agency as one I have no wish to talk to;
3. you noticed that in the validation page I require to be contacted for Linux kernel/embedded jobs and yet you went thru the authorisation process even if I made it a hurdle.

I salute you for this but I won't change my mind about recruiters who send me useless jobs that DO NOT match my Resume.

Hint-hint: read Resumes once in a while instead of using Control-F in Word!!
-ulianov

1. no kidding, these are his/her initials!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Recruiter Sounds Like a TV Infomercial

I got this e-mail today from M.S. from Andover, MA and here's what he has to say:

Subject: Ignore the Economy! We have a high demand for experienced Technical Professionals...NOW!

This could be the most important message you receive all year! Please read the entire message carefully.

Despite the doom and gloom you read in the media the demand for Highly skilled Technical Professionals including Software Engineers, QA and Systems Engineers and developers continues to remain high and is growing.

We are now in a situation where job candidates actually hold the upper hand. Salaries and benefits a growing everyday.

If you have been considering making a move in your career, either to a new level or simply widening your experience base and skill sets now is the time to start that process.

IMPORTANT : IMMEDIATE NEED FOR SOFTWARE ENGINEERS.
I have an immediate need for several Software Engineers from Junior level to Senior and Principal level with experience in backend systems design and development.

[...]

To view all of our open jobs see our website at www.deleted.com

If you are not a Software Engineer we have other positions available and we are updating our website on a daily basis.

Tell us what you are up to.
I am working on updating our candidate database here at Deleted, Inc. and I would like to re-connect with you, find out what your career goals might be and see if we can use our expertise and connections to help you find a more fulfilling job. Whether that means more money, more responsibility or a job at a specific company we can help you with that. Look at it this way. You have worked long and hard to gain the skills and knowledge you possess, and you are very good at what you do.

Let us show You the Money!
But, you are no expert in the business of finding jobs and filling jobs. That is our expertise and our business. It is all we do every day all day and we do it well. It is in our best interest to present you to employers in the best possible light and get you the best position possible with the best salary available. Think of us like an agent for a professional athlete or actor. Only in this case there is no expense to you. We can work our way into your employers of choice, we can negotiate higher salaries or more desirable benefit packages or we can get you higher consulting rates. Let us do the dirty work for you. Your name does not even need to come up until absolutely necessary.

No Risk To You!
All of our services are absolutely confidential. Our proprietary methods allow us to search the job market for you with no risk of discovery by your current employer. This is much safer and more effective than putting your confidential information out on the public job boards. The sad fact is that over 70% of all positions are not posted on the job boards and less than 29% of all positions filled are filled by candidates whose resume was posted on a job board.

I look forward to hearing from you. Finding out what you have been doing and where you want to go from here. I am excited at the prospect of helping you take your career to a new level.

This sounds like a cross between an acne treatment infomercial and one for get-rich-quick. B*rnard H*ldane is not far from this guy in style. Yuck. Oh, the "proprietary methods" BS means calling hiring managers at random.

-ulianov

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's a "Direct Client"?

I keep getting spams (via monster) from crappy agencies advertising "Urgent direct client requirement". These creeps must have gone to school together.

WTF is a "direct client"? Recruiter agencies generally don't work for other agencies, they try to find jobs for various companies. Ergo all of their clients are direct.

What's funny is that some bottom-feeding recruiters find candidates and then they pester hiring managers at random to interview/hire them [as related to me by a hiring manager]. So the clients some times don't even know that recruiters work on their behalf.

-ulianov

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Disorganised Recruiter

I was talking to this recruiter from TX and I wasted quite a lot of time on:
1. e-mail exchanges, followed by
2. a phone interview with the recruiter, followed by
3. more e-mail exchanges, followed by
4. a quiz sent on behalf of the hiring client, followed by
5. a phone call from a fax line (!!), followed by
6. more e-mail exchanges asking for a phone interview with the client.

This is a bit too much time spent interacting with a recruiter that cannot seem to make her mind about how to handle me. By this time I already forgot why I wanted to take the job in the 1st place.

-ulianov

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Interview w/ a Startup in Cambridge, MA

Went yesterday to Cambridge to talk to people from this 10-year old startup. To my surprise they are literally next door to MIT. Very interesting: super-cool location, image must be paramount for them.

