I like to think of interviewing as a two-way street. 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 all some time.
- I favor/prefer mature and transparent mature organizations that value a healthy work-life balance; the start-up hustle is not for me.
- 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 a Technical recruiter or 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, I won’t be coming to play/party.
- 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.
- 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
- 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)
- Leet code/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.