An Experiment In Scotch

I write to discover what I believe

Month: June 2007

Getting Noticed Means Getting Hired

That’s the gist of this post and it certainly is true in the techie universe I live in. One of the fastest ways to get noticed is to have a decent resume. I read my fair share of resumes as a tech lead at work and let me tell you, most of them suck balls. The ones that don’t suck balls are at best average and not once in my 7 years with my company have I ever seen a resume that made me think the person writing it was willing to take a chance.

My resume (not posting it but if you’re interested, I’ll show it to you) isn’t a thing of great beauty but it’s got a couple of things going for it. First, it’s short. Brutally short. I saw a resume at work 2 weeks ago that was 9 printed pages long. That’s ridiculous. On top of that, it makes me think you’re a dolt or a show-off. Either way, getting my vote is an uphill battle.  Your resume should be 2 pages max.  If I want to know more about your work history beyond two pages, trust me, I’ll ask.

Second, I take chances with my resume. I want someone to read it and have a reaction. I’d prefer it to be a “Holy crap, get this guy on the phone” reaction but I’m ok with “What a maroon” too. Either way, we’re getting somewhere. If I’m looking for a job, I’m looking for one that’s better than the one I’ve got. If I wanted a job just like the one I have, I’d just keep the one I have. Take a damn chance. If your objective has one single thing about specific technical details, you’ve screwed up. Example from mine: I want to read the daily Dilbert and not once identify my own coworkers in the strip. As I said, take a damn chance.

Lastly, it’s well-written. I had at least 3 people proof it including at least one (my lovely wife) who doesn’t have the foggiest clue what SOAP or XML or SOA stands for but very definitely knows whether I should use effect or affect. If English ain’t your first language, find someone for whom it is (unless you’re trying to get hired in India) and have them proof it. Twice. Don’t underestimate the affect effect of a well-written resume.

If you’re looking for a job in a cubicle farm, forget everything I’ve said. If not, take it to heart. Oh, and Be Smart and Get Things Done. That helps too.

Destroying Motivation

One meeting at a time.  It’s truly amazing how big companies just don’t seem to comprehend what makes developers happy.  Instead, they tend to go out of their way to make them unhappy.  My company is no different.  This list is a pretty good start on ways to make your programmers unhappy.

Around here, people get promoted to their highest level of incompetence and the really good developers get to do things like develop process (mmm process, it tastes good with Ranch) for the rest of the department or evaluate tools for the rest of the department.  None of which sounds particularly interesting or useful to my long-term career goals.

I fight through the overhead and some days, I really get good stuff done.  Most of the time though, I develop my exceptional talent at day-dreaming while looking interested.  At least, I think I look interested.

UPDATE: This post was written two years ago. I’m doing some cleanup on categorization so if it show up in your newsreader, that’s why.

Microsoft Rules (or Does It?)

Go here and watch The Power.  Then go here and be amused.

UPDATE: This is an old post. I’m cleaning up some things on the blog and removing some categories which means posts like this get updated. That’s why it might show up in your newsreader this morning.

Note To Self

It is ok to carry bananas to work in your backpack.  Nectarines, however, are off-limits.

On the positive side, my backpack smells like smushed nectarine-y goodness now.

A must read article on the causes, effects and final outcome of the Duke non-rape case.

Hat Tip: Chicago Boyz

Sacred Linens

While we’re talking about God (but not to God, he answered that one time and man did I freak out), there is apparently a shortage of holy saints, holy retreats and holy matriarchs so the Episcopal church in Cleburne had to get creative. When looking for church names that give you the warm fuzzies, what could be more warm fuzzy than a comforter (except when the cat pukes on it, then it’s just disgusting)?

I give you the Church of the Holy Comforter. I’m guessing the Church of the Holy Dust Ruffle and the Church of the Holy Afghan were taken. Plus they don’t quite have the same ring. Who wouldn’t want to curl up with a holy comforter? Mmmm that just sounds. . . .comforting.

More Proof That God Hates Mobile Homes

He’s trying out floods as an alternative to tornadoes.

What Is So Hard About Money?

I listen to WRR on my daily commute and Smith Barney currently has a commercial out with some woman apparently whining about how she and her husband don’t know how to talk to their kids about money. They can talk about sex, drugs, smoking but money? Not a clue. The ad tries to convince you that you need a Smith Barney rep to help you talk to your kids about money. The commercial is part of a bigger series on Working Wealth, whatever the hell that is.

I know it’s a commercial but it drives me insane. On one hand, it makes it disturbingly clear why so many people make horrible decisions when it comes to their money (ARMs, home equity loans, cars that cost as much as they make in 6 months, etc). But on the other hand, are we really a nation now that doesn’t know how to teach kids about money? Christ, it’s not that hard.

When I was growing up, I had a set of chores and if I did those chores, I got an allowance. Also, if I got straight A’s, I got a bonus. I saved money for things I wanted. Pay for performance. Objective results, objective rewards. Welcome to the real world. Instead, this woman says her speech basically goes “well if you get good grades and help out around the house, we’ll talk about it.” Subjectivity doesn’t cut it if you’re going to reward someone. Anyone who has ever had to give an employee review knows this.

I know it’s probably a stretch but to me, this is an extension of the progressive movement in America basically saying “You’re ok, I’m ok.” Relativism becomes mainstream. What are good grades? Good for me might be D’s but no sane person would think objectively that D’s are good. Some things just aren’t relative. How you make money and save money are things that aren’t relative.

Poker Lessons I Must Learn

Give up middle pairs when they are beat.
Give up middle pairs when they are beat.
Give up middle pairs when they are beat.
Give up middle pairs when they are beat.
Give up middle pairs when they are beat.
Give up middle pairs when they are beat.
Give up middle pairs when they are beat.
Give up middle pairs when they are beat.

Abominations of Nature

Typically, anything with that descriptor is hyperbole designed to incite specific responses.  For example, if I say that a three-way between two women and a horse is an abomination of nature that God will surely punish, that’s clearly just a sign of my bias against alternative expressions of sexuality and an exhibition of my closeted kinks.

However, Whataburger’s making sweet tea with some horrific synthetic sweetener like Splenda is truly an affront to all that is pure and holy as laid down in the specific sections of Revelations related to making sweet tea.  God clearly understood the southern tradition and would never stand for such blasphemy.  Sweet tea is made from sugar, preferably in a glass pot on the porch for 3-4 hours on a sunny day.  Any other means of “sweet tea” creation truly deserves to be struck down by the mighty sword of Truth.

In other Whataburger news, the new BBQ Ranch Whatachicken is mouthgasmic, its 720 calories and 37 grams of fat, notwithstanding.   Sweet Mercy.