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(Some Programmer Guy)   Inside the Mirrortocracy: how Silicon Valley has created a make-believe cult of objective meritocracy as insular as the suit-wearing businesses they deride   (carlos.bueno.org) divider line 46
    More: Interesting, subcultures, computer clusters, assimilation, Silicon Valley  
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1720 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Jun 2014 at 1:58 PM (17 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



46 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-06-27 01:12:26 PM  
It's odd - there's no particular reason to think Silicon Valley would be any more or less meritocratic than any other industry.
 
2014-06-27 02:04:56 PM  
Very interesting article.  Nice find, subby!
 
2014-06-27 02:12:44 PM  
The best advice my father ever gave me was "People hire people who look like them."   And that was 30 years ago.
 
2014-06-27 02:18:52 PM  
Generally, one HR gets involved and middle management start telling you about success, the rot has set in.
 
2014-06-27 02:23:40 PM  
There's this little phenomena where someone with a limited world view is fooled into thinking that his little world is somehow unique.   These issues he brings up are universally found in just about every industry.   There's nothing particular to Silicon Valley about any of this.    Most hiring is horrendously bad.   We falsely attribute personal qualities to our success and believe that reproducing them with copies of ourselves ensures success.
 
2014-06-27 02:30:30 PM  
'Live in the Valley. If you don't, move. [...] Ideally you should live in "The City"'

Fail.

/Rest of the article was pretty spot-on
 
2014-06-27 02:35:29 PM  
Uncontrolled_Jibe:  These issues he brings up are universally found in just about every industry.   There's nothing particular to Silicon Valley about any of this.

From what I have seen/read Neopotism seems to be a bigger problem in most established industries.

But really it is all Tribalism of one form or another.
 
GBB
2014-06-27 02:37:32 PM  
Why doesn't he just practice what he preaches and leave it at that?  If it's not illegal and it works for them, then "yeay!"   Or, "boo" if you really want to work with shallow people who reject who you are.  Either way, their process will either continue to work for them with the possibility of infecting other companies and industries, or backfire and cause them to implode.  Really, it's their call.

As a startup founder entrepreneur whatever, I would think that he would have quashed these practices at his own firm and his superior hiring practices would have shown marked improvements over his rivals to the point that they would start coping him.  Has that not happened?

I suppose that while it would be awesome to work with the best expert there is at whatever I was working on, it would be anti-productive if s/he was a total asshole.  I suppose weeding out the assholes would be advantageous.
 
2014-06-27 02:41:09 PM  
That's actually a really good article, describing a behaviour we've all probably seen but not noticed. Well worth your time to read.
 
2014-06-27 02:43:04 PM  
My question is why is there obsession among engineers with being in "the valley"? There is so much opportunity elsewhere that is not beholden to this arbitrary "culture fit", without the pretentiousness, and not lost in this inanity of the "sharing economy" where everyone is a middleman. This country needs engineers working on other tech: Energy, transportation, industrial, etc. where there influence can be much more fundamental.

Other cities are full of opportunities that are just as big and, in my opinion, more useful to society at large. Stop looking at the Silicon Valley as the only opportunity for technical people and engineers and find a niche that you can really make an influence.
 
2014-06-27 02:49:02 PM  
I've marinated in this crap for so long I forget how insane it is. It's all 100%, horribly true.

DenisVengeance: 'Live in the Valley. If you don't, move. [...] Ideally you should live in "The City"'

Fail.

/Rest of the article was pretty spot-on


You misunderstood -- that wasn't his recommendation, he was pointing out all of the unwritten requirements for candidates.

"appropriately quirky luxury foods" Oh Gods yes.
 
2014-06-27 02:50:42 PM  

DamnYankees: It's odd - there's no particular reason to think Silicon Valley would be any more or less meritocratic than any other industry.


I doubt it is. It's just a completely different mirror, which is where the problem lies. There are an unspoken set of rules for business and interviews, some of them so prominent that they've become a spoken set of rules. You shave, you wear a suit and tie, you pretend any socially unacceptable hobbies you have are hobbies you've never heard of. You try to look and act as professional as possible.

