Monday, November 1, 2021

Latest Recruitor Scam on L1nkedin?

One offshored recruitor prefaces his spammessage with:
Note: Please accept In Mail even if you are not
interested so that we can have the credits back
which we can use for sending In mails.
Umm? Help them send more spam? How dumb can they be?


Monday, March 1, 2021

An Innocent Recruiter Gets Snagged by my Traps

SJ of Andover, MA writes:
Call/email me if you’re interested, because you’re profile on
Monster is too confusing and deters recruiters like me
from contacting you without a clear concise email or
phone number.

I tried to call you the phone kept ringing.
Unfortunatedly my PBX system was out of disk space because of random SIP attacks and malfunctioned so his call did not get thru. Incidentally calls from Mass get no phone IVR, they go straight to my cell.

However the obstacle course is supposed to be confusing and hard to make sure only a determined recruiter whcih can show me the proper rate gets thru.


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

New & Improved Recruiter Spamming Method: SMS/Text

This is so fishy it borders on scam, nevermind I am not qualified to do an Office Manager job:
Hi My Name! Are you interested in exploring Office Manager opportunity at Spectrafɵrce Technologies Inc? Please reply YES if you consent, NO for not interested (or) STOP if you do not want to receive texts about Spectrafɵrce Technologies Inc Job opportunities

Have I mentioned this is an offshored agency and probably a home for H1-Bs?


Thursday, November 5, 2020

The Lifecycle of a Silicon Valley H1-B

Look what landed in my Inbox! AFAIK $40/h violates the terms of the H1-B visa [$70k salary is way worse as the statutory floor is $90k] but who else would accept $40/h in the Valley?


Bottomfeeders IT is hiring for multiple roles.
I am a Part of Bottomfeeders IT which has been in the California bay area Tech industry for the past 10 years and has helped 1000 + candidates find both Contract and Permanent positions with bay area and nationwide Technology clients like [all the majors in the Valley] and many other Fortune 500 organizations. We are looking for highly driven candidates who want to make a career in Java/ Mern Stack /full stack /Devops and AWS/ PYTHON, AI, ML, HADDOP
Bottomfeeders IT assists organizations to achieve more productivity from existing employees by coaching them on advanced skills which the ever-evolving field of technology demands. Bottomfeeders IT works to increase the competencies of existing employees, which reduces the cost of hiring new employees and provides existing employees with growth opportunities within the organization.
Our dedicated recruiters provide our clients with talented and innovative professionals. Bottomfeeders IT connects skilled professionals with the best IT companies within the contract, contract-to-hire and for permanent positions as well. We are a full-service staffing and software development firm that adheres to the principles of service, integrity, and competence.
We have an excellent reputation with the clients; hence candidates who get Skill enhancement by working with us and are valued by clients due to their technical competency. Our goal is to match a candidate’s skill set with the requirements and if Skill enhancement is needed, we provide that to our candidates to match up the client expectations.
Why Bottomfeeders IT?
1. We have been in the Silicon Valley bay area industry Since 2010 and have a deep network of clients and have a solid reputation of quality candidates.
2. Our Skill enhancement is not to just get you a job alone. It ensures you have a long term stable career in the technology industry.
3. We make you work on current Technologies and Skills needed by clients. As we are more in touch with the Tech industry and clients we offer dynamic skills and technology enhancement.
4. Unlike other organizations we offer no binding contracts for 12 months to 24 months to work for us or any of our clients and you are free to choose any Client and location where you want to work.
5. Our candidates get Salaries ranging from $70,000.00 - $120,000.00 per annum for permanent positions or $40-60/hr for contract positions.
6. No relocation needed for either Skill Enhancement or even for job placement for majority of the candidates.
7. We provide on the Job technical assistance and also marketing for 1 year from the date you start working at a job.
8. We have our candidates working at [all the majors in the Valley plus + manufacturers + banks]. Please ask to see our past candidates details.
To match up to client expectations you need to be better than other candidates in the job market both technically and functionally. Once you achieve technical superiority over other candidates and have projects which reflect the same then you can be assured that you will be able to get multiple job offers and have a long-term career in software development.
Technical competence enables you to choose clients rather than clients choosing you. We look forward to partnering with you to help you achieve success in your pursuit of a programming career.
Click here to go to Bottomfeeders IT Website to know more about us.
Please research more about us and I would call you to continue our conversation.
Please goo through our blogs as well.
If you want to know about our coursework you can click to our services and then click to technology upskill program you can see the coursework of all the technologies.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

A New Gem from Offshored Agencies

I've seen many things in my time but this takes the biscuit:
Client : TCŠ/TIAA
QA Mobile Lead
Location : Iselin, NJ
Rate : Best Minimum in Market
Best Minimum in Market must be a new econo-mathematical concept which most people can not able to comprehend, do not have a defination for and are not comfortable with the requirement.

Mind you TCŠ is an in-famous employer with luxuriant benefits so no surprises here however, H1-B visa conditions stipulate a minimum salary of $90k/year which works to $45/h.

But I have seen H1-B specials at $40/h.


P.S. Another gem caught my eye... is this even legal?

Only H1B and H4EAD
Must be 10+ years IT experience

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Most Useless Job Board?

Of the majors when it comes to applying for jobs:

  1. I might have hooked a job on mônster.{ca,com}
  2. I have hooked a job on mô
  3. Nada on dï
  4. LïnkedIn nada con niente.
  5. I did clinch a job on but that was in France and I took a 55% pay cut for the privilege.
Of the majors' "private email" channels of communication:
  1. mônster.{ca,com}: mostly offshored pukes trying to land me on "H1-B minimum wage" (aka. $45/h) in the Bay area.
  2. LïnkedIn: got some calls from bona-fide ones.
On the recruiter's side: my recruitress buddy prefers LïnkedIn (as she has a recruiter's account).

Historically Canada's Workopolïs declined into a recruitors' hangout and now is just a cesspit.

Ïndeed & somesuch are basically just Resume fishing holes for who-knows-what purpose.

So to me of the majors Dïce takes the cookie. Its only use nowadays is to monitor in real time recruitors' feeding frenzies, and it's mostly t he bottomfeeding agencies.


Dumbest Job Board Ad?

I keet getting this useless job ad (for a month!) as a Dïce job alert:
Drilling down in the actual Dïce job ad I see this gem from an offshored agency which in characteristic fashion keeps boasting about "awards" and "recognitions" nevermind that wrecks the job alerts and pisses of candidates:

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Hotlist? Spam?

