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12:33 AM
@IDrinkandIKnowThings The entire country is not in the workforce, and even fewer people are changing jobs. Anyway I won't engage in a discussion with you on that topic any further. It seems you are more interested in mocking than any constructive discussion.
@DarkCygnus I think there is no need to make it community wiki. Posting comment answers is explicitly prohibited. So nobody should be allowed to complain if someone copies those comments into answer.
 
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Q: How can I tactfully write that I haven't received a reply?: Why was this deleted by 3 users?

Greek - Area 51 ProposalI improved the post after its closure on Apr 11, but I'm not sure if the improvements were contemplated? It was then deleted by 3 users on May 16.

 
1:19 AM
@MaskedMan Well, I would have felt bad if I did that ..
 
 
1 hour later…
2:25 AM
@MaskedMan I am not mocking at all. I am trying to understand from a westerners point of view. The asian honor is a real thing, not any attempt to mock.
 
2:38 AM
I am genuinely interested in the dynamic that allows a toothless system to to seemingly cripple a small subset of people.
 
 
4 hours later…
6:58 AM
morning all
 
Good morning. Wow, that was a good weekend (at least for us southerners)
 
@Snow it wasn't too bad oop norf either, yesterday was scorching hot! Sunday was a bit to humid and sticky for my tastes though
the best bit was that it was three days long though! :)
 
Yes, for sure. We went off to Richmond park with the dogs on Saturday. Was too hot for our full route, but was still nice. Saw crap-loads of deer there.
Today might be the day I finally get to 40K.
 
@Snow maybe you'll finally get cookies?
and just think today might be the day you get your diamond!
 
lol. I'm not even going to think about that...
 
7:06 AM
I was tactically ignoring it all weekend as I was under the mistaken impression that it ended last night and that I could just log on this morning and see the results.. oops!
 
Haha. Yeah. I guess they wanted it to be today because of Memorial day.
 
@Snow that would explain the slightly odd length of it being just over the week
 
Yep. I just want it over and done with now so I can relax.
 
@Snow yeah I'm 90%+ sure that this is not my year but still the tension is killing me
 
I'm about 70% sure it's not my year. But at least I won the popular vote, so I'm ok with that.
 
7:15 AM
@Snow just remember us little folk when you're scoffing down the cookies and boiled milk at your fancy moderator shindigs :)
 
Hehe.... This I doubt.
 
 
1 hour later…
8:45 AM
@MaskedMan That would force the legislative to do work
And we all know you can't get them to vote for more work for themselves.
 
8:56 AM
@Magisch actually I think they would lap the idea up - that way they could create a whole new department to handle the extra work and just the increased number of departments/staff under their pervue to "justify" and increased wage for themselves.
Bonus is that when some overworked and underpaid junior clerk accidentally forgets to renew the "murder" legislation and they have to release a bunch of people from prison they can just blame it all on the junior AND save on the ongoing costs of incarceration
 
@Magisch I am with @motosubatsu on this. History has shown that democratic governments are happy to increase their own work as long as it keeps the moolah flowing in.
That's why, for example, you have Bill Clinton coming to India in the late 90s offering skilled Indians "easy access" to jobs in the US, along with H1B and all the stuff that followed, and 20 years later, you have Donald Trump saying, "Party's over. Go home."
 
9:18 AM
In practice though that'd end up either as rubberstamping / clerical work OR certain parties would just let the laws they disagree with expire unless the other side made major concessions
a whole new dimension of pure gridlock
 
@Magisch congratulations.. you now know how politics and government "work" :P
 
@MaskedMan Which is why the Founding Fathers of America did everything the could to make the federal government a republic. Democracy commits suicide the moment the electorate realize they can vote themselves generous amounts of other people's money.

Or, as the old saying goes, "Democracy is four wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner"
@Magisch Politics and government is a cynical game of pretending to care by promising things you have no intention of ever delivering
 
Not always
sometimes politicians believe in what they say and genuinely try.
not often mind you
 
@Magisch right, I'm sure there is one in a googleplex that does not.
@Magisch trying, by the way, is irrelevant.
The Russian revolution tried to bring about Utopia, How did that work out?
 
