I like to think of interviewing as a two-way street. Sometimes its a hit or a miss. Sometimes my cowboy or headfirst attitude is seen as aggressive or trying to solve someone else’s problem is seen as “Not minding your own business”. Hence, it might be good to know if I am the right fit for your org as you are for me. So this is a short piece of writing which might save us some time.
- I favor/prefer mature and transparent organizations that value a healthy work-life balance; the start-up hustle is not for me (Or at least I avoid it as much as possible).
- Please send an email before calling. It seems like a polite thing to do.
- I like to work in NYC.
- I don’t mind chatting directly with Hiring managers for phone screens.
- I am not impressed or care about free meals, snacks, parties, gaming stations, coffee machines, beer, table-tennis, etc. I love what I do more than anything.
- Please be candid of the company state and why you are looking for an SRE/DevOps individual. I love solving problems but it would good to have an idea about current and forthcoming issues or what problems you are trying to address. (Maybe you don’t need me at all)
- 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 match right from the first day & an excellent health plan for me is a big plus.
- Unlimited and responsible sick days. 99% chance I might never use them but it’s a good sign the company trusts you when the time comes. Be frank 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, Microsoft, Cloudflare, Facebook
- 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 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.
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. Please 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. This does more harm than good.