Got this never seen before weird plea for help cum inducement from some random puke. The "CANSPAM" footer is even more interesting: we may virus you but eff-off and don't call back. Nevermind the fact that the retard spammed me on a .CA address hosted in Canada and US Bill 1618 does not apply here.
Subject: Need Hotlist


Please share hotlist and add this email to your distribution
list. I have so many direct client requirements at hand.


Note: We respect your Online Privacy. This is not an
unsolicited mail. Under Bills 1618 Title III passed by
the 105th U.S. Congress, this mail cannot be considered
Spam as long as we include contact information and
a method to be removed from our mailing list. To be
removed from our mailing list, please reply with
"REMOVE" in the subject line and your email address
in the body. Include Complete Address and/or
Domain/Aliases to be removed. We sincerely regret
any inconvenience. The recipient should check this
email and any attachments for the presence of viruses.
The company accepts NO liability for any
damage caused by any virus transmitted by this

Friday, August 30, 2019

Unconfined Idiocy?

This crap is going out of hand: this idiot recruitor never spoke to me, lets me see the notes passed to him by the hiring manager, unfeigns me and appends useless "legal" disclaimers. Aargh! -ulianov


It was nice talking to you over the Phone.

As discussed , Kindly Acknowledge with Resume.

I,__________ , Authorize Avanc1ers to represent me for the Senior C++ Engineer : Santa Clara, CA with XYZQ.

Keywords to look –
  • C++11/C++13/C++17,  STL/BOOST.
  • RDP, RTSP, RTCP, Gstreamer
  • FFMpeg and Video streaming at Linux/windows.
  • (MP4/H.246/Video encode, decode)/(Video Streaming)
  • SSH X11/Xfree86/X.Org/Xvesa/TinyX, (Window Manager)/mwm

Also please avoid profiles stressing on following
  • Embedded Devices
  • Codecs
  • Imaging Algorithms
  • ARM and other CPU architecture

Duration: 12 Months
Location: Santa Clara CA

Unfeigned Regards

The Idiot

Disclaimer : This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error, please notify the system manager. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee, you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this email. Please notify the sender immediately by email if you have received this email by mistake and delete this email from your system. If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Some Hook from Mumbo-Jumbo University

Got this Hinglish word-salad spam masquerading as a jd from some fly-by-night outfit. The last paragraph is quite bizarre... is it the stream of consciousness of the spammer expressing itself?
Subject: Career opportunities of Data Science

Greeting from the Achârya,

This is regarding an education venture aimed at enhancing and upgrading your skills for the careers of the future. Our aim is to bridge the demand -supply gap high demand career,

Achârya is an education venture promoted with the sole purpose of creating on industry-ready workforce. The venture operates through a platform and partnership model of empowering educational institutions of different kinds by augmenting their internal and external capabilities in terms of helping then develop and deliver high demand and job oriented programs. At the core of its universe are learners of all age groups . We pride ourselves in using the latest technical tools and machine learning and artificial intelligence in customization of our programs according to learners and industry needs. Our core themes center around the tapping the residual capacities of the existing educational system and empowering it to create an industry-ready workforce.

Also as I started try to research about the candidates and preferably set a pitch based on their background.

And this is utterly idiotic for a piece of spam... legal folderol with no legal use or effect:
Disclaimer: This e-mail communication and any attachments to it are confidential and privileged to Achârya and are strictly intended only for the personal and confidential use of the designated recipient(s) named above. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, you are hereby notified that any review, dissemination, distribution or copying of this message is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Please notify the sender immediately and destroy all copies of this message along with all attachments thereto.

Monday, August 12, 2019

D1ce: Dumb, Dumber or Dumbest

Lately put up in the right-hand corner a bell icon with a number of "unread" alerts superimposed.

If clicked it reveals a pulldown of "insight" news and pro-tips, mostly clickbait and dumbsh*t such as Taking a Personality Test: What to Know Beforehand

The quality of the copy seems to issue from the machines in the sub-basement of the Ministry of Truth (think "1984").

And this drivel is supposed to be "important"?


Friday, August 9, 2019

A New Low, Lower than Scum, Your Name is AI

Holly macaroni this job spam is the biggest pile of turd on this side of Y2K:
  1. my e-mail address was scraped by something from Monster
  2. am I to have a "conversation" with an AI?
  3. "It can learn more about you beyond just a resume"? Like what?
  4. "it’s difficult to communicate who you are" -- sure... to an AI?
  5. this is priceless... of all the bullcrap recruiters message me this is the most outré:
    As an AI Recruiter, I help you to expand upon your experience and skills. I understand the requirements of the job and give you the opportunity to elaborate on how your skills and experiences relate to the position in your own words.
This is a good excerpt of their spam template:
Subject: Chat with Wendy about blah jd
My name is W3ndy, and I'm helping the XYZ hiring
team. I should also mention I'm artificially intelligent
Recruiter. Yep, you heard that right! 

I'm working with XYZ to hire for their Systems
Engineer position in Colorado Springs, Florida1.
I came across your resume and thought that you might
be a good fit for this role.

My goal is to learn more about you beyond just a resume.
Through a simple conversation, I can help you get in front
of the hiring managers faster. My aim is to be your advocate,
presenting you in the most relevant way possible.

To get started please click the button below to begin
chatting with me. I'm looking forward to meeting you!
Happy Chatting!

AI Recruiting Partner
Powered by Wad3 & W3ndy

*What if I have questions or run into any problems?* 

 If at any point you require assistance, please email the Wade & Wendy
human support team at They're eager to help!
*Will the hiring manager see this chat? What happens next?* 

 Yes. The hiring manager uses the chat, as well as the rest of your
application, to determine next steps. If the hiring team chooses to move
forward with your application, they will reach out via email.
*Why are we doing this in a chat format?* 
It's difficult to communicate who you are and what you can do in a
bullet point on your resume or in the summary section of your LinkedIn
profile. Those tools are two-dimensional you='re not. As an AI
Recruiter, I help you to expand upon your experience and skills. I
understand the requirements of the job and give you the opportunity to
elaborate on how your skills and experiences relate to the position in your
own words.
1 = There is no such place. Just nitpicking.


Aug 14 update: a clear-eyed recruiter suggested that I might be used as training material for the AI. Also that the AI funnels/weeds out candidates to flesh&blood recruiters.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A "419" Note from Recruitor?

A "recruitor" spammed me like so:
Hi Myself

Hope you are doing great!

This is XYZ. I’ve got your profile from one of my portal and
it is looking efficient for this job role. Your profile has also
been shortlisted for the position.

