August PLUG Meeting: Mid-Career Development

Ryan Simpkins plug at
Mon Aug 6 17:09:45 MDT 2007

On Mon, August 6, 2007 16:23, Hill, Greg wrote:
>> - How to be irreplaceable (protect yourself against layoffs).
> Switch jobs frequently so you aren't around for the layoffs :D

If I saw on your resume you've never been at one place for more than 2 years,
for the last 10 years, I'd have to stop and think. For many complex technical
systems it might take you 6-8 months to become proficient in that system. That
means I'm going to only get 18 months out of you before you run me through the
hiring process again. No thanks. Seems like an easy way to get stuck in a bad

>> - What aggravates you about job-searching and/or recruiters in
> do development.  My thoughts on recruiters are above.  Another thing
> recruiters can do is quit the "I can't tell you what company this job is
> for" crap.  I've had recruiters contact me about a job that I had
> already applied for.  Luckily, it sounded familiar enough that I asked
> and found out before they resubmitted my resume.  If they'd just been
> upfront about it, it would've saved us both a lot of wasted effort.

I agree. I understand they are trying to protect their rice bowl. If you are
upfront and honest with me you are going to get more milage compared to being
secretive. Also, this is a small world. Word gets around about bad employeers
fast. I'm going to figure it out sooner or later, so why not just get it out
in the open?

>> - What do you wish hiring managers and recruiters would "get" that
>> they just don't get.
> Telecommuting,

I disagree with this one. Telecommuting doesn't work for a lot of companies
for various reasons. Most managers don't have time to babysit people. There is
a mental transformation most of us go through when we walk through the doors
at work. There are good psychological reasons to work at a desk surrounded by
others who are working.

It can also be a big part of the culture. Going to lunch with your co-workers
on a last second invite can be very rewarding technically. Remember that a lot
of great engineering designs happen on napkins in restaurants. Several people
have invented great ideas collaborating with co-workers in impromptu meetings
around a whiteboard. There is synergy in talking face-to-face with other
geeks. It is where creativity and technology meet. Not that you can't have
that in e-mail, but even entirely Internet driven open source projects see
huge benefit by core developers meeting face-to-face from time to time.

Here is one of my favorite sketches:

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