Let the Job Search Begin; And My First Interviews

So it’s that time of my life again. The time when a not-so-young1 man has to get a job because he can’t live off his savings forever. And that not-so-young man is me.

If you know of something that might be a good fit for me please let me know.

I wrote up a TLDR I’ve been sharing with recruiters that will help you figure out if something is a good fit for me.

  • Level: Senior+ (Lead, Staff, Principal), or Senior at FAANGMULA (or equivalent very large tech company like Stripe). Would also consider Senior for a Rust job.
  • Management: Yes, if there is also IC work.
  • Fields: Tech/software, but no crypto/blockchain, surveillance, defense industry, or gig economy services for non-professionals.
  • Technologies:
    1. Rust
    2. Something unusual, e.g. Elixir, Nim, etc.
    3. Go
    4. Anything else, but no Java or PHP
  • Location: 100% remote
  • Comp: Top tier TC or 4 day (32 hour) week - or both!
  • Hours: No more than 40 hours per week (no startup 45-50 hours stuff)
  • PTO: 5+ weeks

There are a lot more things I care about, but if I included all of them this would be the “too long”, not the TLDR.

I think I’ll also blog a bit about my interviews as they happen. Why not? I plan to be circumspect about some things, especially specific technical questions and coding exercises. It’s not appropriate for me to share those with the world.

So far I’ve had two interviews.

My first was last Wednesday (March 2) with Wallaroo. This went well … up until the interviewer told me that they expect people to work 45-50 hours per week. So I withdrew my application immediately.

I consider this interview a huge success. We found out that this wasn’t a fit in under 30 minutes, before people on either side of the process had invested much time. That’s a win in my book!

My second was earlier today with Google2. It was a phone screening with a shared virtual doc (sort of like Google Docs but it defaulted to monospace at least). The question was comp sci-ish, and I think I did pretty terribly. I dove in and started implementing this in a not-very-optimal way. After a while, the interviewer asked me “could you implement this using X”, where X is a very basic programming concept that I know quite well. And my response was along the lines of “oh yes, X is definitely the right way to do this”. But at that point we were mostly out of time so I couldn’t redo my work using X.

I’ve already written a fair bit about interviewing and the issues with live coding exercises. If I’d been doing this on my own with less time pressure, I think I would’ve hit on X in a reasonable time frame. But in a live 45-minute window it felt like either I picked the right approach immediately or I failed. I don’t think that’s a great screening tool, since it has a lot of false negatives. But the top employers like Google do just fine with a lot of false negatives, so it makes sense that they’d stick with this approach.

Now, I don’t know that I failed (yet), but I don’t think I made a great impression.

Edit @ 14:45pm my time: They chose not to move forward. No surprise. But it’s great that they’re so quick to follow up.

And that’s where I’m at. I have a long list of bookmarks for companies that I might want to apply at, so I’m going through those now and figuring out where to apply first.

  1. But not so old either! ↩︎

  2. The recruiter I talked to swears that Google now has fully remote roles. I would want to confirm this before doing any onsite interviews, because I have no interest in moving for a job. ↩︎