[Baypiggies] Perot at NASA - Sr. Python Developer

Jeff Lindsay progrium at gmail.com
Tue Jun 30 08:12:06 CEST 2009

I actually have no idea who this recruiter is, but I'm on this team. I
have a few cents to add to this whole thing:

- I think recruiters are lame (sorry Travis, nothing personal?)
- I think job postings are like online dating profiles: bullshit, but
give you a *rough sense* of the real thing
- I think these requirements came from our overworked project lead who
didn't have time to think a lot about the fact people will tear it to
- This project is a lot cooler than it sounds, but will necessarily be
full of marketing buzzwords because it's funded by bureaucracy
- It's also very multi-faceted so a lot of the "musts" stem from the
requirements of the project, not necessarily desired qualities of a
single member (if I'm properly channeling the way our lead thinks)

aaaannd... I guess that's it for now.


On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 10:50 PM, Alex Martelli<aleax at google.com> wrote:
> Not that I'm really interested (wallowing in the joy that is working
> at Google), but I think it might help you to see why somebody like me
> might not qualify by the silly standards you set out...
>> Our client is developing a cloud computing infrastructure.  This has the
>> backing of the federal government and they want to make it the flagship
>> (standard).  Cloud Computing is their next generation datacenter with
>> automated load following and virtual space all mapped together.
> Considering that I've spent the last 4+ years of my life building
> Google's cloud, one might suspect I'm qualified, but...
>> Python development (at least 3 years)
> Check, 10 years should do.
>> Direct experience with highly-scalable web applications (minimum 5M+ monthly
>> unique visitors or the ability to scale to that level)
> 5M pageviews per month is what we *give out FOR FREE* on the Google
> App Engine (built on top of the cloud I helped build)...
>> Leadership experience (managing developers in a highly collaborative R&D
>> environment)
> Having spent most of my time at Google as Uber Tech Lead (responsible
> directly or indirectly for up to a few dozens of developers when I had
> to, though that was only when we lacked director-level personnel -- my
> boss, a senior VP, was way overloaded, so I took the people management
> load off his shoulder even though I'd much rather have been
> hacking!-), I think I could check this one
>> Experience with Social Media and Social Networking on the API layer
> Ah, that's the killer bit: while I've built clouds and managed large
> groups of brilliant developers doing so, I have ZERO experience on
> this "Social" silly thing (Google does have Orkut, which runs in part
> on infrastructure I helped build, but I nevertheless have ZERO
> experience with its APIs). So, since this is a MUST, even if I _was_
> looking for a job I would never apply for this one.
> In fact I'm quite loath to link my future to this "social networking"
> craze, to the point that I've repeatedly resisted facebook's insisted
> headhunting (prompted in part, I believe, by friends and ex-colleagues
> of mine who work there -- they've experienced what it means to work
> closely with me, even though I have ZERO "experience with social"
> ANYthing "on the API layer", and must have pressed their recruiters to
> keep badgering me even after several refusals on my part).
> It's fortunate that your conditions include this "social blahblah"
> experience as a MUST, since it means I of course won't apply and you'd
> immediately discard me if I did (or else it means you don't know what
> MUST means, which should steer ANY sensible person off this
> organization, of course).
>> Experience defining, implementing and refining data-driven APIs
> Got that (BOY do I ever), but doesn't matter since I lack your
> (idiotic IMHO) "social" `MUST`.
>> Experience in open source, both as a developer and an active community
>> participant
> Got that, in MANY projects, but again it doesn't matter given the
> meaning of "MUST".
>> Agile development in full product life-cycles
> AND that -- one of my hottest-burning passions, actually.
>> Nice to have:
>> Development of Complex, N-tiered systems, utilizing loosely-coupled
>> components based on a message-passing architecture
> Got that and then some, pity it doesn't matter.
>> Familiarity with OAuth, OpenID and other open standards for authentication
>> and identity
> Ditto.
>> Familiar with EC2, AppEngine, and basic cloud computing infrastructure
> And ditto squared.
> So -- one single, incredibly silly MUST condition about "social mush"
> would stop ME from applying for this job even if I was LOOKING for a
> job (which, let me repeat, I ain't) -- even though I'm WAY qualified
> or overqualified on EVERY other 'MUST' _and_ 'NICE TO HAVE', *AND* a
> lot you don't even bother to mention.
> That's what MUST HAVE ***means***.  If I SELECT * FROM ... WHERE
> 'social' IN experience AND ... -- it doesn't matter how incredibly
> well every other aspect matches: if 'social' is *NOT* among the
> 'experience' set, the row will be entirely and totally discarded no
> matter what.
> My best guess is that you, and the people who hired you to post this
> job offer, are so incredibly clueless that you placed among the "MUST"
> a condiiton that's actually, at best, "very nice to have" -- not
> realizing what a HUGE difference that makes to any engineer who
> actually thinks and behave like an engineer.
> Good luck -- compared to the job offer you SHOULD be posting, you'll
> either get a small or mediocre set of candidates, OR people willing to
> completely ignore what you CLAIM is an "absolutely MUST have
> condition", OR... lie through their teeth. Looks like you deserve each
> other.
> Alex
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Jeff Lindsay
http://webhooks.org -- Make the web more programmable
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