Thursday, April 30, 2009

Desperately need PHP developers in Gatineau / Ottawa

It was never my intention for this blog to become a job board. Granted, there was no grand vision, but still, my thoughts were more along the lines of a blog about recruiting. Unfortunately, I'm a little stuck, so here she goes...

I need two PHP developers. This is for a government client located Gatineau, Quebec (just across the river from Ottawa, Ontario - this is in Canada for all you non-Canadian imaginary readers of this blog).

There are only two definite requirements:
  • PHP experience (9 months might do, 1 year would be better);
  • Government of Canada Reliability security clearance.
There are a lot of "nice to have" requirements:
  • Java;
  • JavaScript (and yes, I do know they're different);
  • Oracle (this is the client's back end - it's a huge database);
  • XML;
  • HTML (because there are so many PHP developers who have never seen HTML);
  • Apache;
  • Linux/UNIX;
  • C;
  • C++.
Interested? Know anyone who might be? We'll pay you if you send us a successful candidate.

You can reply to this blog with your co-ordinates, or, better yet, send your resume to

And I'd appreciate knowing if you read this blog. I'm assuming no one does.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Did it go well? I really don't know.

The other day, I noted that I had job search seminars coming up. Well, the first one (job searching techniques) is over, and I can say quite definitely, I have no idea how well it went.

The positives
1. I had enough material.
I know this shouldn't be a worry; there is a lot of information to cover in this area (and, certainly, I did not cover it all). Nonetheless, having not taken as much time as I would have liked preparing, I was a little concerned.

2. There were actually people there.
I didn't do the promotion. I don't know how popular these things are. I don't have any serious pedigree that would command an audience. So, for all I knew, it would be a very short presentation (set up time and tear down time, with nothing in between).

A few people even asked questions (for which I had answers), so that's a bonus.

3. They'll probably come to the next one.
This will probably be the real judgement.

The negatives
1. I'm sure I talked too much.
This would be the flip side to point #1 above. I pretty much talked for an hour and a half straight. I could've gone on for two hours if that was the allotted time. There wasn't a lot of interaction, and there were some glazed over faces at times.

2. I'm not an expert at this.
And I admitted as much during the talk. However, I am particularly not an expert at this considering that it's the first one I've done. Hopefully I'll get better at it.

Anyway, I still have to prepare Thursday's talk and Friday's. I guess that will be Wednesday night's work.

(Originally posted at - 04/27/09)

Friday, April 24, 2009


I'm tired of hobbies - don't get me wrong, they're great, and I have a few (though not as many now that I have a toddler). I appreciate that they help to maintain our sanity, and they make us more complete as people. Being fully developed is nice.

Here's the thing: I, most likely, don't care about your hobbies.

If you have submitted a resume for consideration for a highly specialized, technologically involved, demanding position, I have little interest in your favourite book, your stamp collection or your sheep farm. I want to know what kind of experience you have in Java development, or administering an Oracle database, or with penetration testing. These things are necessary.

Years ago, I had a Hobbies section in my resume. It was one of those things you are told to do when first learning how to put together a resume - back when you didn't really have any "work" experience. Fine, it fleshed out your resume a bit, and it made you look well-rounded, but now you are an intermediate or senior consultant, prized for your technical acumen and professional demeanour. It does not matter to me that you are an avid fan of Doctor Who. Further, if it appears that you have put more thought into describing your hobbies than into describing your work experience, what, exactly, are you telling me?

All that being said (written), if your hobbies actually demonstrate what a good employee you'd be, by all means, let me know. If in your spare time you develop web sites for charitable organizations, or build computers using old components, or research Number Theory, then, yes, I will appreciate that information.

If you volunteer your time on a community advisory board, or organize food drives at the local elementary school, that's good to know, as well. Anything that shows that you don't just care about money, and that you have skills and interests that directly or tangentially relate to the workplace while also showing that you are a full, well-rounded individual is helpful, and is a bonus on your resume. Just remember, in the end, if I need a PHP developer (which I do right now), I'm going to care more about your coding skills than the charity auction that you organized and promoted.

Lucky for me, this is a recruiting blog, and, thus, counts as work.

[UPDATE: Thanks to Tom Sweeney for the link.]

(Originally posted at - 04/24/09)