Silicon Valley has created its own unspoken set of rules though, and true to form, didn't bother to tell anyone about them. So now everyone following the old rules which they'd been taught by their parents and friends and guidance counselors is farked.
 
2014-06-27 03:03:27 PM  

TotallyHeadless: My question is why is there obsession among engineers with being in "the valley"? There is so much opportunity elsewhere that is not beholden to this arbitrary "culture fit", without the pretentiousness, and not lost in this inanity of the "sharing economy" where everyone is a middleman. This country needs engineers working on other tech: Energy, transportation, industrial, etc. where there influence can be much more fundamental.

Other cities are full of opportunities that are just as big and, in my opinion, more useful to society at large. Stop looking at the Silicon Valley as the only opportunity for technical people and engineers and find a niche that you can really make an influence.


The first thing you listed is the area of the economy with the lowest percentage of revenue dedicated to research.

//and a lot of that is actually prospecting
 
2014-06-27 03:16:28 PM  

ignacio: DamnYankees: It's odd - there's no particular reason to think Silicon Valley would be any more or less meritocratic than any other industry.

I doubt it is. It's just a completely different mirror, which is where the problem lies. There are an unspoken set of rules for business and interviews, some of them so prominent that they've become a spoken set of rules. You shave, you wear a suit and tie, you pretend any socially unacceptable hobbies you have are hobbies you've never heard of. You try to look and act as professional as possible.

Silicon Valley has created its own unspoken set of rules though, and true to form, didn't bother to tell anyone about them. So now everyone following the old rules which they'd been taught by their parents and friends and guidance counselors is farked.


The answer of course, is more H1-b visas.
 
2014-06-27 03:29:22 PM  

TotallyHeadless: My question is why is there obsession among engineers with being in "the valley"? There is so much opportunity elsewhere that is not beholden to this arbitrary "culture fit", without the pretentiousness, and not lost in this inanity of the "sharing economy" where everyone is a middleman. This country needs engineers working on other tech: Energy, transportation, industrial, etc. where there influence can be much more fundamental.


First, that's where the money is, and second, that's where the jobs are. The second reason is really just a restatement of the first. There are fringe benefits to living in an industry hub that are difficult to value. It's expensive to live in the Bay Area, but you can change jobs every two years and never change your commute. Two-earner families no longer need to choose which spouse's career path to follow when either partner wants/needs to change jobs. The same could have been said of the Northeast during the heyday of the US auto industry, except that unlike Detroit, it never snows, and for half the year it doesn't rain. Also unlike Detroit, software isn't capital-intensive, so if you don't have a job and can't find a job, there's always the option of living off your own savings while working out of your garage. If you need employees, look across the street and see who else is working out of their own garages.

A third reason is that the mirrortocracy is the only way you get the sorts of self-reinforcing bubbles that lead to spectacular exits. Uber started in SF, not NYC, because SF is poorly serviced by cabs. Airbnb started because SF real estate is notoriously expensive. Such problems exist in other cities, and an app to code around such problems could be written anywhere, but only in Silicon Valley would someone extend the concept from finding a cab in SF or booking a room for Burning Man into trying to disrupt the entire taxi and hospitality industries. A side effect of the mirrortocracy is that there's probably a million bucks in VC ready to prove the concept on every silly idea. Most die off immediately, but there's still enough wealth floating around to place $100M bets on the winning ideas in the off chance of getting a $10B+ exit.

It's the combination of all three factors that attracts precisely the sorts of investors and employees who (see reasons 1 and 2) are happy to flip companies and flip jobs the way real estate speculators flip houses.

CSB: Dude in a suit is asked why he's wearing a suit to a job interview. "Because I don't want my old job to know I'm looking for a new job." Followup question involves why he's applying here and not elsewhere. "Well, for one thing, I wouldn't have to wear this suit anymore!"
 
2014-06-27 03:31:52 PM  
i'm not the most epic computerologist, but just where is there a "billion dollar computer cluster?"
 
2014-06-27 03:40:27 PM  

alternaloser: i'm not the most epic computerologist, but just where is there a "billion dollar computer cluster?"


You're in luck, for I have degrees in computerology and computeronomy!
 