I have opportunity regarding your skill set with a good pay rate.

Please share your updated resume on the same mail if you are
feeling comfortable for this position.
I've seen bad Engrish in recruitoirs' notes before but this spam is bizarrely full of lies:
  1. "one of my portal" -- eh?
  2. "it is looking efficient" -- Borg speech.
  3. "your profile has also been shortlisted" -- by whom?
  4. "I have opportunity" -- yes, we get signal
  5. "feeling comfortable" -- why are all Engrish notes asking me that?

Friday, August 2, 2019

Amz0n Calls Again!

They found me, again and they had my gmâil address as well!
Subject: We need your Coding and Designing expertise -
         Amazôn Primê Air / Dronê Delivêr; Sêrvice

I wanted to check in with you to see if you are interested
in helping us make history as we define the new generation
of package delivery through autonomous drones? The Primê Air
team here at Amazôn (Seattle, WA) is looking for Software
Development Engineers with your skillset and I would love
to consider you for one of our openings. Relocation
assistance provided!

Are you interested in discussing Software Development Engineer
opportunities with Amazôn Primê Air?
A further exchange netted a bigdata-devops jd.

I might have lashed out at the corporate recruiter:

I have interacted with Lâb 126, Alexâ [teams] and
I am terminally unimpressed by the hiring process which seems
geared towards new grads. 

If Amazôn wants badly expertise/experience that needs to change.
I guess they never read Resumes at Amazôn. Why am I bothering? Perhaps if I do a Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet... followed by a keyword salad it would net me the same pitiful result?


Thursday, July 4, 2019


Had a chat with a recruiter about her talking to candidates even if no position is currently open.

The natural weeding out of candidates makes the interview process a funnel and they need to have viable candidates at hand when the hiring restarts.

While this may make sense from their point of view for me (the candidate) it's a waste of time. Thus I refuse to talk to any recruiter who coes not fess up in 30 seconds jd, location, rate and start date.


Friday, April 26, 2019

High & Dry in DC

This is a new one for me: the satmodem company I've contracted with announced me on Tue that Fri is my last day.

Which came as an unwelcome surprise as three weeks prior they asked me to extend my contract another two months putting me back home mid-September.

Luckily I gave in to my laziness and did not lease a flat... the hotel I was at was 500m from work, in decent & clean shape and not too expensive compared to 3-month DC area leases. So I did not have any losses.

After a bit of ferreting it turned out that they ran out of money and cut loose all my contractor colleagues... they even pulled the extension crap on one of them as well.

What irked me was that my agency was notified 2 weeks prior but they did not bother to tell me.


Friday, December 21, 2018

Applying to jobs on L1nkedIn is a Mug's Game

I think I might have applied to ~200 jobs of interest for me on L1nkedIn and got precisely 0 responses.

L1nkedIn was supposed to be for professionals yet since it got bought by M$ it went down the turd chute: sponsored posts, incessant spams about Lynda courses and the likes.

The only job-related incoming pings on L1nkedIn was from either B1tc0in fraudsters or recruiters who carpet-bombed me with connection requests (to get at my contacts who need to be spammed too!) or jds which are no match for my experience of skills.

Not much different from Dice or Monster yet L1nkedIn is always trying to scam me into a paid subscription.


Friday, November 2, 2018

Some people G00gled "HR drones", Why am I Not Surprised?

I wonder what they mean by "HR drones"?

On the recruiting"talent acquisition" (don't we all love a PC turd?) they may or may not be bombarded with Resumes. I commiserate with them on this.

Then they have to weed out Resumes [if a recruiter is not in direct contact with the Hiring Manager] -- based on what criteria? ... their technical acumen is n/a.

Then they need to do a face to face with candidates and that's when it gets sticky: some discuss freely based on a common sense agenda, some subject people to a questionnaire lifted from Recruitering for Dummies. Ouch.

In the end if hired on f/t one has to deal with them, [if you are lucky and they are not offshored] however they are not there for YOU but as a CYA for the employer. Oh, and they can be super annoying with some dumb mandatory trainings.

The worse for me was about 10 years ago when they were subjecting me to OSHA training, nevermind I went thru that 5 times before.

Luckily as a contractor I only deal with them when they take my photo for the badge.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Bad Agency Deal in France

Being bored out of mind by the nature of my job in Miami and in need of a change of scenery I took a contract (CDI) in Grenoble/Sophia Antipolis, France.

I kept telling my French agency that I need relocation assistance (no, I would not insult their highfalutin selves with a request for reimbursement of relo expenses) by which I meant "help finding a flat to rent" [this can be tricky in France].

Also my contract had some interesting S&S clauses (scummy & scammy):

  1. the salary of 55k € was to be paid in 13 1/2 tranches... 12 monthly, 1 extra at X-Mas and 1/2 at the end of the year -- I asked around other recruiters in France and they deemed that "unusual";
  2. if I were to quit before hitting X-Mas and end of contract year in their employ I would forfeit the respective tranches(sweet!);
  3. altho legislation of France notes that the 25 days of vacation accrue monthly and can be redeemed after the first month they would only pay for them after the second month;
  4. CDI employees are entitled to daily 10 € lunch vouchers yet I saw none of that... in a year that adds up to a nice bob!
The net result was that my net salary was 3.3k€/month. Now the French are sticklers for rules & laws -- one such iron rule (but not law!) that I did not find on expat blogs is that one can rent for up to 1/3 of his net income. Paying in advance for one year is forbidden by law -- the poor need protection!

Protip: The probation period is (customarily) 3 months in France during which nobody won't rent to you.

Alas on the Riviera area max 1.1k€/mo won't pay for 3 bedroom places, nevermind I could have paid one year in advance from my lawful gains in Miami. The agency overlords kept feigning deafness until I gave them the customary [for me] Two Weeks Notice.

Then they took notice and offer enthusiastically to "help" (seeing them do that was a John Hurt moment). Help came in the form of sending me to rent a flat in a cheap-ish area with superbad schools... luckily I asked what's what of my French co-workers.

Protip: The agency in concert with my employer ended the probation period then&there so I can rent. Sigh.

Two weeks came and went and Friday I told them "I'm outta here". So the fun began... the CEO of the agency started threatening me with lawyers and demanding money (isn't that called extortion? hmm perhaps not in France).

I did the only reasonable thing... I flew to Belgium the next day to drown my sorrow in Trappist beer. Telling the hapless CEO I'm no longer in France did not go down well ;)

I left word for my friend the CEO that:

If anybody is asking I am in Tijuana making it rain on blow, tequila and mamasitas.

