Just Lost Job - Coping/Job Hunting Advice Needed


Can I just say I hate you development people who can get into the technology of the day for roughly free? Thankfully they’ve reworked their pricing but it used to be $1k/yr for a Tableau personal license. :(


Ha yeah, I’ve let my MSDN subscription lapse several times if my job won’t cover it. I don’t need to stay current that badly.


FWIW, just interviewed three people yesterday for a job in our labs. All three were about 7 -10 years experience, all three were victims of companies merging and they were part of the “synergy savings” and all three had similar backgrounds,

Two of the three, when asked what do you know about our company?, had the most basic of responses. One sounded like they hadn’t even looked at our web site (which has pages and pages of info, from technical information to product portfolios in all of our market areas, to, well, a lot. They were very surprised we were even in one market (which is huge for us.)

The second appeared to have at least skimmed our web site. But from their answers, that was about it.

The third person was able to tell us a lot about our company, who we are, our markets, our products, our approach to the marketplace, our strengths. She had some insightful questions, e.g. “With the merger of x company and y company, the new x-y company has become the world leader in soandso technology, and also now basic in the raw materials. I assume you can’t compete purely on price, so what’s your strategy? Do you plan to develop differentiating technology to keep this from becoming a commoditized market?” She knew we are a private, family owned company and that the current owner/CEO is passing 65 years old, and she wanted to know the plans for the company when he retires.

Based on her studying who we are, she offered some very interesting ideas on technology development in specific areas where the continuing consolidation might offer unique opportunities where customers would prefer a moderately sized, non-bureaucratic supplier. In one area her analysis had some flaws, but that was not a problem; what was impressive was that she had spent the time to study us and think about it.

As we reviewed all thee candidates, and reviewed their references, we concluded all three were smart, intelligent, hard working, good experience. All three would probably be OK hires. But you can probably guess who we hired and what differentiated her.

With so much information online these days, there’s no reason to not study and research the company you’re interviewing with.


Let me add one more comment/insight from an old hiring manager. One thing we try to figure out as much or more than anything is how proactive and motivated a candidate is. That makes all the difference in whether someone will be effective and the kind of person managers fight over (wanting this person to work in their area.) Will this person sit and do what they are told to do (and do it well) or is this the kind of person who actively seeks out what needs to be done and then proactively makes sure it gets done?

It’s harder to figure out in an interview than how smart someone is, how technically proficient someone is, what is their experience. But anyone who has managed for a lot of years knows what it’s like to hire a really smart person who has to be pushed to get the job done. I’d much rather hire a very proactive person who may not be as smart or experienced as someone who is not motivated and proactive. That person will figure out how to get the job done and will make sure it’s done right. The proactive, motivated person is the dream employee for every good manager.

So as a candidate, you need to find a way to let the interviewer know that’s the kind of person you are.



Or fake it really well!


As someone who is having a phone interview tomorrow, I definitely appreciate your inputs.

Just thought I’d say that.


LOL! Well, you know how absolutely important sincerity is, once you’ve learned to fake that, you’ve got it made!

Seriously, one of the things I learned a long time ago (experience is knowing what the mistakes look like) is, when a candidate tells me how good they are at something or whatever, asking for specific examples that illustrate that. I’m sure there are some who might be able to lie very well, but usually we can figure that out pretty quickly. We also check references (even knowing people pick references for a reason.) It is also surprising how small a world it is, and how someone in our company probably knows someone in the industry who knows this person.

But it’s not a perfect process. Hiring someone after a couple or three interviews is like getting married after two or three dates. The same for accepting a job.


Craig, just remember, the people on the other side of the phone really want and hope that you do well. They are filling a position and they don’t want to interview forever, so every phone interview they are hoping the candidate does great.


It really helps that, for me, I’m under no pressure. I’ve got a job, a stable one. Not only that I am legitimately one of the best at what I do. Granted I am changing careers (print ain’t a growth industry), but there is a fair amount of sellable skill transfer.

It also helps that, when given a problem to solve, I’m like a honey badger. I will dive in head first to figure it out. You never hear ‘that’s not my job’ or ‘they should be doing this, not me’ from me.

The interview tomorrow is for a software developer role working on software for manufacturing environments. It also doses in integration with 3D CAD software. You damn well better believe I’ve thought of how to integrate my 11 years experience as a professional CAD designer into the interview ;)


So … you don’t give a shit?


Heh, I forget that’s the meme. No, tough and don’t give up.


It’s actually “don’t give a fuck” as in “bring it”, iirc.



From this:

Also, good luck Craig!


Good luck, Craig!

I’m hip-deep in this full-stack bootcamp. I know it’s baby school for tiny babies, but you guys. You guys, I freaking love it. I’m reminded every day that I went to school for this forever ago for a reason. But learning is so much faster now!

Closing the loop is freaking instant. This shit compiles in your browser! You want a server? Fuck it, run it on the command line and just come on back in to localhost. Amazing. Question? You know Google has got you, even if it’s Stack Overflow and MDN and W3Schools 90% of the time.

I’m gonna be so mad (and broke broke broke) if I can’t get a job in the sub-1%-tech-unemployment Twin Cities out of this thing. But it’s so fun, you guys. You guys! So fun.


Good luck! I also went into software development after years of game-industry PR writing and editing, so it’s definitely doable.


I am thinking of getting some of my InfoSec Certs. I’m a little bored outside of work. I used to be a Sys Admin. I’m probably going to go for the Security + cert first. It seems fairy easy, and the test is cheap. I work as a business analyst, and I’m hoping that by pitching my boss I can support our security projects better I can expense it.

I took the practice test at the beginning of Darril Gibson’s book and got over half of them right. I figure that’s not too bad just going off my rusty sys admin knowledge, so the rest of the test should be easy to study for.


Or their worst nightmare, depending on their intelligence level. AKA the prototypical “industrious idiot”.


@Adam_B almost all my programming questions are answered by StackOverflow. The tricky part is in framing the question in such a way that you get the answer you’re looking for, and not some random unrelated issue.

@Mark_Crump I took the Security+ exam in January. You’re right in that it’s not that difficult. As for the self tests in that book, people said when you can consistently get 85% on them you’re ready. I got there and breezed thru the test. One gripe I had was that after all the time I spent memorizing port numbers for all the standard services and cryptographic algorithm key bit sizes, I didn’t have a question on either of those topics!

I did, however, get a question about how Jim’s laptop at work can view pornographic websites even though they have a blocker in place at InfoCorp!


Oh yeah, stack overflow and I are already good buddies.

In related news, JavaScript devs sure do love to show off how fancy they can make their code, readability be damned.


Don’t you paint with so broad a brush, sir. Don’t you besmirch the good name of JavaScript developers. Dozens of us are good coders too. Dozens!