2014-06-27 03:49:31 PM  

alternaloser: i'm not the most epic computerologist, but just where is there a "billion dollar computer cluster?"


Bitcoins.
 
2014-06-27 03:50:09 PM  
Yeah, I dunno.   This is pretty much SOP in any company, for any position that doesn't involve putting on a uniform.  I didn't read anything particularly new.  The packaging might be different, but the underlying principles haven't changed in my lifetime.  It's already been said in this thread: people hire people who look like them.  (And the meaning of the word "look" should be extended here to mean "look, speak, gesture, act, think, believe, or feel.")
 
2014-06-27 04:09:39 PM  
"I want to stress the importance of being young and technical.
Young people are just smarter."
- Mark Zuckerberg


Is that why security holes are constantly exploited on Facebook, you smarmy twat?
 
2014-06-27 04:14:30 PM  

Gary-L: "I want to stress the importance of being young and technical.
Young people are just smarter."
- Mark Zuckerberg


Is that why security holes are constantly exploited on Facebook, you smarmy twat?


Oh, leave Zuckerberg alone.  He stole the right ideas at the right time, and marketed them to the right people.  It's not his fault that people conflate financial achievement with doing something notable.
 
2014-06-27 04:29:50 PM  
Welcome to the world of non-contract employment.

This author seems to think that if you go in and ace your "tests" you should be a shoe-in for the open position.

Any hiring manager worth their salt knows that just because someone has all the skills you are looking for, it doesn't mean they are a good fit with your organization. You have to find someone who will work well with your team. Usually this means having similar personality characteristics in areas like intensity, handling conflict and ambiguity, and sense of humor.

It makes total sense that a start-up would want to find someone with a schedule that is as flexible as the rest of the team's. Start-ups frequently have to work extended hours to meet specific deadlines, and if your new hire, who aced his engineer tests, can't stick around because he needs to be home by 7pm on Tuesdays, that's going to be a big problem for your whole company.

You would also, of course, want to find someone who has the perception to know that the meetings you are asking them to outside of the formal interview process are still job interviews. If I'm looking for work and someone from a company I want to work for has invited me to get coffee, I should be moving my schedule around to get coffee with them. That's just common sense.

Similarly, if I'm applying at a company, I damn well better have read as much published material as the managers of that company have pumped out. In fact, if you can't even be motivated to read the management's blogs, why do you want to work for the company?

Sorry, but this author is disagreeing with most of the books on management and hiring that have been in publication since the 60s.
 
2014-06-27 04:43:03 PM  
It's dealing with this kind of shiat over the years that makes me want to get out of the tech sector all together, buy a small shop space, and fix motorcycles to get by.

Any soul I had was long ago stripped away by making sure packets get from here to there.

/cold dead eyes
 
2014-06-27 04:45:46 PM  

lostcat: Welcome to the world of non-contract employment.

This author seems to think that if you go in and ace your "tests" you should be a shoe-in for the open position.

Any hiring manager worth their salt knows that just because someone has all the skills you are looking for, it doesn't mean they are a good fit with your organization. You have to find someone who will work well with your team. Usually this means having similar personality characteristics in areas like intensity, handling conflict and ambiguity, and sense of humor.

It makes total sense that a start-up would want to find someone with a schedule that is as flexible as the rest of the team's. Start-ups frequently have to work extended hours to meet specific deadlines, and if your new hire, who aced his engineer tests, can't stick around because he needs to be home by 7pm on Tuesdays, that's going to be a big problem for your whole company.

You would also, of course, want to find someone who has the perception to know that the meetings you are asking them to outside of the formal interview process are still job interviews. If I'm looking for work and someone from a company I want to work for has invited me to get coffee, I should be moving my schedule around to get coffee with them. That's just common sense.

Similarly, if I'm applying at a company, I damn well better have read as much published material as the managers of that company have pumped out. In fact, if you can't even be motivated to read the management's blogs, why do you want to work for the company?

Sorry, but this author is disagreeing with most of the books on management and hiring that have been in publication since the 60s.


LOL!  Do you work in HR?
 
2014-06-27 04:51:33 PM  

mcreadyblue: lostcat: Welcome to the world of non-contract employment.

