Talent Xchange using App Engine

March 3, 2009

I was interested to see this job posting this morning on Craigslist that uses an appspot.com domain as its submission engine.  It’s interesting to see Google AppEngine in the wild, let alone in a recruiting system.  (Or spam email harvesting, as the case may be; it’s not always easy to be sure).

I’d be interested to hear a little more about how this came to be, if anyone knows the inside story and wants to share.


Morbid Curiosity: ESDI and SUE II

February 3, 2009

When I see job postings like this one, that assumes you know what ESDI and SUE II are, I wonder what percentage of the potential candidate pool this destroys.  Do you only get people who know ESDI and SUE II, or do you only end up with people so desperate for work that they’ll apply to anything?

I haven’t even been able to make a lot of headway in casual searching to find out what these are, so if you know, feel free to comment.  I’m assuming the posters of this job aren’t having a lot of luck — I wouldn’t expect them to.

Identity Management Architect

December 30, 2008

You tell me how to interpret these postings (k anand, elitech, consultant4less, goteti):

  • Is one recruiter repeatedly posting the same job under different names?
  • Did four recruiters post the same job at roughly the same time?

Either way, it doesn’t bode well.  This is not the right way to find an identity management architect.

Unspecified: Senior Java Developer

December 12, 2008

Stoakley-Dudley Consultants is helping an unspecified company look for a Senior Java Developer:

    Our client is a leading solutions provider specializing in enterprise architecture, systems integration and internet applications. This client seeks the services of an experienced Senior Java Developer looking for an opportunity to apply their programming skills and adaptability to help solvereally interesting challenges.

    The preferred candidate will work closely with Team Leads and Business Analysts to understand requirements and implement maintainable and testable software using web development tools. Your experience using J2EE tools to develop complex web applications will be an essential asset. Knowledge of WebLogic and other web application server technologies, the Struts framework and related tools, as well as experience with user interface development and deployment will also be important attributes.

The Good
The technology stack seems like a reasonable one, and there’s more detail on the technology than many postings, particularly recruiter-based ones.  If mobile application development plays a reasonable part of the role, it could be an interesting sector.  The emphasis on RESTful services instead of the WS-DeathStar implies a company with a sensible, simple take on architecture.  If the compensation really is attractive (which for a role like this, should be at least $80k, I’d say, and possibly higher), then it could be a good fit for someone looking to fill a senior developer role.

The Bad
What’s there is pretty good, which means that what’s bad is primarily the fact that there’s so much missing.  I might switch one or two of those technologies (Struts, Ant) for something else, but those are fairly minor quibbles.

What’s Missing
Almost everything except the technology stack and a little bit about the role.  What’s the company?  Is it a startup, and if so, what’s the funding situation?  If it’s not a startup, what’s the revenue and burn rate, and how has that changed with the downturn?  What do they do, and how does that connect to mobile development?  What projects would you be working on?  What’s the size and composition of the team or teams on which you’d be working?  Where is this company located?  What’s the process like?  

Your mileage may vary when it comes to responding to a positino with such limited detail and working with a recruiter.

In Summary
A decent recruiter posting; what’s there is reasonable, although there’s a lot missing.  If you’re looking for a Sr. Java position, this might be worth further investigation to see if the missing details are interesting.

Unspecified: Test Automation Specialist

December 8, 2008

TAL is helping an unspecified company look for a test automation specialist:


  • Work with development and QA teams to implement fully automated functional, system and regression test
  • Analyze, design, author automated tests at component, and system level
  • Deploy and execute automated tests in a J2EE environment
  • Identify high ROI opportunities for automating testing tasks and script these tasks where appropriate.
  • Identify, troubleshoot, and characterize product quality issues
  • Contribute to the continual improvement of QA tools, processes, and methodologies.
  • Design and author performance and load tests for variety of systems
  • Analyze test results and provide reports


The Good
This kind of role is a tricky one to fill; many people in the testing and QA side of software don’t have excellent test automation skills.  Agile developers often do, but often don’t want to be in an exclusively test-automation role, and may be missing a background in the more general aspects of testing.  As a result, finding someone with the interest and qualifications to do this well isn’t easy.  If you’re a good fit, then you’ll probably stand out from most of the candidates for this role.

