Product7 – 2008

Lombardi used offshore QA and developers. They hired a company called TestCo, and TestCo hired people for us, mostly in the Ukraine.

I got an email one day from a person I knew from TestCo:

As you know I left TESTCo this year to start Product7 ( We deliver rapid and low cost ‘pay as you go’ iterative web product development using Ruby on Rails.

So far our primary market has been early stage start-ups and entrepreneurs, but several of our customers are larger organizations that are using us to prototype and build internal and customer facing initiatives.

Let me know if you’re free fro lunch of coffee in the next few weeks and I’ll give you the full pitch, and catch up on how you’re doing.

First of all, it was nice to be appreciated. I get the impression that not many people actually employed at Lombardi had that high opinion of me after I was fired.

Secondly, this person was a nice fellow, and we had traveled to Kiev together for business, so I got to know him a little bit.

When I look at their website now, it appears that all that is left is blog entries, and at some point, they embraced React, which a lot of web developers did. But it does not look that active.

At the time that this person contacted me, I still knew next to nothing about web development, and so, I politely declined. Looks like that was the correct decision.


Align Internation Recruitement Ltd – 2008

The email started with:

I saw your resume on hotjobs today and invite you to have a look at the attached job description this is with a world leader in their field.

Benefits package includes:

  • Four weeks’ paid vacation after your first year;
  • 11 paid public holidays for a total of 31 days of paid off from work;
  • Medical insurance coverage subsidised for you and your family at after a certain period of time…

etc. It goes on:

Are you able and willing to commit at least five years to your future NZ employer?  Or perhaps you could end up liking NZ so much that you decide to apply for residency and stay longer?

New Zealand! Wow! Sounds awesome! Let’s see what the job is!

  • posting: #06-113
  • Salary: NZ$60000-75000 NZ/DOE/DOQ
  • Title: Test Team Lead – P25 Protocol Stack TCP/IP Digital Communications

Oh. A much lower-paying QA position. For five years. For tech I knew nothing about. The time-off and medical expenses are nice, but still…

Never mind.


Lexmark – 2008

I had settled into Coverity late in the year, but was still getting solicitations for low-paying QA jobs in the middle of nowhere. However, occasionally, a more interesting email appeared in my Inbox, despite the fact that I was pretty happy.

Good Morning!
I am an IT Recruiter and my client (Lexmark) is looking to hire a Build Release Engineer.  Lexmark ( is located in Lexington KY.  They offer a full relocation package which include the purchase of the home.  Please take a minute and review the job description below and if there is an interest – please send me your resume in a word document and I will contact you regarding this opportunity.  I have also included a cost of living calculator as well as some links to the area.

There are some interesting things to unpack here. First of all, my wife’s family lived a couple of hours from Lexington, so this would put us closer to family. Secondly, they offered an incredibly generous relocation package (they would buy and sell our existing house!) Lombardi did not do any relocation, we footed that large bill ourselves. And the cost of living would have been quite a bit lower. She went on to describe all kinds of Lexington facts, with links to the Better Business Bureau, newspapers, airport, etc.

As for the job itself, I was presented with requirements for Linx, Perl, Python, C, Make, shell scripting. Knowledge of building code. Development experience in distributed, multi-process software. 3-5 years of most of those.

And this:

Must have distributed systems and multi-process, multi-thread systems programming experience

Highly Desired:

Database design and application development

OK. I could do this job.

But I did not want to do this. Lexmark did printer drivers. This was not interesting software for me to work on. And while Lexington is pretty, I really did not want to move, and my wife and I liked where we were raising our kids.

And, if something happened, and I lost my job, I would be in Lexington, not in a place with more tech jobs like San Jose or Austin or New York or LA.

I’m not sure if I responded to this one or not.


Miscellaneous – 2008

This article is just to review things through my job search in 2008 that did not deserve full articles on their own.

Subject: <my middle name> Systems Engineer Job – Quality – Software – Testing

Hello again! Since you last visited our site (, we have recently received
a job from one of our clients that could be a potential fit for your background, or for someone
you know. Please read the following and apply accordingly:

Position: Engineer : Quality
Priority: HIGH
Job #: 66134MRS

followed by a bunch of links, then this:

Leading healthcare consulting company based in Illinois has an immediate need for a Systems Quality Assurance Engineer for their office in Chicago. The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or General Engineering. Responsibilities include developing diagnostic testing procedures, simulating real-world processes in different software environments, and ultimately ensuring that our clients receive a superior product to match their needs. Chosen candidate will be expected to develop an understanding of client’s decision-making processes, allowing them to recognize and test a wide-range of possible scenarios. Typical quality assurance tests performed by the chosen candidate will include manipulating different variables to ensure that the application performs appropriately in a variety of situations, subjecting the software to potential adverse user behavior, and looking for areas of improvement to increase the software’s utility. Candidate will need knowledge of MS technologies. The company has an excellent benefits package. Relocation package is possible for right candidate. Salary is commensurate with experience, when applying please include desired salary.