This author seems to think that if you go in and ace your "tests" you should be a shoe-in for the open position.

Any hiring manager worth their salt knows that just because someone has all the skills you are looking for, it doesn't mean they are a good fit with your organization. You have to find someone who will work well with your team. Usually this means having similar personality characteristics in areas like intensity, handling conflict and ambiguity, and sense of humor.

It makes total sense that a start-up would want to find someone with a schedule that is as flexible as the rest of the team's. Start-ups frequently have to work extended hours to meet specific deadlines, and if your new hire, who aced his engineer tests, can't stick around because he needs to be home by 7pm on Tuesdays, that's going to be a big problem for your whole company.

You would also, of course, want to find someone who has the perception to know that the meetings you are asking them to outside of the formal interview process are still job interviews. If I'm looking for work and someone from a company I want to work for has invited me to get coffee, I should be moving my schedule around to get coffee with them. That's just common sense.

Similarly, if I'm applying at a company, I damn well better have read as much published material as the managers of that company have pumped out. In fact, if you can't even be motivated to read the management's blogs, why do you want to work for the company?

Sorry, but this author is disagreeing with most of the books on management and hiring that have been in publication since the 60s.

LOL!  Do you work in HR?


^^This.  Who gives a royal shiat what someone pumped out in a Blog?

1996 called for you, lostcat,and wants to hear from you.
 
2014-06-27 04:56:22 PM  

Twilight Farkle: TotallyHeadless: My question is why is there obsession among engineers with being in "the valley"? There is so much opportunity elsewhere that is not beholden to this arbitrary "culture fit", without the pretentiousness, and not lost in this inanity of the "sharing economy" where everyone is a middleman. This country needs engineers working on other tech: Energy, transportation, industrial, etc. where there influence can be much more fundamental.

First, that's where the money is, and second, that's where the jobs are. The second reason is really just a restatement of the first. There are fringe benefits to living in an industry hub that are difficult to value. It's expensive to live in the Bay Area, but you can change jobs every two years and never change your commute. Two-earner families no longer need to choose which spouse's career path to follow when either partner wants/needs to change jobs. The same could have been said of the Northeast during the heyday of the US auto industry, except that unlike Detroit, it never snows, and for half the year it doesn't rain. Also unlike Detroit, software isn't capital-intensive, so if you don't have a job and can't find a job, there's always the option of living off your own savings while working out of your garage. If you need employees, look across the street and see who else is working out of their own garages.

A third reason is that the mirrortocracy is the only way you get the sorts of self-reinforcing bubbles that lead to spectacular exits. Uber started in SF, not NYC, because SF is poorly serviced by cabs. Airbnb started because SF real estate is notoriously expensive. Such problems exist in other cities, and an app to code around such problems could be written anywhere, but only in Silicon Valley would someone extend the concept from finding a cab in SF or booking a room for Burning Man into trying to disrupt the entire taxi and hospitality industries. A side effect of the mirrortocracy is that there's probably a m ...


I say break that cycle. There are many more losers than winners in bubbles like this including many end investors who gave their money to others who invested in losing prospects, not to mention in other industries when speculation turns into a run on the stock market. How many broken dreams does there have to be before people realize that 95%+ of people searching for internet (or mobile app) gold never find it?

/I hate the term "disruptive", it's so smug, it makes me think that the South Park guys have some sort of uncanny ability to read people.
 
2014-06-27 05:00:13 PM  

lostcat: Any hiring manager worth their salt knows that just because someone has all the skills you are looking for, it doesn't mean they are a good fit with your organization. You have to find someone who will work well with your team. Usually this means having similar personality characteristics in areas like intensity, handling conflict and ambiguity, and sense of humor.


This. I've hired for IT jobs in a few sectors, and have personally been on both the "good fit hire" and "bad fit hire" sides of the line. Culture fit is important, and especially so when the team is small or the work load has hard deadlines. Bad fits lead to aggravation and drama, which kills productivity.

Complaining that Silicon Valley has developed a culture is essentially a complaint that the tech world is filled by people. As a complain, it's trite and myopic.
 
2014-06-27 05:22:15 PM  
HempHead:

The answer of course, is more H1-b visas.