Well if you want to empower someone with your vote, knowing their intentions is kind of critical
 
9:26 AM
Good intentions are good for nothing, what matters is execution and follow through.
 
I want the person who tried but didn't have the mandate over the one who never even attempted it.
In a democracy we control the extent to which politicians can do what they want
So to make that determination knowing a politicians intentions is critical
 
Who does better, The butcher, through his greed, delivering a delicious steak to me, or the well-meaning bureaucrat that, albeit with the best intentions of feeding me, lets me starve
@Magisch Trying is what got us over a hundred million dead last century
Unqualified compassion is the road to ruin
@Magisch Your talk is within the realm of theory, but again, theory and practice are two things.
 
10:01 AM
Well that's a new one. I've never heard of a candidate successfully asking to see a prospective employer's codebase.
 
@Snow I've heard of such things in 'start-up'-like companies
when they wanted to hire someone they perceived as a superstar coder
they only did it because they were confident that their code was well written and adhered to a good set of standards and guidelines
the core of that question is very interesting
 
10:19 AM
@Snow pics or it didn't happen
@Cronax IMO the core of the question is that the OP sees these as being part and parcel of the inequity that most (although certainly not all) hiring processes have. But the particular points he is looking at work the way they do for very good reasons IMO
 
11:03 AM
It's an interesting question to say the least
It seems a little passive aggressive but I can understand the reasoning, an interview is not just for a company to evaluate the prospective employee, it's also for the employee to evaluate the prospective employer
so if they're gonna ask for code samples, it makes sense to ask them the same in return so that you can assess whether it meets your standards
 
yes, but there's ways and means. Asking to conduct a code review isn't a good one. If it was a good idea it would be "a thing" by now.
If a candidate told me that my code was crap, I'm not sure I'd hire him.
 
@Snow definitely lacks decorum
I wouldn't want someone who goes to throwing verbal abuse straight away.
 
@Snow I think that's the point though, if your code is crap according to the candidate, he/she/they/* is unlikely to want the job anyhow
 
Well, not verbal abuse. But a candidate ripping the codebase apart and pointing out all of the flaws isn't (to me) a good strategy. It might be needed, but I don't think it's appropriate from a candidate.
 
in my mind that should wait until you're hired
 
11:12 AM
that's too late though, then I'm already hired to work for you, so I'd have to quit over it
that seems a lot heavier than simply deciding not to go through with the hiring process
 
so what's the end goal here?
 
the concept makes a lot of sense to me, the reason it will never work is that employers still feel they are the one 'doing the candidate a favour'
 
"I'd still work for you but let me first make you aware your code is garbage"?
 
the purpose is that both candidate and employer have a chance to evaluate each other on the important points
 
@Cronax Hence the need to ask about processes in the interview. Ask about generalities, not specifics. If an interview panel can't adequately describe their processes, what hope is there?
 
11:14 AM
I think code quality is an important point to a developer
people claim good processes and good quality in interviews, they're never going to admit that things are terrible
 
sure but if you a) want the job and b) already know, saying something in the interview itself is counterproductive
 
you have to see it for yourself
true, but that's not the default case I am talking about
As I see it there are 4 scenarios:
1 The candidate wants to get hired and the employer wants to hire them
2 The candidate doesn't want to get hired but the employer wants to hire them
3 The candidate wants to get hired but the employer doesn't want to hire them
4 The candidate doesn't want to get hired and the employer doesn't want to hire them either
In the case of 2, the candidate should say nothing about the quality but they can tell the employer that they don't want to be hired
@Magisch The assumption on my part is that there are some companies that don't produce garbage code, so a potential employee wouldn't be put off by seeing some code samples
 
@Snow So what do you expect the candidate to do in that situation? Passively observe the code and just go home without saying anything?
 
Candidates don't normally get to see code at or before the interview. At least never in my experience.
 
