• I require sponsorship to work.
  • I 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 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 forthcoming issues or problems you are trying to address. (Why you are hiring for the role)
  • I would love to know about your company culture. I care about mental health. Toxic culture is a big NO. If it is, please save a poor man like me the time and the pain that you already know.
  • If the employees in your org have to maintain a timesheet, it is a red flag for me.
  • 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 leave.
  • 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, Ed-tech companies with a good social cause.
  • internet infrastructure e.g. Mozilla, ISC, RIPE, RIRs, IXPs, CDNs, Google, Github, Microsoft, Cloudflare.
  • journalistic organizations with strong ethics e.g. New York Times, WSJ
  • 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

If you have been in the industry long enough, you are aware of the industry standards for an SRE/DevOps person. 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 interviews are completed. It basically reflects a lot about your organization.