And we are done here.....

/the visa program is the disruption, don't you understand?

gerrymander

Complaining that Silicon Valley has developed a culture is essentially a complaint that the tech world is filled by people. As a complain, it's trite and myopic.

That isn't his critique and if that is what you got from the article you fundamentally misunderstood it, which is scary coming from someone who claims to have been a hiring manager. So let me help you out. His critique is that that Silicon valley has created a culture (which is OK) but are in denial about their own creation. It is the denial which is not OK. Call it dishonesty, call it being disingenuous, call it a sucker's game, call it what you will...it is the abuse of power that has him upset. That's his point.
 
2014-06-27 05:27:04 PM  

lostcat: Usually this means having similar personality characteristics in areas like intensity, handling conflict and ambiguity, and sense of humor.

No it does not, well not if you have done your job and assembled the rest of the team properly.

What matters is being able to get along in the profesional envinronment of work, and getting along outside of work while a nice bonus is not required for any reason. If your team if filled with mature and responsible individuals then they should be able to work together fine regardless of their dress style/interests/choice of beer/etc.  If your team can not work with someone who does not like Football then you have major problems that need to be addressed before you should be looking at hiring someone.
I do not hang out with my co workers outside of work, we have very few overlapping interests, but that does not hinder the work envinronment in any way, becaue we alre all profesionals who know how to work together to get the task done, and can leave everything not related to work at the door.

lostcat: It makes total sense that a start-up would want to find someone with a schedule that is as flexible as the rest of the team's.


Sure, but hiding the test of hours flexability behind going out for coffee/drinks is horribly bad way of testing this. especially if that individual might have other obligations that can not be removed because they might get a job, like say needing to work at their current place of employment so they can pay their bills.

lostcat: if your new hire, who aced his engineer tests, can't stick around because he needs to be home by 7pm on Tuesdays, that's going to be a big problem for your whole company.


Unless of course he can work longer somewhere else. for meeting deadlines the number of hours matter allot, but when they are worked not as much, as long as the work gets done. Of course if you are requiring your employees give up their social lives to work for you, you might have other problems as


lostcat: Similarly, if I'm applying at a company, I damn well better have read as much published material as the managers of that company have pumped out. In fact, if you can't even be motivated to read the management's blogs, why do you want to work for the company?


What is more important, reading the stuff the mangers write about on the internet, or having studdied the information that is actually requirted to do the job you are applying for well. If that writings are not directly related to what someone will be doing then you should not expect them to have read it. If there are more importans sources of information then check if they have read those first, if there are multiple models/theories/methodologies that could be used, and you do not have a reason other then persional prewference why everything must be done the way you talk about in your blog do not expect them to have read it. If you are expecting them to have read your blog, you are not looking for an employee but for a Toady/Lackey, or are trying to create an echo-chamber and not create a compotent team.

This gets even worse when you realize that the vast majority of peopel are trying for positions at multiple places, which makes expecting them to follow your every blogg completly unreasonable. because then they would have to do this for every company they aply to.

Now knowing about things that were explicitly stated in any job posting you put out that is another matter entirely. If you state "Must be an expert with X" the you can ask them about it, but do not expect them to have read all your musings on the subject, especially when there are likely other and more recognized sources of informaiton on it. but it is completly unresonable to expect the applicant to know about somethintg that you do not even bother to mention in a job add.
I have gotten rejected for positions when I had EVERY requirement listed in the add, and most of the would be nice skills as well, because I was not familiar with 2 pieces of software that were not mentioned in the add I applied from at all.

lostcat: Sorry, but this author is disagreeing with most of the books on management and hiring that have been in publication since the 60s.


That does not mean as much as you might think. There have been allot of false assumptions about allot of things over the years, and the authors of allot of books on these subjects are just regergitating the same garbadge that they were taught and never actually tested. It might work, but that does not mean it is the best solution. 50+ years of history only means something if it has been tested for those 50+ years, and simply put most businesses have NOT been putting these guides to the test.
 
2014-06-27 05:35:29 PM  

Gary-L: mcreadyblue: lostcat: Welcome to the world of non-contract employment.