Alas I incurred some buttpain as my fly-by-night airline went bust and I had to fork 500 quid to yet another fly-by-night airline to fly me back home... to Tijuana.


Monday, September 11, 2017

The JD of a Recruiter based in Indiå

So this is how they get minted.
Job Title: IT Recruiter (US Staffing)

Duration Full Time

Positions 20

Job Description:
Experience in working on Contract, Contract to Hire,
Full time requirements.
Experience with Job Boards like Monster, Dice etc. 
with Strong Experience in placing IT Professionals
in US market with clients
Work effectively as a team member as well as an
individual with minimal direction
Good communication, interpersonal skills, and
leadership skills
Looking for long term relationship.
We will consider candidates with no experience
if other qualification criteria’s are strongly met

Monday, May 8, 2017

Is this the Laziest Recruitor Ever?

I have heard in my life about mail merge and bad recruiters but this outsourced one combines and bests both (noticed the verbatim fill-in-the-blanks). This is a new low in bottom-feeding recruitors for me.
Dear Myself,

My name is A... and I'm an IT recruiter at Tech Mahïndra. Our records show that you are an experienced IT professional with experience in ______________. This experience is relevant to one of my current openings. The opening requires ______________ in addition to the above skills. It is located in __________, __________.

... short relevant jd blurb ....

Knowledge in _______ is a plus.If you are qualified, available, interested, planning to make a change, or know of a friend who might have the required qualifications and interest, please call me ASAP at (844) 555-2579 Ext.70685, even if we have spoken recently about a different position. If you do respond via e-mail please include a daytime phone number so I can reach you. In considering candidates, time is of the essence, so please respond ASAP. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,
Business Associate
Tech Mahïndra


Sunday, April 23, 2017

On Mõnster US's Message Centre

So far after about 50 spamsahem messages they have all been low-pay H1-B specials propositions. Totally effing useless feature which Mønster uses as a pretext to spam your real inbox with "Yaw've got Mail". Sigh.


Monday, April 17, 2017

On US Contract Rate Escalation

The key in dealing with marginal/offshored agencies is patience and persistence.

The verbatim jd in question [which appears to me as a Sr. position] was this:

Title: Linux Embedded Software Developer
Duration: Long Term Contract

- Experince in Linux Embedded Software Developer
- experience coding in C/C++.
- Agile project experience.
- Knowledge of wireless network protocols (Wi-Fi,
  BLE, ZigBee, IPv4, IPv6, etc.)
- Develop and design software that will interface
  with various embedded stacks (BLE, Thread, ZigBee)

Secondary Skills:
- Experience with the spectrum tools used for
  source code management and development/test
  environments: VS, TFS, GIT, SVN, Bit Bucket,JIRA etc.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  capable of writing appropriate documentation,
  and interacting with other engineering disciplines.
- Strong ability to communicate deep analytical
  results in forms that resonate with scientific and/or business collaborators, highlighting actionable insights.
Here's the rate escalation e-mail exchange I've had with this drone:
ulianov: What's the W-2 rate? Split per-diem offered?
Recruiter: Duration is long term & rate $45/hr on W2.
Commentary: This is the bare minimum ($90k/year) which
an H1-B is allowed by law.
ulianov: [Not replying for 3 hours.]
Recruiter: Duration is long term & rate $58/hr on W2
without benefits or $65/hr on 1099.
ulianov: Thank you for the rate adjustment. However
my customary W2 rate for outside California is $NN/h.
Recruiter: Please make it $70/hr on 1099
Commentary: This is less than I charge on W-2.
Also 1099 is unsuitable for me as it does not provide
Mind you most of these bottom of the barrel agencies do not want to provide split per-diem as they labour under the impression this is extra money they have to pay me... it's not. It's an IRS untaxed allowance for people working 60mi+ from their place of abode.

Educating them in the ways of the per-diem is painful so my advice is this (should you qualify for per-diem): if a recruiter is clueless about the per-diem then hang up.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

On J0bDïva's Email Traffic

I've blocked them in my in-app firewall for the past 5 years but I was getting 1000's of hits a month which made me curious so I changed my mail server tarpit logic to collect (but reject) samples of their wares.

I noticed that the following agencies use this spamhouse:

These agencies are mostly lowballers, based in 1ndia and cater to the H¦-B crowd via low-low hourly rates.

More random H¦-B lowball specials:


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Weird US Market

I've been trying to find some gig in New England since November and I got positively no bite.

The only outfit doing Embedded Linux contracts seems to be Bôse in Framingham and not much else. Something was happening on Washington St in downtown Boston but no bite.

I've never experienced this before... usually it was enough to raise my hand to land a gig paying my rate (which is basically the market rate). Perhaps this is due to the uncertainty following the elections?

It seems that there's the same vibe going on as in May-Jun of 2008.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Amplifying on No Such Agency's JD

While what the three-letter agency wants done is cool and the outcome of such a vectored attack might raise some moral qualms I positively don't understand the requirement of a Top Secrȩt clȩarancȅ...?

None of the required methods and meẚns are sẹcret, just a tad on the abstruse side so I'll repeat them here. Please pardon the AȘḈỈI art ;)

First learn what the equipment is by TCP fingerprinting, b&e + photograph or social engineering over a beer.

Second buy two of the same hardware, preferably from the same supplier so you'll be at the same firmware level [one box sacrificial for taking apart components, one for testing].

Third dump the firmware from flash [never trust the manufacturer's ftp images]. If SPI flash ask it nicely. If memory mapped unsolder and dump. Look-see the chips to learn the CPU type and revision.

Decompile said firmware with objdump (for UNIX hackers) or IDA Pro (for Wind0ws pukes). Most equipment is made in China so no encrypted bootloaders. If ciscō/Juniper consult usenet for source code or F1SA-court it.

Most Chinese equipment's software is built very sloppily sometimes with outdated FOSS libraries. They also have junk CGIs which can be used to inject attack code later. Also they have full debug symbols.

Look at decompiled code/source, search for strcpy/memcpy/printfs. Sometimes there's a JTAG header which makes one's single-stepping life easy, else psychic debug how to smash stack for said architecture. Prepare ẽxploit and bon apetit.

Prepare to apply ếxploit. If enough room and flash writable, b&e and apply it.

