Some company’s career websites are practically impenetrable. I applied for a position at Dell, and the first thing I had to do was fill out a profile. I got an attachment back in email, which was an HTML FILE. Inside was this lovely page in the body of the page:
Sir or Madam:
We have received the profile you submitted to our company. We thank you for your interest and would like to advise you that you may now be informed by email of job openings that match your profile and fields of interest. You can also consult our current job opportunities and easily apply online through our corporate Web site.
If you would like to review your candidate file, click here.
If your profile corresponds to our requirements, a member of our HR Department will contact you soon.
Again, we thank you for your interest in Dell.
Replies to this message are undeliverable and will not reach the Talent Acquisition Department. Please do not reply.
Yep. That is a GIF of text. And it’s still online 11 years later! I also got a very similar page in the mail as an acknowledgement of applying to a job.
How do they expect quality people to put up with their crummy websites anyway?
3+ years of experience in a team development environment
Bachelor’s Degree in Technology Field or equivalent experience Compensation Base Salary, 4 weeks paid time off, Health Care/Dental Benefits/Flexible Spending Account, 401K, Stock Options
Please forward your resume along with the below requested details:
Full name: Degree Major: Total IT exp: Total Quality Assurance managementexp: Total Quality testing programs exp: Total Web and SQL application testingexp: Total load testing of Web based applications exp: Total Six Sigma and/or CMM exp: Current Salary: Expected Salary: Are you US Citizen/GC? Day Tel#:
Best number to reach you anytime:
Current City / State
They are usually signed with names from overseas, although sometimes not. The few times I have followed up on one of these, the pay was about half of what I was used to. And most of them are not for permanent positions; they are for six months contracts in the most non-Silicon Valley places. Gary, IN. Bethlehem, PA. Bentonville, AR (OK, so that’s Wal-Mart).
There is no job security here. Their pay is terrible. And they expect you to be able to move around the country on a moment’s notice. They always talk about visa status.
They also don’t actually interview you. You express interest and fill out their little forms, and they call or email and ask you when you can start. Way to build a lasting team and product, people.
I suspect that there are a large number of immigrants doing this kind of work who just go all over the place for a few months a time, and that a lot of times, the recruiter hires the same people, likely family or friends. This is part of a hidden software sweatshop industry, and it is pretty awful. I had one employee who was a refugee from this system. Their previous company had one US citizen (the president) and forced their employees to work very long hours with bad quality, or he would see to it that their visa was revoked and they would be deported. They came to work for us, because we sponsored their H1B. Since he had no official days off, he pretended to be sick to interview for us.
Bottom line: If you see this kind of solicitation, send it to spam. You can do better.
Getting email about jobs when you are unemployed gets your attention.
I am a recruiter at Epic Systems Corporation in Madison, WI. I saw your resume on Monster.com and I think you would be a match for one of the many technical positions we are hiring including: software development, problem solver (technical services), electronic data interchange, and server systems/database administration.
Combine creativity, math and software development in a way that can save lives. You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with the brightest minds in the healthcare industry and make a difference, while enjoying a casual work environment (jeans, shorts, sandals) and great benefits.
Relocation to Madison, WI is required and covered. Epic is sponsoring visas for our software development and electronic data interchange positions.
This recruiter has no name. The Subject: line said Letter, and the From: was Epic. The Reply-To: said email@example.com. So I didn’t hold out hope for a personal connection with the recruiter.
I am sure that Madison, WI, is a lovely town. I am also sure that I still don’t like winter or snow. Medical software wasn’t all that interesting, but then again, I just came from Business Process Management software, which was about as dull as beige paint in a bathroom with no windows, so maybe I shouldn’t be that picky. Notice that there are two spaces after periods in this email.
Maybe if they did not believe me that I was a developer 8 years after taking management jobs I could be a “problem solver”. I wonder if I could get that on my business card. And there aren’t that many positions who list “math” as a requirement. That could mean a lot of things. Does it require algebra? geometry? probability and statistics? differential equations? multi-variable calculus? differential geometry? I was (and still am) quite rusty on most of those; the most advanced math I have used in my professional life was trigonometry.
I don’t appear to have answered this one, which is not terribly surprising, given the location.
At least the company is still alive. Or at least its website is.
Subject: I need a Python/Perl/Automated tools specialist for my client in Austin. Please read!