This author seems to think that if you go in and ace your "tests" you should be a shoe-in for the open position.

Any hiring manager worth their salt knows that just because someone has all the skills you are looking for, it doesn't mean they are a good fit with your organization. You have to find someone who will work well with your team. Usually this means having similar personality characteristics in areas like intensity, handling conflict and ambiguity, and sense of humor.

It makes total sense that a start-up would want to find someone with a schedule that is as flexible as the rest of the team's. Start-ups frequently have to work extended hours to meet specific deadlines, and if your new hire, who aced his engineer tests, can't stick around because he needs to be home by 7pm on Tuesdays, that's going to be a big problem for your whole company.

You would also, of course, want to find someone who has the perception to know that the meetings you are asking them to outside of the formal interview process are still job interviews. If I'm looking for work and someone from a company I want to work for has invited me to get coffee, I should be moving my schedule around to get coffee with them. That's just common sense.

Similarly, if I'm applying at a company, I damn well better have read as much published material as the managers of that company have pumped out. In fact, if you can't even be motivated to read the management's blogs, why do you want to work for the company?

Sorry, but this author is disagreeing with most of the books on management and hiring that have been in publication since the 60s.

LOL!  Do you work in HR?

^^This.  Who gives a royal shiat what someone pumped out in a Blog?

1996 called for you, lostcat,and wants to hear from you.


Well, presumably the people doing the hiring will give at least a couple shiats about whether or not you've read their blogs. At the very least, having read their blogs will probably give you a leg up over someone who hasn't read the blogs. The inverse also holds true; not reading the blogs will probably put you at a disadvantage when compared to someone who has read them.
 
2014-06-27 05:37:17 PM  
This is why most startups fail. They keep thinking they never have to change. By definition, if you're growing, you're changing. Very few companies can get from entrepreneur to enterprise, and this is part of the reason why.
 
2014-06-27 06:05:40 PM  

qorkfiend: Gary-L: mcreadyblue: lostcat: Welcome to the world of non-contract employment.

This author seems to think that if you go in and ace your "tests" you should be a shoe-in for the open position.

Any hiring manager worth their salt knows that just because someone has all the skills you are looking for, it doesn't mean they are a good fit with your organization. You have to find someone who will work well with your team. Usually this means having similar personality characteristics in areas like intensity, handling conflict and ambiguity, and sense of humor.

It makes total sense that a start-up would want to find someone with a schedule that is as flexible as the rest of the team's. Start-ups frequently have to work extended hours to meet specific deadlines, and if your new hire, who aced his engineer tests, can't stick around because he needs to be home by 7pm on Tuesdays, that's going to be a big problem for your whole company.

You would also, of course, want to find someone who has the perception to know that the meetings you are asking them to outside of the formal interview process are still job interviews. If I'm looking for work and someone from a company I want to work for has invited me to get coffee, I should be moving my schedule around to get coffee with them. That's just common sense.

Similarly, if I'm applying at a company, I damn well better have read as much published material as the managers of that company have pumped out. In fact, if you can't even be motivated to read the management's blogs, why do you want to work for the company?

Sorry, but this author is disagreeing with most of the books on management and hiring that have been in publication since the 60s.

LOL!  Do you work in HR?

^^This.  Who gives a royal shiat what someone pumped out in a Blog?

1996 called for you, lostcat,and wants to hear from you.

Well, presumably the people doing the hiring will give at least a couple shiats about whether or not you've read their blogs. At the very least, having read their blogs will probably give you a leg up over someone who hasn't read the blogs. The inverse also holds true; not reading the blogs will probably put you at a disadvantage when compared to someone who has read them.


What about Twitter or Instagram? Is that important too?

Kik? MySpace? Flickr?
 
2014-06-27 06:14:01 PM  
Hey, I'm just a hiring manager. Why listen to my opinion.

Clearly you all know how to get hired to your dream jobs.
 
2014-06-27 06:15:46 PM  

HempHead: Well, presumably the people doing the hiring will give at least a couple shiats about whether or not you've read their blogs. At the very least, having read their blogs will probably give you a leg up over someone who hasn't read the blogs. The inverse also holds true; not reading the blogs will probably put you at a disadvantage when compared to someone who has read them.