If not figure out a way to re/apply it repeatedly:
 1. Tap into network (e.g. WPA password cracker) and remote exploit or
 2. Social engineer a culturally-apropriate mail attachment; if unknown send a juicy public figure bj clip for male targets or 50 Shådes of Grĕy Expanded Deluxe edition in 3 volumes (and with the fabled Secret Chapter to boot) ebook for the other half of the populace, etc.

Also install a keyløgger/røotkit for good measure.

1. Run from ROM -- but that's rare nowadays.
2. Boot/run Linux/BSD entirely from a dvd.
3. Use a ROMed signature-verifying bootloader -- ain't that hard, I've written one for a softcore SH-2; get your crypto sh*t right!
4. Use a battery-backed RAM for firmware or storing crypto keys; use a tripwire inside case which when opened will power off the RAM.

So again if an old fart like Yours Truly is* capable to plan and exȅcủte [nah, too lazy] the technical aspects why the need for a high level clẹạrance? Perhaps not to blabber about the targets?


* = We have to be very careful defining the meaning of the word IS. Sometimes it is an unknown unknown.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

No Such Agency Calling ;)

My 16-year hacker & decompiler of viruses self, buried deep beneath a crust of blasé bitterness, goes OMG! So Coool!. I wish I stumbled upon this at that time... I would have grabbed this with both hands... alas different century, different continent. Am too old.

Job Title                  : Embedded Software Engineer
Job Location         : Columbia, MD
Position Type        : Full-Time
Interview Process: Phone/Skype

Required Skills:
- Embedded software development using assembly and
  C languages
- Significant experience with IDA Pro (or similar) RE
  development tool
- Familiarity with variety of processors such as 8051,
  X86, and ARM
- Must be able to obtain a Top Secret clearance.
- 6-12 years of experience in C languages, IDA Pro,
  and embedded processes
- Experience with packet based communication
  such as TCP and UDP.
- Familiarity with configuring network routers and

· Perform reverse engineering of binary images for
  embedded systems.
· Analyze software for vulnerabilities and security
· Develop methods for modifying systems to include new capabilities.
· Create new software images to be loaded onto
  embedded systems.
· Mentor junior engineers to improve technical capabilities.
· Assign task assignments and track task progress
  of team members.
· Provide direction for future product development efforts.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

What Motivates Hired Talent (aka. Mercënaries)

I've been reflecting back to the Short Happy Career of Francis MacomFulltimer and why I was working:
  • to pay the mortgage;
  • money in my pocket;
  • technical/mental challenges;
  • paid vacation
and the typical carrot/stick inducements of a Canadian corporation:
  • RRSP contribution matching;
  • Year-end bonus of ~8%;
  • EFA (aka Siëmens Yearly Evaluation) feedback from my manager.
On my last EFA I got a dumb quasi-negative feed-back. I found myself a contract paying double the money within a month.

Some things stay the same but as a contractor I get paid the same regardless of the outcome of the project I work for.

Take a minute to think about that... Did you think "slacker"? Think again.

A contractor should be very good at what he (or she) [assume "he" henceforth] is doing and driven to deliver the goods on time. Or he should be canned quickly [doesn't always work this way, alas]. That's why they hire an expert for $$ more than an employee.

(In the US of A IMHO contractors are preferred to full timers because that offloads the healthcare costs from the company to the contractor. Just my 2¢.)

But things in the Software industry don't alwaysrarely come with a happy ending... the custom RF hardware your super-perfect software runs on is terminally buggy and the project gets cancelled in disgust... the division of the BigCorporeshion just got axed and took all your year's work with it... or the project just got shelved.

Most of the time I do not take on contracts/projects in which I have no intellectual interested. I still need to pay the mortgage.

I find that I take less vacation as-such than when I was a fulltimer. But I also work less hours... I do not have to warm up a chair 9-5 every day.

Yet there is no stick [not living any more from paycheque to paycheque takes that edge off]. A non-positive evaluation means early termination of my contract and that hasn't happened yet.

Sometimes I linger on a contract past its due date [I do not want to leave money on the table] and it gets extended and my tasks shift into swampy territory where a) the work derails violently outside of my area of focus, b) my work depends on too many externalities, c) the code becomes to complex [how about a 5-tier logic?] and d) it's been too long.

The most precious thing about being a frëelancer is that with contracts the end is always in sight.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Dumbest & Lazyest Puke err Recruiter Ever?

I have seen in my time recruiters who pass their clients' private notes on what to recruit for but this one hits the bottom of the Sea of Stupidity (I think I should start a Darwin Awards-type of prize for such imbeciles).

He's RK of (allegedly) Richmond, VA, a moron who never read one line of my Resume (I am positively not a SDET).

RK shows developmental problems as he cannot follow written instructions. Low-grade English is just the corollary.

I admire and commiserate with the hiring manager who had to spell out in such detail the instructions for recruiters.

Here is his Neckplug production in all its glory & colour (italics are mine):

Hope you are doing Great.

We have urgent position for our client are listed below. Please let me know if you comfortable with Position.

Title: SDET(Software Development Engineer in Test) Consultant

Location: Bellevue or Bothell, WA.

Duration: 6+ months

These SDET’s will sit and be embedded with the business to create test automation right alongside the Developers that are developing. They will working Agile/Scrum environments and will help to transform and be a part of a team that guides the businesses into Agile/Scrum/Kanban best practices. Looking for thought leaders that help drive quality in an organization.

We are not looking for generic team members that just sit and take direction but rather looking for strong players that help drive results.

You will need to ensure you are finding SDET’s. These are coding individuals. These people develop automation code for testing. Please make sure you are tailoring your screening to identify those that spend their majority of their time coding for testing rather than developing. Please screen out those developers who see themselves as a developer and not an SDET.

  • 5+ years of experience in software development/test.
  • Fluency in one or more of: Java, C,C++ and familiarity with one or more of Python, Perl , PHP
  • Working knowledge of Front-end web development.
  • Expertise in data structures, algorithms, and complexity analysis in XP or Scrum environment.
  • Understanding of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and project planning/execution skills including estimating and scheduling.
  • UI or Device Test testing experience a plus.
  • Strong practical knowledge and experience in mocking and stubbing tools including Junit, TestNG, EasyMock, Mockito, MockServer, WireMock, Bamboo, Hudson, Jenkins, GIT, Stash, Cassandra, MongoDB, SQL.
  • Practical Knowledge and experience of Methodologies; Agile V-Model, Waterfall.
  • ISEB/ISTQB Foundation Certificate in Software Testing.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Related Field.

Monday, October 12, 2015

On Why A "Career" is Not for Me

This is a revisit of this older entry.

