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kleinbl00  ·  108 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why I think the tech interview process is broken – Medium

Speaking as a twice-optioned screenwriter with an engineering degree, the divide is this:

The mathematically inclined - STEM-heads - know what something is. They function on the quantifiable and defendable. Their sphere of comfort is one in which data and facts and evidence hold the greatest sway.

The romantically inclined - liberal arts majors - know what something should be. They function on the desirable and intuitable. Their sphere of comfort is one in which concensus and persuasion allow us to achieve great things.

An engineer understands that the engines canna take much more of this, captain. The speed of light in a vacuum is an absolute. You can't fit ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag. And they also know that all the hope in the world won't change that.

A poet understands that dammit, Scotty, we're counting on you. Laws are meant to be broken. You can be all that and a bag of chips. And they know that the bumblebee flies anyway.

We cannot function as a society without both aspects. We cannot function as humans without both aspects. HOWEVER

- Human Resources departments are never crewed by engineers.

- Boardrooms have few engineers in them.

- Lawyers are rarely engineers.

The tribe is led by liberal arts twits. They'd lead us all into the wasteland without people who understand double-blind testing but they'd still lead us there because your average stem-head generally believes that people should follow the evidence, not the leader.

But we don't.

It's an unfair stereotype to say that sciences majors are incapable of relating to liberal arts majors. However, it's an accurate stereotype to say that sciences majors do not relate to liberal arts majors as well as liberal arts majors relate to themselves, and it's fair to say that STEM-heads benefit from learning to meet the liberal arts majors where they live, if for no other reason than the parties tend to be less awkward.

That said, it's drearily routine for any liberal arts class inflicted on STEM majors to be seen as "humanizing" but any science class inflicted on liberal arts majors to be "degrading." "When am I ever going to use algebra again?" "How is the ideal gas law at all relevant to my future as a corporate raider?" "zeroth law? Can't you nerds even count to three?"

The STEM guys are far more likely to have a job, though.

lil  ·  108 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why I think the tech interview process is broken – Medium

    I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those posts of mine that will ruffle some feathers.
Not at all. Thank you for writing. In fact, your letter made me immediately realize how I appear to some people.

    He came into the program as a multi-dimensional, highly skilled and multi-talented human being. I can't take any credit. and this thing from IRC on the 20th November 2016:

    22:32 < lilski> I said earlier that I teach computer science students - but I basically teach them how to be human beings

First of all, what does it mean to be a human being, let alone teach someone to be one? I will make more of an effort to describe what I do because my flippant shorthand sounds stupid and arrogant.

When the usual response from people is a sad nod, and "Good idea," I am only reinforcing negative stereotypes -- and like all stereotypes, they can potentially lead to prejudice.

    Sorry for being peevish about it, but as someone who is focused on hard sciences and getting patronising treatment from most humanities-oriented people around me ever since I can remember, I can't help but resent some of this attitude (don't blame me, blame multiple people who told me verbatim that I must lack a soul to not appreciate some poem or picture :/).
and not appreciating some arty thing doesn't make you any less human.

    but I'm at loss about what you actually do in class.
I focus on interpersonal communication skills, particularly listening to others; listening to what they say and don't say; examining our own reactions to stress, conflict, and confusion; understanding that what we see and perceive and interpret might be different from others who are with us; examining how, like it or not, our emotions are the engines of our lives and often objectivity is subjective. In addition, public speaking classes are all about connecting with others not talking at them.

    What is the thing that your students lack
My current students don't particularly lack anything more than any other group. We all struggle with communication and connection.

    and how does acquiring it make them into 'human beings'?
I regret ever using that phrase, but I will say this: the students often tell me that the class asked them to engage in new thoughtful self-reflection, that they have changed the way they relate to others, and that they feel more in control of their lives. That's not being a human being, but it's something.

    What's about your students that your aim is to make them into those 'multidimensional human beings'?
I want them to be happier and more effective. I want their teamwork to be more successful. I want them to understand their unintended contribution to their own problems. I'm grateful to have a chance to work in an area that seems meaningful to me and seems helpful. I hate coming across as arrogant. I imagine I will share this thread with my students. That will be an interesting conversation.

    Sorry, but I simply loathe when in my own life the, supposedly, attuned to humanity people just throw me into some easy 'cog-head' category and go forth with their pre-existing assumption.
Have you challenged their preconceived notions? What did they say? What evidence did they have?