I think it's generally a bad idea for either party to be looking at references or code samples in a developer interview, it will only lead to an adversarial experience
but since companies feel justified to ask it of potential hires, it seems logical that they should also feel it's okay for the reverse to occur
 
11:29 AM
Not to mention it being an exposure of IP to an external party. And a security risk.
 
sure, but the reverse also goes, the company is expecting you to trust them with code samples, often they even ask for samples of code from previous employers
the whole thing is terribly badly thought out
and a 'test' of coding seems like the sort of thing we left behind when we finished school
not really something that speaks of respect for someone's skills and abilities
 
Do they really ask for code from previous employers? I thought it was just about personal git projects. I've never been asked for code samples.
 
some employers really do
I even experienced it as a tester, they wanted code samples of test automation code I made for a previous employer. I politely thanked them for their time.
 
Thinking about it, a developer retaining code from their employer for personal reasons is not a great thing to be doing. Technically, it's IP theft.
 
exactly
 
11:34 AM
@Snow Yep, its theft.
 
@Cronax That sounds like a pretty idiotic thing to do anyway. Even if you were "allowed" to share code samples, the code you wrote for your previous employer tells me nothing unless I also know the problem you were trying to solve.
 
@Snow HODOR
 
I have myself written "crappy" code several times because there was no way around it due to certain dependency such as 3rd party API or external hardware. I do try to keep the "crap" restricted to certain places to prevent contamination, but you wouldn't know all of that unless I give you a one hour lecture on the original problem and what else I tried that didn't work.
 
@MaskedMan I completely agree. For similar reasons I think code tests are useless, in a real-life situation I'm never going to be solving a problem completely on my own, there will always be colleagues working along with me, I will have access to the internet, I will have limitations placed upon me by the project and the agreements made...
these things all contribute to a very different result
 
I still have places in my code surrounded by "/** HACK HACK HACK **/" tags. The code still works.
 
11:40 AM
@Snow LOL me too
 
11:58 AM
@Cronax The candidate evaluating the company's code can still be useful. If the candidate can find issues with the code, he probably also knows how to fix them, unless of course, he is just BSing through the "code review" based on what one guy said in a blog he read on the way to the interview. The interviewer reviewing the candidate's production code from previous job is completely useless, because even if the interviewer found some issues there, he has no need to get them fixed.
I did attend one interview where they asked me to do a live debug of one of their issues from real code. Half of the time was spent explaining me how to use their Mac. 😝
 
haha
 
@Cronax while they certainly have their flaws and I certainly don't really like doing them as a candidate some form of coding or skills test is an essential part of the process when I'm hiring developers, you just get too many fantasists and card-carrying members of the Dunning-Kruger club to do anything else
 
@motosubatsu I usually suck at tests.
 
@MisterPositive I usually do as well to be honest, and even when I'm doing okay I usually feel like it went badly and that stresses me out. They're just the least bad option as far as I can see
 
12:14 PM
@motosubatsu I think you can usually figure it out based on work history and how they respond to questions. So far I have been able to nail it pretty good.
 
when setting them I always try to make them as non-onerous as possible and "open-book" if I can
 
last time I tested, the "architect" had a 10 page written test followed by a grilling of a bunch of egotistical jerks.
I got the offer, and said no thanks.
 
@motosubatsu We ask general logical questions
 
@MisterPositive I can usually tell through questions as well.. but that doesn't solve the problem of wasting x hours on someone who doesn't even know the basics.
 