Position type: Perm
Position location: State of, IL
Potential pay up to: XX.XX $/Hr
Potential salary up to: XX K $ /Yr
Duration: Permanent

If you are presently happy with your current position or would like to be
removed from our email list for any reason, please reply to this email with
the word “REMOVE” in the subject line.


The pay was low. It was somewhere in Illinois. It was hard manual QA. How about, NO?

Old StyleWare Friend

I sent an old StyleWare buddy a message in LinkedIn:

Hey, Sandy*. How are you doing? Long time no see.

I see that you own a company now. I happen to be in Austin, looking for work. Can I buy you lunch?

* Not his real name

He responded:

Yes, I have two companies right now (trying to get the second one up and running). What line of work are you looking at?

And me:

I am looking for a position leading a team of software engineers, software QA, or managing a group of both.

And he wrote back:

Well, I’m full up right now but I’d still be interested in getting your resume and talking to you in case something comes up. What kinds of development environments have you been working in the past few years? J2EE, .NET, MFC?

There are lots of opportunities here I think… since I don’t have anything right now, maybe I know somebody who does.

I did not have any of that, really, although Lombardi exposed me to J2EE somewhat. It does not appear that I responded back at all. My bad.


I knew one of the VPs in charge of software from Apple from my time there. I wrote him a note:

I don’t know if you remember me; I used to work in the Developer Tools. I am contacting you, because I was wondering if you knew of any software engineering openings in the Mac OS X group. While I have particular expertise with the compiler, Xcode, and the Mac OS X build system, I would be willing to work in just about any group, either as a contractor or a permanent employee. However, I would like to work out of my house in Austin, with trips as necessary to California.

I have enclosed my resume; feel free to forward it to any of your managers as you feel appropriate. I know that this is a long shot, but if there is a chance, I would love to work in your organization again. Thanks!

He wrote back:

I don’t think the remote situation can work very well.
But keep in touch in case you are back in the Bay Area!

Hey, at least he responded, and if it got really desperate, I had a way to go back to California. He left Apple about 5 years ago, and did a couple of startups…

SQL Services Reporter


My name is <REDACTED> and I’m an IT recruiter at Pyramid Consulting, Inc. Our records show that you are an experienced IT professional with experience relevant to one of my current contract openings.

The job is located in San Francisco, CA with one of our Fortune 500 direct client. They are looking for a SQL services reporter and the following is a more detailed description of the job.

Only W-2’s

There are SO many emails just like this one with some kind of checklist. More software sweatshop jobs…

And then there are all of the automated responses. I don’t recommend reading too many of them unless you have insomnia:


Thanks for submitting your resume to the Software Development Manager position.


Dear Sydney,

Are you, or is someone in your network, a hands-on technical (whitebox/developer,) J2EE Quality Engineer?

Based on the experience listed in your online resume, I thought you might be interested in the role below, or recommend people in your network who could be a great fit for a strong J2EE programmer, but passionate and interested quality oriented role.

Our Small Business Division in Mountain View, CA is looking for a few more key engineers to help us on our quest to revolutionize the financial software industry and the software industry as a whole.

…and that’s where I stopped reading. Individual QA work back in the Bay Area was a lose-lose for me.


Thank you for submitting your resume. It has been added to our database and should a suitable position become available we will contact you!

Keep your password handy for future reference.


Neat. What a site. Sending me a password in plain text. Or maybe it was in plain text. Who knows?


Sir or Madam:

We have received your application for the position of Development Engineer Senior Manager I-080005ZD and are currently reviewing your experience and qualifications.

If you would like to review your candidate file,click here.

If your profile corresponds to our requirements, a member of our Global Talent Acquisition Team will contact you soon.

We thank you for your interest in Dell.

Nice punctuation, especially from a template.


Thank you, <APPLICANT>, for expressing interest in our organization.

We have successfully received your submission to the following position(s):

QA Manager 10720 26120BR

A system-generated candidate reference number has been created for you and may be useful to keep for your records. Your candidate reference number is: 5848704.

Thank you.

* Please do not reply to this email.


Thank you for your application to IBM.

We will keep your application on file and should jobs matching your skills and abilities be found you will be contacted.

As you have not yet applied to a specific position within IBM, we encourage you to visit our website frequently using your user ID and password in order to:

• apply for specific jobs
• set up a search agent
• edit your application
• check the status of your application for specific jobs to which you have applied

Yours sincerely,

IBM Recruitment

Please note: this is an auto generated e-mail that cannot receive replies.

Your application will be kept active for 12 months (6 months for Germany and Austria).

Red Hat

Thank you for your interest in working for Red Hat. We have received your resume for the Engineering Manager for Security Solutions position. Our recruiters are busy searching for qualified applicants. Should your background be a match for the position, we will contact you directly. Please note that we keep your resume profile active in our database for 3 months and might also contact you if your background is a match for a similar position.

