I’ve written this post to save myself and recruiters time if I am not a good fit for their org.

  • I favor and prefer mature, transparent organizations that value a healthy work-life balance.
  • I don’t mind chatting directly with Hiring managers for a phone screen.
  • I am not a fan or impressed by free meals, snacks, parties, gaming stations, coffee machines, beer, table-tennis, etc.
  • I love solving problems but it would good to have an idea about current, ongoing, and forthcoming issues or problems you are trying to address.
  • I would love to know about your company culture or if it values human interaction. I care about mental health. Toxic culture is a big no-no. If it is, please save a poor man like me the time and the pain that you already know.
  • 401K with a match right from the first day & an excellent health plan for me is a big plus.
  • Unlimited and responsible sick days. I rarely fall sick and 99% chance I might never use them but it’s a good sign the company trusts you when the time comes. Please be upfront about time off (vacation) / parental leave / emergency.
  • Organizations with ties to military, tobacco, fossil fuels, or government intelligence are not a good fit for me. My moral compass is too high.

Companies I might be interested in:

  • education: e.g. Wikimedia, NPR, AMNH, NYPL
  • internet infrastructure e.g. Mozilla, ISC, RIPE, RIRs, IXPs, CDNs, Google, Github, Microsoft, Cloudflare.
  • journalistic organizations with strong ethics e.g. New York Times
  • astrophysics and research: e.g. NASA, ESA, CERN, Spire, Planet Labs, Terra Bella…
  • anti-censorship, internet defense; e.g. EFF, Let’s Encrypt, Google Jigsaw
  • humanitarian global organizations e.g. Doctors/Reporters without Borders
  • streaming services e.g. Netflix, HBO Go
  • entertainment e.g. TiVo, Sonos, Pixar, Spotify

In short, if you are running things at scale with high volume of traffic, I am very much interested.

I don’t mind:

  • informal conversations
  • strategy discussions
  • exchange of experiences

I do not like (and consider as big honking warnings signs):

  • unprepared interviewers asking basics that can be found on the internet
  • an eternal interview process. (More than 3 weeks is a no)
  • Competitive programming questions are fine but you’re not hiring me primarily to write software that you can find on the internet. You are hiring me to build/maintain/secure your infrastructure. You can find my hackerrank profile on my resume.

Salary

You know about the industry standards for an SRE/DevOps individual. Stock-options or possible bonuses are nice, but should not be used to justify a below-average base salary; please include salary ranges in your job description. Kindly do not try to lowball the salary once the interview is done and you ask for references, I will drop out of the interview right away.