September 05, 2016 11:39 +0000  |  Employment Job Hunting 3

I suppose you could say that the process started years ago when I mused about applying to Mozilla. I was living in Amsterdam at that point and wanted a job where I could go into the office and have lunch with coworkers etc. so despite Andy's encouragement, I decided not to apply for a developer position there.

Years later another position opened up just as I was about to move to London, so I applied, got through a few rounds of interviews and then the position evaporated, changing to a junior-level role instead.

Later still another job opened for a developer tools role. I applied to that and ran aground on their new "HackerRank" coding test. These tests are terrible, but that's a rant for another time. Regardless, I bombed out on that application too.

Then a few months ago, Stephanie sent me a message telling me that her team had an opening for a senior Python developer. I applied not long after the role appeared on the site, along with Stephanie's recommendation. This time, I've managed to graduate past the terrible HackerRank test, and through all four rounds of interviews.

As I understand it, the verdict is supposed to come down tomorrow and I'm facing off against two other potentials. The anxiety around this whole thing is surprisingly crippling: this isn't just a job, it's Mozilla, the Good guys, a big important company that's on the front lines in the fight for the Open Web. I don't think I've ever wanted any job more than I want this one.

It's a long weekend in Canada & the US, so they won't be getting back to me 'till Tuesday, which means sometime between 8pm and 5am London time. I may not know anything until I wake up and check my phone on Wednesday morning. That's my last day at my current job (Cyan) for this week, since I took two days off to pack for our move to Cambridge, so this Wednesday is going to be messy, regardless of the Mozilla decision.


Well I didn't get it. The main guy over there had some very nice things to say about me in the "we don't want you" email, but the reality is that I will not be working for the Good Guys this time around either :-(

February 11, 2011 22:19 +0000  |  Amsterdam Employment Job Hunting Moving Netherlands Unemployment 6

For those of you who follow my life on Twitter or Facebook, I apologise for taking so long to post the details of the recent changes to my employment status. Stuff's been kinda crazy these past few weeks, so I've had other priorities that I'll talk about in other posts.

So here's the full story: On January 18th, I responded to a job ad for a web developer at MarketSims that I found on an online job posting board, possibly monster, but frankly, I don't remember. The application included my usual fun-sounding cover letter and a PDF copy of my CV along with a link to this site.

That same night, I received a response asking about my preferences for CMSs and/or frameworks and we had some good dialogue about why one CMS might be chosen over another, and why I prefer frameworks in general etc. etc. We also talked about my salary expectations, volunteer work, and outside interests as well, all over email. He thanked me for the info and said he'd get back to me.

Then he got sick for about a week so I didn't hear from him for a while. When we reconnected on the 31st, we talked about doing a Skype interview and settled on a midnight gig on the evening of the 4th.

The interview was with the CEO, CTO, and COO and covered in greater detail what they're looking for. Basically, they're looking to unify the many sites they have into a single managed solution as well as build a portal site for people in their industry. We talked about options and preferences and I made no secret regarding my preferences for Python/Django -- something I was happy to hear was positively received. The interview was largely non-technical, and when it was finished, the CEO said that they'd like to talk about me privately for a while and get back to me... in about 20minutes. A little surprised, I said thank you and we ended the call.

About 15minutes later, the CTO called me back and offered me the job. I'll start March 1st.

The pay sounds good, though it's tough to tell when you don't really know the cost of living over there. Regardless, it works out to a lot of money in Canada, so that doesn't suck. There's lots of vacation time, as European standards more or less require it, and they're accessible by transit. The CTO may even be able to hook me up with some inexpensive temporary housing with some friends while I look for a place of my own once I know the neighbourhoods better.

