Thursday, October 26, 2006

Inside the Mind of an Interviewer

It's funny, I haven't actually used the prefix of my blog name in any other posts (except to explain the origin of it), but I felt that Joel Splosky's latest post of epic proportions warranted such a title. It's the third part in a series about hiring programmers, and this one covers, you guessed it, interviewing. I think it's an awesome read for not only people in high places but also students and the unemployed looking to get a tech job because it gives you some insight into what most responsible interviewers are probably looking for. It definitely helped me reflect on my NI interview and what I could've done much better, other than getting a good night's sleep, of course. Still, I wish they would've asked me more questions that allowed me to show that I can really crack a problem apart or that would reflect how much I've done despite only 3 months of industry experience. Anyway, I definitely buy into the ideas Joel puts forth in how people should be interviewed for a tech job. It is pretty harsh, but hey, the world is harsh! I met people at TI who I don't know how they ever got a job because they either couldn't cope well with emergent problems or just had no idea how to learn and adapt. I think that those things are key, and, as Joel says, an employee has to be smart and be able to get things done. The getting things done part can definitely be trickier than it sounds, even if you're not a lazy person. Anyway, it's a good read, and a great way to try to play the system by being more prepared for your interviews.

I thought it was pretty funny that the IE team over at Microsoft actually sent the Firefox team a cake to celebrate the release of version 2.0. I guess that they were happy because IE7 was downloaded three million times within four days of its release. Now that is just a fraction of their supposed install base upgrading, but I don't think that nearly a million downloads a day is anything to scoff at. Should you be joining the upgrade bandwagon? Well, one blog actually has a nice, concise roundup of the biggest browser players in this generation of the browser wars, and I'd definitely recommend looking there first now that we're at the cornerstone of these new releases and it would be a good time to try out something new. Of course I'm going to personally recommend Firefox, but Flock looks pretty cool. Meanwhile, plans are already afoot for Firefox 3.0, with that Places features that was highly touted in the early beta of version 2.0. They're also looking to move to Cairo for graphics, which I believe is meant to provide better rendering and improved graphical capabilities. Sounds good to me, but it's still really far away. Click to enlargeWe finally have a breakthrough in speculation for the 6G iPod, and it's on the right side here. According to a patent application from Apple filed today, they're looking to secure a patent for a touch sensitive bezel to surround the display for user input rather than the direct touch-screen we had all been talking about. It sounds like a good enough idea to me, and then no one would have to worry about serious smudging or scratches from your hands. In other Apple news, they may be revealing an 8-core Mac Pro in the very near future with two quad-core Intel Xeon 5300 Clovertown chips. I'm guessing that this would cost in excess of $3000, but the power behind a machine like that almost makes me foam at the mouth. Of course it'd be most useful as a server, not as a consumer PC (though that'd be a pretty intense home computer). Lastly, here are some fancy urinals to gaze at.

Massawyrm over at AICN has seen Stranger Than Fiction and gave it the most glowing review I've seen from him in a good long while. I was just kind of interested in this movie, but now I know that I have to see it. It definitely doesn't sound like your run-of-the-mill comedy, and that's what seems to make it so great. Yahoo Movies has the trailer for Smoking Aces (in a new, prettier presentation, I might add, with more viewing choices), and it was definitely better than I expected from a movie using Ben Affleck and Alicia Keys to help sell itself. It actually has some other great actors as well, including Ray Liotta and Common, and may be an interesting action comedy (like The Big Hit, which wasn't great but was very entertaining). Lastly, Apple has the trailer for Venus, which looks like a charming, mushy film, but I worry that it may become too corny for its own good. Still, it does have Peter O'Toole.

Now for the 3x Thursday meme:

1. Do you like Halloween? Why/why not?
Oh yeah. Free candy and people in costumes? How could you not like that? Ok, so the candy isn't so free anymore, but it's still a fun occasion.

2. What did you do for Halloween as a kid?
My parents didn't like the idea of going door-to-door asking for candy, nor did they feel it was safe (which is why they never gave out candy either), so my dad took me to this church where they had games you'd play for candy. I always enjoyed it, and he would always get some pizza and share it with me and I'd get so much candy! It wasn't like what everyone else did, and my costume was always cheap and crappy, but still good memories. Thanks dad!

3. What's your favorite part of any holiday? Why?
Doing something different! Life can just suck so much out of you sometimes that we all need an outlet, and we all need things to look forward to. Having holidays to look forward to is so important, and Halloween parties are always really awesome in college. Of course this year it isn't Thanksgiving that comes next, but rather my brother's wedding! That feels so weird to say.

Bonus Question: What Halloween activities are you participating in this year?
An alumnus is throwing a costume party on Saturday, so I'm going to that for sure, and I think that TLD is having a party with HBSA somewhere on Saturday, so I'll go to that as well if it happens. I'm wondering if maybe I should go down to Bongo's on Saturday night if the party doesn't happen. Then, on Tuesday, a bunch of ACMers are going downtown in full Halloween garb. Plus, tomorrow is Big Event (big picnic thing in the park with pumpkin carving also).

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