At the time, I did not know perl very well, nor python at all. I did have tcl, for what that was worth, and shell scripting. The body of the message continued:
Please review the job description below and let me know if you feel you would be a good fit. This position is more focused on the Python, Perl and automated skill sets.
6 month Contract to Hire (Will go perm)
TippingPoint is looking for a toolsmith to round out the team developing our next-gen deep packet inspection engine. The successful candidate will be someone who enjoys rapidly developing tools to improve day-to-day effectiveness of the people around them. This includes not only developing tools as asked, but identifying opportunities to improve the overall development process.
Contract to hire scared me; I needed a steady paycheck.
Looked at the requirements. The big one that stuck out at me (and they had it bolded):
Expert in either Python or Perl, but must be proficient in both.
So, somebody would rather not hire somebody to learn these on the job.
They also wanted experience with Lua, which I don’t and never have had.
I wrote back:
My expertise is in tcl, so there would be a learning curve with the perl and python pieces. I don’t even know what Lua is. Otherwise, my technical skills are a decent fit.
My goal, however, is to be a manager. This is probably not a great fit at this point.
The recruiter did not give up. He then sent me a job listing for Lead QA Engineer. Standard template, but something bothered me about it, and I included it in my response:
– 10+ years of testing multi-tier Web-based systems would require people who worked on the original multi-tier Web-based system, since the current J2EE or .net infrastructures are only 10 years old. I only have a couple of years exposure, and not an individual contributor level. I have also not done a lot of individual contribution using browser automation tools.
I gave him my resume and salary requirements, but mentioned that I was much more interested in management. He came back with feedback from the client:
1) We don’t need an existing QA manager, unless they are really willing to do hands-on work.
2) We need someone with scripting skills: Unix bash, Perl, Python, etc.
3) We need someone that knows Linux pretty well.
4) Ideally, we need someone that is a lead QA that could become a manager as we grow.
Google+ is shutting down. I have posted every blog entry to Google Plus, and have gotten very few referrals/hits from it.
Given its security problems and its general failure as a social network, it needs to go. However, the science accounts I follow on it are fantastic, and are presented in a much more pleasing manner. So I will miss that.
I will continue to post this blog on WordPress, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and MeWe. Hopefully, if you are reading this on Google+, you can find another way to continue to do so after it is shut down.
Three days after I got laid off at Lombardi, the recruiter I had worked with at Lombardi sent me this:
I just left a message on your cell phone. I have an interview for you and it’s a good one. _____ _______ is the CTO of StoredIQ and he was wondering if you were free to meet him near 360/Westlate Blvd. around 4 or 5pm today. Does that work for you? He would be speaking with you about a Sr. level QA role at StoredIQ…
I was to meet with the CTO later that afternoon, but he was delayed getting out of town coming back to Austin for Houston. And I was going to Las Vegas for PMP training paid for by Lombardi.
Once I got back to town, I went over the CTO’s house. Turns out he lived in my subdivision. Generic get-to-know interview. He asked some non-probing questions about QA philosophy, and I asked him some generic questions about StoredIQ.
We scheduled an onsite interview.
Alas, I was late. I tried to punch up Westgate on my car’s DVD-based nav system, and I could not find anything. Maps on the phone weren’t a thing yet., so, I tried to rely on the written instructions from the recruiter. Turns out the street is called “West Gate” (two words), and the street is on an exit sign on one direction of one freeway near the intersection of two, but not on the other side of that freeway. You’ll also note that in the email above the recruiter called it “Westlate”. I was about 25 minutes late.
And the interview did not go well. The biggest mistake was not doing more research on the company and what the state of the art of what they were doing was. They were archiving electronic data to meet government compliance standards, and they need to provide searching capability. This interview was the first time I heard the terms “elastic search” and “lucene”, and I should have at least understood what these terms generally meant before I walked in the door.
Nobody on their side opened up to me at all. I was not at all surprised when they said they were no longer pursuing me for this position.
StoredIQ was acquired by IBM in 2012, and they fit the IBM profile to a tee. (Of course, Lombardi was also acquired by IBM in 2011). My goal in life is to never work again at a company that was interesting to IBM.
As for that recruiter, he never helped me again. I think the combination of being friends with Lombardi management and feedback he got from this review gave him a sufficiently negative impression of me that he wrote me off.