    I'm not angry or resentful specifically toward you, lil, but I'm asking because so far you have proven that you will not just dismiss my questions outright with something along the lines of "you will not understand, untermensh".
I hope I have responded non-dismissively.
francopoli  ·  244 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Linux user's venture into the land of Windows 7

    I'm actually already anal about it due to colour blindness. When most cables look to you either black, grey, blue or brown and people tell you that 'the orange one connects X to Y rack'… you buy a hand-labeler, zip-tie bands, and keep meticulous notes like an OCD freak.

Monoprice if you do not know about them. Get cables in any size, shape, ends, length, color. It is cheaper to get the stuff from them than it is to make it yourself. And with your issue, you need to develop a colour code system (e.g. switch to switch black, gateway routers white something like that. We do switch to switch RED and our VMWare stuff YELLOW so you know not to mess with those connections) You might even want to think about using the different connectors as a way to segregate cable due to your limited colour palette.

    If you would happen to have anything to add, I'm always happy to get more insights like the one you gave already. Thank you once more! :D

Things they do not tell you in class, round 1.

Learn to write a proper IT email. It is part cover your ass, part WTF happened, part I fixed that shit. After you fix something, send an email documenting the event, no matter how small. Depending on NDA etc concerns, this email will have a TO and a CC field. The TO field is to the people who were impacted by the event; The customer, the department head, the people who fixed the problem, within reason. The CC field is for your boss, the email for your IT group where you keep your "CYA documents" aka cover your ass, and possibly the boss of people who are not on your team who helped out, especially if things went really well. Part two of this message is the subject. Short, to the point, almost bland "Report on trouble with customer X 10-26-2016" Something like that. Part three is a paragraph with no more than FOUR sentences. "There was a problem. We found the problem. We fixed the problem. Below is how we fixed it and how we are working to prevent issue in the future." 99% of the people you send this message to will stop reading at this point. The final part is a detailed description of the issue, how it was discovered, how it was fixed. This part is for you and the team so you have a record of things being fixed, and more importantly, how you fixed it for when it happens again. Writing this out will help you cement in your brain good troubleshooting and communication skills. One great bit of advice I saw is to read airline accident reports from crashes. You do not need to be that anal, but you want to be able to have a written record of how you solved problems and are now taking action to prevent the problem from occurring in the future. Even if the only person who gets this letter/email is you, writing it out and learning how to make an after action report like this is a part of the skill set that will cement and if by nothing more than rote repetition retain knowledge.

Also, people in general cannot write worth a shit. Write good, clean, concise messages and you will stick out. And remember, nobody reads past about four sentences.

Part of your job in IT is to be proactive. As a networking guy, get Nagios Core for free, and also MRTG and know how they work, why they work, and how to monitor your network tree. Learn how to do the alerts, SNMP, etc. This will also force you to dig into Linux a bit to learn postfix, scripting, etc that you will need in the future. Don't be like me and have a mental hump about coding and scripting, every networking job in the future is going to be at least a little bit coding. Know what is failing before the phone rings; I've had people call after I get the alerts and can then talk to someone impacted as if I am already working on the problem. Even if it feels like a minor thing, when you come off as a guy who knows what is going on, you instill confidence in your user base. Cisco also has monitoring tools, but you may end up in a non-Cisco environment and it is always nice to have free options. Nagios can also be set up to display on a Raspberry Pi as a web site on a bigger screen TV to act as a NOC screen, which looks cool as hell to the non tech people who walk through the office.

Another part of your job, one that is rarely talked about? Make you boss look good. If you can keep other people off your boss's back, and make their job easier, do it. Keep them in the loop, let them know if shit is happening. And if your boss does not respect your talents, time, effort or energy? With a CCNA you will get recruiting calls weekly with job offers, depending on where you live. This industry, for people who are good at their jobs, is too competitive to deal with shit tier direct reports. I could make double what I am making, and have had that offer, but my boss is awesome and I'm staying as long as she is.

You will have days that fuck all of nothing happens, and you will want to spend it on reddit and hubski. Read manuals instead. Document shit that has not been updated in a while. Start a WIKI for your work stuff. Because you will have days like I am having where I am on the go and working overtime to get a project done on time. I worked 13 hours today deploying computers, and have 100 more to go before we start wiping them and boxing them up for return. I'll not have a down day for at least a few weeks. You will also have times like these, but IMO, the crunches and the soft times even out over the year.

