The Passionate Software Engineer

Recruiting good software candidates is hard, and especially so if you’re in a hotspot such as Boston, New York, or San Francisco. The demand far outstrips the supply. There just aren’t enough engineers available to fill all the hiring needs of startups and larger companies. I think that one of our top national priorities ought…

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Ace the Interview with Good Preparation

One of my first mentors in the recruiting profession, Jerry Marstall, drummed into my head that if I did a good job in preparing my candidates for their interviews, I’d make more placements, all things being equal, than those recruiters who just winged it and let their candidates go to the interviews blindly. Jerry had even…

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Will Getting an MSCS Beef Up Your Career?

Sometimes software engineers ask me if I think they should go on to further their education and get a Masters in Computer Science. Mostly, they want to know if it will improve their career marketability, and if it will help them get higher offers and earn more money. My feelings on the subject are mixed. Based…

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The Best Interview Question Ever

What’s the best interview question to get behind the mask? Gaining insight into a candidate by means of an interview is a fairly artificial activity, when you think about it. As a recruiter who’s been active for a long time, I’ve read lots of articles and books with titles like, “The 37 Must-Ask Interview Question,”…

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Solving Problem, or Exploiting Opportunity?

Is your job search more focused on avoiding problems, or on seeking opportunity? One of my favorite quotes from Peter Drucker, the late, great management expert, goes like this: “Results are gained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.” I think what he meant is that there are always going to be problems that need…

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Recruiter Emails: High-Value, or SPAM?

Our family is car shopping, after having owned our vehicles for many years/miles. I haven’t been out in the car market for quite a while, and it’s been a very revealing process interfacing with a number of car salespeople. We’re looking for a “preowned vehicle”, which of course has become the preferred euphemism for “used…

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You’ve Gotta Want a Startup

The other day, I was visiting the offices of a startup where I’ve done work for the last few years. The Director of Software was telling me of some of the challenges his company has faced in the last year, and it was not for the faint of heart. The product which they thought would…

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