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jdavidb (1361)

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J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Friday December 06, 2002
10:56 AM

No longer jobless

[ #9310 ]

By the grace of God, I've gotten another position at my company. This means I get to celebrate my five year service anniversary next year and enjoy an enormous amount of vacation. :) I'll also be having to commute into Dallas, which will not be fun unless I get permission to arrive and leave early to beat traffic. I do enjoy talk radio and tapes of the Bible when I drive, though, so I don't think it will be too bad. I've completed a sixth of my career and, living in DFW, have been very blessed to have a ten minute commute all that time.

My position will involve Oracle development in C/C++ and Java. I presume PL/SQL will be involved there, too, because you just can't get away from it. I hope and expect there will be opportunities to use Perl, even if not in production code. However, I doubt I will be able to convince the company to send me even to YAPC next year, since it will no longer directly relate to my job. (I'd be happy to pay the expenses myself, but I'm loathe to use my own leave time. I'm a bit of a fanatic about that leave time. If they'd give it to me as unpaid leave I'd be right there.)

I'm currently evaluating the O'Reilly Oracle lineup to decide what I need. I'll probably wait until I start the job, though, to make any purchases. I start on the 23rd. There's some people here who really need me to finish some things before I go. Since our whole development staff was dropped off the org chart, many of them keep asking who they will go to afterward, as if there is an answer.

My position will be in supply chain applications development. I get to work on software for warehouse and asset management which will be used nationwide.

I had two interviews within my company, and indeed, that's all the interviews I've had. Having read Ask the Headhunter, recommended by Andy Lester, and drunk all the appropriate Kool-Aid, I'd like to offer the following observation. Neither of my interviews qualified as an Ask the Headhunter New Interview (tm), but the difference between them was the difference between night and day. ATH's principle is that in the interview only one things matters: the employer needs to find out if you can do the job. I could do both jobs, but questions in the first interview were designed to 1) let me know what the job was, and 2) find out if I had the skills to do the job. The second interview had slightly more probing and more relevant versions of standard, semi-relevant interview questions like: "Describe the biggest challenge you've faced in your career." I felt like I floundered around and looked foolish. In the first interview, the one that yielded a job offer, I was tacitly invited to take control by asking questions about the job until I understood it, knew I could do it, and could explain why I was suitable.

I'm not very experienced at interviewing. Working for this company was my first job, ever. Not even a McDonald's or whatever exists in my job history. I interviewed as a cooperative education student at the age of 19, and only at about five places. After reading ATH I intend to practice my "headhunter" research skills in the future to keep them up. I never intend to leave my company if possible (Only 25 more years till retirement! That's only 5442 work days. Yes, I have a program to tell me that.), so most of that research will take place here. I'm going to start by getting a better idea of all the various departments in the company that are stationed in the DFW area. And, I'll do a little more looking around outside, just in case I ever face a layoff situation again.

It's a bright future.

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