What about Twitter or Instagram? Is that important too?

Kik? MySpace? Flickr?


I'm not sure that I understand your argument. The basic point is that if you want to get hired for a job, it's generally a good idea to do some research on the company that's doing the hiring. So, yeah, if, for some strange reason, the company you're applying to has a presence of Flickr, you'd probably be doing yourself a favor by looking into it.

Is your point that blogs aren't a thing, anymore? I'm in the middle of the Valley and I know for a fact that a lot of companies do a lot of blogging. I'm sure that this makes you roll your eyes, but you aren't the one hiring, now are you?
 
2014-06-27 06:26:46 PM  

Twilight Farkle: CSB: Dude in a suit is asked why he's wearing a suit to a job interview. "Because I don't want my old job to know I'm looking for a new job." Followup question involves why he's applying here and not elsewhere. "Well, for one thing, I wouldn't have to wear this suit anymore!"


Maybe it's an East-Coast Programmer vs West-Cost Programmer thing but I always wear a suit to job interviews (I am East Coast) but I fully expect that when/if I get the job I'll be wearing shorts/jeans and a t-shirt on the actual job.

I've never lived in Silicon Valley, but I don't think that it's dominance is as great as it was during the 90s. Since then other computing hubs have really taken off (NYC, Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, Research Triangle, Tampa, Austin, Houston, etc have all blossomed). The internet has really made where you live as a programmer not matter anymore.
 
2014-06-27 06:54:59 PM  

rwdavis: Twilight Farkle: CSB: Dude in a suit is asked why he's wearing a suit to a job interview. "Because I don't want my old job to know I'm looking for a new job." Followup question involves why he's applying here and not elsewhere. "Well, for one thing, I wouldn't have to wear this suit anymore!"

Maybe it's an East-Coast Programmer vs West-Cost Programmer thing but I always wear a suit to job interviews (I am East Coast) but I fully expect that when/if I get the job I'll be wearing shorts/jeans and a t-shirt on the actual job.

I've never lived in Silicon Valley, but I don't think that it's dominance is as great as it was during the 90s. Since then other computing hubs have really taken off (NYC, Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, Research Triangle, Tampa, Austin, Houston, etc have all blossomed). The internet has really made where you live as a programmer not matter anymore.


I still wear a tie to job interviews, but no longer wear a suit. I would make an exception for a particularly large company with a long history that might put more of a premium on suit-wearing (say, IBM or Lockheed Martin)--some of those companies have a bias that is the inverse of the one the author describes in TFA.

The whole coffee or bar-hopping interview thing might just be a Valley thing; I had several different tech jobs in San Diego, and all of the job interviews were utterly traditional. In fact, every job interview I've ever had (and I've worked in the northeast, California, and Florida over the last 24 years) has been utterly traditional.
 
2014-06-27 07:32:55 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: HempHead: Well, presumably the people doing the hiring will give at least a couple shiats about whether or not you've read their blogs. At the very least, having read their blogs will probably give you a leg up over someone who hasn't read the blogs. The inverse also holds true; not reading the blogs will probably put you at a disadvantage when compared to someone who has read them.


What about Twitter or Instagram? Is that important too?

Kik? MySpace? Flickr?

I'm not sure that I understand your argument. The basic point is that if you want to get hired for a job, it's generally a good idea to do some research on the company that's doing the hiring. So, yeah, if, for some strange reason, the company you're applying to has a presence of Flickr, you'd probably be doing yourself a favor by looking into it.

Is your point that blogs aren't a thing, anymore? I'm in the middle of the Valley and I know for a fact that a lot of companies do a lot of blogging. I'm sure that this makes you roll your eyes, but you aren't the one hiring, now are you?




The blog posts referenced in the article have been deleted.

I guess they were embarrassed by the moronic behavior displayed and are attempting to a cover up.
 
2014-06-27 08:19:46 PM  

rwdavis: Twilight Farkle: CSB: Dude in a suit is asked why he's wearing a suit to a job interview. "Because I don't want my old job to know I'm looking for a new job." Followup question involves why he's applying here and not elsewhere. "Well, for one thing, I wouldn't have to wear this suit anymore!"

