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Peter Pilgrim :: Java Champion :: Digital Developer Architect

I design Java EE and Scala software solutions for the blue-chip clients and private sector

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LinkedIn Request, Facebook Requests

24 June 2014 Comments off

8 minutes

1629


Over 16 year age content

I use Linked-In as online curriculum vitae and a career profile, and you may have seen post earlier in the year about my disgust at the IT industry recruitment practices. I am up to now several hundred plus linked-in requests that have overloaded my mail inbox over there. Admittedly, I am too lazy and I do not the time to sieve through all the time in a precise many. Linkedin also changed their web interface so that now all messages and invitations are pagination whereas before the request would load on demand as you clicked on a “see more” button. I bet other linkedin users with thousands of pending requests have given up too and do not even bother.

Why do i care about this? Because Linkedin network for information technology is becoming a bit like the marketing and fashion industries, where certain jobs are available to you, because of glass ceiling of networkability and achievements, which I think is a terribly disappointing. I use linkedin to announce when I am available for contracting or when I am unavailable. I update the linkedin profile about six to eight weeks whereas I never bothered so much five years ago.

I have developed certain rules for linkedin request for accepting people in my network. I consider my network to a good resource of quality and the people in there deserve to be protected from the unscrupulous desires of bad human nature.

Time is not for wasting

For developers, designers and architects, do you fulfill one of these?

  • Have I met you personally at conference at JavaOne, Devoxx, Devoxx UK or user group meeting?
  • Have you spoken at one test technology conferences?
  • Are you a leading light in the community? A Java Champion, Oracle ACE Director, Microsoft MVP or a JUG Leader, Google Advocate.
  • Are you vendor person that I might know? Oracle, Red Hat, Tomitribe, JFrog etc
  • In particular did you ever attend more than once the Java Web User Group, which I used to run?
  • Have I ever worked with you in a contract or permanent role?
  • Are you someone from the recent past that I know? Did you get me a gig, or put in a good word for me? Have I ever done the same for you?

What have you done for me lately>

If I have never met you then you are an outsider:

  • Did you ever get me a face-to-face interview with the client?
  • Did you get me more than one interview? Are you a consistent player as a recruiter?
    (Since 2011, I have kept private special spreadsheet to tracking the efforts of all recruiters and individuals and what they have done. It is a like a league table of performance and I can see at glance exactly that what this guy did compare to that other fellow, when they called, what job they called about. Was there a real job behind it? I review it every couple of months or everyday when I looking for the next gig.)
  • What was your interviewing style? Did you come across as good guy? If you lacked good interviewing technique, or asked dumb obvious questions about what is the purpose of a java.util.Map then your linkedin/friend request was probably consigned to the dustbin /dev/null. I have also been to some so-called pair programming test interviews. I remember I went to one early last year for digital agency organisation, which was waste of time, because the architect was biased already against me. I was deliberately marked down for the gig because I am very used to developing with a MacBook Pro and Apple keyboard and their test machine was a Lenovo laptop with Windows XP Professional, the type of development machine with the red pencil rubber pointer thing and the feedback they said after the interview via the agent was that I was not used to programming for while. What wankery? Obviously, it didn’t help that I was also an IntelliJ IDE guy and out of sorts now with any Eclipse / Spring Tool Suite editing. Of course, I forgot the keyboard combinations. I am now so glad that I never got that particular job with hindsight, the guy was obviously a moron with a celebrity ivory-tower architect company title. So of course those idiots who interviewed me will never ever get a linkedin request accepted.
  • Did you ask me to complete some type of Java (Scala) test before a telephone interview for a contracting gig? If you did this, then your linkedin/friend request was sent also straight in the dustbin (or ignored). I remember last year there was one Scala job offering £800 per day and it was about solving a Chess problem (8-Queens) with Akka. Before you could get a telephone interview with the company, you had to spent a lot of time writing this AKKA program. I mean come on, this was a fucking Scala contracting position and not a permanent role. You expect a practising professional to go write a program before a telephone interview be seen? In the digital media business, they call this sort of free work before tendering a contract as speculative web design. I don’t do speculative development of any kind and I am not against pair programming tests. If you want to get some work done then hire me or find the next lackey who probably do it for pennies. Hey, you get exactly what you pay for life. The poor recruiter who sent me this request had his friend request deleted and of course the incident is tracked in my private spreadsheet.
  • Did you repeatedly send me permanent jobs when I explicitly said I am only interesting in contracting opportunities? Again your linkedin / friend request was sent to the dustbin in the sky. It really shows that you are not really helpful or probably not good at recruitment anyway and this is sort of spam in lazy in behaviour.
  • Did you contact me for Java or Scala job in Preston or Leeds even though I live and work in London? How was that going to geographical help the client? It shows a lack of understanding again and desperation to find a lackey for a job: in the dustbin. It is not my fault that talent does not live up north. There are probably lots of people up north who want a chance to do the work, can do the work, they live locally to the client, so why not give them the gig and stop wasting time. The same rule about location, location, location applies to job opportunities to work in Middle East, Gibraltar, Holland, Ireland and Australia. Actually I put these all under speculative enquiries and the digital dust bin.
  • Were you the person that promised to send the job specification and the job reference number? But you never ever did send those items to me, instead I wasted my time trying to figure if another job specification was duplication with another recruitment agency. Pathetic and therefore straight in the bin too. I am not going to fucking waste my time, because you don’t have organisation skills.
  • Were you the type of person that never ever got me feedback after an interview? If you did get feedback it was weeks too late, not in depth or just one liner. Also noted in the spreadsheet and the link request in the bin too.

All of this might be read as derisory, pedantic and contrite, yet these filters are particularly for me, because they are my filters. It works for me, I keep my sanity, you are free to lose yours. Because at the end of the day, I just want good contracts, good work projects, good teams and definitely I want to protect my career from falling off the edge of the earth. I have worked too long and hard now, to play silly games that people might play, for twenty years. If you enjoy gaming the system, then sending a linkedin request to me is a waste of time, because the people I have in my network also about ensuring their careers are sustainable. They are certainly not about here today and gone tomorrow variety. I like to think that I am reasonable fellow, I am quiet and polite in real life and just enjoy it while I can, for as long as I can.

Circles of trust, integrity and friendship

How to do it properly:

  • For developer workers, invite me for a quick chat over coffee or set up meet-up at lunch time in the city. At least, then I can get to know about you and you can find out about what I do. You never know it could be start of a beautiful connection, better gigs or even more opportunities.
  • For recruiters, I say, try to avoid common mistakes like I outlined above with the information. Avoid speculative enquiry and time wasting activities. As a contractor, I want to know what the type of job is, the contract rate is, length of contract and the name client, if you can tell me initially, the location of the gig, the start date or any other specific items.
  • For fans, follow me on Twitter, read to my stream of consciousness or listen some Audioboo recordings that I have done. I usually attend the big conferences Devoxx and JavaOne and have already down some book signings at them.

I do have a Facebook account and for Facebook requests I treat them with an even more attentive eye, even though I use that social network less than Twitter. Facebook is for more direct human relationships. I really have know you or have met you a few times before I let you into that one.

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