‘Tis the recruiting season. I occasionally talk to students or recent grads who seek to enter the tech industry. Hearing their experiences is maddening. Their search for the first full-time job turns into a soul-sucking, self-esteem-destroying numbers game. They apply to dozens or hundreds of companies, and they don’t hear back from most. It upsets me that the same companies that ghost those early-career candidates would hire a team of recruiters to court the senior candidates. I wish all of us to remember what it was like to start our careers and treat the next generation with respect.
Software Engineering ⚙️
When we build towards a goal over a long time with an uncertain path, we need to build and learn iteratively. But, that doesn’t mean we blindly break a 1-year long project into four quarterly goals. We need to choose the next important hypothesis and build the next Minimum Viable Product to test the hypothesis.
Sometimes, it takes meticulous planning and a ludicrous amount of effort to hack. And sometimes, all it takes is a Github account. Once the original owner deactivates their account, an attacker could create another project with the same username and make an unsuspecting developer install their malicious code.
I find it harder to stay current with CSS than with JS because CSS proposals progress and release on their own, unlike JS. So I appreciated this overview of new features.
I agree that statements like “we hire only the top 1% of developers” don’t make sense and that we need to evaluate candidates with a growth mindset. On top of that, I also believe that:
- Not everyone can be successful in a given environment within an acceptable time window.
- The hiring team’s existing effectiveness and its process is the more important factor for the candidate’s success than the candidate themself.
How We Introduced Levels to Our Engineering Organisation without Losing People or Hurting Our Productivity
Netflix famously has only one level for individual contributors. The flat hierarchy has created an environment where the best ideas, not the highest titles, win. But it has also failed to provide clarity around individual contributors’ growth. While I believe Netflix is too big to introduce levels at this point, how we could introduce them is an interesting thought exercise.
That toughest question is (spoiler alert!) “How much are you making now?” Of course, it is illegal to ask this question in California. However, I will reuse the thought process when discussing my compensation expectation with recruiters or hiring managers.