July 16th, 2002

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Job Fair

I got in to work today vowing not to check out the crack bored. Turns out I was scheduled to work the booth at the Job Fair over at the Meydenbauer Center in downtown Bellevue. So that makes not checking out the crack bored that much easier.

Considering how bad the job market is for dev positions, I would have though there would be more qualified candidates there. Of course, all the good ones could have been avoiding the place because there were all of three companies there that were hiring developers. Expedia, Cobalt Group, and EDS. The line was about 15 people long the entire time, but only 2 or 3 people during this shift piqued my interest. The rest were pretty woefully underqualified, at least for our openings. The only guy who had a spot on resume for the openings in my group had such poor English skills that I gave up talking to him. Others weren't too bad. Only a few had more than 2 or 3 years experience developing server applications using C++. If you didn't have that, I wasn't interested.

One kid was so gung ho and obvious was a bright student and learner, but he had just graduated. I told him that we would review his resume, but that he didn't really have enough experience. He begged me to ask him any C++ question. So I gave him a couple of difficult C++ questions. He nailed the first one, and came pretty damn close on the second. Probably better than all but one or two developers already at the company. But still, no experience and book knowledge without having actually applied this doesn't always translate into solid job performance. He'll probably be considered as a new college hire, but we don't have too many openings that fit that bill. I was still impressed though, especially with his eagerness. For those C++ coders reading along, the questions I gave him were:

  • What is the mutable keyword and why would you want to use it?
  • If you have a pointer to a base class, how can you safely assign that to a variable that is a pointer to a derived class?
He was also able to explain the difference between HTML and XHTML and why I would care about which one I used.

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Hiring

So someone did the full interview loop at the company, and got rave reviews and there is now an offer out to him. My group is at the top of the list to get new hires (and also at #3 as well). So now this guy has the choice of going to my group or another group. My boss will be giving him a pitch this week. Of course, I haven't met or talked to the guy. And the second position I have open is going to go to a college hire that I haven't talked to either. I've just been told this by my boss. Basically, I will likely get two people working under me that I haven't interviewed. Except that the really good guy they may just have him take over half my department and half the accompanying travel server department and have him report to my boss.

All this is well and good, except that my job is looking less and less like the lead position that I accepted.

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My legacy

I used to work at a company called Spur Products in 1998. That company shut down a while ago, after I left. They sold the name to someone else, who runs a company that services the hardware that Spur used to manufacture. The software product went through several names while I was working there, and was sold to Océ. Océ hired the development team from Spur as well. They market the product I helped build as Océ Office Exec. It's a print management tool. In any case, the client UI for the print driver, the piece that most users see, I designed it. I was just browsing their brochure and the screen shots show the user interface I designed 4 years ago. I assume this means that it still works the same way pretty much.