Having pulled at the last moment from a "solid" career choice (see previous post) am wondering how the world has turned for me to go against the career path sought after by my parents:

  1. "stable" job (as far as it can be in a startup);
  2. great & smart people to work with;
  3. long hours, hard work;
  4. little leisure time; moste Long Weekends are not long;
  5. an assured stream of income and (applicable US-only) employer-paid health insurance;
  6. a gc {subject the the vagaries of the US immigration system};
  7. great schools for the kids;
  8. perhaps the stock options proffered could be worth something.
Of all this the only thing I'm sore about is #7, and I discovered that the rest hold less appeal for me than they did some time ago. Must be the age showing.


Friday, October 9, 2015

My Repeat Failures with the Corporate Culture of US of A

The year was 2007 and I was in talks with a network test equipment firm out in LA. We liked each other much but they did not allow me to have a desk with daylight as I having at that point up in Canada so the f/t talks came to an end.

Ironically 2009 was the year when I took a 2-year contract in Corning, NY and I had myself a desk at a window in the Sullivan Park site overlooking an expansive vista and a forest and cris-crossed by deer.

Last year I've contracted at a nice virtualised eNodeB startup in Boston/495. Being that my rate plus the agency rate were quite dear they've offered me a f/t with a promise of gc (which is something I've been seeking for a long time).

My reservation was that they give a pass to most US long weekends and the team seems to put in crazy hours. Alas I'm useless past 45h/week and I like my vacation time. This being a 3+ year engagement I asked for +1 week of unpaid vacation (no point working it as the IRS and Canadian Taxman gang up on me to take ~50% of my marginal take-home pay) and no sustained overtime.

These stipulations seem to have touched the unwritten pack rule of corporate USA. I just got this back after my declining of their offer:

Thank you very much considering a position at XYZ. I am sorry to see you come to this decision.

I believe we have an extremely flexible work culture here that works for everyone and making an exception is unfair for the rest of the team.

As much as these concerns/requests you have highlighted can be taken care of within the bounds of the system we are all working in – this is not something than can be made formal or part of an employment offer.

Am really sorry I've hit this wall again, they've been really nice to me. As I am 40+ and have young ones at home I need all the free time I can get.

These corporations like me as a contractor but not so much as an employee. Interestingly the situation is reversed in Canada.


Friday, January 23, 2015

A Perl Contract Or Spiralling Down the Rabbit Hole

T.A. of Newton, MA e-mails about a Perl contract in Snottybridge (Cambridge) saying
My client is looking for an Engineer to work with Perl and improve some in house applications.
I followed up with a call and it appears that U of Harvārd has some webapps of mixed Perl/PHP backends and they want to do a bit of cleanup. My position was along the lines of
Improving Perl applications can be tricky as Perl (unfortunately) allows people to write unreadable code.

I would like to see some of the offending code first (perhaps under NDA).

Alas it wasn't meant to be: the hiring manager wants people to pass a knowledge test and come interview in-person on a set date.

Being that atm I am busy and know better and am not jumping for joy at the thought of working for such a exalted institution I conveyed them my warm wishes of all the luck in the world finding a Perl guru interested in maintaining a (potentially disastrous) code base and bid them adieu.


P.S. The parking situation in Snottybridge is catastrophic so one more reason to "say no to the Tee" ;)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Will Answer G00gle Queries Radio-Yerevan Style!

[If you wondering about Radio Yerevan check out the article on Wikipedia.]

From recruiters:

Q: funny life of recruiter
Q: like to experience being on the other side of the fence (being the recruiter)
A: It's crap. People lie all the time about their qualifications/accomplishments and most likely you have no technical expertise to weed them out!

Q: opening lines for corporate recruiting
Q: best opening lines for a recruiter
A: If you are a recruiter be normal, brief, open and honest. Candidates will appreciate your lack of BS.

About recruiters:

Q: recruiters pushy
Q: [why job] recruiters are annoying
A: Some are, mostly the incompetent ones.

Q: are it recruiters useless
A: Alas 66.666% of them are as they have no technical background.

Q: why do recruiters send me jobs that i am not a match for
A: Because they use Ctrl-F to search for keywords and not read one yotta of what you wrote there.

Q: why do some recruiters meet face to face before representing you
A: In my experience this afflicts mostly Canadian recruiters. Basically if it sez so in "Recruitering for Dummies" they must follow it! Or they have a corporate policy set by a Chief Something-or-Another Officer who read "Recruitering for Dummies" which is much worse.

Q: sweet talk to recruiter for employment application
A: Everybody does it but don't lie. It serves no purpose.

About W0rk0polis (Kennadian special):

Q: W0rk0polis resume formatting is terrible
Q: W0rk0polis resume review shows wrong format
Q: why W0rk0polis resume looks so bad
Q: why does W0rk0polis fuck up your formatting
Q: sometimes on W0rk0polis it's hard to a upload resume
Q: how to format a resume for W0rk0polis
Q: uploading resume to W0rk0polis expectations
A1: Abandon all hope ye who enter. Their MS-Word Resume parser is utter garbage!
A2: W0rk0polis is nowadays haunted only by Canadian recruiters.

Q: posting still up on W0rk0polis and have not been called yet for an interview
A: Me too! I must be doing something wrong!

Q: what do recruiter hits on W0rk0polis mean
A: Nada! Nix! Niente!

About M0nster

Q: will my m0nster resume be spammed by recruiters
Q: posting resume on m0nster tons of recruiters
A1: Yes! Definitely! Publish your cell number if you want to have serious fun! Be mindful that US/Canada have 31/2 timezones and they will call you from the opposite coast!
A2: For added fun if you are in Canada post on M0nster.CA and have fun being spammed by US recruiters!


Q: recruiter fucks recruit xxx
A: This must be a pr0n query but it is funny any way your read it.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Staff Wanted (in Canada)

From time to time scammers hit me on old-generation Monster addresses with fantastic! terrific! lots of $$! ads like the one below. Apparently RCMP thinks this is money laundering and plain (criminal) fencing [typos come verbatim from spammers].


Hello, We have an excellent opportunity for an
apprentice applicant to join a rapidly expanding

An at home Key Account Manager Position is a great
opportunity for stay at home parents or anyone who
wants to work in the comfort of their own home. 

This is a part time job / flexible hrs for Canadian
only,This is in view of our not having a branch office
presently in Canada, also becouse of paypal and ebay
policies wich is prohibit to work directly with
residents of some countries.

Requirements: computer with Internet access, valid
email address, good typing skills. 

If you fit the above description and meet the requirements,
please apply to this ad stating your location.

