Fri 02 September 2022
Fri 02 September 2022
If your company is planning on hiring 4-6 technical people a year, your next hire should be a recruiter. It is probably best if they do not have experience being a recruiter or a salescritter. Hire someone with a liberal arts degree or technical communications experience.
If your company is hiring more than that, why don’t you already have an in-house recruiter?
External recruiters are lying spammers. It’s the nature of the economics: they don’t get paid until they land a candidate, but they can’t afford to learn enough about your company or the role to get good candidates, so they need to work in bulk. An external recruiting company wants 20-30% of first-year salary as a fee. If you’re hiring 5 people a year, you can afford to pay an internal recruiter the average of their salaries, which should be quite nice indeed - external recruiters are paid on commission, which induces feast-or-famine responses and consequent unethical practices.
An internal recruiter can talk to your hiring managers, ask questions, and build trust. An internal recruiter is inherently more trustworthy to a prospective candidate, too: they can reference the company’s name from day one, and can offer actual details immediately.
Thu 23 June 2022
Fri 25 February 2022
When something goes wrong, especially (but not limited to) at startup, you should log an error message that is as informative as possible. In particular, if your service has parameters that might conflict with any other running process –say, it wants to listen to a particular port– you should have the error message mention all of those details.
It’s even better if the failure does a little diagnostic and tells you what other process is using that port.
This message brought to you by the Campaign for More Informative Error Messages. -30-
Thu 17 February 2022
There are two kinds of smart home enthusiasts: the kind who buy into a particular cloudy ecosystem and need to buy all new stuff every few years, and the kind who spend all their time tinkering on their in-house systems. Fairly often the tinkers also end up buying all new stuff, but they get to do it in incremental steps where everything works (more or less) during the transitions.
I’m not an enthusiast: I want a return on investment in money, convenience or fun.
Thu 10 February 2022
Mon 20 December 2021
Wed 27 October 2021
This blog is created by Pelican, a static site generator that combines some text files that I write with a layout and some CSS styles to produce the HTML that is rsync’d over to the nginx webserver which answers your requests.
I just upgraded from 4.6 to 4.71, and also from an older python3 release to Debian’s current 3.9 release. Nothing appears to need to be changed, which is nice and relaxing compared to the last few upgrades.
Sat 11 September 2021
I just realized that I internalized the O’Reilly house style decades ago, and so I think it’s the proper way to write documentation.
Primary elements: the document, even at book length, takes the form of a precise, pedantic, but informal letter to the audience. The author might reference themself as “I” and tell brief anecdotes to contextualize the material, and frequently encourages the reader in the second person:
You can also reticulate the frobnitz with the ‘–frob-harder’ switch if that feels more natural to you.
As a side effect, this style of technical writing minimizes the number of gendered pronouns, which I always prefer because I don’t know who is reading the work.
Mon 16 August 2021
When you stop looking for ways to improve your sound reproduction experience and instead look for new music to listen to, you have begun to recover from audiophilia.
Or at least, I have.
Places in the house with acceptable sound systems:
- my bedroom
- the living room
- the den/theater
- the office
- the other end of the office
- the third system in the office
- two portable systems
Places in the house with marginal sound systems:
- the kitchen
- the dining room
Sat 19 June 2021
Twenty-five years ago, approximately, my housemates and I bought office chairs – rolling five-star bases, adjustable arms, comes in a box with an L-shaped hex driver like IKEA stuff – and put them in our dining room around the table. They were cheap and comfortable.
I can’t tell you how many people looked at that arrangement and needed to talk about their sudden feelings.
Sun 25 April 2021
The Cloud – where did we get that metaphor?
The answer is pretty simple. Imagine you are a techie working on an Internet project in the late 1990s. You are explaining to a less-technical audience how your application is going to be built. You have a whiteboard, and you draw some simple things as you talk:
Wed 21 April 2021
Wed 14 April 2021
Wed 10 March 2021
However, this only works as long as the other party actually internalizes the risk and liability. Since there are no consequences for mishandling data, operating IT services you’re not structurally competent to operate, and eventually having your crown jewels stolen - the contractor doesn’t really internalize risk, has no incentive to mitigate it.