Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:May:09 Saturday <Friday, Sunday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2009/5/9-15 [Uncategorized] UID:52975 Activity:nil
2009/5/9-18 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA/Motd] UID:52976 Activity:nil
5/9 Since the VP hasn't put it up yet, I will...
    Here is your new politburo:
        President: Evelyn Yung, eyung
        Vice President: Jesse Toth, jtoth, aka PLG
        Treasurer: Rohan Dhaimade, rohand
        Secretary-Librarian: Chris Berner, cberner
        Events-Alumni: Dwight Crow, dw5ight
     \_ Fail.  She did.  Check the official motd :-p
        \_ I never check /etc/motd, just /etc/motd.public.
2009/5/9-15 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:52977 Activity:nil
5/9     were any of you at defcon with me the day when the feds
        dragged away that guy who cracked adobe ebook encryption ? - danh
        \_ I didn't know you went to defcon. Are you going this year? -ausman
           \_ I went a few times.  I don't care anymore.  I only ask because
              I went to a talk at defcon but the Russian programmer who
              broke Adobe ebook encryption.  During the talk, the moderator
              stopped him and asked him if he knew where the nuclear
              vessels are in Alameda, and he responded "I do not understand,
              I do not know where the nuclear wessels are in Alameda" and
              the audience broke up laughing.
2009/5/9-18 [Industry/Jobs] UID:52978 Activity:moderate
5/9     After you date or marry, how long does it take for her to pick on
        every little fucking thing that's wrong with you? My record is here:
        1st gf: 3 years
        2nd gf: 5 years
        wife: 6 years
        \_ do you have kids?
                \_ This might actually be a very germane question.  1st,
                   kids would distract her, 2nd, there's an apparent
                   evolutionary phenonema that couples start to "lose the
                   spark" if they haven't produced kids together.  And
                   even then, shopping for a new mate after 7 years is
                   also sort of an evolutionary urge.  Maybe try
                   getting a dog?
                   \_ I think it's more "when people have kids they often
                      stop really living except as extensions of their kids"
                      I know plenty of people who got divorced within a year
                      of their last kid leaving the house and I'm pretty
                      sure they weren't staying together for the kids.  Just
                      that once the kids left they looked at each other and
                      realized they didn't really like each other that much.
                      I also know several couples who have been together for
                      decades without having kids, but those couples seem
                      to actually love each other.
           \_ I think I need to give you more info. Almost 7 years, no
              kids. We're in our mid 30s. She talked about having kids
              for a while, but the thing is I'm about to lose my job.
              My commute really sucks. I spend 2-3 hours a day driving
              in LA. There isn't a lot of tech job opportunities here.
              I can't move because she loves LA. I am miserable. I think
              she is too because I am miserable, and I haven't found any
              decent tech job in the LA area for the past year or so.
              In short, I don't want to have any kid without getting a
              job that I can keep for the next 10 years.
              \_ We're hiring if you're a Java programmer. Our office is
                 around the 405-90 interchange in Weschester.
              \_ I think I don't have to say any more do I?  Biological
                 clock is ticking and your quality of life sounds like
                 it is falling into a rut based on that commute.
                 Maybe you need to have a long talk or something about
                 being willing to move.  I don't know what else you
                 could do.  I guess it depends on your experience and
                 how much savings you have.
                 \_ moving is a solution? where can I move to that'll solve
                    all of my problems? PS I'm about to be unemployed.  -pp
                    \_ Get a job closer to where you live next time.
                       \_ I tried looking for over a year.              -pp
                          \_ 1. Where do you live?
                             2. Where are you willing to commute to?
                             3. What kind of job are you looking for?
                             \_ 1) Pasadena 2) anywhere within 25 min from
                                Pasadena (that means nothing West of 405)
                                I'm tired of recruiters who don't realize
                                that there is a huge difference between
                                LA, Irvine, Santa Monica, and Pasadena. They
                                think LA is LA. 3) anything technically
                                interesting is fine. I have a degree in
                                Computer Science.
                                \_ Be more specific about #3. Do you want
                                   to be in/get into management or project
                                   management? Software development? If
                                   so, what problems interest you (parallel
                                   programming, server side scripting,
                                   e-commerce, security, games)? If not
                                   s/w development then what? Sys admin?
                                   DB admin? Network engineer? You need to
                                   be a lot more specific in what you want
                                   to do unless you are a very early
                                   career hire who doesn't know yet and
                                   then you need to say that.
                                   \_ I find that it doesn't matter. I can
                                      do anything, any language, any field.
                                      \_ I think this may be why you are
                                         having a problem finding a job.
                                         "I can do anything" sounds pompous
                                         and naive. "It doesn't matter" shows
                                         you lack interest. I wouldn't
                                         hire someone who said those things.