You will be processing orders from your computer. How
much you earn is up to you.  The average is in the
region of $750 - $1000 per week, depending on whether
you work full or part time.

Region: Canada only.

If you would like more information, please contact us
stating where you are located and our job reference
number - 6608/CH. 

Please only SERIOUS applicants.
Another version, more bizarre:
Good day,

Let us introduce ourselves. Our company's name is
InterTr*ns Consulting LLC.

Our international firm well known from all over
the world in the financial area. We commenced
doing business in America. But today we doing
business in different countries. Today we expanding
business in Canada.

We glad to inform you, that our firm is interested
in your profile for the Financial Assistant opening.
Due to the firm's enlargement and breaking into the
new sectors, we are glad to provide you an opportunity
to be a part of our ambitious corporation.

Please, see our offer:

Post title: Financial Assistant;
Region: Canada;
Payment: $1300-$2500 CAD/week;
Flexible work schedule;
Work from home;

Basic requirements for the Financial Assistant
job offer:
  Work permit in Canada;
  Ability to use the Internet;
  Mobile phone communication;

For additional employment information, please answer
us at: .
Your Resume will be a plus for our decision.

We are looking forward to your initiative. 

Have a bless day!
And another:
New post is available nowadays
in our Company at Canadian market.

Attention: The number of openings is limited.

Our Company works with dropshipping system. So
you, as a part of our team, will represent Us
in your state, get the post, correspondence or
goods to your address, examine the goods,
repacking/consolidation if necessary and send
to an address given by your supervisor.

This position will take only a few hrs of your
time a day. You just need to stay in touch
during working hrs, have a wish to get extra
money and be 21+. You will have stable income
with us. More goods or correspondence you
handle more money you will have.
This is 110% scam as nobody in Canada refers to it as the Canada -- probably 419 by the services in the matter of flourish and awkward phrasing:
We considered your resume to be very 
attractive and we thought the vacant position
in our company could be interesting for you.

Our firm specializes in consultation services
in the matter of bookkeeping and business
administration. We cooperate with different
countries and currently we have many clients
in the Canada. Due to this fact, we need to
increase the number of our destination
representatives' regular staff.

You will be responsible for shipping goods
from multiple shops through our company to
different places. Part-time and full-time
employment are both currently important.
We offer a flat wage from $1000 up to
$3,500 per month.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Merry-Go-Round with Recruiters

Today I got pinged by a US recruiting outfit about a job in the automotive sector. It happens that I knew the hiring manager for this and I made an inquiry to the manager. The response came back that "we're not hiring for the next 6 months". But the outfit contacted me repeatedly indicating "interest" in me by the hiring manager. Funny, eh?

Friday, January 16, 2015

On Unattainable Things in Toronto

Got a call from a local (Toronto) recruiter about an embedded job. The guy had the idea that I am a QNX guru (altho I only mention it once, in passing in my 20-page Resume -- cool!, he knows how to use Ctrl-F) and he's got this great f/t position for me with an auto manufacturer in (gasp!) Oshawa {translation: it's GM}.

I had to cut this love affair short as commuting from outer West-GTA (where I live) to outer-outer East-GTA (Oshawa) would take 2 hours on a good day in one direction.

So I sez "I'm not going to Oshawa" and hung up. So rude of me...


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

On Canadian Employers' Antics, Again

Got pinged by a local (Toronto) recruiter with a hook, line et sinker that ran like
Wanted to see if you would be interested in intermediate / senior embedded systems C or Java on Linux developer position with our client , fast growing (100+ employees), transportation software development firm, west of Toronto. [...] Call me
So I started probing about jd, location, $. Being that I am in Boston I requested a phone interview first, to sort them out (the jd indicated that they wanted and Embedded Linux expert and a C#/MS-SQL maven in one body -- cruel, eh?).

He came back with

G**b liked your profile but would like to proceed to 30 min logic test online before scheduling phone call interview.
Interesting: on one hand they are looking for
  • 5+ years embedded development in C
  • 3+ years embedded Linux development
but on the other they screen people like new grads [with a timed test no less!].

Myself I am not opposed to online professional proficiency tests but alas this was an IQ test, you known if 3 squares point this way how would the next 2 point?. But I never liked this kind of riddles and am not good at them as they bore me to tears.

The test did have 3 [simple] programming questions which I will show below. Alas they were phrased in VisualBasic and I only have the C transliteration.

I sent back the prog solutions and they insist on going thru the whole shebang.

So this lead nowhere and to me it shows how some Canadian employers are highly disrespectful with the candidates' time and competence (to me it would have been more fruitful to spend the same amount of time to chat with them on the phone than to waste it on dumb riddles).

(The connoisseurs have enjoyed thes antics with G**b, Mo*ega and other such shops with weird hiring policies.)


int f(int x)
  if(x == 1) return 1;
  return x * f(x-1);
int main()
  int y = f(8); // What does it print? ==> 8! = 40320



int XYZ(int Y)
  int X = 20;
  printf("%d\n", X);
  return X*Y/3;
int main()
  int X = 10;
  printf("%d\n", X);
  printf("%d\n", XYZ(X));
  printf("%d\n", X);
  return 0;
/** What is the output?


int XYZ(int Y)
  int X;
  int Z = -10;
  for(X = 1; X <= Y; X++) {
    if((X % 2) == 0) Z +=3;
    else             Z++;
  return Z;
int main()
  int X = 10;
  printf("%d\n", XYZ(12));
  return 0;
/** What is the output?

More Daftness in Canned Opening Lines

This recruiter apparently from NJ (by his phone area code) sends me a message thru M0nster about a job in Montreal, QC, Canada. Strange, eh?

The opening line comes in strongly stating that I've been "shortlisted". Ha?

Also the phrasing & rhythm of sentences is vaguely bizarre, 419-style.

Your profile is shortlisted. Please share your profile.
This position is with direct client.

Skill :C++ developer
Location : Montreal, Canada
Req : #3039419

Looking for a Linux C++ developer, with a background of
working with C++, Python and Networking.

This is a role to work on the core networking technologies
that make up our global low-latency trade plant. The
candidate does not need to come from a finance background.

·    5+ years of professional experience with C and C++
     on UNIX/Linux
·    A passion for design, problem solving, AND hands-on
·    A strong knowledge of object-oriented design, data
     structures, systems and applications programming,
     and multithreading programming are a plus
·    Good communication skills
·    Financial knowledge and project management experience are a plus but not necessary
Another variation on this theme:
I came across your resume on Monster as one of the top
few individuals that met the requirements for this role
and wanted to reach out to you to see if you would be
interested in an opportunity for a Developer with XYZ
with one of our major clients located conveniently in
Toronto's downtown core.
But wait! there's more of this (does this one think I'm a fellow bottomf^H^H^Hrecruiter?):
Hope you are doing good!

