Infopost | 2023.05.27

Stock graphics manage career weird
Source. I didn't have any original graphics for this post so I found some awesome stuff on the internet.

A few days ago I did an career panel for the ECE student association. The organizer provided some generic and student-asked questions in advance. Since writing one's thoughts is a great way to prepare for live Q&A (take that down), I did just that.
Internships and hiring

What are you looking for in an intern?

Some companies use interns for cheap labor - that isn't us. Other companies' intern programs are basically summer camp to attract promising candidates early - that isn't us either. We give interns projects that we can't dedicate FTEs to, primarily projects that are too speculative. For us, internships are an opportunity to try new ideas or see how newer technologies could impact our work.

So we look for candidates that can implement a hypothetical solution in a few months, understanding the domain and technologies required to accomplish their task. Beyond that, we want the code and documentation to be useful six or twelve months later when someone has bandwidth to adopt it.

We interview interns before projects are selected, so at interview time we are simply looking for someone who can write code (rather than having specific technologies in mind).

How do I get an interview?

Like most large companies, the entire hiring process is managed through our careers site. So start by creating a candidate profile.

You can apply to specific job reqs from the website, though as you may know from other candidate portals, this doesn't guarantee an interview. There are a few additional methods to improve your chances of getting an interview:
Terrible resume template
Source. I wasn't sure if this was real or a parody, so I dug deeper. Results posted below.

Do you have any advice on resumes?

In most cases your resume will be read by (in this order):
  1. Software
  2. Non-technical people
  3. Technical people
I'm the last of the three and don't know much about 1 and 2. In many cases, I don't see the resume until the interview is scheduled. In other cases (conferences), I see it first.

It's great if you're getting a postgraduate degree in a specific field or really know what you want to do in industry. It's also fine to take your core software knowledge and see what opportunities come. In the latter case, it's good to have different resume flavors targeting different types of positions. Everything relevant should be on there, but you can provide expanded information for more relevant positions. E.g. if you're sending me your embedded C resume, I'd rather see more about your robotics project and less about your database project.

Your resume typically sets the boundaries for an interview. That is, if you say you're good at C++ and terrible at SQL, I'm going to ask you to write C++ (unless it's a DBA position). So be sure that your resume signals to the interviewer what you think you should be interviewed on.

What are some things to be careful about in interviews?

The core of the interview process is the technical examination - coding questions, system design questions, take-home tests, etc. There's nothing to really be careful about here, just do your best.

The Q&A/behavioral portion of the interview is fairly insigificant unless you say something really bad, it's really all about passing the technical examination. In the case where two candidates have similar technical competency, we'll still lean toward a technical tiebreaker (experience in relevant technology, previous employers, etc.). The only thing that might break a very rare tie is genuine enthusiasm or an overall superior ability to communicate.

The most common issue I see in interviews that doesn't significantly impact my disposition (because, once again, technical question) is one of these:
The most important thing to keep in mind: expect to have bad interviews. Sometimes you won't perform well. Other times the position is not right for you. And often you'll pull an interviewer who has a terrible, terrible interview question (that he thinks is the greatest).
On the inside

Computer science career questions corporate memphis
Source. One of the most important aspects of tech is something they don't teach you on college: corporate memphis.

How did school prepare you for your role?

The curriculum was good, though you don't realize it immediately - the first few months of employment is a firehose of platforms and practices. It all matters though - complexity analysis, multiprocessing, data structures, algorithms, operating systems.

Matrix github copilot ai software coding comic

How has ChatGPT changed your work?

Well there was the amusing moment when the lawyers lost their minds, hearing that engineers had been using an external, cloud-hosted query tool as a Stack Overflow replacement.

In a larger sense, LLMs can be quite useful for technical questions where you know Google results are going to be trash. Will they replace coders? Maybe the ones that write copy-pasted code soon, maybe everyone eventually. Except mission-critical systems.

How do you stay up to date?

Coworkers. Everybody has their pet interests and they're a great source for information and references to further troves of knowledge. Conferences and personal projects help too.
Back to that resume with clipart

Weird website printable chore chart

That website with the resume was a huge compendium of printable document templates. It's kind of a good idea, but also who is downloading your chore chart template?

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The platform

Another node in the indieweb and a Java library for personal projects.

90s aesthetic

The indieweb and blogging with a couple of webring rabbit holes. RSS with source and a small Elden Ring gallery.


Indie SEO, Google Search Console, static websites, and Java fails/parallelization.