Akash Networks – 2021

Sometimes I am pretty blunt.

A recruiter reached out to me:

I tried to connect with you a few weeks ago as I was reviewing your profile with the Co-Founder of a company I’m working with. They have asked me to reach out to you on behalf of the company and see if you were on the market looking for a new job.

Let me know if you are interested and I will send you the details to review. Take care.

This was during a very stressful week. This was in the middle of the Texas Ice Storm of 2021, and while we had all of our services and had no cracked pipes, many people I knew were in a heap of trouble. We could not go anywhere because of the ice. We were scared we would lose power, internet, cell service, water, or gas at any point. I was not in the best of moods when I responded, Don Draper-like:

With no information about the company, what kind of business they are in, job description, location, etc., I cannot answer this question.

I am happy where I am. I don’t mean to be surly, but you need a really good pitch, and this is not it. Please give me as much information as you can.

To my surprise, he wrote back:

Thanks for the follow up on this. Happy to share full details on the opportunity and connect on a call once you free up. What is the best email to send things to as far as details? Also can you send over a copy of your resume to review as well.

So I sent him my resume. He also asked for my github repo, which is full of small personal projects, so probably not that useful. Still…

He got back to me with a long blurb.

Thanks for getting back to me. The job opportunity is with a company called https://akash.network/

“We believe the next generation of the internet must be open and more secure. Help us build the world’s first peer-to-peer open cloud.”

Akash is the DeCloud for DeFi,and the world’s first decentralized cloud computing marketplace, accelerating scale and price performance for high-growth industries including DeFi,decentralized organizations and applications, and machine learning/AI. With advanced containerization technology and a unique staking model to accelerate adoption, Akash will be a faster, more efficient, and up to 10x lower cost cloud providing unprecedented scale, flexibility, and price performance.

Akash founders Greg Osuri and Adam Bozanich are globally recognized open source developers and among the top 20 programmers worldwide for authoring open-source libraries adopted by organizations including Ubuntu, HashiCorp, and Kubernetes. They lead an expert team with a legacy of successfully implementing developer-focused and SaaS go-to-market strategies that scale.

Take a look and let me know what you think. To expediate (sic) the process feel free to send over a copy of your updated resume, as I’d love to introduce you to the team to learn more.

So, they sell web infrastructure. While that is pretty cool, I don’t think it was better than Helping People Get Jobs. Also, didn’t I already send him my resume? I wrote back:

Thanks for your time.

I am not interested in this technology, nor am I qualified for it. And I am happy where I am.

Good luck with your search!

I guess my obnoxious first reply didn’t hurt me much.

Apple Pay – 2021

I received a LinkedIn message from a recruiter:

Ever wondered what life would be like if you could actually fly?

I recently qualified a Software Engineer role with major impact to our company and all of our customers. I believe that with your experience coupled with your background working at Indeed and Mozilla, Apple can be your wings to help you fly in your career.

Hope to have the opportunity to tell you more about this!

Cheers!

<NAME REDACTED>
Recruiting Backend Software Engineers to join the Apple Pay Team 🍎!

I like Apple Pay. A lot. I especially like paying with my watch. I double click the side button and hold it over the payment terminal, and magic happens.

I was pretty sure the back-end was done in Java and was a lot like the work I was already doing.

So, at this point, why would I talk to Apple?

I had been at Indeed almost 5 years at this point, and although it’s a fabulous place to work, one thing had been bothering me for a while. In those 5 years, I had not received one raise.

Indeed tries to be extremely fair with its compensation system, but I think that they hired me into a level in the software engineering individual contributor ladder which was probably too high for my actual programming experience. Aside from a few months here and there, I had essentially taken a 14 year break from programming, doing things like management, QA, automation, release engineering, and project management. I had never worked on a commercial website, and I barely knew Java. The first two years at Indeed, I felt that I had the proverbial firehose pointed at me. Often, I would get done with work in a given day feeling completely drained as I tried to learn yet something else hard that day.

That being said, I thought I had really started progressing after 18-24 months. But it was taking forever to move to the next level, and my progress through those requirements had not caught up to what I had being paid in my level.

So I was frustrated.

My simple philosophy about interviewing is:

  • There are a handful of famous tech companies that I will listen to if the job opening is doing something I am interested in. At the time, the list included Apple and Tesla.
  • There are small companies that have great tech, and which I am deploy interested in or am a customer of.
  • There are research areas of tech that I have always been interested in. If a company is doing that, and they want to talk, I will talk.

Apple is one of the companies I follow and I really enjoyed working there the first time. And Apple Pay is a technology I am very interested in.

But first, I had to ask if this were full-time or contract/contract-to-hire, and whether this was remote or not (post-COVID, obviously).

The recruiter responded that it was a full-time position. It was remote for now, but working in the Austin Apple office would be an option eventually. So I sent him my current resume. In response, he asked me to schedule a phone conversation on a site called Calendly. This is a pretty cool site, actually. It allows people to collaborate on events asynchronously. First time I had seen it.

The only wrinkle is that this particular week the State of Texas was hit with the worst winter storm in its history. Our house was fortunate; we kept power, gas, internet, cell service, and water the entire week, and had no burst pipes. So I could keep my appointment.

I hadn’t seen snow like this where I lived since 1973 in Lubbock. And this was Austin. Low of 7º F.

