[Baypiggies] Hello friends

Zachary Collins recursive.cookie.jar at gmail.com
Wed May 20 21:06:40 CEST 2009

> The problem I've always had with CL is that the mentioning of python
> is basically defacto for HR folk- you wind up seeing quite a bit of
> "python would be great" for SA jobs that are mostly uninteresting in
> tech, scripting rather then actual development- this of course is
> exempting the front end work.  The front end work is mostly utilizing
> framework xyz to do JS/CSS/HTML abc.  Not knocking it, it's
> interesting work if you like the frontend. I'm personally more
> curious where folks are finding the true backend work, the "twisted
> backend that interfaces with the media store to serve out 100-1000
> files per second".  The code that powers the architecture
> essentially.  Best description I can offer, if it involves debugging
> the lighttpd state machine (nasty piece, that), it's the sort of work
> I'm talking about.
> So... sans the python job board, anyone got any pointers?  What I've
> mostly seen these days is positions where <=2 years of python
> suffices, or it's templating work.  I'm personally looking for
> something where knowing the intricacies and idiocies of the cpython
> vm matters (personal favorite, doing __getattr__ = getattr in
> <python-2.5).  I'm seriously not knocking the frontend work
> (templating and such), I'm just curious where folks see the sort of
> work where hacking the hell out of the django ORM to speed it up is
> the day to day work.
> Might just be that the market is a bit locked up right now, but most
> of the adverts I've seen really don't fall into the category described
> above- I'd be quite interested in any pointers to boards/forums w/
> work of the sort described above.
> Thanks in advance,  Feel free to view this as a mild rant about the
> PITA nature of finding a position where they're doing interesting
> things (positive social results, say kiva.org) *and* doing
> interesting tech in the process (say metaweb/freebase, although kiva
> may fall into that classification).
> Cheers-
> ~harring
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I guess one problem is that it can be difficult to convince someone
that spending that much development time on solving backend problems
makes financial sense.  Maybe I'm naive (very likely!), but aren't
those kinds of back end things solvable by using existing software in
most cases?  Or even just updating your software and sending bug
reports in for existing problems?  Dont' get me wrong!  Fun uses of
Twisted is wicked cool work and you can really work your backend
heavily, but... the truth is, once backend is developed, it's usually
quite reusable.  Reusable to a point that usually, it ends up becoming
either free/very cheap to get another codebase that already solves
what problem you are interested in.  And as far as optimization goes;
sure, but once again, optimization, financially, seems more useful to
do as you go, rather than too much pre-emptively.  You can get away
with alot of simple solutions to squeezing more out of your web
framework / python than having to hire someone on to do that full

I think what I'm saying is that... atleast where I work, we often do
the backend stuff, but that's not what we're hired to do.  Actually, I
was hired to do a wide range of front end and back end work
efficiently and effectivel.   So, yes, avoid jobs that get you stuck
in /just/ doing templating front end work, but dig deeper still.
Judging too early could cause you to miss the opportunity within.

PS:  Just keep interviewing and really engage the developers when you
do so.  I love LoLApps, but it could have been easy for me to see it
as nothing more than scripts/html/js until I came in and talked with
the people.

PSPS:  Which is not to say there aren't sucky boring unengaging jobs
out there! Avoid those!  But keep it up, don't lose spirit!

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