It’s also interesting to see the desire to have skills in Perl, Python or Ruby — this may simply be the idea that these languages are good glue languages for system scripting, but it might imply a certain amount of language freedom in testing approach as well.

The Bad
I don’t have a strong objection to anything here; “ROI” is a little buzzword-y for me, and Weblogic’s a bit of a bummer sometimes, but neither is a big deal.  Ultimately, the real problem here is what’s missing.

The other problem is that it’s been my experience that even when people want a real skillset in test automation, they’re not always willing to pay what that real skillset would require.  This is one of the reasons why people with good programming skills that could be applied to test automation tend not to go in that direction.

What’s Missing 
Quite a bit, although that’s often true of recruiter-led postings.  What’s the company?  What do they do?  What would you be testing? Where are they located? What’s the compensation like?  What do they have in mind for the dynamic languages?  There’s a ton more you’d want to ask, but you need to start with the basics and work your way up.

In Summary
If you have good programming skills for test automation and good understanding of testing and quality assurance, this could be an interesting opportunity.

Unspecified: Technical Architect

December 8, 2008

TAL is helping an unspecified company look for a Technical Architect:

• Key player in translating business requirements into dynamic, proven J2EE based solutions.
• Lead high level architecture design inline with current and future business demand.
• Drive the creation of new product design requirements and technical specifications.
• Participate in the construction and coding of key modules, infrastructure and proofs of concept.
• Act as a technical adviser in support of key sales opportunities and professional services engagements.
• Communicate architectural concepts via mentoring, technical presentations and white papers. 
• Drive tool selection and technologies for development.
• Approve all core product designs.
• Lead application migration to new platforms, databases and technologies.

The Good
Sounds like a pretty senior role in an organization;  keeping an eye on the present and future of the software development arm while managing reports and contractors.  It’s also not stuffed with heavy process terms that might imply it’s an organization where you’re going to spend most of your time marking off checklists and following the eighty-two step process to repeatable software nirvana.  It also sounds like you’d be at least partially hands-on, which in my opinion is imperative for the success of the software team, even though it’s not how all companies view architecture.

The Bad
It’s a recruiter posting with only minimal information, so it’s possible that this is in fact an organization with a heavy-weight process that was just clipped out of the posting as it was sanitized.  The reference to ‘subcontrators’ is hard to read much into, but  you’d want to understand what they’re using subcontractors for.

What’s Missing
A ton, as is usual for a recruiter-based posting.  What’s the company?  What do they do?  What software do the build?  What technologies do they use to do so?  What’s the number, size and composition of the teams you’d be working with, and how’s the development organization structured?  In essence, this is just enough to get you interested, but you’ll need to learn a ton more by talking to the recruiter about the position.

Your mileage might vary when it comes to being hands-on at times, but I think the best architects will actually be pleased with this requirement. 

In Summary
If you’re an architect in the Java world with the interest and ability in doing some hands-on work as well as the high-level architectural work, this might be worth further inquiry.

Unspecified: Development Manager

November 28, 2008

Another day of pretty thin postings.  There’s a Development Manager position up for grabs via Ian Martin/Monster:

Responsible for the development, implementation and support of complex and critical applications in the precious metal trading area. 

o Effectively manage the development of high complexity applications by analyzing user requirements, scheduling resources and monitoring progress against plans, providing technical directions and specifications to the project team, and developing and maintaining applications meeting the department standards. 
o Provide supports to production systems and during user acceptance test, by managing resources and assisting staff in identifying and resolving problems. 

There’s not enough here to deconstruct, but if you’re looking for a development manager position, it might be worth following up in more detail.