The phone screen with the recruiter went well; don’t remember much, but in these calls, the recruiter usually tries to sell me the job. I did not need to be sold, as long as I was qualified. Apple was a known quantity for me, and the actual programming languages and environments were what I was currently working on.

After a few days, he gave me good news:

Great news 🤗

The hiring team would like to speak with you! Could you provide me with several dates and times of availability for a 1-hour technical phone interview?

We scheduled a time. Of course, with the year it was, I had to reschedule. We had been trying to prepare our house to sell, and the day I was supposed to interview was the day we listed the house. It was a hectic time! I had to delay a couple of more times because of the absolute chaos of listing a house and trying to sell it.

I did eventually meet with an Apple person for a phone call, and it went well:

Great news! It looks like the interviewer and you had a wonderful conversation and we would like to proceed onto the 2nd phone interview stage.

Could you provide me some dates and times of availability for a 1-hour 2nd phone interview?

I did.

When I did the one hour initial interview, it was a typical coding interview with a very nice gentlemen. The programming problem was not trivial, but was not particularly difficult. Unfortunately, I got stuck, and did not do particularly well. So, it was not a surprise at all when I got this message:

Thank you for taking the time to Phone interview with the team. The team member(s) enjoyed speaking with you and hope that you had a good interviewing experience.

After serious consideration, the team has concluded that they do not have a fit for this particular position. However, if you are still interested in working at Apple, we encourage you to apply for other positions on the Apple jobs page (https://www.apple.com/jobs/us/), and wish you the very best with all future interviews.

Oh, well.

2020 – Misc

For most of the world, 2020 was two different years, the one before March 12, and the shutdown caused by the Pandemic that really started in the USA on that date. You wouldn’t know it by recruiting activity in my inbox though:

Recruiting contacts 7/1/2019-3/11/2020: 103

Recruiting contacts 3/12/2020-12/2020: 93

OK, it decreased by 10. Over 8.5 months. Is that significant? 🤷🏻‍♂️

These numbers are from recruiters who mentioned their company names and were recruiting for software jobs. While I did not track these, it does seem to me that the number of random recruiters for low-quality jobs, jobs that were contract and/or limited duration and/or required moving and/or low-paying, etc., did go down.

As for me, I stopped responding to recruiters for the rest of 2020. There were multiple factors:

  • Indeed had sent us home to work remotely on March 3rd.
  • Indeed did not lay anybody off in 2020.
  • My personal life was very challenging in 2020. While nobody got COVID or anything, we had a lot going on, and that took up all available time and energy.

So, without further ado, here is the list of companies who had recruiters contact me.

First, pre-pandemic:

  • Apple (contract)
  • Jamf
  • DISCO
  • Salesforce
  • Cision
  • Visa
  • Whole Foods
  • ReCharge Payments
  • Lutron/Ketra
  • Qualitest
  • Apple (contract)
  • USAA
  • Garmin
  • Magic Leap
  • Cylance
  • USAA
  • Amazon Last Mile
  • DISYS
  • Vrbo
  • Medtronic
  • Facebook
  • New Iron
  • Apple
  • GE Appliances
  • Rev.com
  • AWS
  • Ethos
  • TwoSig
  • HEB
  • realtor.com
  • Arm
  • Amazon Last Mile
  • Cubic
  • FullStory
  • CarGurus
  • Outdoorsy
  • Kantar
  • Gideon Health
  • Crossover
  • Infosys
  • Amazon
  • Optimizely
  • Facebook
  • Object Information Services

And here is the list after 3/12/2020:

  • Apple
  • Amazon Alexa
  • SailPoint
  • Apple
  • Cox Automotive
  • Amazon
  • Spilberg (Netherlands)
  • Gentis Solutions
  • Conduent
  • Audible
  • Amazon
  • Bridgewater Associates
  • Rising Tide Digital
  • Two Six
  • Rundeck
  • AffiniPay
  • JAM
  • Keller Williams Realty International
  • Pen Pal Schools
  • Honor
  • Sysco Labs
  • Natera
  • Apple
  • Wayfair
  • Care.com
  • Jobot
  • TWIA
  • playablestudios.com
  • Roku
  • Facet Data
  • ReCharge Payments
  • care.com
  • Brex
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
  • Lattice Engines
  • Living Security
  • Kazzo
  • Roblox
  • Apple (contract)
  • Raytheon
  • Ntrepid
  • Microsoft
  • Amazon
  • DocSend
  • Arista
  • Cision
  • Urbint
  • Klaviyo
  • Peach Street
  • Apple (contract)
  • Boundless Network
  • Disco
  • Eagle Eye Networks
  • United States Digital Service
  • Logic2020
  • Anyconnect
  • Juniper Square
  • Amazon Digital Entertainment
  • Cisco Meraki
  • Sensus
  • SourceDay
  • Visa
  • Amazon
  • Kenna Security
  • SocialChorus
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Secureframe
  • Cvent
  • Socialive
  • SpyCloud
  • Clear
  • Capitol One
  • http://www.zenbusiness.com
  • SocialChorus
  • Mindstreet
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Capital One Opportunities
  • Amazon
  • Cvent
  • Facebook
  • Envoy
  • Photon
  • Unity Technologies
  • SciPlay
  • General Atomics
  • Collabera
  • Wayfair
  • Oracle Public Cloud
  • Mondo
  • dutchie
  • Bestow