Like we have a problem somewhere and ask someone to design an algorhitm that would solve it
 
12:15 PM
at this point for me its syntax
 
Any language, pseudocode or a flowchart works for us
The idea being that syntax can easily be learned and acquired in very little time while logical concepts behind programming are harder to learn
 
@Magisch I'm with you there
 
@Magisch agreed. how they this is way more important than the a silly code test IMO
 
If I'm testing a candidate I don't want to test their ability to replicate the implementation of quicksort they learned by heart in uni
I want to actually know if they can do independant problem solving
 
I was writing a long message saying basically the same haha
the mindset is what's important in a prospective dev, syntax can be taught
 
12:18 PM
@Magisch Boom!
 
there's always some things that you'd rather not have to teach and you can't teach every person every language, but the core concept holds
 
@MisterPositive unless I'm hiring for a specific niche tech stack I'm rarely fussed about the syntax and "mindset test" is probably a more appropriate term than "coding test" for the sort of thing I'd set
 
ehh
we work with js, php, c and vba
none of that is difficult to pick up
 
I get the first three, but why vba @Magisch
 
@motosubatsu the problem is that such tests are rarely posed as such, so the candidate feels that they failed because they didn't achieve the goal, when you think they succeeded because they showed the right thought process
 
12:19 PM
Yep. I really want to know how good my candidate is by telling him/her to write code to calculate primes. In FORTRAN-77.
 
if someone is good at problem solving i can usually plop them down and they'll learn everything they need by themselves
@MisterPositive technical debt / legacy code
 
@Magisch that is unfortunate.
 
@Cronax This is why we have the open structure
 
@Magisch I firmly believe that code can reach a point where it's a better idea to just set the servers that contain it on fire and rebuild it from scratch, even if that means stopping business for a month or 5
 
@Cronax I agree, doesn't every business do that?
 
12:21 PM
@Cronax then the problem there isn't that there was a coding/mindset test but that it wasn't well implemented or communicated to the candidate but abandoning the idea of a "test" altogether isn't the way to fix that
 
@MisterPositive I wish. Most of them keep the terrible code because 'it still works, don't fix what's not broken'
@motosubatsu There's a big difference between a test and an exercise
 
@Cronax Yep, sadly my experience as well...
 
in an exercise you're working together with the candidate, guiding them a little through the process
in a test, it's just you giving them a problem and expecting them to output a specific result
I hope the difference makes sense?
Most companies give tests, very few give exercises
 
@Cronax as a coder I agree with that itchy feeling that makes you want to burn the datacentre down and start over, as someone with experience from the business side "it still works" often makes way more sense
 
and they even feel justified giving tests, because they somehow decided that working for them is a privilege
 
12:25 PM
I don't know if this has already been said, but I will be glad when the election is over. I thought I would come in this morning and see two shiny new Moderators.
 
@Cronax I suppose what I would set would be closer to what you would call an exercise (I tend to use the terms fairly loosely), although I would rarely be guiding them
 
@motosubatsu the business side generally conveniently glosses over the fact that every time they want a change it's either 'impossible' or 'gonna take a month or two' and that stuff breaks a lot.
 
@Cronax Haha, no
 
@Cronax or you know because hiring incompetent people is very expensive in the long run?
 
having these two different topics discussed at the same time with the same people is hurting my head XD
 
12:27 PM
@Cronax hmm.. candidate Cronax struggles to multitask.....
 
@motosubatsu I know that hiring incompetent people is expensive, but I'd be careful about how you define incompetent
 
@Snow Every time I asked (about five times), they showed me their code without hesitation. Granted, those have mostly been with smaller companies (up to ~50 employees), but a 100% success rate isn't too bad, I think
For larger/enterprisy companies it'll probably be different
 
@motosubatsu (where 'you' isn't necessarily you just a general 'how someone defines')
 
@Cronax oh I always am.. but (and I can only speak to my own experience and that of others I know) the idea that there's an attitude of "working for us would be a privilege" behind the majority of these things is just utter rubbish
 
I wouldn't even say "incompetent", but rather "bad fit". I've seen very competent people be a very poor fit in a company, leading to a lot of frustration and loss of productivity for everyone
I've even been one of those competent people in an organisation that was a bad fit ;-)
 
12:31 PM
@MartinTournoij LOL me too...not a fun time in ones life though.
 
