Monday, January 15, 2007

Job search creaks to life; villagers dismayed

I never thought I would get it right, but I now have a resume, an easily modifiable cover letter, and a reasonably small, organized web site highlighting a few of my projects. And I've started sending it out.

I don't know exactly how to do this. I've got an MS in CS so close I can taste it, but every time I look at a great company's job descriptions, I gulp and go, "I know nothing." And do I stick to the great companies only, or go to work for some e-business consulting firm? And how would I find them if I did? Would I even want to?

Anyhow, I've sent resumes and electronically applied so far to Google, Amazon, and Adobe. I figure if I start at the top and work my way down, everyone will be happier. That, and I'm trying to pick places with a vision for research, for the future of computing, and for the Internet, with interesting problems to work on, and with appropriate compensation for a father and husband.

I have been thinking about Microsoft, which is kind of a special case. Yes, they do some amazing stuff. On the other hand, laugh at Google's "Don't be evil" if you want, but I am attracted to a company that has tried to stay true to a positive moral vision. MS's business practices, on the other hand, have been positively criminal. Embrace, extend, extinguish is holding back the whole computing world. After reading the anonymous, insider Mini-Microsoft blog, I feel better-informed about MS, but also concerned about MS's Machiavellian bureaucracy. I don't know if I want to swim in those waters with the sharks, or worse, become a shark, or worse, be a goldfish, drink the Kool-aid, and get eaten by the shark.

Anyway, I'm throwing this whole thing open for suggestions. If anyone has a good lead or company for me to try, some good advice, or anything you can think of, please let me know.


Ian said...

Your "small and organized" site lacks blink tags. BLINK TAGS! Heavens above, man. How do you expect to land a job in the tech sector without BLINK TAGS?

Returning to Seriousville:

Congratulations on your impending graduation!

If you haven't yet spoken to anyone who has dealt with Google's hiring process, have patience. The journey can be a lengthy one -- even after several phone interviews, it isn't unusual to wait weeks between phone calls from your recruiter. I've heard this story repeated often at conferences, amogst friends and coworkers, and in many mailing lists. (Question: Could Google's greatest asset be their ├╝bersecret CandidateRank algorithm? Let me know once you've been hired.)

In related news:

Although I would be happy, nay ecstatic, if you returned to Our Fair City by the Sound, I have a few people you may want to talk to before you seriously consider any offers from Amazon.

Both Mike and Adam still work for GettyImages. I can't speak personally as to what it's like as a workplace, but I know they hire linguists and computation linguistics folks. Looks like the Seattle office is hiring at least one "Linguistic Architect II", but the job description sounds like it may not be quite what you're looking for. Check it out, though. If nothing else, their Seattle office is in Fremont.

Best of luck, my friend.


Ian said...

And, no, I don't know what "amogst" means.