                                         You need some focus. Your later
                                         comments show that you have some
                                         biases and preferences so think
                                         about those. How do you want to
                                         contribute to solving problems in
                                         scalability and reliability on
                                         the backend? Write code? Test?
                                         Develop algorithms? Write drivers
                                         for hardware? Design the system?
                                         Admin it? BTW, you probably aren't
                                         a "computer scientist" w/o a PhD
                                         (certainly an MS) so don't worry
                                         about the demand for those people
                                         unless you have a grad degree and
                                         then play it up.
                                         \_ in a small environment, there
                                            isn't a big separation between
                                            coding, QA, and cleaning toilets.
                                            A jack of all trades like the
                                            first 50 Googlers does algorithms
                                            and coding and QA while utilizing
                                            whatever the hardware is given.
                                            So while what you say applies to
                                            big mega corporations, it's not
                                            how every company works. You
                                            sound like someone who has been
                                            in a mega corporation too long,
                                            or someone who knows it all.
                                            I wouldn't want to hire someone
                                            with such tunnel vision, embedded
                                            with strict notion of hierarchy
                                            and division of labor. I wouldn't
                                            hire you.
                                            \_ Or maybe I realize everyone
                                               is not equally good at or
                                               equally suited for every task.
                                               Different topics bore different
                                               people. You don't hire a
                                               web developer to write your
                                               device driver. If you are
                                               looking for a place where
                                               you are exposed to a lot
                                               then SAY SO. However, I have
                                               worked with enough PhDs to
                                               realize that no one can "do
                                               everything". What small
                                               environments often lack are
                                               EXPERTS except where it is
                                               necessary to have expertise.
                                               And in that case if you
                                               don't have the expertise
                                               then you're disposable anyway.
                                               You mention Google. Those
                                               first guys were not hired
                                               for their QA skills. They
                                               were hired for their expertise
                                               in other needed areas. That
                                               they ended up doing QA was
                                               a function of being small,
                                               not because they were domain
                                               experts. I'm sure the QA
                                               experts they have today (if
                                               they have any) laugh at the
                                               work that was done back then.
                                               The big thing was not QA,
                                               obviously. That doesn't
                                               mean there weren't experts
                                               in other areas, though.
                                               However, for someone who
                                               was a domain expert in QA:
                                               1. Google probably didn't want
                                                  you then.
                                               2. You probably didn't want to
                                                  work for them either.
                                               So it is important to state
                                               where your real interests
                                               lie. If you have none that's
                                               almost the same as saying you
                                               have no expertise, because no
                                               one is an expert at everything.
                                         \_ It may sound naive but I think
                                            he's right.  A good engineer
                                            can adapt pretty quickly to any
                                            type of project.  It just takes
                                            the ability to learn.  I
                                            actually think "I can do anything"
                                            is very healthy attitude.  Pretty
                                            much all successful startups
                                            involve doing stuff that is new,
                                            stuff nobody may have experience
                                            in.  Only being interested in
                                            narrow specialized problems is
                                            the attitude of a peon.
                                            Of course, employers may not see
                                            it that way, because peons are
                                            what they are probably trying to
                                            \_ It's a given that you can
                                               learn and adapt if you went
                                               to a school like Cal. That's
                                               quite different from "I
                                               need someone who can do XYZ
                                               job". If I need someone to
                                               design my embedded operating
                                               system I don't look at this
                                               guy and think "Well, he'll
                                               learn this." Not on my dime
                                               he won't. He may never or
                                               he may decide it bores him.
                                               I want someone good at it with
                                               experience or else someone with
                                               demonstrated interest in
                                               the topic and then only
                                               for a lower level position.
                                               Will I higher someone who
                                               Will I hire someone who
                                               seems smart to learn it?
                                               Maybe, but not if he tells
                                               me "It doesn't matter"
                                               what he works on. The
                                               phrasing is very important.
                                               "I have been able to handle most
                                               challenges I have faced so far,
                                               while working fast-paced
                                               environments where we all
                                               wore many hats" is not the
                                               same as "I can do everything
                                               and I don't care what I do."
                                               See the difference?
                                               wore many hats and I'd love
                                               to learn more about embedded
                                               systems and OS design. I
                                               took a course that used VxWorks
                                               in college and I'd like to
                                               build on that, but I never had
                                               the chance at my current job"
                                               is not the same as "I can do
                                               everything and I don't care
                                               what I do." See the difference?
                                               Of course this guy cares
                                               what he does and no he is
                                               not good at everything. His
                                               response seemed lazy and
                                               sloppy to me.
