Thursday, December 18, 2014

Want to get a job? Stop mumbling.

You'd be amazed (or not) at how many people when doing a phone interview for a job, speak in a mumbling and unclear manner.

Speak UP, loud and clear and confident.  Listen carefully to the interviewer on the other end of the phone.

Don't fake sounding happy but do be upbeat.  So many job seekers speak on the phone like their cat just died.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I sent one of the best developers I know to a job interview, he was rejected.

I worked closely with a guy for five years who was one of the very best developers I've ever worked with.  He was very fast to develop highly reliable, feature rich code.  Very fast to learn any new technology.  Modest, easy to work with, nice guy, no hassle to anyone ever. Could build applications of arbitrary complexity. From my personal experience of five years of working with this guy closely, daily, I knew he was one of the best developers you can possibly find.

Eventually I sent him for a job interview with a company.

This company of course, like all companies, have a "really well thought out interview process that does a great job at identifying the best developers".  Just like YOUR company.

What happened?  They interviewed him, they rejected him.

THINK about that.  Have a close think about it. Now think about your company's awesome recruiting process.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Is your developer recruiting process just stroking your company ego?

Some companies have recruiting processes that are extremely selective.

The standard is in fact so high that they recruit few people, despite doing large numbers of interviews, and despite needing to fill many positions.

Paradoxically, the company feels good about its inability to meet its recruiting needs. The company thinks that its incredibly selective process ensures it is getting the best developers.

More likely their incredibly selective recruiting process is just interview questions that don't actually identify great developers, instead just asking questions that (of course) eventually manage to find fault even with great developers. Almost everyone gets filtered out.

The company doesn't mind however because the large number of rejections builds a sense of exclusivity and elitism. This elitism strokes the company ego, reinforcing the value of the overly selective interview process, entrenching the ineffective process further.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Who's the Google engineering genius behind ultrasonic pairing?

The latest version of Google Chromecast uses "ultrasonic pairing"

Read about how convoluted the process is in this article: What You Need To Know About Chromecast’s New Guest Mode

Google has taken device pairing, which is already much harder than it should be, and made it harder.

Google - here's one for free - the right way to do pairing between devices is based on the device location. When my phone is near my Chromecast, it should become the keyboard and touch controller for it. When my friends phone is near my Chromecast, the Chromecast should just know that. Easy, no silly device pairing numbers or audio tones. To make the phone the controller for any device, be it Chromecast, Xbox or Playstation, just use GPS and the Internet. No need for silly audio engineering tricks and convoluted processes.

Devices know when they are near each other - just pair them automatically please. And if a device (like Chromecast) doesn't have a GPS, then just put a phone near it during its setup and make the setup process find its location from that.

"Ulstrasonic device pairing" - some engineering genius at Google is proud of this dumb idea.

More links:
Chromecast's ultrasonic device pairing is much simpler than it sounds
Chromecast will use ultrasonic sounds to pair your TV with your friend’s phones

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Employers don't want great developers, they want what they want.

When an employer asks me to find them a developer, they almost always want the same thing - smart, passionate, clever. And when we find a great developer, there's a good chance the employer will be reject that candidate for reasons that I find hard to understand.

Employers don't want great developers - they want people who match their image of what a great developer is. They want what they want.

Friday, December 5, 2014

If the product you are developing is not viral, maybe it belongs in a marketplace.

If your product has no viral mechanism, then maybe it belongs in a marketplace. So before you start developing, know which marketplace your product is suited to. Don't get to the end of the development process (as I do) and then  wonder how to get it in front of buyers. Understand marketplaces in advance.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

When I write no code, that's when I do my fastest programming.

The time I spend actually writing code is the slowest part of any of my projects. Coding to achieve a specific goal can easily take hours, days, weeks and even months, depending on the goal.

So I put a large amount of thought into how to achieve my goal with as little code as possible. Often I sit there for hours and hours starting into space thinking about how to reduce the amount of programming needed.

If I'm really lucky, I'll work out how to achieve the goal with no programming at all. When I write no code, that's when I do my fastest programming.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Programming, it takes a long time to find the quick way.

Programming often requires that you take a very long and winding route in order to eventually find the shortest path to your destination.