Interviewing Updates

Hey All,

I haven't written in a while and I'm pretty excited about my life right now and the time I have to do what I do. I am currently doing some consulting work right now but I wanted to share that I have a job now.

After my time with previous employer ended, I took some time to figure out what I was looking for (that time didn't last long because I wanted to work again). My wife and I had long discussions about what type of company, what size of company, what benefits, what role, etc... We really thought about what I like to do.

It came down to one consistent thing

I love smart people

It is not the technology, not the industry, and not even the compensation, although all of those are contributing factors to my decision. It is the people that get me excited to go to work. It is the drive, passion, creativity, and the humor. Don't take yourself too seriously, enjoy what you do, and have fun with it. It is only when you are happy do you become HIGHLY productive. You can maintain high productivty for short stints of time with fear, but it is not sustainable.

Ok, back to the interview chat...

Here are some stats for you data driven people:

  • I applied to 81 positions on LinkedIn
  • I was connected with 43 companies on underdog
  • I applied to 3 on indeed
  • I chatted with 17 recruiters
    I only have 3 I love working with:
    • Giancarlo Hirsch (Glocomms)
    • Dalton Scott (Mesh)
    • Ren Waldron (Option 1 Partners)

From all of that:

  • I had 23 interviews (totaling over 40 hours (12 hours with Google alone))
  • I then had 6 second rounds
  • I eventually received 4 offers

Before I go on, I have been coding since I was 9 years old. I have been a "professional" (which means I got paid) for 25 years. I have extensive experience in cloud architecture, multiple languages, and databases.

HOWEVER, none of that matters during the interview. What all of that experience and training does is open doors. Most people rarely get the opportunity to interview with 23 companies. So that experience gets me in the door to some high-profile places (Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc...) and yes I have interviewed with them, worked at Microsoft for almost 7 years. But, every process is different, every interviewer is coming in with a bias of some sort, they may like data structures more than algorithms, they may like management styles vs technical prowess. It varies greatly.

Here are some of the reasons I didn't get to final rounds or offers:

  • "We feel you are over qualified for the role and would be bored here"
  • "We are looking for someone more junior to grow with us"
  • "We have gone with another candidate" (that happened an hour before my interview)
  • "You don't have the experience with our code base" (which was proprietary, lol)
  • "You are out of budget for this role" (Most honest answer ever)
  • "We have decided to not hire for this role"

It is always humbling to receive a rejection. I think of actors who's job is not to act but to audition. Truly, that is their primary job for most actors. They are rejected on a daily basis. They are some of the most resilient people I have ever met. What is so interesting about it is this, you learn from those rejections. Most places don't give you specific feedback because they are afraid you will sue them over some comment that was deemed unfair. But the ones that really give feedback, listen to them. Learn from them.

For the longest time, I would interview every 6 months no matter what. I may love my job, but I would still interview. I highly recommend that practice. It keeps you sharp and you may find something you didn't even know you wanted. It also keeps you aware of the market and what skillsets they are currently looking for. 10 years ago, no one cared about Vue or React. 20 years ago C# didn't exist. And now, Go, Rust, Haskel, Python, F#, etc... are all running full steam ahead.

All in all, it has been a really interesting ride and I have met some GREAT people through the process. Some startup CEO's that are getting things running to some amazing managers at Google and Amazon.

I have never done this, but I want to call out one company - Strivr. They are hiring. They are an amazing group of people doing some amazing things. It was my top pick for my next role until a perfect position came to me by a reference. If you are looking and want a great group of people to work with, reach out to them. Their interview process is thorough and Christine (my recruiter) was so helpful and on top of all communications.

That's all I have for today.