Apr 6, 2012

Life 24/7/365.

  • No life
  • No friends
  • No sleep
  • No (good) food
  • Leading the best of the bunch
  • Pushing the envelope daily (mine too)
  • Getting to kick everyone's ass (ours too)
  • Code. Deploy. Fix. Scale. Watch traffic grow like crazy. Repeat.

Verdict? It's all worthwhile. Every fucking minute of it.


Apr 2, 2012

Hiring in the trenches

I've hired a lot of people in the last 5 years : software engineers, sysadmins, DBAs, support techs, project managers... I'd say one hundred of them, maybe more. Given that my rejection rate averages eighty percent (more on really bad weeks), I guess I met at least 500 candidates, then. Yeah, two per week for as long as I can remember sounds about right.

In the process, I've written countless job postings, job descriptions, mission statements, blah blah blah. A necessary evil, I suppose, but none of it actually helped me understand what I was looking for.

Technical skills, communication skills, team spirit, ... Sure. But that's not enough. I've hired people who ticked all these boxes and was eventually disappointed. Why? What did I miss? In one word? Couldn't say until now.

When I woke up this morning, I knew. No idea why. Funny how the brain works (mine, especially). Once again, I realize that the best way to find answers is not to ask any question.

And so the answer is : INTENSITY.

The fire that burns and never goes out.
The inability to settle for "good enough".
The restlessness when something's not right.
The will to overcome, to rise above any difficulty.
The willingness to take pain, even self-destruct, rather than yield.
The rage to win, against all odds.

One thing I learned over the years is that competitive business IS similar to warfare. That's a scary thought, but you need to face it. Don't be fooled into the politically-correct, compliance-inducing sheep mentality.

And so, given a choice, I'm definitely teaming up with Special Forces, not with regular infantry. Because when the SHTF big time, I know that the guy next to me will return fire and try the impossible to save the day. I know we all will.

If you have basic skills and INTENSITY, I don't care much about the rest. Just don't play it safe. Don't waste your time telling me how good you are. SHOW ME how good you are.

If you don't have this level of INTENSITY, that's OK, we're not all the same... but please, don't show up. There are plenty of normal places for normal people, so join them instead. Don't waste my time and yours.

Sounds "crazy" ? "extreme"? That's what they say. They must be right. If only I actually gave a shit...

Somebody said: "one must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star". He too was called a lunatic... so let's dance!