Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category
One of the best skills you can teach yourself to get ahead in your career is SQL. In a world so driven by data, being able to pull your own data is very empowering. It’s also a way to get ahead. People who can pull their own data are less reliant on others.
At Rover.com, we’re teaching all of our people, from customer service to marketing to the CEO, how to run their own SQL queries. We have a read-only version of our database, so that anybody in the company can pull their own data and run their own reports.
How can you learn SQL?
Wanna get ahead in your career? Here’s how…
Be a person who takes things off your boss’ plate.
Your boss might be internal…like you work at a company.
Or, they might be external…like a client.
Like you, they have too much work to do. So, be a person who makes it so they have one less thing to do.
A friend of mine sent a message to an handful of friends today:
I got my first phone interview lined up and I’ve never done this before. I would love some pro-tips on making it successful.
I’m not sure if these are actually pro-tips, but here’s what I offered:
1. Have a piece of paper and pen in front of you.
I had coffee with a friend who recently entered the staffing agency business. His company has several hundred developers on staff, and each of these have been technically vetted. So, the idea is that a company can easily increase its engineering resources by calling up and saying, “Hey, we have a new project and need <insert some number> engineers next week.” Yes, you will pay a higher rate for the resources, but you’ll get them when you need them, and don’t have to incur the ongoing cost of full-time employees after the project is over.
Naturally, he was asking if Rover could use his services. Yes, we are hiring, but no, we are already working with some recruiters, and are not going to add any more at this time. (Hint: recruiters, don’t call…I’m not going to hire you right now.)
The conventional wisdom is that startups and young companies don’t want to hire through staffing agencies because of the higher costs. In part, that’s true, but it’s not the real reason. Most companies would gladly pay an extra cost for great developers immediately.
Olivia: One thing I’d add to your post might be that you have to go into iterative efforts fully open to the fact that the “Loop” step might mean you took at wrong turn and need to stop and/or kill what you’ve done. Otherwise, you wind up with Winchester Mystery House product and resources spent supporting worthless crap. And killing something off is suuuuuuper hard to do, from what I’ve seen. But it’s part of that whole “committing to the Loop”…that’s the toughest part.
Me: I’m not a good killer. I love all my children.
Last winter, I stopped working with cats, and started working with dogs. Currently, my primary responsibility at the dog company is to recruit and hire top talented software engineers. The market in Seattle for software engineers is very tight.
Seattle is probably #2 in the country after Silicon Valley for technology companies. Not only do we have Microsoft and Amazon here, almost ever major player in the industry has setup a development center Seattle. Google, Facebook, Yahoo, eBay…they’re all here. There are billboards on the street advertising software developer job openings, and the other day I actually saw a truck driving around town with a big billboard on back.
It’s hard for small companies to break through and find good developers, and my company has had to resort to a gimmick to break through the noise: Rover.com is giving away a free puppy to anybody who refers an engineer. In addition, I’m spending a few nights every week going to meetups for different types of special interest groups, just to meet developers and put the word out.
I was in an office under NDA when I saw this on the wall, so I can’t disclose where I took the pic. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a copy of the paper online. (If you can, please post a link in the comments.)
An inspirational talk by Chris Devore:
One of the reasons online privacy has been on my mind lately is because on Friday, I had dinner with a friend who is the Chief Privacy Officer at an online retailer with which we’re all familiar. What I learned was enlightening and thought-provoking about the responsibility that engineers have for privacy.
For her brand, it would be disastrous to get in the media about privacy issues or data leaks. The company is moving rapidly with many engineering teams collecting data from users at many touch points online, on mobile and in-store. In fact, they have been applauded for just how rapidly they innovate.
As a result, the essential stress of her position is that she is responsible for ensuring the security of the information, but she has to rely on many engineers across many engineering teams to deliver on those promises. She cannot do it on her own—the only way she will be successful is to enlist the engineering teams, and deputize them in the fight to secure user data and privacy.