Nice people, a bit elitist as the subtext goes, interesting work to be done (f/t). Yet no special connection. While their premises were well-lit by daylight they put me in a dimly lit conference room. Not a mood enhancer.

I got a phone call today from their internal recruiter telling me that I did not click with anybody on the team and my personality did not match the team. Yep, just like dating as one recruiter put it. However I really do appreciate him giving me prompt and sincere feed-back.

What puzzles me about them is the length of time they've been around and they haven't been bought and they didn't IPO. Most startups end up somewhere after about five years.

-ulianov

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

An Ode to the Software Developer

A recruiter sent me this job in Tampa, FL.

The job descriptions would be OK if it were not so long. Looks like a poem or an ode and is even longer than Longfellow's Hiawatha!

-ulianov

Summary:  Researches, designs, tests, modifies and develops computer software systems and software programming applications, in conjunction with hardware product development, by performing the following duties.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following.  Other duties may be assigned. 

·         Installs and maintains Linux (Debian) networked development environment on Intel based PCs and Arm based Gumstix products.

·         Configures and manages TCP/IP, USB and Bluetooth interface protocols.

·         Debugs and modifies Linux (Debian) drivers.

·         Maintains SVN source code control system.

·         Experienced in the use of Hardware test equipment and Software debugging tools.

·         Designs, develops, codes, debugs, tests, installs and maintains software.

·         Will be expected to write documentation to describe program development, logic, coding and corrections.

·         Consults with hardware engineers and other engineering staff to evaluate interface between hardware and software, and operational and performance requirements and to identify current operating procedures and to clarify program objectives of overall system.

·         Assist task leader/project manager in developing schedules and project plans. Keep task leader/project manager informed on progress against schedule.

Competency:

To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

Design

·         Generates creative solutions                                           

·         Translates concepts and information into images              

·         Applies design principles                                                 

·         Uses feedback to modify designs                                    

·         Demonstrates attention to detail

Innovation

·         Displays original thinking and creativity                            

·         Meets challenges with resourcefulness                            

·         Generates suggestions for improving work                       

·        Develops innovative approaches and ideas

Problem Solving

·         Identifies problems in a timely manner                             

·         Gathers and analyzes information skillfully                       

·         Develops alternative solutions                                         

·         Resolves problems in early stages                                   

·         Works well in group problem solving situations

Quality

·         Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness                       

·         Displays commitment to excellence                                 

·         Looks for ways to improve and promote quality               

·         Applies feedback to improve performance                       

·        Monitors own work to ensure quality

Teamwork

·         Balances team and individual responsibilities                    

·         Exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views             

·         Gives and welcomes feedback                                        

·         Contributes to building a positive team spirit                     

·         Puts success of team above own interests

Job Knowledge

·          Competent in required job skills and knowledge

·          Exhibits ability to learn and apply new skills

·          Keeps abreast of current developments

·          Requires minimal supervision

·         Displays understanding of how job relates to others

·         Uses resources effectively

Judgment  

·         Displays willingness to make decisions;

·         Exhibits sound and accurate judgment;

·         Supports and explains reasoning for decisions;

·         Includes appropriate people in decision-making process;

·         Makes timely decisions.

Safety and Security

·         Observes safety and security procedures;

·         Determines appropriate action beyond guidelines

·         Uses equipment and materials properly

·        Reports potentially unsafe conditions

Qualifications:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform the essential duties satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education:

Bachelor's degree (B. S.) in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering or Mathematics from four-year college or university; with five plus years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Language Ability:

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations.  Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.  Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.

Math Ability:

Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference, and fundamentals of plane and solid geometry and trigonometry. Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.

Reasoning Ability:

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.

Computer Skills:

To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of Spreadsheet software; Development software; Design software and Project Management software.  Proficient in object oriented software development on gumstix processor under Debian/GNU Linux, and Visual C++. Knowledge of client server applications and ability to write code to manipulate custom hardware is desired. Control of remote instrumentation using PC or PC based platform under Windows is desired. Experience with nuclear, biological or chemical detection systems and knowledge of DSP of video signals a plus.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk and talk or hear. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include Close vision, Distance vision, Depth perception and Ability to adjust focus.