Job fair

Wednesday of this last week, I went to a EECS job fair.  I found that essentially all companies there were eager to talk with anyone that came by and take a résumé.  I have even gotten some contact back from some companies already which I was not expecting as I am a first year student and I was told by many older students that first years do not typically get contacted or get internships/jobs.

I think that this point brings up some very interesting beliefs that are in the tech industry.  Many of these have been noted before on countless blogs and new articles, but rehashing these from my own experiences I believe might be helpful to some people.

  1. The tech industry does not particularly care about you age, gender, race etc.  All they care about is if you are technically skilled and are able to get the job done.
  2. Github profiles are a big deal.  At the top of my résumé along with my physical address, I decided to put my internet address.  This included things such as my email, website and github profile.  I want to note that even while talking with an individual he was looking at my résumé said “o nice you have your link to your github profile” and then continued to circle it with his pen and said that he was amazed how many people he talked to that did not have some public code profile.  Today this “public code profile” has become a standard for hiring in the coding world.
  3. Do not emphasis what you do not have when talking with the representatives.  I was waiting behind some student who was talking with the hulu representatives about what he has.  First he starts out with what he does not like about the hulu product, the fact that there are ads even though he is paying for it (guess what you pay for Cable and there are still ads, there is no reason hulu can’t do the same).  The representatives then interrupts him and asks about what sort of projects he has.  He states that he has made a few smallish things.  The representatives then continues to ask if he has a github (see point 2).  Which he replies that he does, but there is nothing on there because…..some answer like, “my ideas are soooo great that I do not want people coping them I might sell them at some point…..”

These are somewhat of tips/points/what not to do experiences.  Like I said at the top, these ideas have been noted all over the internet and are not rocket science.

Additionally, in line with my last post about hackathon projects.  Everything that you write should be version controlled somehow.  You can use git without using github and just keep it on your local machine.  Additionally, when you decided that your code is either “done” or not going to continue into a money-making company, or only going to survive as a free product, then you might as well create a public repo on github or similar so that if/when you are at a job fair, there is something on

The Hackathon paradigm

Today I was looking at a lot of the different applications that I normally use on my phone and through my web browser.  If I was talking to someone who had never experienced either of these before, they might believe that I generally have a single specific device for a specific task, and that in terms of functionality there would be little overlap of major features.  However, for anyone that has experienced either of these mediums, they are aware of the wide variety of applications and programs that duplicated the functions of other applications.

My complain is two-pronged on this issue of applications that start or continue with a Hackathon paradigm.  First, the old Unix philosophy says do one thing and do one thing well.  On this specific point, I believe that many applications start out with the right intentions, however over time there is a significant feature creep effect that takes place.  I believe that this is the result of “Hackathon project” becoming more than “Hackathon projects.”  The developer of these application feel that they are going to form a company with a project that in terms of complexity should really be no more than a side project.  Essentially what I am saying, is to develop and maintain your application X, it _might_ take 2 hours a week once it is launched.  However, these individuals choose to attempt to make a 50 hour, startup styled, work week out of these types of projects.

My second issue with the “Hackathon projects” is don’t assume that something that you can write in 24 hours is not easily copied.  There are a lot of very complex and difficult problem that exist in the world today.  Nearly all of these types of problems can not be solved in a short period of time.  Additionally, if a product can be made in 24 hours given the proper tools and skills, then it is only a matter of time before there is a large number of people who will be competing with you.  Some might even have better products given that they were able to replicate your product in such a short period of time, and then vastly improve upon there after.

With these two issues, I am not saying that Hackathons are bad,Hackathons provide a relativity easy way to create demos to show of skills.  However when it comes to publishing a product I believe that people should think a little more about what they are going to create and invest enough time into the product such that it is not just going to be another 1 of 100 “identical” products.