Thursday, June 11, 2015

Making Assholes Accountable!

Life is way too short to put up with assholes. Whether at work or at home, you really need to "just say no" to them. All of them.

TheHackerCIO just the other day told a co-worker, "I just can't believe that every new client I visit & open up their Microsoft products, the UI is completely different."

I mean ..... really? Do we really need a multi-page-click "user-experience" in order to move from a document to print it, and then move back to the document? This is a new and improved experience? For those not yet blessed, I speak of "Microsoft 365."

But this collage was an asshole.

His reply was, "If you find dealing with change problematic, then you're going to have problems here at <Company-Name-Deleted-To-Protect-The-Assholes>." What a dick. Luckily, I don't have to deal with that dick any more!

It's important to hold this kind of asshole accountable for his asshole-hood, but I'm still working out the right way to do it. If I'm lucky, he'll read this one day, realize that he's the asshole, and the connections will fall into place.

Here's another prime example of assholity: A highly respected colleague recently interview with a major company for an Enterprise Architecture position. The company never got back to him -- neither the HR department, nor the hiring manager. This is a sample of the right way to hold this kind of asshole accountable:

Now here's where it really got bad. This hiring manager, who lives in another State, utterly defaulted on his obligation to "get back to the recruiter" with feedback. Now, over a month later, I still haven't heard one word either way about anything. The recruiter was completely mystified by the manager's complete lack of responsiveness. The recruiter, who was quite good, had attempted to confirm the face-to-face interview details, and was unable to -- he never received *any* response from this hiring-manager. No confirmation. No feedback. Nothing! Very unprofessional. Molina should fire the hiring-manager.

Frankly, anyone who takes up the time of someone in an interview has a moral obligation to give a response with feedback to that person in a timely manner. It's an implicit contract that underlies the interview process. This hiring-manager-who-needs-firing not only defaulted on this obligation, but actually lied to me. He stated to my face that he would get back to the recruiter with his feedback. He never did.

On a personal level, I feel that I had a lucky escape. The lack of organization (about who would interview me), coupled with the lack of responsiveness to email and phone calls, and co-workers with a poor grasp of English -- all this points to that work environment being the kind of place I'd rather not spend my life trying to fix. Give this "shop" a "miss"! That would be my advice.

 Glassdoor is wonderful and a great way to hold hiring managers accountable for their interviewing.

So, figure out ways to get rid of the assholes you deal with. And call them to account for it. Because life is too short. Way too short.

I Remain,


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Uncle Bob at Ticketmaster

Last Tuesday, "Uncle Bob" Martin spoke live at Ticketmaster. [Thanks, again, to Jody Mulkey for organizing an excellent event!]

He spoke, unsurprisingly, on Test Driven Development (TDD).

TheHackerCIO loved the hat he wore! Someone brought it -- a professor from Loyola, I believe. It was a stitched together amalgamation of three baseball caps, so that one faced forward and two others flapped off on either side of the ears. The three caps were each Red, Green, and Blue -- the TDD colors! So, as Uncle Bob demonstrated TDD on-screen, and wrote his first failing test, and his IDE switched colors from JUnit to Red, he placed the Red cap forward. Then he cycled through fixing the code, and when he got to green, the Green Cap went forward. As he refactored, he then physically went blue. It was pretty cool. I snapped a shot, but he was pretty far away.

One of the more interesting points he made was an analogy with the accounting profession. He posed the question to the audience ... "What other group of people manipulate a set of symbols with such a level of precision that every tiny error must absolutely be corrected. [TheHackerCIO: my words, his idea]" And the audience came up with "accounting." Uncle Bob's take is that double-entry bookkeeping is the technology invented to deal with this condition. Invented in the Renaissance, double-entry bookkeeping only achieved universal acceptance in every country in something like 1945.

According to Uncle Bob, TDD is double-entry bookkeeping applied to code.

And he predicts that it will eventually sweep the world.

Watch the video of the event here:

If you like what you saw with Uncle Bob, DevTalkLA, a Westside Meetup will begin working through his book Clean Code (pictured above), starting this coming Tuesday. You can find out more, and even attend -- we love guests -- by clicking here.

I Remain,


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Longer the CV, The Better

[for part 1 of this series, click here]

As we said, the prevailing Whiz-dumb thinks a long CV sucks.

But this is wrong on several fronts.

To see a real CV, and simply to demonstrate that TheHackerCIO never "Makes Shit Up", please click here, to see a real CV. This is Donald Knuth's example.  Academics understand what makes up a real CV. They live and die by them. They are an essential tool.

Now, is Donald Knuth an idiot for having a 40 page CV?

Or, are these Recruitment Pundits who tell us to keep it down to one page missing something?

Short answer: it's the pundits who are wrong.

Yes, Donald Knuth needs a CV. A long one! He needs to catalog everything he has done in the course of his career. Every book, video, audio, and paper he has written needs to be stated, whether refereed or not. That's hundreds of papers!

Now, maybe you're saying at this point, "But I'm not an academic. I haven't written three or four hundred papers. I have no need to itemize all of this." And I'm sure that's probably true. But if you're a senior technologist, you have worked on hundreds of projects. And every single one indicates  your unique skills, learned context, and achievements. All of that has contributed to make you the technologist you are. Why should it be ignored or forgotten? Is what contributed to making you the technologist you are now unimportant?

Far from it.

I know that this series is starting out as a bit of a teaser, but bear with me ...

Next time, we'll look at further reasons why all this detail is MANDATORY, for your own personal career development.

Until then, I Remain,


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The CV for Americans

Americans don't write CVs. They write a "Resume."  Especially technology professionals. In fact, the conventional, generally-accepted, "consensus," Whiz-Dumb holds that a resume, or even a CV should be one or, at most, two pages! For example see this, and that. But this is a huge mistake, and a long, detailed CV is important for everyone.

The essence of the brevity argument is that recruiters and hiring managers are too dumb or lazy to read much. They phrase it in euphemisms, but that's what they mean. For example, in the article above, they spoke of these inDUHviduals having "short attention spans." In other words, they are mental cripples, or too lazy to read more than one page.

TheHackerCIO begs to differ. I write what I want. What the reader does with it is his business and his problem. I can accommodate the recruiter's and manager's laziness, stupidity, and brain deficit by writing in the "reverse pyramid style" of the newspaper writer, where everything important comes first, and less and less important content follows later. In short, the reverse-chronology ordering tactic fits perfectly. I start with my most recent experience and work backwards.

But these are issues of scope and arrangement. This is all just formatting!

The more important issues are personal and substantive.

Since many readers don't know what a CV is, and almost no-one knows its meaning, advantages, and utility, I'm going to start off the year by explaining a bit about the good old Curriculum Vitae, why you need a long, detailed one, and the benefits that come from the exercise of producing one.

This is an excellent time to work with me through this exercise, so you can be ready in the new year for any new job searches that may arise. Or, just be ready so that you can take your career to the next level.

We'll see why the CV is crucial to this ..... in the next post.

I Remain,