All-in-all, things are looking pretty good, though I try not to get too excited. Contracts etc. don't get signed until I come in for my first day and somehow, all of this doesn't feel like it will be "real" until then. I'm definitely leaving though. I've already bought my flights:

Vancouver » Kelowna Feb 21
Kelowna » Vancouver Feb 23
Vancouver » Amsterdam Feb 23

If the temporary housing doesn't work out, I'll look into Couch Surfing, then hostels, then hotels, in that order. Obviously, that's a rough route to take, but I'm not sure how else to do it. I will however endeavour to blog the process, if for no other reason to chronicle how very painful this kind of thing is.

January 18, 2011 00:22 +0000  |  Family Job Hunting Unemployment 4

I was considering going for the melodramatic and starting this post off with something like "I am in hell", but honestly, I can think of far worse places to be than in Kelowna. That's not to say that I'm a big fan of this place, or that I'd ever choose to live here, I'm just trying to keep things in perspective.

My parents have gone away for a few weeks on a much needed vacation, and since I'm not working at the moment, I offered to house-sit for them. My reasons for this weren't altogether selfless: I needed to get some isolation as well.

Living "on the coast" (that's what they call Vancouver and the surrounding areas here), I was too close to a lot of distractions. I have a social circle there, and living with the grandparents takes a toll on my sanity. I wasn't getting a lot done, and I wasn't really doing much in the way of thinking regarding my Where To Go From Here question either. Now, here in Kelowna, alone in an empty house with only an SUV to shuttle me around, a bubble in a tiny town full of bubbles, I find I can't really get away from myself and what must be done.

So far I've been pretty productive. I've taken the opportunity to learn Android, something I've been meaning to do ever since the O/S debuted a couple years ago. I'm progressing nicely and may even have my cartographic app ready before I finish up here. I'm also applying for work in a variety of exciting places: Dublin, Berlin, Stockholm, Paris, London, even Prague. The progress is slow however. Most companies prefer to hire locals (for obvious reasons) and it's tough to overcome that bias... if I'm even given the chance.

Nonetheless I'm in a unique position to be patient. There's a lot of work out there, I just need to learn how to access it as a foreigner to these places.

Before she left, my mother asked the all-important question: "What do you really want? What's your ideal job?" After talking about it some, we settled that at this point in my life, the location of the job is more important than the job itself, though I know from past experience that my work must be respectful and interesting if I'm going to enjoy my life in any city. I want the kind of work where understanding the language and local customs of somewhere interesting is part of the job. Maybe I don't *need* to live overseas to find that. I suppose my ideal job would be one where I could live in Toronto, but spend a rather large amount of time in some of the cities mentioned above.

Anyone know how someone with my skills can find work like that?

Anyway, I'll post again soon when I have something to show for my last few days of Android education.

November 24, 2006 18:22 +0000  |  Job Hunting Unemployment 3

I just got a call from another recruiter, that makes FOUR this week. It would seem that the best thing to do when looking for a job is to find one first :-)

Seriously though, the job market here is pretty good for IT. I've never felt so wanted (professionally) in my life.

October 25, 2006 19:17 +0000  |  Job Hunting Unemployment Windows 3

You'd think that being unemployed with no definite job on the horizon would be a scary thing but so far, I'm rather optimistic. I had a job interview today (details below) and have another one tomorrow. Not only that, but Noreen has been super-awesome and has been sending me job ads she's discovered in travels every day. The market is pretty good in Toronto presently so I'm not too worried.

Today's interview was awesome -- at a nice medium-sized company with a small company atmosphere right downtown. The HR guy was friendly and receptive and the job looked to be exciting.

It's at about this point that you should notice that the tense of the above paragraph is in the past. You see, while I killed on the interview, they ran into one rather important sticking point: They're a 100% Microsoft shop and I don't do Windows.

Now I should make it clear that my position on Windows is not one out of spite. I'm sure there's a lot of really neat things that can be done with Microsoft software. No, I couldn't take the job because frankly, Linux stuff is Very Different from Windows stuff. Sure, if you know one you can work your way through the other, but it's practically unheard of for one person to be straddling both architectures. The technologies are just too foreign to each other.

And so I'm onto the next set of interviews, hoping that the next company is as cool as this last one. But I'm not worried.

Not yet at least.