Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category
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.
Online privacy has been on my mind quite a bit this weekend, so I thought I’d share a few miscellaneous thoughts with you.
This morning, an article about Alessandro Acquisti, a behavioral economist at Carnegie Mellon University who studies online privacy appeared on the front page of the New York Times. Acquisti has determined that most people reveal far more information online than we think. Further, his research has determined that the amount of privacy we’re willing to give up varies in proportion with the amount of control we’re given over our online information: Read the rest of this entry »
The two truest things that I read today…both of them came from an article about Bitcoins:
The Internet is a big fan of the worst-possible-thing.
Many people thought Twitter was the worst possible way for people to communicate, little more than discourse abbreviated into tiny little chunks; Facebook was a horrible way to experience human relationships, commodifying them into a list of friends whom one pokes. The Arab Spring changed the story somewhat.
Yesterday, someone sent me an email asking this question:
If I was able to get my top 20 customers to send a 30 second iPhone video saying why they love working with us…I want to mash them up for featuring on our web site and YouTube…is the iPhone high enough quality?
In my opinion, yes.