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Sunday January 26, 2003
01:17 AM

So, which is it?

[ #10190 ]

From the same job posting:

Relaxed, independent, academic atmosphere

Ability to work under pressure

I have been paying attention to this sort of thing. I am not looking for work, especially, but I do read the postings to see how various parts of the economy appear to be doing. New York City seems to get a lot of openings, and I have only ever seen a couple for Chicago (the real Chicago, not Andy, whom I would love to work for but is entirely too far away).

Two groups are evident: Headhunters completely unfamiliar with the job they need to fill, and people trying to convince other people that the crappy and thankless job they have to fill is attractive.

The job I took those bits from sounds like a cool job, and it is the "relaxed" portion, which is apparently not true according to the rest of the description, that would make it unattractive.

Some job postings remind me of The Apartment---they expect you to devote the whole of your life, and even your soul, to work that you would not do if you did not need to pay rent and buy food. Those sorts used to be the ones that offered stock options and equity before those terms became dirty words and people became more interested in their next paycheck rather than selling short.

What would a realistic job posting look like?

Provide software support for database driven website. Project leader is a testing fanatic and will constantly evaluate the quality of your software. The system administrator does not like users much, but you will get used to him after a couple of months. The team is notoriously underfunded, although we do find the money for nice chairs and fancy cubicle walls. Upper management has completely unrealistic expectations and we try to meet them even if it means panicing instead of creating good code. Although we want a Perl programmer, you will end up dealing mostly with PHP, C, and Java, and although we want a linux person, most of our stuff is on Windows and we see no reason to change that.

Required skills:
know Perl
6 years Java
5 years Linux
Ph.D. in AstroPhysics

Of course, you cannot tell people that is the job until they move their family half-way across the nation and already bought a house.