Hiring: you are doing it wrong

Looking for a job in the tech sector is a challenge. A lot has been written about the process itself and its quirks, ranging from programming puzzles to whiteboard interviews. However, there are still a few details that are often overlooked by most companies and can make a significant difference for perspective applicants. Even when recruiters try to do all they can to make the application and hiring process as easy as possible, it is extremely common that the jobs or careers sections of their websites do not contain all the information applicants would need to make an informed choice. And when the information is present, it is often arranged in a way that is not effective or clear enough. This article contains a selection of the most frequently neglected details; information that is valuable for applicants but, for a combination of good and bad reasons, is often hidden or not present at all. If your company is hiring, try to figure out how easily a candidate can find an answer to these questions by looking at your website: How long will it take to get to an offer? Do you accept international candidates? Which openings match my skills? Which openings match my seniority? Which division should I apply for? Which offices are hiring people with my profile? If the answer to any of these questions does not come immediately, the careers section of your website may be cleverly designed and communicate a great image of your company, but it is probably disconnected from the needs of its users: the people you are trying to hire.

What I love about the Kindle…

…is not the device itself, but it is the whole ecosystem that surrounds it. I have received my Kindle as a gift at the beginning of this year, and it quickly became my favorite gift of all time. That can be quite surprising, knowing me. I own many different devices, gadgets and computers, but I have always been fond of the smell and feeling of paper books. Knowing that, some people were ready to bet that I would use the Kindle for just a few days and neglect it shortly after for something else (e.g. my iPad). I must admit that I am sure this is exactly what would have happened with any other e-reader device. My experience with the Kindle, however, was (surprisingly) awesome, and it due to reasons I didn’t expect.

Failure is an option

As Software Engineers, we often tend to be overly optimistic about software. In particular, it often happens that we underestimate the probability of systems and components failures and the impact this kind of events can have on our applications. We usually tend to dismiss failure events as random, unlikely and sporadic. And, often, we are proven wrong. Systems do fail indeed. Moreover, when something goes wrong, either it’s barely noticeable, or it leads to extreme consequences. Take the example of the recent AWS outage: everything was caused by a mistake during a routine network change. Right now, some days after the event, post-mortem analyses and survival stories count in the dozens. There is one recurring lesson that can be learned from what happened.