                                               \_ Different styles, same
                                                  semantics. You seem like
                                                  a superficial prick who
                                                  gets a kick out of driving
                                                  a nice car.
                                                  \_ I beg to differ. One
                                                     expresses an interest in a
                                                     certain field. The other
                                                     is sloppy, lazy, naive,
                                                     and pompous. Hiring
                                                     managers want to hire
                                                     people interested in what
                                                     they do and perhaps what
                                                     the company does. I
                                                     want this guy to get
                                                     a job. I am trying to help
                                                     him. He's been at it a
                                                     year on his own and a
                                                     lack of focus seems to
                                                     be why he's having a
                                                     tough time finding and
                                                     getting a job he wants.
                                                     Don't hate on me for
                                                     trying to help a
                                                     fellow CSUA'er.
                                                     \_ hey thanks for the
                                                        feedback. I get your
                                                        point. Yes I'm a
                                                        pompous jerk online
                                                        but you'll never see
                                                        that side of me in
                                                        person. Does that
                                                        help?   -pp
                                                        \_ yes, give me your
                                                           name so we know not
                                                           to hire you.
                                                        \_ Not really.
                                                           Final advice:
                                                           Figure out where
                                                           you'd like to work
                                                           and what you'd like
                                                           to do there. If
                                                           videogames are
                                                           totally boring to
                                                           you and you want to
                                                           work on a team
                                                           designing fighter
                                                           jets then search the
                                                           job listings for
                                                           fighter jet
                                                           and look for a fit.
                                                           If you want to
                                                           design fighters, but
                                                           also do not want to
                                                           work for a big
                                                           company like
                                                           Lockheed then look
                                                           at subcontractors
                                                           for Lockheed or for
                                                           a startup competitor
                                                           to Lockheed or a
                                                           small, new group
                                                           just established to
                                                           do new work within
                                                           Lockheed. When
                                                           you find a jet
                                                           fighter startup that
                                                           has jobs open for
                                                           DBA, Java developer,
                                                           and software systems
                                                           engineer figure out
                                                           which is a best fit
                                                           for you and the
                                                           company. Don't apply
                                                           to them all b/c you
                                                           can do them all,
                                                           even if that's true
                                                           at some level. Don't
                                                           apply to videogame
                                                           makers, b/c they
                                                           will sniff out your
                                                           lack of interest.
                                                           They may not hire
                                                           you b/c of it.
                                                           Worse, they might
                                                           hire you and you
                                                           will be miserable,
                                                           will not advance,
                                                           and might get fired.
                                                           Hope this helps!
                                      Preferably backend infrastructure on
                                      scalability, reliability, etc. But you
                                      know what? There is very little need
                                      for computer scientists out there. Most
                                      jobs are "do some web programming in
                                      X language." I can do that too. I work
                                      at a super mega web company. I've done
                                      frontend (yuck), backend, middle-tier,
                                      everything. 10 years of experience. -pp
                                      \_ I would start by searching large
                                         employers in the area then. I just
                                         \_ the thing is, I've worked for large
                                            employers all my life. I'm tired
                                            of large corporation bullshit and
                                            I want to experience little
                                            corporation bullshit.
                                            \_ So you are not just looking for
                                               anything. You want a hardcore
                                               engineering job at a startup
                                               doing infrastructure or
                                               scalability within a short
                                               commute from Pasadena. Good luck!
                                         looked at Caltech, JPL, Edison and
                                         Jacob's Engineering for you and found
                                         the job below. Do you have Oracle
                                         programming experience? You might also
                                         want to look at large hospitals in
                                         the area, or anyone in a growth
                                         industry. Jacob's has an Oracle
                                         Finance programmer type job and Edison
                                         a job for someone with 5 years
                                         experience in Real Time Control and
                                         Monitoring (SCADA), which I assume
                                         you do not. Edison actually has a bunch
                                         of jobs in their Rivergrade office,
                                         which is an easier commute than
                                         Westside for you.
                                   Ask dim to recommend you for a job at JPL...
                                   \_ JPL has a hiring freeze. Dunno why that
                                      job was posted recently. I could find
                                      out. Not too sure about what working
                                      in the OPS Lab is like, but the guy
                                      who leads it is supposed to be prettty
                                      who leads it is supposed to be pretty
                                      bright and is well liked. His name is
                                      Jeff Norris. I can forward a resume.
                                      Be aware this looks like an entry-level
                                      sort of position with likely entry-level
                                      pay. I am going to guess $70-80K,
                                      but that's just me guessing and
                                      maybe it's a lot higher. --dim
                                      Added: The freeze may not apply b/c
                                      this is likely an Early Career Hire,
                                      which we are still allowed to hire.
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:May:09 Saturday <Friday, Sunday>