No, it was very frustrating
 
@MartinTournoij very true... I suppose a better way of putting it would be "making the wrong hiring decision", I only referred to "incompetent" because we were talking about skills tests
 
@motosubatsu Unfortunately I don't agree, the majority of the cases in job interviews it's a "we have to see if you're good enough for us" attitude, without taking into account that the other way around is also applicable. It's sometimes more clear than other times, but still it's often the underlying attitude
 
@Cronax I don't respond well to that attitude either.
 
And to be fair, for a lot of positions that is not an unreasonable attitude to take. But with more creative roles – and I consider software development to be creative – it's not.
 
12:43 PM
@MartinTournoij Agreed!
 
@Cronax I would agree that there is a primary driver in most interviews that they want to see if the candidate is good enough.. and frankly it would be madness for them to do otherwise. Perhaps I'm reading too much into your use of "privilege" implying an attitude that the candidate would be lucky and should be grateful for being allowed to breathe the same air etc. Which is just not something I see very often at all, and yes companies that do that aren't places I'd like to work!
 
It seems to me it should be a two-way street. Of course the company should see if the candidate is "good enough for us", but they should also be open for the candidate to explore if the employer is a place they want to work at
 
@MartinTournoij absolutely, and barring a few companies where ego had gotten out of hand that's been my experience in the vast majority of interviews I've been in
 
@motosubatsu the distinction @MartinTournoij makes is the key one for me: it's important to start from a basis of mutual respect in a job interview and to treat it as an opportunity for both parties to get a view of whether or not they would like to enter into an employment contract
perhaps I have a 'professional deformation' from working as a consultant for years
 
I've had a few interviews where they weren't really @motosubatsu
And that, on its own, should kind of tell you enough about that company ;-)
 
12:53 PM
@Cronax I do agree.. I guess what I'm confused by is the attitude that I've seen here and elsewhere from some dev candidates who act as if being asked to complete a coding test or exercise is the equivalent of the company spitting in their face
@MartinTournoij commiserations :(
 
@motosubatsu It depends a lot on the test, but asking someone to do FizzBuzz is like asking someone to prove that they can still recite the rows of words they learned for 3rd grade french
especially when the test takes the form of 'here is this assignment, complete it within 5 days and give it back to us', it gets uncomfortably close to a school situation
in such cases, the developer won't feel respected
 
@Cronax Most of the companies I've worked at had "cruelty free software" They didn't torture their software by testing it.
 
Take care all. Once again good luck to all the Moderator candidates. Hopefully the results will post automatically later this evening.
 
@Crossedtheriverstyx Omg my sides :')
 
@dwizum Thank you for the excellent edit BTW!
 
1:00 PM
@Crossedtheriverstyx the unfortunate reality is that such companies truly exist, and as a professional software tester that hurts me deep inside
 
@MisterPositive I misread that at first, specifically the word "shiny". You know what I mean? 😸
 
@MisterPositive The question was really confusing the first few times I read it, but once I had it mentally figured out, it made sense. It's a really great example of an interview question where there's an obvious, but worthless, default answer - and good candidates can easily go right past that and give an excellent answer instead
 
@Cronax You should have seen that monstrosity that took 10 hours to run.
 
@MaskedMan LMAO. I can see that. I too fall victim to skim reading.
 
If I took something that took 10 hours to run, made it run well and under 10 minutes (under 5 actually) imagine what a klooj it was.
 
1:04 PM
@Cronax you probably wouldn't feel "respected" by me I guess.. I ask some "basic" questions and usually set a simple, open exercise for the candidate to do before I do a face to face as I've simply wasted far too much time interviewing candidates who couldn't even answer the most basic of questions
 
TBH I have also been eagerly waiting for the election results. That is when I get to decide if I go on retirement in restricted mode or not.
 
