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Last post Author Topic: The unspoken truth about managing geeks  (Read 7235 times)

Ehtyar

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The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« on: September 11, 2009, 02:12:27 AM »
It gets a bit much toward the end (ask IT to sit in on new hire interviews?..please), but the earlier parts ring very true IMHO. A good read.

managing geeks.jpg

Ehtyar.

Perry Mowbray

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009, 04:09:55 AM »
Thanks  :Thmbsup:

It gets a bit much toward the end (ask IT to sit in on new hire interviews?..please)

I actually thought that was quite relevant, it's what we do in our organisation. One of the people who sat on my interview panel was someone who's position I'd be supervising (not that I got my head around that in the interview  :-[)
« Last Edit: September 11, 2009, 05:09:04 AM by Perry Mowbray »

Ehtyar

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 04:02:43 PM »
What kind of feedback can you provide in an interview scenario Perry? I thought the suggestion was a bit much because I couldn't think of any helpful advice IT could offer HR (other than "This person has no idea about IT, don't hire them!!" of course :P). I'd be interested to know what IT can offer in that context.

Ehtyar.

Stoic Joker

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 07:54:55 PM »
What kind of feedback can you provide in an interview scenario Perry? I thought the suggestion was a bit much because I couldn't think of any helpful advice IT could offer HR (other than "This person has no idea about IT, don't hire them!!" of course :P). I'd be interested to know what IT can offer in that context.

Ehtyar.
As apposed to letting the typical HR drone with their personality chart & plasticine smile try discussing the technical merits of a damn thing?!? Good god man ... no secondary reason is required.

Ehtyar

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2009, 08:06:29 PM »
Hrm...what kind of positions do you guys sit in on? lol

Ehtyar.

cranioscopical

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2009, 09:31:19 PM »
what kind of positions do you guys sit in on?
Mainly lotus...

skwire

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2009, 09:33:30 PM »
Ba dum, tish!  He's here 'til Thursday, folks!  Try the veal...and don't forget to tip your bartenders.   :P

Ehtyar

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2009, 11:04:01 PM »
Definitely no tip for that!! In fact I have a half a mind to ask for my money back... :P

Ehtyar.

skwire

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2009, 11:06:12 PM »
Sorry, no refunds, returns, or exchanges.  Policy is policy.  Thank you, drive through.  Next?

Ehtyar

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2009, 11:21:21 PM »
Excuse me young man!! I'd like to issue a formal complaint!! You may direct me to your manager thank you.

Ehtyar.

Perry Mowbray

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2009, 12:15:44 AM »
What kind of feedback can you provide in an interview scenario Perry? I thought the suggestion was a bit much because I couldn't think of any helpful advice IT could offer HR (other than "This person has no idea about IT, don't hire them!!" of course :P). I'd be interested to know what IT can offer in that context.

Our panels consider technical merit and organisational fit, and rarely say "don't hire them", more just ranks them below the hire cut off  ;)

I thought that the article was directly talking about hiring managers of IT depts at that stage?

Ehtyar

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2009, 12:53:46 AM »
Oh, I got the impress that they meant have IT present for hiring of all roles (hence my wanton dismissal), but now I can't find the part so I suppose the point is moot. Still, what company would not have IT present for the hiring of a colleague?

Ehtyar.

Perry Mowbray

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2009, 01:02:51 AM »
True: I have not re-read the article, but he did make the distinction between Companies with an IT focus and all others.

Our panels are only 3, so IT would really only sit on IT roles; but if it had a strong IT function then there would be a strong case of having our 3rd "independent" as an IT person.

But I don't think we do it at all well: still very hit and miss. My role is very IT based (though not technically in IT) and there was no IT representation on my panel. Maybe a good thing?  :-[

Stoic Joker

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2009, 08:12:05 AM »
Crap... Sorry Perry wrong button ... I meant to quote Eythar's post above yours. This one:
Quote
Oh, I got the impress that they meant have IT present for hiring of all roles (hence my wanton dismissal), but now I can't find the part so I suppose the point is moot. Still, what company would not have IT present for the hiring of a colleague?

Ehtyar.


Unfortunately quite a few where I come from. Granted that could be a side effect of the hick-town nature of where I live but... *Shrug*

I watched too many interviews go down the drain because some HR drone had no idea what I or my resume was talking about. So they ignored me, skimmed my resume for "Key Words" they thought they needed but were clue-less of what equivalent experience was.

One of the worst examples I can think of was a company that was looking for an MCSE, but required no field experience...on a 200 machine network. At the time I was MCSA & had 5 years of field experience yet they wouldn't even consider an interview. Let alone put me in touch with someone there that might actually know what all those letters meant.

