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Category: Work

The Interview in the Enterprise

See also an earlier article in the blog, and Why I Don’t Talk to Google Recruiters mentioned in the comments.

Where I work we have regular round tables, in which you can talk and ask questions to middle management from other departments than your own. I had the opportunity to talk to a person who manages development priorities and staffs teams, and who of course has some insight into hiring and the interview process. That was very enlightening.

For example, finding people to hire in a large organisation is a hard job. Hiring rates are quite fixed, so in order to find people to hire you need to go through a relatively fixed, larger number of resume reviews, phone screens and face to face interviews. Assume that for each three people you would want to hire you need to sift through 100 resumes – that’s 10.000 resumes to look at for 300 people to hire. And it can not be automated.

Uber, Culture and Susan J. Fowler

A few weeks ago, Susan J. Fowler wrote about her very strange year at Uber. Basically, she experienced sexual harassment, HR covering up and a poisonous corporate culture. Apart from her personal experience, she characterises the culture like this:

In the background, there was a game-of-thrones political war raging within the ranks of upper management in the infrastructure engineering organization. It seemed like every manager was fighting their peers and attempting to undermine their direct supervisor so that they could have their direct supervisor’s job. No attempts were made by these managers to hide what they were doing: they boasted about it in meetings, told their direct reports about it, and the like.

Hello, I am interviewing people…

Hello, I am Kris (Article about a Twitter meme in english). I was a Database Scalability Engineer at Booking.com.

When interviewing people for my replacement, I have been looking for a “sense of cost” in architectural decision making. I have been giving people rough problem descriptions of what others or I am currently working on, and asked them what they were thinking about the problem.

Since I did not have a solution to the problem yet, my goal was more observing the idea-discovery process and the reasoning about consequences of various approaches in terms of load, toil, network communication and so on, than an actual solution for the problem.

Oh, and I have been a MySQL consultant and database person since 2005, and still google ALTER TABLE syntax.

Turns out, people don’t like traveling to Nazi America…

A report by Frommer’s states that

Experts across the travel industry are warning that masses of tourists are being scared away from visiting the United States, and the loss of tourism jobs could be devastating.

So far, the observed drop is about 7%, and is not limited to travel from Muslim countries:

Apparently, an attack on one group of tourists is regarded as an assault on all

the report continues. Affected are business travel as well as  leisure travel, and the projected losses for this year are in the billions of USD and in the thousands of jobs.

FOSDEM: Graphite @ Scale at Booking.com

Validimir Smirnov gave his talk Graphite @ Scale at FOSDEM.

The slides (PDF) are available for download, and the talk can be downloaded (webm) as well.

Booking stores about 130 TB of data in Graphite, using 32 frontend and 200 SSD storage servers to collect 2.5M unique metric per second,  worth 11 Gbps of traffic in the graphite backend.

This is achieves mostly be replacing all parts of Graphite with API-compatible rewrites in Go and C, all of which are open source.