I have gone through your hotlist, hope you have
consultants for the below requirements kindly go
through them and let me know if you have any apt
And a bubbly one:
Hi Friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is
J. from XYZ which MI based and I am into Recruitment,
all friends who are into sales kindly add me in your
distribution list and gtalk
And one which is a straight lie:
Hope you are doing good!

I got your resume from your employer, I would like
to submit your resume to my client for the below
position, if you are interested I request you to
provide the details given below

Monday, January 12, 2015

On Canadian Security Clearance jobs

Got an inquiry from a recruiter in Ottawa about an Embedded Linux job. I asked back for jd and he said that he cannot send it to me unless I have a Secret Clearance(!!!)

There are two not-so-nice things about this:

  • One can get a clearance [according to the recruiter] only if sponsored by an employer and only if residing in Ottawa [for this particular job].
  • The process to get it is incredibly invasive with one's [private] life -- I may have to account to my siblings', half-siblings' and parents' (to say nothing of their dogs!) travels et whereabouts et employment status as well, eh?
And I thought that being fingerprinted by the US border guards was offensive enough...


Monday, January 5, 2015

"As Discussed", eh?

The latest fad among recruiters is to spam (cold-call style, no prior contact) one with a piece not unlike the one below. I truly enjoyed the part about you feels interested in Above position.


Subject: As Discuss

Greetings from XYZ. The Implement client is TCS.

Role name: Embedded BSP Systems Developer – WEC7 -
           Lewistown, PA


Please fill in the following details if you feels
interested in Above position
1)    Full legal name (Mr./Ms./Mrs.) :
2)    Reachable contact number :
3)    Visa Status & expiry date :
4)    Current Location :
5)    Availability :
6)    D.O.B. (mm/dd/yyyy) :
7)    Skype :
8)    Employer’s Contact Detail (if any) :
9)    Name of the highest degree you have done :
10)  University from which you completed your highest degree :
11)  Percentage / Marks scored in highest degree :
12)  Start date and End date of highest degree :
13)  Please attach updated resume :
14)  Probable Flexible Interview Timings : This is mandatory
            Time Slot 1:
            Time Slot 2:
Three References with Official Email ID's
Company & Designation:
Official Email ID:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Polite Recruiter Being CAN-SPAM Compliant?

The phrasing is exquisitely dated & convoluted reminding one of Victorian English...


You may have received this email previously because we
have been challenged by our client to find highly
qualified candidates who are interested in this
position. Our intent is not to impose upon your time
and apologize in advance if you do not believe this
is a good fit, or if you are currently unavailable. 
If you are not interested in this opportunity, I
kindly request that you reply to this message with
'DECLINE' in the subject line, or body of the email
with a brief note as to why, so we may better serve
you in the future.
If you are interested in finding out more about this
position, please reply to this message with a current
Word version of your resume and the hourly rate/salary
that you are seeking [...].

Friday, November 14, 2014

M0nster's Idiotic Ideas

Monster nowadays wants recruiters to contact me via their in-house/in-portal "Message Center" which derails my recruiterwall (spam filters aimed at tormenting recruiters) as the Reply-To address is some bounce@monster crap.

I updated my Resume to say "Don't use the Message Center". 95% of the creeps who use it haven't read my Resume anyhow and spam me with Windows Sysadmin jobs. I block them.

Also another Monster dumbshit idea is BeKnown which I think is their DOA answer to LinkëdIn. Another gem is the "Apply to FlyByNight College X" page which manifests itself on their US site.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Canadian Recruiter Dumbness Prevails

I've applied yesterday to a job on Workopolis which dealt with network virtualisation (space I am in at the moment). The posting was not specific as to the location (1st red flag).

Today I've got called by the recruiter who posted the ad, and he was based in Ottawa. He asked a few questions and wanted me to customarily embellish my Resume to look good to his client. Also he indicated that the job was in Ottawa and f/t (2nd red flag).

Then he says "Let's set up a Skype interview tomorrow".
Me says "Sure, with whom? Who's the client?"
He says "With me. I need to build a profile of yours." (3rd red flag).
Me says "I am on the phone with you let's chat".

The arsehole insisted that he must, he must Skype me which for a recruiter in general is a weird thing to do, however Canadian recruiters haven't got past the 1st chapter of "Being a Recruiter for Dummies".

The only thing I could do was to indicate it's a waste of time (having dealt with 100s of recruiters in my time) and bade him farewell. I was lucky he did not want me to move my carcass to Ottawa for a face-to-face with him.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

"Special Request from G00gle"

I have had a whole e-mail thread with some in-house G00gle Canada recruiters. It starter on a springy note:
Hope you're having a great day in beautiful Toronto!

I recently reviewed your previous conversations with G00gle recruiters including previous interviews with us. I'd love to check in and learn how everything is going with your current work at XYZ.

Are you available for a quick call this week or next? No pressure - it's totally informal! (I'm part of a specialized group here at G00gle which focuses on speaking with engineers and scientists who are top performers and happy in their current roles, therefore not necessarily looking for new roles.)

All nice et flattering but I started asking the basic-trio of questions: jd? pay? location?

This seems to have thrown them for a loop [got ping-ponged between two internal recruiters], especially the jd as apparently they feed the candidates to some sort of recruiting pool.

Being that I am employed and have no particular burning wish to become a G00gle minion I insisted on jd and the trail got cold. I expect to hear from them in 5 years.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

"New Jersey" Recruiter Strikes Back

Some recruiter 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 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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


Chance 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%].


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: hav_j=y
TPgPEU: red_r=y
TPgPEU: lnx_j=n
TPgPEU: emb_j=y
TPgPEU: loc_j=y
TPgPEU: msft=n
TPgPEU: loc_a=y
TPgPEU: bad_a=n
TPgPEU: bad_a=n emb_j=y hav_j=y lnx_j=n \
loc_a=y loc_j=y msft=n red_r=y
TPgPEU: lnx_j=y
TPgPEU: 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 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 ;)


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.


Monday, December 12, 2011

A Spam Honeypot...

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.

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.

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.

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:
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:
  • 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

YYY Consultants

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. Pleasant 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.


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.


P.S. I block all calls from overseas, 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]".


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.