Posts tagged "career"

Analyzing LinkedIn's data export: what happened in 2021?

I鈥檝e been using LinkedIn basically since I started working as an intern back in 2012. My usage is mostly limited to posting my blog posts, except the couple of times I used the platform to search for a new job. So most of the time, LinkedIn has been pretty slow-paced, with maybe half a dozen random recruiters reaching out per year.

However, since the Covid-19 pandemic started, and particularly in 2021, things seem to have gone a little crazy, with a lot more recruiter activity. I was curious to see just how much things had changed, so I looked at LinkedIn鈥檚 data export.

Communication tips for remote developers

We're all remote -- for now.

Communicating well with your co-workers and managers is supremely important to a software developer, and even more so for the remote one. With a lot more remote workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this topic became a lot more relevant.

I鈥檝e seen people hint at this more than a few times over the years, but I didn鈥檛 really 鈥済et it鈥 until I started working as a fully remote engineer. I also find it important to understand not only what we should be doing to achieve efficient communication, but also why we should be doing those things in those ways.

To me, the single most important thing to keep in mind is that people鈥檚 mental resources: time, attention span, etc, like yours, are limited.

Botched interviews

Here鈥檚 something I鈥檝e been wanting to write for a while: all the times (the ones I can remember, anyway) I bombed a software engineer job interview. There are so many 鈥渉ow I aced interviewing at X鈥/鈥漢ow to pass X interview鈥 floating around that I thought the opposite story would make for an amusing read.

My first developer job was as an intern at a big tech company in 2012. I think that was one of the worst interviews I鈥檝e had, by the way 鈥 I could barely understand the interviewer over the cellphone, and those were the days of 鈥渉ow many piano players are there in New York鈥-kind of questions. I thought it went terrible, but I got the job somehow. On the other hand I鈥檝e had many interviews I thought I did great but bombed anyway.

Onsites considered harmful

A couple of years ago I interviewed at one of the largest Ruby shops out there. Screening went well, and some days later I was invited for an onsite.

These were the good old pre-covid days, so an onsite really meant onsite. You had to travel to the office, wherever that was.

The thing is, an onsite is actually radically different depending on where you live. It follows that onsites introduce further bias into our industry鈥檚 already problematic hiring process. I鈥檇 like to argue that although onsites have some advantages, they鈥檙e mostly a waste of time (and money).

Leaving Amazon

OpenAI is so much fun!

I鈥檇 like to preface this by stating that Amazon is obviously a huge company, and my opinions are just that, one person鈥檚 opinions. There will probably be some people that share my frustrations while others have had a completely different experience.

I interviewed at AWS in early 2020, pre-pandemic. The interview process is grueling and I spent considerable effort preparing for the 5-hours-long pantomime of absurd algorithms trivia and 鈥渢ell me a time when you said no鈥 behavioral questions. COVID-induced visa processing delays pushed my start date forward in time many times. The high-stress interview process and years-spanning wait built up tremendous anticipation. In hindsight I can say I probably had somewhat unrealistic expectations when finally joining the company in late 2021.

Regardless, I was quite frankly shocked after my first couple of weeks, and my first impression was that this kind of work was not for me. As a software engineer, I expected to eventually do some software engineering. I鈥檓 not sure how to describe the work that first team I joined was doing, but I can鈥檛 in good conscious call it software engineering.

Are "digital nomad visas" a thing yet?

Immigration sucks. In addition to the personal toll it takes on anyone, it is also mind-numbingly tedious and baroquely complex. Why aren鈥檛 things better by now?

This reminded me of the so-called 鈥渄igital nomad visas鈥. Searching for that term will get you a thousand clickbaitey Wordpress sites with the 鈥20 best countries with nomad visas鈥 or whatever. But how real are they really?