Richard Bottoms

  • commented on Demotrac Landing Page 2014-07-22 14:12:59 -0500
    May I raise a fourth innovation to our approach to improving equality that will help.

    The boss is always going to try to shave another nickle, that is thinking as old as jobs themselves. But the gatekeepers in tech by and large are not the corporations but the recruiters, and truth be told too many of them don’t C# from sea-bass.

    I cannot count the times I have gone in interviews with my gets the job done skills, only to find out what they want is not someone who understand OOP and can write connective tissue iOS code in Objective-C & C++, but someone who has hardcore code to the metal multi-threaded SIP programs on iOS, Android, WindowsMobile and BlackBerry, with a Linux back-end API written from scratch in Russian for good measure.

    We call what they seek a unicorn, recruiters call them purple squirrels.

    Who stands a better chance of acing the interview, a recent graduate from Hyderabad or a coder who makes a living writing in 10 different languages over the course of a year? Now I know my limitations, one of them is specialization in UI glue and the other is spinal surgery, so I am very upfront about what I’ve done & what I can physically do at age 59. Like it or no, software is a young person’s game. Did I say game? I haven’t intentionally applied at a game company for more than a decade. Of course now that Unreal and CryEngine live in the cloud together and their full suite of tools are available for just $25 a month combined I may be the need to rethink what is possible in that space.

    Years ago my military background and broad experience with the concepts of OOP programming would have made me an excellent candidate for re-training, but employers have eliminated the concept of general knowledge. Given the state of the economy, sifting through 500 people while you wait for the one of ten people in the entire country who already have the exact laundry list already checked off makes sense even when that laundry list itself make none.

    And don’t get me started on what happens to everyone once IBM, Oracle, Apple, and Lenovo unleash cloud based Watson-level bots with access to every line of code ever written for every computer configuration & language ever made all attached to near infinite storage. In addition to fighting for fairness now, we need to start preparing for the next wave, the “internet of things”, complex systems attached to simple sensors that will have most of the code produced by machines, machines that only stop to produce human readable output to accommodate their much slower biological handlers.

    Let’s not gear up to fight the last war, let’s prepare for the next one.

    Winter as they say is coming.

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