We wish you the best of luck in your career search. If you need to contact someone directly, please call +1 919-754-3700.

Have a great day.

The Red Hat Recruiting Team.

NOTE: This email was automatically generated in response to your submission. Please do not reply as no one will receive your email.

I wrote:

Dear Hiring Manager,

I saw your posting for Senior QA Engineer on the job posting site, and I am interested in it. I have 20 years of software development and QA experience. I believe that my vast experience in the full software development life cycle would be an asset to your team.

Please find my resume enclosed. Looking forward to talking to you in person.

I got this back:

Thank you for applying online with the MLB Teams Employment Site.


The job for which you applied:
Future Notification Only

Your username: <MY_EMAIL>


To update your candidate record, go to:


If you have applied for a posted position (not future notification) and have not heard back from a representative from the team within 30 days after the job expired, they are most likely considering other applicants.  However, you are always welcome to come back and reapply for other openings as they become available.  Make sure you have filled out all the information so that we can notify you when new positions are posted.

Yeah, if it weren’t baseball, I would have run far away from somebody emailing back my password in plain text with unencrypted email.


Good Morning:

Our firm has been contracted to recruit the best available technical talent for Bloomberg in New York City. Bloomberg is seeking expert software engineers with top-notch C/C++ (UNIX) skills to join its real-time application development teams. Each team is an entrepreneurial unit handling the complete development life-cycle of its products, from requirements and design to production roll-out and test. Development is incremental, iterative, and always on a short time fuse.
Financial industry experience is not required, but prospective candidates must have a current and verifiable track record of expert-level software engineering expertise in a real-time application environment. In addition, the company places a high value on entrepreneurial spirit, resourcefulness, analytical thinking and complex problem solving skills.

I wrote back stating that I did not want to move to New York (although if MLB had hired me I would have). I decided not to mention the lack of C++ expertise (although I had C).


ank you for submitting your resume to the following jobs: Job Title: Software Development Engineer Job Code: 218020 Resume Title: Software Engineering Manager Your resume has been entered into our resume database and made available to recruiters who specialize in the areas matching your skills, strengths and area of your interest. Your resume will remain active in our database for up to one year and you will be considered for future positions for which you are well-suited. Note that you do not need to resubmit this resume unless your contact information or work history changes. Thank you for considering Microsoft Corporation as a potential employer. Staffing Department Microsoft Corporation note: This mailbox is not monitored. Please do not reply to this message.


Thank you for your interest in employment opportunities at Freescale Semiconductor!

Your information is now available for review by our hiring team. If we are able to match your skills and interests with an opportunity, you will be contacted for further information. Please be aware this timeline will vary. Should you wish to update your information or be automatically notified of future opportunities via our Job Agent, please visit us at

Best regards

Freescale Semiconductor Staffing team


Thank you for your submission of interest to LSI Logic’s employment website for the position of 08-3336 – Senior Software Engineer. The recruiter and/or hiring manager for this position will be reviewing your resume.

If your interests or skills change, please be sure to modify your profile at

Thank you for your interest in LSI Logic Corporation.
LSI Logic Staffing Department

They all run together, don’t they? Wow, this is a boring post. Good thing you know that I got a job at Coverity in the end, isn’t it?

Unspecified Art Gallery Site – 2008

While I was in California interviewing for Coverity, I had dinner at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Chef Chu’s, in Los Altos, CA (El Camino and San Antonio. Go there. It’s great). While waiting for a table, I sat at the bar, watching baseball. The fellow next to me started a conversation. He asked about my background, and seemed extremely interested in talking to me about his business idea.

He wanted to start an online art gallery to display art that he had collected, as well as provide a place for artists to display their wares, and perhaps to sell their works. He had never met a true technical person before, as far as I could tell. He asked for my contact info.

When I got back home, he sent me email asking to talk to me on the phone. He sent me email:

Thanks for sending me the bio. I forwarded it on to the two people working with me so far. You have more experience than both of them in tech and new media. Can you be a new media biz dev person? I will read your bio in more detail tonight.

I wrote back:

I have no experience in business development. My experience is more along the lines of: “OK, we know what we want to build. Go build it.” Good luck to you, and keep in touch.

I then wrote:

I have been thinking, and I don’t think I have the time to to devote to your effort at this stage. If I were local, it might work ou. I also don’t that that I can, as yet, represent what exactly you are trying to do. I have not reached out to <his partner>, because I am not really sure how to approach it.

I wish you luck on your venture. When you have a business plan and are interested in stating to hire, get in touch. I hope things go well for you.

He wrote back:

Understand. Will keep you in touch. Realize I need to contact <his partnet> myself. Will do that Monday. Have enjoyed our conversations, and will be in touch.

And that’s the last I heard from him. I wonder if he had anything to do with