Apple (Contract) – 2009

A recruiter on LinkedIn contact me. His outfit was trying to place somebody into contract QA for Apple.

He wrote:

I found your resume online as I have some QA Engineer opportunity that you maybe interested in. We are seeking seasoned QA candidates like yourself for my client Apple in Cupertino. Below you will find the job description for your reference.
If you are still available and looking for a new position, please indicate your interest by forwarding your updated resume and the best times to reach you.
Thanks for your time.
He then included the following job description:

Xcode QA Engineer – Apple (w-2 Contract)

Our client is seeking a QA engineer responsible for testing the quality of the Xcode Tools releases as a whole. As part of the integration team you will test performance, integration points, overall user experience and overall quality. Our team is the public face of testing for the Mac OS X Developer Tools. We coordinate the qualification effort of the various developer tools teams, and contribute to the qualification efforts in other groups at Apple. This position requires a self-motivated individual with strong technical skills who can contribute in a dynamic team environment. The successful candidate will plan and design test cases and ensure the successful delivery of a quality product.

Required skills include:

– Some programming background in C-based languages.

– Comfort in a unix environment.

– Experience in test automation

– QA experience on a shipping product.

– Understanding of how the various components of a development environment work.

Desired skills:

– Software development experience, particularly using IDEs such as Xcode or Visual Studio. – AppleScript, perl, ruby, python, or tcl experience.

– UNIX shell scripting experience

– QA experience on a GUI project.

– Understanding of source-code control systems.

– Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience.

So, that’s funny. I wrote that job description in 2005, 5 years earlier. I guess they were recycling it!

I declined.



Offerpal Media – 2009

I got an offer for Coverity in late June of 2008. In January of 2009, the HR person that called me on the phone to make me my offer sent me email from another company.

I trust you are well and ready for a relaxing holiday. Quick update: after taking three weeks off, I now have more work than I know what to do with.

– I am the consulting head of HR for an interesting software startup, Offerpal Media (, and working on organizational health, growth, hiring, and strategy;

– Doing pro bono work for John F. Kennedy University’s Elder Law Clinic, an advocacy group fighting elder abuse;

– Collaborating with UK Trade & Investment in advising US companies on global expansion to Great Britain;

– Starting in the New Year, I will be an Advisor to the member companies of Astia, an international organization helping in the funding, growth, and leadership of women-led startups at all stages.

Lots to do!

Offerpal is hiring and I wanted to let you know about a role we’re looking for (along with every other Internet company!): Principal Server Software Engineer. Offerpal has a clearly differentiated position – the first “Managed Offer Platform” for social applications, online communities and e-commerce sites. This allows for uniquely targeted monetization on leading networks, such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, hi5, and others. In its first year, Offerpal went from $0 in sales to more than $30 million, and Year Two promises more of the same. If someone in your network is interested in learning more, I would appreciate the referral!

Please let me know how you are doing – and how I can be a resource for you. Happy Holidays and take good care.

Unclear whether or not he was actually recruiting me. That’s not the kind of work I was doing at the time.

I know when I left Coverity, I signed an agreement that included a clause where I could not recruit people at Coverity for 1 year (at least; might have been 2). I was really surprised when I got this; was he hoping that Coverity wouldn’t find out? I didn’t tell anybody, but it was strange.

Offerpal merged with in 2010. It’s an internet ad company. Whee. No thanks, either then or now.


SoundCandy – 2003

I know this is out of order, so bear with me; I just forgot about it!

I was living in San Leandro, commuting to Apple, about a 50 mile commute each way. Things weren’t going terribly well at Apple, so I was open to looking for another position.

A really good friend of mine who lived in San Diego called and wanted to meet me for dinner; he was in town and had an idea he wanted to float by me.

His idea was to provide a music streaming service (keep in mind, there were very few if any existing). It would play radio stations, but would have a “buy me” button that would instantly allow you to purchase a tune from iTunes (probably?) as you were listening to it. His first thought was that he would enlist terrestrial radio stations and simulcast them, and then add machinery to for the purchasing. He wanted to start a company. He had a friend who was a startup CEO-for-hire; he wanted to know if I wanted to head up Engineering. He had some prototype streaming Java code in a web server, but the company would need more developers.

I told him I was intrigued. He said, “OK. I would like you to meet my partner. And I want you to show him your elaborate usage patterns of iTunes, iPods, and the Apple Music Store, and talk about your frustrations with listening to music.” I said sure.

A few weeks later, the two of them came by the house. We talked about the proposed company. They asked where the best place to setup an office was, and I said San Francisco “since there are many vacant office after the Dot Com bubble burst” and there are engineers there. Plus good network.

They said that they were going to go try to get Round A Funding, and that if they got it, they would come by and we could negotiate about an offer.

Another few weeks later, my friend called. They were changing the offer to be a pure streaming service (once again, there were few to none), but the VC’s were balking because they were not convinced that they could get access to any catalog from record companies worth streaming.

After a few months, he gave up. He called me and said that they had pitched the idea to 65 venture capital firms, including some in Los Angeles, Austin, and New York.

Oh, well. Would have been nice to have beat Spotify to the market.