@motosubatsu you'd screen me out, that's for sure. I have bombed every last technical interview I've ever had. I can't pass one to save my life
 
@Crossedtheriverstyx possibly.. it's a possibility I'm aware of which is precisely why I give all my tech tests as a take home, open book, take as long as you need type
 
@motosubatsu oh, that I'd ace.
 
asking someone to code something in an overly artificial environment without access to the normal resources such as google and SO isn't that useful IMO
 
1:07 PM
I'm a firm believer of "in situation X, what would you do?" interview questions
the answer to such questions tends to quickly reveal who has the right mentality for software development and who doesn't
 
@motosubatsu What I tend to do, and thank god my boss knows this, is write the code in my head first, so to the casual observer, it looks like I'm doing something.
@Cronax Those are good ones.
 
@Snow What do you think?
 
@Cronax me too.. but I use the exercises to weed out as much of the chaff as I can before the interview stage
 
When I interview, I look for personality and basic competence. I can upskill anyone, but I cannot work with a jerk.
 
@motosubatsu Oh that brings back memories.
 
1:10 PM
@MisterPositive What? You woke me up. And no someone is talking about weed. What's going on here?
 
@motosubatsu doesn't that feel rather arrogant though? "you have to be this tall to be allowed to interview with me"
 
@Snow OMG @Snow go get more coffee.
 
@Snow We're discussing job interviews for developers, the do's and don'ts :D
 
@Crossedtheriverstyx Jerks can be fixed as well. I've seen it happen (but usually it doesn't, especially if they're over 30)
 
Gotta run for real, see ya!
 
1:11 PM
@MisterPositive have a good one!
 
@Cronax U 2
 
There was strange interview I attended where they took me through an endless stream of code samples and asked to guess the compiler error in each case. None of them were "profound" but more like a brace missing here and there, some variable name mistyped, etc. At one point, I just lost it and politely excused myself from the interview.
 
@MartinTournoij Fixing Jerks is not a skill I have. I have Asperger's syndrome and have enough trouble with normal people.
 
Didn't say you have to fix them. Just in general
One of the problems with these kind of people is that it often also affects others. An ignoramus can be left alone and is "mostly harmless", aside from sucking up undeserved salary. A jerk can make life miserable for everyone and make good people leave
I am a firm believer in the "no asshole rule"
 
@MaskedMan I had an interview where the hiring manager and I just didn't see eye to eye. I finished the interview, and the manager and I gave the recruiter the exact same feedback. "Personalities aren't compatible"
 
1:17 PM
@Cronax it's not arrogance.. it's pragmatism, and based on very real experiences interviewing people who aren't "this tall" as you put it is a gigantic waste of everyone's time
 
A trend I'm seeing in interview questions here right now is that candidates seem to think their goal in every interview is a job offer.
 
@motosubatsu Presumably they were previously employed as coders?
 
I think we need to help candidates understand that sometimes, if you don't get a job offer, that's a good thing, because it would have been a bad fit
 
@dwizum Agreed, the issue is on both sides of the counter. An interview where both parties decide not to work with eachother is also a successful interview
 
"if I say X, they won't want to hire me!" Well guess what, if you lie about X, and you get the job, you'd probably be really unhappy and quit anyways
@Cronax exactly my point
 
1:22 PM
@Cronax some weren't (such as fresh grads) but allegedly yes they had previous dev jobs and yet still they showed all the actual coding skill of a slug that had been dead for a week
and then set on fire
 
@dwizum I think that question suffers from another problem I previously identified, where the question is basically "I know I shouldn't do X because of question Y but I want to do it anyway, how do I do it correctly?"
aka "I know I shouldn't shoot myself in the foot, but I want to do it anyway, how do I prevent it from leaving a permanent hole in my foot and how do I run a marathon the next day?"
 
Yes, there's a big element in that question of, the OP doesn't realize that they're half the problem
I'm going to edit my answer to try and add that in, in a nice way
 
morning
 
@ChrisE morning mod-to-be :P
 
@dwizum yes, an interview is like dating with marriage in mind, you're looking for a match, not a hookup
 
1:32 PM
Good point. If my first marriage was any indication, I should not be the one giving advice on interviewing. XD
 
an interview isn;'t like dating. That's contract-to-perm. An interview is more going over to her house and if she likes you enough, she introduces you to her dad. if he likes you enough you then get married and act shocked if it doesn't work out.
direct hire is as close to an arranged marriage as you can get
 
what I understand of marriage interviews seems like it's similar to job interviews
 
My wife didn't interview me, she dated me. We spent a lot of time together. THEN we got married.
 
