php Questions ruby TechBiz WebApps

My Favorite Coder Interview Question

What is your favorite algorithm?

My favorite algorithm right now is the merge sort.

v1: Nuno Nogueira (Nmnogueira), v2: edited by Daniel Miller (cobaltBlue)
v1: Nuno Nogueira (Nmnogueira), v2: edited by Daniel Miller (cobaltBlue)

I like it so much that I’ve implemented it in PHP and Ruby.

The problem is that as a web developer I’ve never had to use a merge sort. Back in the old days when pagination was tricky, I’ve had to use a linked list, but you really don’t have to use the merge sort anymore.

So at this point it’s really just academic.

What interview question should really count now?

More on that in my next post. As a clue, I’d like to say it has to do with Leibniz’s statement, “The present is big with the future.” A techie who believes that and the principle of sufficient reason is the kind of techie you want.


Helping People Find Jobs

At Codebelay we work with a number of recruiters who have helped secure jobs for a lot of our friends. Right now there are two recruiters who will loyally work for you in your corner.

If you have expertise with Javascript, especially jquery, or SQL Server, or PHP, these are the folks to talk to.

Questions TechBiz

Where Are The Tech Jobs Right Now? In Booze and Legal

I wrote this to the San Francisco PHP Meetup List. I am posting it here because in a month or so I know a huge portion of you will be looking for work in the tech area.


Subject: Re: [php-139] Headhunters/Recruiters: Some feedback please. 🙂
From: barce
Date: October 31, 2008 12:06:08 PM PDT
To: SF PHP Meetup List

Let me comment on what’s going on.

I will tell you about two types of layoffs, and then two types of opportunities that I am benefitting from right now.

1. Scapegoating Pathology in Layoffs. This is where staff gets laid off to “fix” a problem, and the problems are still there. Sure, they have one less mouth to feed, but they got rid of the wrong person. How can you tell? The problem is still there. Most recruiters have a hard time filling these spots b/c turnover is high. No amount of technical skill will solve this problem. You need people skills if you’re gonna fill this role.

2. The Invisible Hand Layoffs. The company ends up with more capital and gains more worker productivity because the invisible hand is at work.

I would say that from the Web 2.0 companies that are laying off people it’s 50/50 . If you are really hard up for a job, then your best bet is with a company that’s done scapegoating layoffs.

That is the opportunity #1 that I mentioned, and examples of this are which loses a lead every 3 months and Mahalo. Calacanis fired and is now looking for workers again. Talk about scapegating!

Opportunity #2: Litigation Support. Right now a lot of companies have a financial strategy to stay alive, and that is sue. During this economic downturn you will see companies like DTIGlobal, Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM) and other litigation support companies do well. Iron Mountain is already doing really well. I have a client in litigation support where I do light sysadmin work.

Get a job in these areas. Recruiters won’t know about them because they are still trying to fill jobs where there is a scapegoating pathology.

I wish you all the best of luck,

PS Beer is doing well right now, too, so look for tech work in the beer industry, or hell, do what I did right out of college, sell beer. It is fun work!


Find Jobs Using RSS Feeds from Job Boards

Tip #1: Do not take a break from your job hunt until you’ve found a job, and this means weekends.

Some folks try to game the job hunt. These folks tell themselves, “If I apply on Saturday, I look desperate, but Sunday evening looks much better.” I say bullshit.

As a creature with a hunter-gatherer past, you should be looking for work now, and you should have fun looking for it.

Think of it this way. If you take today off, somebody else gets to be the first cover letter from Saturday in someone’s inbox.

Tip #2: Scour the web for Job Boards (e.g. craigslist) and subscribe to as many RSS feeds as you can. Have the RSS feeds go to your mobile if you have to.

I basically took all the RSS feeds from the Job Boards that I love like Authentic Jobs and put them into my RSS reader. My top priority is to read each feed and then if I get too much info, filter out the feeds or posts I don’t need using Thunderbird.

Wish me luck!