Fairly Symmetrical

January 2004 Archives

08:34 AM by Eric: Lessons people really shouldn't have to learn, part deux Work

Ha. It's not every day I get to scoop Joel Spolsky. :)

I've been going through a big pile of applications for the summer internship positions at Fog Creek Software, and, I don't know how to say this, some of them are really, really bad. This is not to say that the applicants are stupid or unqualified, although they might be. I'm never going to find out, because when I have lots of excellent applications for only two open positions, there's really no need to waste time interviewing people that can't be bothered to spell the name of my company right.

12:31 PM by Eric: Lessons people really shouldn't have to learn Work

First off, it's really amazing how much you can get done first thing in the morning when you're the only one in the office... as I was, from 7 to about 9 this morning.

Second off, what is up with people and their resumes? You wouldn't think writing a good resume would be that hard, but damn if we don't get in the most useless resumes anyway. I mean, if you just do the following 3 things, you'd be better than probably 75% of the resumes I've seen in the last month:

  1. Spell check your resume. Grammar check it too. I've seen people use "where" when they meant "were", I've seen them spell "design" "desing", I mean come on, people! The worst are the ones where they've obviously just pasted their resume from Word and it still has spelling errors! Look for the red squiggly lines!
  2. Make sure your skills and your experience match up with each other. I see these resumes that have page-long lists of skills -- but their work experience is two tiny paragraphs, neither of which mentions any of those skills. All that does is make me wonder why you didn't put down those experiences. Are you lying about the skills, too lazy to type up your experiences, or just dumb? I've got a stack of 100 resumes in front of me, and when I decide who I want to call, you can be very sure I'm going to pick the guy who took the time to tell me exactly how he's done this stuff before.
  3. Make sure your experience listing is detailed, and tailored to the job. If I'm interviewing for a job about administering Windows servers, then I want to know when you've done that before, how complex the situation was, and how well you handled it. I don't want a one-line description of each job, even if it means the resume goes over 1 or 2 pages. Describe the job, then list (with details!) major project accomplishments. Impress me.
01:44 PM by Eric: Handwriting on the computer Personal | Tech | Work

Jenny showed me this nifty site called Fontifier, which takes your handwriting and turns it into a TrueType font for use on your computer. It's not perfect (it's missing a lot of glyphs), but it's pretty cool. I've actually set up an alternate skin for the website so you can read it in my own handwriting, if you like. You'll need to download and install this file (on Windows, drag it into the Fonts folder in your Control Panel), then click here.

Just got back from another trip to Phoenix. This one went really well, we got everything done early for a change, and the owners were apparently very happy with us. Our last few clients have been really happy, which is great news; we're really starting to get this thing down. It's going to be a good year for us, I think.

Riley got his staples out Friday, and Cara's ears have cleared up, so hopefully we can avoid the vet for a few months. It would be nice to be able to pay to replace the garage doors and redo the yard and garden.

This site is turning into just a personal journal; I haven't seen anything worth writing about in a while, I guess. Sigh.

Edit: I forgot to upload the font file to the webserver. I'll do that tonight. Meanwhile, laugh at me for making such a rookie mistake. :-P

Edit 2: Okay, the file is uploaded now.

06:36 PM by Eric: A quarter century! Personal

Happy 25th, love of my life. :)

08:52 PM by Eric: Work, work, work Work

Work has been a learning experience the last two weeks. My boss told me to hire a new IT guy for our company. Did I mention I've never hired anyone before, and in fact only ever interviewed one person? Yeah. It's weird being on the other side of a phone interview. And difficult to know what questions to ask, that will actually tell you something about the interviewee. I can't possibly do worse than our last two hires, though, I guess.

Actually, this job is proving just about ideal so far. I'm in a position where I have maximum responsiblity and flexibility; I'm designing our software from the ground up; I'm learning about hiring people and managing contractors/part timers; and I don't have to give up the coding to do it. I really think I'm learning a great deal both about software design and development, and about my own skills. I feel really lucky that I got this job, even if it did take two tries. Especially when I talk to some of my employee prospects about their current jobs. :)

08:50 PM by Eric: Yeah, yeah, I never post. Culture | Movies and TV | Personal | Tech

Okay, so the Kokai-Means family has returned from Winter Break and I'm sure you're all dying to hear about it. :)

Christmas this year was really good. I got some very cool gifts (such as a gift certificate for classes at the Texas Culinary Academy, a nice table saw, and a Tivo). We spent a good day at my Grandma's house. Ryan was unexpectedly really nice, which made me actually feel a little bad about not giving him a really nice gift. For the first time in a while I actually have a little hope that he'll turn out to be a decent person.

Jenny just got back from a jaunt to Florida; she hung out with her grandma, ate a bunch of bad food for no discernible reason, and rode the new Mission to Mars ride at Epcot (I am so jealous.)

The Tivo fascinates me. It reminds me of the way the Internet felt when I first discovered that, and even the old phone BBSes before that; in some ways it's a little primitive (for god's sake, stop recording BET) but, in a similar fashion to the way the Internet brought information, entertainment, and communication to my fingertips, any time I wanted it, the Tivo brings me whatever I want to watch, when I want to watch it. It's fantastic. I don't have to miss the (rare in Austin) Blues games, I don't have to go out and buy the Family Guy DVD set (though I probably will anyway, at some point), I don't have to remember to scan the TV listings for Band of Brothers reruns. I just tell Tivo to do it for me. Now I just need to triple the capacity and wait for the new service that lets you burn shows from the Tivo to DVD via a PC, and we'll be set.

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This page was last updated Sun 23 September 2007 at 08:46 AM CDT