Are you telling me you didn't first send your resume to your wife?!
 
@MartinTournoij i always thought Wil Wheaton codified that pretty well with his rule...'Don't be a dick'
i met her on a dating site so she already had a resume. ;0
:)
stupid shift key.
 
1:36 PM
Online dating is kind of like job hunting (and one of the reason's I'm not a huge fan of it...)
 
Though to be fair, that's why we have a probation period usually here in the Netherlands, thats the 'dating' period where you get to try out how marriage will feel
and either side can decide it's not working out during that period
 
You have that in most countries, actually, in NL it's usually very short (only one month). For my Irish employer it's 6 months now
 
@motosubatsu I suspect this is also why here there's less problems with hiring someone 'incompetent', it will become apparent soon enough during probation
 
Then again, in Ireland it's a lot easier to fire someone in the first year. With a fixed contract that's very hard in NL
 
@MartinTournoij correct, which is why you almost never get a fixed contract in NL from the get-go, unless you're in a really scarce profile
 
1:38 PM
My Irish employer made the mistake of hiring some (remote) Dutch people with a Dutch fixed contract right away and then we weren't able to fire them
 
ouch
 
Which was very annoying as they were the "jerk" type of people Richard mentioned earlier
Literally made several people quit :-(
 
Similar here, but my employer does a 6 month probationary period
during that time either side can walk away
 
@MartinTournoij we've been married 12 1/2 years so i can't complain. ;)
 
I have no practical experience in job hunting
I wrote a grand total of 4 applications in my life
 
1:41 PM
6 months is ridiculous
60 days is more than enough.
 
agreed. One month to get settled, another to evaluate
 
@Cronax oh we have typically have a probabtion period here too but that doesn't completely solve the "incorrect hire" problem since you're still out x grand to the recruiter (if used), and you are still x months down the line having lost lots of productivity dealing with the issues they caused - which ultimately can cost tens of thousands
and then you get to start the hiring process all over again and spend yet more time before you can get to where you should have been months ago
 
@dwizum I look at every interview as a practice for the next interview. Damn, I have been doing it all wrong until now. :(
 
@MaskedMan It's a well known problem, especially among IT people, that the interviewee doesn't value themselves correctly. Like I said earlier, a job interview is supposed to be a two-way street, you evaluate them and they evaluate you
if that means you don't end up together, that's a successful interview too
 
Speaking of which, is it ethical to use internal transfer interviews as practice for external interviews? :)
 
1:47 PM
@MaskedMan probably not :P
 
@ChrisE point, but most people starting here stay here for 30+ years
 
just like going to a job interview when you already know you're not ever going to take the job is questionable
 
or at least historically that's the case
 
A company I once worked for forced everyone to sit an intelligence test as a baseline for future hires. That majorly sucked.
 
Intelligence tests suck anyway
 
1:50 PM
I had one of those as well @Snow. In my case I accepted sitting it since I never finished any higher education and still some companies are touchy about that. I blew the test out of the water, the interviewer was suitably embarrassed that they didn't just look at my resumé and concluded that my previous employment history was proof enough of my level of thinking
 
@Magisch we don't have anything similar. Even at at&t I've seen people with 13 years get laid off.
 
@Magisch that used to be the norm in the UK but hasn't been the case for about 3 decades now, here staying more than 5 years or so is considered really long service in most roles
 
This was one of those Mensa type tests. The following year, I was offered redundancy, so I jumped at the opportunity to leave.
 
in some cases it's even considered a detriment because you're too ingrained to one company to be flexible enough to work for another (so the theory goes)
 
@ChrisE yep.. or that you are barely competent enough to avoid being fired but otherwise are pretty poor (obviously thats in the UK where firing people is harder)
 
1:58 PM
wish it was harder here.
 
