Job Search 2022 Update: Week 3

Week 3 of my job search has come to a close, and boy is my brain tired! I’m looking forward to starting a new job just so I can do something less exhausting than interviewing all week.

I had a lot of interviews (and a homework assignment) this week, but first, here’s where I stand with various places …

First, the list of shame, which is those companies that have not responded after more than two weeks:

  • ClickHouse - applied on 2022-03-10
  • GitHub - applied on 2022-03-10
  • Netflix - applied on 2022-03-11
  • Oso - applied on 2022-03-10

We can give ClickHouse and Oso a (partial?) pass here. They’re both startups and I can understand if they don’t have a well-oiled hiring machine. But GitHub and Netflix really have no excuse. Is it possible that no one has looked at my application yet? Or are they committing the gravest of all hiring sins, ghosting people instead of sending rejection emails?

I also submitted one more application. Kevin Centeno, who I greatly enjoyed working with at MaxMind, reached out and said he had a friend working at Cockroach Labs who like it. So I went ahead and applied on Monday, 2022-03-21. No word back yet.

And here’s where I stand with all the other places I applied …

I heard back from 1Password! Of all the places I applied, this is the product I use the most (many times every single day). So I’m quite excited about the idea of working on it. I have a first interview scheduled for next week.

For Array, I submitted my homework on 2022-03-23 and haven’t heard back yet. Either it was amazingly bad or amazingly good. But the most likely cause is that everyone who could review it doing their best to avoid reviewing yet another homework submission. I can understand that.

I spent about 4 hours on this homework, which is more than I would have liked. The exercise was a little too open-ended, in my opinion. I probably could have done less, but I didn’t want to turn in work without any tests, even though they weren’t specifically asked for. I think the homework instructions I wrote at ActiveState are better at putting bounds on the amount of work required, but I wonder if we could have done ever more there. Also, unlike ActiveState, there was no “point us at a GitHub project” alternative. This is a bummer for me since I have literally 10s of thousands of lines of code on GitHub anyone can look at. It might even be a hundred of thousands, but I haven’t counted.

CircleCI said no, because of my desire to not get up early to talk to people in Europe. That’s very reasonable.

I talked to a recruiter at Fastly, and we agreed that it made the most sense to move me forward with one of the three positions I applied for first. That means I have to talk to a different recruiter first who handles that team. They reached out for my available times so hopefully that will happen next week.

LogDNA wins the Speedy Scheduling Award, as I got through all of their interviews this week. It sounds like a good place to work, it’s a product space I understand, and I think I’d find the work challenging and interesting. At the last interview, it sounded like an offer was likely and that I should hear back next week. The downside of them being the speediest is that I will have to ask them to wait a few weeks if they do make an offer, since I need to see what other offers come in. But still, good job, LogDNA!

I met with the Lead at MongoDB for the team I’d applied to and we did a live coding exercise. I know I’ve said these are the worst in my writing on hiring, but ironically this was fine for me. I didn’t find it too stressful because the task at hand was something very relevant to my actual experience, not a I-will-never-do-this-at-work CS problem. Also, it was a collaborative interaction, as opposed to someone just observing me. And finally, I was explicitly told to go ahead and Google things (unlike my Google interview, more irony). So it went fine. I’m scheduled for several more hours of interviews next Monday and Tuesday next week.

I heard back from OneSignal and had a quick interview with the hiring manager for the position. It sounds like they’re doing a lot of Rust, which is appealing. The interview went well, and they sent me one of those “pick an interview slot” links from Lever. So I went and picked one for 4:00 PM, not realizing that it was showing me US Pacific times! Oh, the irony. But seriously, Lever, maybe use another thing I worked on, MaxMind’s GeoIP APIs and databases. They make it easy to use the visitor’s IP to take an educated guess at the right time zone. And there’s no way to tell Lever I made a mistake and want to reschedule. Fortunately, the hiring manager was able to resend the link and I scheduled something at a better time. This will also be a live coding exercise. Hopefully, this will go as well as the one with MongoDB did.

A recruiter on LinkedIn reached out to me about a company called Oden and I had a first phone call with the hiring manager today. Their product is all about collecting information on factory production lines and providing insight for factory managers. This sounds fascinating. They said that new hires get sent to a customer factory to see it in action. I think the only thing better would be if this was software for giant killer robots. For the next step, they offer either a choice of either homework or a live coding exercise. I chose the live coding because I don’t want to spend another 4 hours on homework in a week that’s already starting to get packed with interviews.

Onna asked me when I was available to meet with some folks from their team in Spain, asking if I was available at 7:00 or 8:00 AM my time. That’s when I realized I hadn’t asked about work hours in either of my first two conversations there. So I emailed the recruiter there and asked. They said that they’d want me to be available every day from 9:00-12:00. Again, just like CircleCI, this is totally reasonable, but I don’t want to do it. So I withdrew my application. I feel bad about this because I should have asked the recruiter before I interviewed with their VP of Engineering.

Finally, I spoke with the CEO of Optic. They have a pretty interesting product focused on making it easy to review REST API changes in a similar way as we now review code changes. I have another interview with an engineer there scheduled for next week.

That’s it for job search updates. I’m still getting a lot of recruiter contacts on LinkedIn and some emails too, but at this point I’m telling them I’m too busy for more interviews. I just checked and saw a message from someone looking for “a Software Engineer experienced in Cobol, JCL, and SQL Server Database to work on a contract basis”. Yes, my resume screams “this guy knows Cobol and JCL”. Good job, recruiter!

What will happen next week? Stay tuned.