Re: "not technical enough"

Subject: Re: "not technical enough"
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l digest recipients <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 10:47:32 -0700

"Jane" <judydh -at- total -dot- net> wrote:

>I think a little bit of my technical impression problem is my resume.
>Beautifully laid out but it's got a proper three or four pages crammed into
>two. Certain things get shirked because their relevancy might only pertain
>to a few people whose desks my cv might fly across. So I talk about
>accomplishments more than technologies.

Have you considered maintaining more than one resume? Also, a 3
or 4 page resume isn't usually a problem, so long as it's
arranged for quick scanning. In fact, it might be better than a
1-2 page resume in a small font that discourages close reading.

>I then went for a coffee with a friend and told them I blew the interview.
>Went home and found an offer on the voicemail.

This situation or its reverse (thinking an interview went
swimmingly, then finding it didn't) has happened to me so often
that I no longer try to analyze my interviews. I've concluded
that too much is at stake for my judgement to be trustworthy.
Glad to hear that I'm not the only one.

>Incidentally, I have a B. Sc. in Biology from 1995. Unfortunately, I haven't
>witnessed many purely scientific or at least statistical principles used in
>the creation of new products that I've documented, so I'm plum out of luck
>in applying my knowledge from university.

Maybe you're defining your university experience too narrowly.
What research or analytical skills did you get from your academic
career? Many of these skills are relevant to organizing a
documentation project, if you stop to think about them.

>but I definitely get the feeling that hardcore geeks, software developers
>and the like, think pure internet, dot-com stuff is a little boring or
>superficial.

It depends. My field notes on geeks for September 24, 1999,
reads, "Observed Geek Y and X egaged in mutual ego-stroking.
Topics of conversation: encryption, security, Linux (for 44th day
running)."

These internet-related topics (and probably others) are very hot
for geeks.

>The thing is, I'm not technical enough to build web systems or transactional systems or functioning CVS >repositories and software builds.

>OK, here's the next step: I was thinking through the last round of
>interviews (this would be excellent to counteract any non-technical
>impressions) that I needed a question sheet of my own to ask my interviewers
>about their company and technology. Does anybody else have a canned sheet
>like this, or a couple of trusty questions to grill or impress the
>interviewers?

I don't have anything canned, but I do make a habit whenever
possible of scanning a company's literature or web page and
coming up with a few questions. General questions show that I've
prepared for the interview, but I also try to make connections
with technologies or concepts that I know. That way, I can make
my knowledge relevant to the job, and also show that I'm an
active thinker.

--
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"Tell him who emptied the pools of Apollo that the pool of wisdom
here is
closed as well. The god has no more water. The Oracle is dead."
- The Pythoness at Delphi to the Emperor Justinian.




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