The company I'm with now runs everything IT through IT. The HR folk get to weed out the drunks, junkies, & ex McDonald's employees ... and then pass the (much smaller) stack to IT to decided if the skill sets match closely enough. I've sat in on several interviews & played 20 questions with candidates to gauge how much (if any) of there history has been (Um...) "embelished"... The end result is that we have very little (almost no) turn over staff wise.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 08:17:50 AM by Stoic Joker »

skwire

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2009, 08:20:58 AM »
Excuse me young man!! I'd like to issue a formal complaint!! You may direct me to your manager thank you.

<changes voice to a deeper one> This is the manager.  How may I help you?

Perry Mowbray

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2009, 08:30:37 AM »
The company I'm with now runs everything IT through IT. The HR folk get to weed out the drunks, junkies, & ex McDonald's employees ... and then pass the (much smaller) stack to IT to decided if the skill sets match closely enough. I've sat in on several interviews & played 20 questions with candidates to gauge how much (if any) of there history has been (Um...) "embelished"... The end result is that we have very little (almost no) turn over staff wise.

That's a great outcome. Currently I'm in local government so everything has to be open, transparent, done in triplicate, then probably redone in quadruplicate, etc: but we get a similar result... most of our turnover comes from staff wanting better pay &/or conditions rather than being a poor choice :(

cranioscopical

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2009, 09:01:47 AM »
I have a half a mind to ask for my money back...
You manage extremely well despite that handicap. Tell me, who has the other half?

skwire

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2009, 11:46:18 AM »
You manage extremely well despite that handicap. Tell me, who has the other half?
Unfortunately, for Ehtyar, that particular bit of info was contained in said other half.

Ehtyar

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2009, 03:12:05 PM »
LOL, this thread is getting difficult to follow, what with having only half a brain and all...

Very interesting to read your replies guys, thanks. Stoic Joker, you weed out ex McDonald's employees? Why is that? Here in .au it's considered to be a positive thing.

Ehtyar.

40hz

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2009, 11:16:14 PM »
Still, what company would not have IT present for the hiring of a colleague?

I'm +1 with Stoic Joker's experience.

Around where I am, about 75% of the companies have HR personnel conduct the initial (and often only) interview with no IT staff present.

"There's no reason for it. It's just our policy." - Anon HR Manager

« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 11:20:25 PM by 40hz »

SKesselman

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2009, 12:10:49 AM »

"There's no reason for it. It's just our policy." - Anon HR Manager

Oh, the joy that comes from working for intelligent, insightful people like this...where do I sign up???  :)
-Sarah

mahesh2k

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2009, 12:50:52 AM »
In this part of the world, switching careers is tough. If you lack experience in IT industry, there is no way you can get it. Also if you assume yourself fresher at the time of switching, then criteria like age/prev work is also taken into consideration. HR people try to screw you if you fall in this category. They even ask personal question which got nothing to do with your performance/work/prev-experience/academics etc. And most weird thing i've seen so far is Arts/Commerce graduates who become HR/Recruiter judge Graduate Engineer/Phd people in interview. This is not good IMO.

Paul Keith

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2009, 02:49:45 AM »
@mahesh2k

Yup...

Order up! - The unspoken truth about managing managers who manage geeks.

fenixproductions

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2009, 03:24:59 AM »
I feel like I could write a book about interviews :(

Few more things are worse than already described:

1. Dictionaries

If there is no IT specialist HR expects you to know dictionary terms for all his/her questions. "What is serialisation"? The hell I know. I've used it many times, I can tell you examples right away but I have no idea how to tell you that in right way. Will Wikipedia be OK or should I memorize other resources too?

2. English language

I was once on the interview where the spoke person was very bad in English. Honestly, I can get the context of your speech if it's even in Cockney but I had real troubles to understand what I was asked about. And that was in the middle of London!

3. Time

Do not give a feeling that I am not needed at all and you are in hurry. If you don't have a time to listen to my answer, don't make an appointment instead of cutting my responses after 3rd sentence.



As others stated: an IT guy is "must have" for an IT role interview. I am not going there to meet Drinking bird or to hear "I don't know. I am here just for interview"*.

*) Happened during #2 meeting.

Stoic Joker

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Re: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2009, 06:10:09 AM »
LOL, this thread is getting difficult to follow, what with having only half a brain and all...

Very interesting to read your replies guys, thanks. Stoic Joker, you weed out ex McDonald's employees? Why is that? Here in .au it's considered to be a positive thing.

Ehtyar.
*Shrug* Actually I was just trying to throw in a little stereo-type "salt" to liven it up a bit...and since the DMV always takes such a beating I thought it best to pick on someone else.