Maybe it's an East-Coast Programmer vs West-Cost Programmer thing but I always wear a suit to job interviews (I am East Coast) but I fully expect that when/if I get the job I'll be wearing shorts/jeans and a t-shirt on the actual job.

I've never lived in Silicon Valley, but I don't think that it's dominance is as great as it was during the 90s. Since then other computing hubs have really taken off (NYC, Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, Research Triangle, Tampa, Austin, Houston, etc have all blossomed). The internet has really made where you live as a programmer not matter anymore.


Based on my observations, Silicon Valley is hipster douchebag central filled with addleminded twits

lostcat: Hey, I'm just a hiring manager. Why listen to my opinion.

Clearly you all know how to get hired to your dream jobs.


My "dream job" wouldn't involve working for someone or a company where reading a blog is fundamental to the hiring process.  I'd rather work for people who want someone to bring knowledge to a business rather than someone who's a simple-minded lemming.
 
2014-06-27 08:29:55 PM  
TFA made me feel not so bad I'm on the east coast, where we tend to be better at spotting who our friends and enemies are.
 
2014-06-27 08:34:03 PM  

Gary-L: rwdavis: Twilight Farkle: CSB: Dude in a suit is asked why he's wearing a suit to a job interview. "Because I don't want my old job to know I'm looking for a new job." Followup question involves why he's applying here and not elsewhere. "Well, for one thing, I wouldn't have to wear this suit anymore!"

Maybe it's an East-Coast Programmer vs West-Cost Programmer thing but I always wear a suit to job interviews (I am East Coast) but I fully expect that when/if I get the job I'll be wearing shorts/jeans and a t-shirt on the actual job.

I've never lived in Silicon Valley, but I don't think that it's dominance is as great as it was during the 90s. Since then other computing hubs have really taken off (NYC, Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, Research Triangle, Tampa, Austin, Houston, etc have all blossomed). The internet has really made where you live as a programmer not matter anymore.

Based on my observations, Silicon Valley is hipster douchebag central filled with addleminded twitslostcat: Hey, I'm just a hiring manager. Why listen to my opinion.

Clearly you all know how to get hired to your dream jobs.

My "dream job" wouldn't involve working for someone or a company where reading a blog is fundamental to the hiring process.  I'd rather work for people who want someone to bring knowledge to a business rather than someone who's a simple-minded lemming.


I don't think it's possible to be a competent programmer and a hipster. Nothing significant in programming has been invented since the 70s. Closures, OOP, continuations, multithreaded programming/ distributed programming, functional programming, distributed databases are all really really old. Modern ideas like "Cloud" are simply variations on a theme that has extended back almost to the founding of computer science.
 
2014-06-27 09:07:25 PM  

Rent Party: The best advice my father ever gave me was "People hire people who look like them."   And that was 30 years ago.


It's all aboutappearances.
 
2014-06-28 12:25:54 AM  

Twilight Farkle: TotallyHeadless:

 or booking a room for Burning Man into trying to disrupt the entire taxi and hospitality industries. A side effect of the mirrortocracy is that there's probably a m ...


Emphasis added. Perhaps it's a bit of a quibble, but Burning Man is not really a taxi or hospitality scene. It's 123 miles from Reno (closet approximate rooms) to the Black Rock.
 
2014-06-28 12:33:03 AM  
I'll just leave this story here to show how absolutely nothing has changed since the 1980's.
 
2014-06-28 04:55:23 AM  

bonobo73: I'll just leave this story here to show how absolutely nothing has changed since the 1980's.


I think that might have a bit more to do with Jobs being a pompous self-idolizing asshole, but the point stands.

\Also, great scene from The Pirates of Silicon Valley
 
2014-06-28 08:20:29 AM  
rwdavis


What?? Hahahahahahaha.......come hang out in Austin for a while.
 
2014-06-28 12:47:26 PM  

lostcat: Hey, I'm just a hiring manager. Why listen to my opinion.

Clearly you all know how to get hired to your dream jobs.


You seem to be the type of hiring manager that makes people hate hiring managers.  Are you in HR too?
 
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