Friday, 7 August 2009

When it rains.... (job hunting chronicles continued)

Had a bit of a productive week in job hunting! I've had a break in active job hunting for the previous 2 weeks because I was studying for my Java certification exam. Got 70%, (65% was the pass score) so my hard work paid off.

Today, did an interview with a recruiter for a contract role with my old company, but in another division. The project, which is just in
the initial stages, post-design, is to build a workflow system to handle news reports so they go to the website and to the print systems at the same time. Funny enough, another part of the organisation already has something like this in place, so why they don't just build on it, I don't know. Possibly a NIH (not invented here) attitude? Anyway, as long as I get paid. LOL. Interview went well, and recruiter said he'll contact the manager and check if they want my resume sent forward. The other funny thing about this is that a friend just rang me last week and said he's already working there! Fun times if I get in, though it'll be such a bitch having to walk 20 minutes from the train station. Apparently there are buses but they are infrequent.

Around lunchtime, got a call from a recruiter I've been dealing with for about 2 months now, but still no interviews from her. She finally tells me the name of the company she sent my resume to, and it's quite a big one. Makes annoying software that I really haven't installed or used in about 10 years. Antivirus crap that fucks up your system, causes unknown or untraceable problems, resource f*ing hog.

They used to make really cool system utilities back in the DOS days, but their main product now is seen by a lot of people as a total pain in the ass, and one to avoid. But, they've got market share, and people still pay for their stuff. They must be doing something right. Anyway, the recruiter says she'll send me a set of questions to work on during the weekend. Insists that I get it in by Monday, even though earlier in the conversation she says I can work on it at my own pace. Then why the fuck does she say I must hand it in by 4pm Monday, even though I asked if I could just hand it in on Tuesday. What part of "at your own pace" don't you understand, you saucy minx/btch? (she looks fit, reminds me of Riot Becki when her glasses are on, so I still keep in touch)

Then in the afternoon, it was with a more recent former employer. This time, the role is to work on the ad-serving system for the entire media network, which comprised of quite a number of sites. Back to working with my old friend SQL Server! (much nicer than MySQL, at least) It's a humongous task, and I was a bit shocked that at the moment, there are only two developers working on this system. For a system that is used by more than a dozen websites, you'd think it would have a bit more resources devoted to it. Anyway, interesting work, looks painful, exciting, not really that sexy (and everyone hates you so they just AdBlock what you create), but it's a definite money-spinner, so it's on the radar of people who matter, like that old guy who used to be Australian but is now American. Couldn't help noticing that the interviewer kinda gave of vibes of the under-appreciated. Twice he mentioned that "this is the part of the company that never gets mentioned in emails sent to the staff".

Opened my Gmail. Oooh, that really shit hot software house that makes "developer tools that you actually use" have sent me a problem assignment to work on. Yay, my resume didn't get knocked back! I was starting to get worried. I'll have to ace this because this company is pretty much #1 on my wishlist. I've so drunk their kool-aid already.

Then in another email I see the set of questions mentioned by the recruiter. Hmm... can I read .docx files? Oh, good, TextEdit can open them. I start reading and it's nearly as vile as their software. Some of it is bullshit - "name all the Software Methodologies you've worked with." WTF? - some are more reflective of the stuff I might end up working on - "how can you implement a licensing system that does bla bla bla..." and "Provide a high-level system architecture that protects against piracy and misuse." WTF? This is a developer role, right? I'm having my doubts about this company already. I don't really want to work for a company that I can't be proud of. And it's in North Sydney! But then, the company is a big one, and might send me in another direction, career-wise. But all software should be free, right? Hahahhaha...

On Monday, I have a 2nd interview with world-famous software consulting firm. Mainly world-famous because of their chief scientist who wrote a great book about 10 (?) years ago, but I'm not really sure what he does now. This company is #2 on my wishlist, but I'm not really sure if they're as fun as #1. I guess that's why they're #2, hahah. Anyway, it's got these super geeky, quite top notch people, allegedly, and friend of a friend who works there always raves about the company. Maybe it's good. I've invested quite a bit of time already with them - first the phone interview (which was really casual and fun), then stage 2 was the programming problem (killed me for a few days, but got it in, though they didn't get back to me til a month
later), and now stage 3 is a battery of tests and an interview (3 hours in total). I'll have to do some studying on the weekend, just so I don't embarrass myself and look like a dill. Good thing is that it's casually attired.. not a lot of interviews in jeans so far; this'll be my first.

Something's gotta come out of all this!!

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