@ChrisE yep.. when I first learned how easy it was to fire people in the US I was shocked and appalled
 
the at will employment thing just boggles the mind
 
I remember first learning that the US doesn't have universal health coverage. I literally thought I was being pranked or something. Point being: US is very different from Europe
 
where's the job security when you can be laid off or fired at any time?
 
@Magisch I know shudder
 
2:03 PM
10K guys, what do you think of this? ...
 
@MaskedMan it feels off-topic to me as it's not really a workplace question - more "how can I navigate PITA gov't red tape"
given he mentions the UK I'd put good money on the notion that it's the DVLA he's dealing with the old "we never got your letter" line is practically a reflex for them
(DVLA = DMV for our American friends)
 
The core issue though is how to get an acknowledgment for the complaint, which from a certain point of view is something an HR employee should probably know.
Although I am not familiar with how things work with the UK government, so I will trust your judgement on it.
The government departments are PITA here too (of course!), but there are some ways to get this acknowledgment of complaints from them. Naturally, the government officials aren't too pleased when those ways are used, but it is certainly possible.
 
while I think there is an on-topic generic version it probably wouldn't apply to his situation - in the general case you'd advise to e-mail/phone as he did, or even go there in person but if I'm right though and it's DVLA then they only respond to comms via snail mail and will fall back to "never got it" whenever they feel like it - even when it's sent via "signed for" type deliveries
this I know from bitter painful experience!
 
sounds like it's time to get some paper pushers fired
 
@Magisch yeah but to do that at DVLA you'll need to submit form ZZ969 in triplicate along with samples of your blood, hair and 3 unicorn feathers. You'll also need to ensure that it arrives at the office at minimum 3 weeks before the current Prime Minister was born but no earlier than four weeks before.
even then there's a 50-50 chance that they "never received it"
 
2:15 PM
sigh
I'm unpleasantly reminded of our version of the IRS
 
@Magisch the scary thing is I'm not even exaggerating much
 
Which hounded me last year to fill out a tax return (don't normally have to) and when I filled it out they owed me 400 bucks
 
@Magisch don't get me started.. our version (HMRC) sent me a tax refund and a demand for underpaid tax for the same amount.. on the same day
 
I was fully prepared to not bother but they annoyed themselves out of 400 bucks :p
 
@Magisch that reminds me.. I've had the Student Loans Company chasing me as I overpaid apparently, it's taken them nearly fours to work this out mind you but I should call the and see how much I'm owed
 
2:23 PM
Seems that we curse our tax department here rather unfairly then. :)
They sent me a tax refund of about ₹60000 (£650 approx) within about 2 months of filing the tax return, with interest, no questions asked, by direct credit to bank account.
 
Working at home means I have to deal with the pointy-nosed boss out-staring me...
 
@Snow With a boss like that, I would work from home all the time. :)
 
That's the most adorable dog I've seen all day.
 
@Snow bless! does he/she ever just bring their lead to you and give you sad doggy eyes?
 
@motosubatsu No. He does sometimes shove his favourite toy into my crotch during conference calls.
 
2:32 PM
@Snow must... resist...obvious...dirty...comment
 
Sometimes he joins conference calls too.
2
 
he looks like he has such a ruff life :D
 
2:48 PM
@Snow Is he one of those bosses who only gets on conference calls to bark orders at everyone?
 
He does promote the idea of dog-fooding. He doesn't really talk about anything else...
 
@Snow elections are always 8 days, allowing for a 4-day primary and a 4-day election. They always start on Mondays and end on Tuesdays, I assume to dodge Monday holidays (and 3-day weekends in general).
@Snow I have a status meeting in a few minutes; do you think he could step in for me? I'm remote and there'sno video...
 
@MonicaCellio I'll get Charlie wired up for you right away.
If you could ask the organizer to avoid the use of squeaky toys during the call, you should be fine.
 
Yeah, I don't see that ending well. I think we can arrange that.
 
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