As a network guy, if you ever come into work and say "I'm bored" you better fix that shit. Either look at BIOS file updates, read manuals, check monitoring, document equipment and procedures, DO SOMETHING. Being bored when all the stuff is working will breed complacency and that becomes habit forming. Learn the good habits now and carry them forward; the people who need to notice these things? They do and will.

If I think of more stuff I'll post here.

nowaypablo  ·  321 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I'm back! And, alive! Not that I wouldn't be.

My goals at the moment including maximizing work efficiency, which I'll judge by how much sleep I can get per week after finishing all tasks. Apart from 18 credit-hours in my 1st semester and an average of 20 in the future, there are a ridiculous amount of random annoying tasks, especially as plebes, including taking out trash, sweeping halls, and delivering laundry to all cadets in your company. These duties also include maintaining a room standard, which is stupidly detailed and fairly difficult to maintain while you're living in the room. Inspection can occur during weekday business hours at the risk of punishment-- the punishment here is called Hours.

On that topic, hours means taking your parade rifle (an old wooden m14 we all keep in our room and use for drill/parades) and walking back and forth central area for x Hours. It blows. Also, you get your rank stripped away if the violation is bad enough, which adds a layer of ridicule when you're not actively completing your hours. As people get lazy and especially cynical, the risk of getting hours aggregates and the shit you eat is likely due to you by the time you receive it.

I haven't answered your question yet, I'm just ranting. But to try to answer your question, we learn everything any other college does, along with a hefty emphasis on maintaining a physical standard and a standard of discipline, aka "military bearing." It's a lot better than it sounds, because everyone going through it with a mind-blowing sense of humor makes playing the game not only tolerable, but a lot of fun.

I'd say the one thing I've learned so far is how far teamwork can go. Every second me or my buddies is out of the room or at a desk working, everyone else is behind them making sure they're covered and accounted for. I've been back on campus a few days and I've already had my ass saved by my roommates, and vice versa for sure.

My short-term goals include deciding between Persian and Arabic and getting squared away to take on the semester on Monday. My long-term goals include reaching the standard maximum on the APFT (Army physical fitness test) which consists of 71 push-ups and 78 sit-ups in 2 minutes each, followed by a 2-mile run under 13 minutes, and getting my GPA high enough to finagle my way into Princeton by the end of my sophomore year, just in case I decide not to commit to the Army.

The GPA is not just academic, it consists of 3 pillars: Athletic, Academic, and Military/Leadership. The 3rd is usually graded over the summer during military training and leadership details, the other 2 are accounted for during the school year. Your GPA dictates your class rank, which is critical at West Point. A high class rank means more opportunities, including travel and exchange programs (all-paid), but more importantly, being assigned the army branch of your choice, followed by the post of your choice.

So, let's say I'm 300th in my class. I'll most likely be assigned Infantry if I choose that branch because they always need more infantry officers. However, I may not be assigned a post with the 25th infantry div in Hawaii, even though it was my 1st choice, cause that clearly awesome gig is already taken up by the top 50 infantry branching cadets before me.

Otherwise, it's just college!

edit: also especially as a plebe my day could start anywhere from 0500 like it was during basic training, to 0600. Classes don't start till 0730 the earliest though, to give you a scope of how much shit goes on that isn't directly a class here.

edit2: Also it's like by far the most beautiful campus I've seen except for Amherst college but that's only because they have a cliff overlooking a crazy cool mountain. I'm right on the Hudson river in the Hudson river valley though so it's a close call. This place looks like fucking Hogwarts, straight-up. On morning runs, I'm usually greeted by a sunrise, a bright pink sky, and literal castle walls on my right with the Hudson river on my left.

veen  ·  435 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: GET OFF LINE FOR BERNIE: Watch this to the end

The voting system used has lead to a democracy of only two parties (Duverger's Law). There's a very strong us-versus-them mentality comparing the Democrats and Republicans. Because of this, the interesting political debates don't really happen at the party level but at the candidate level - so it matters a lot which person is nominated, because if they win it's their ideas and policies that they will try to drag through Congress.

If you want to know why it is in the news every. single. day, Ryan Holiday explains in his book that news outlets like Politico figured out that they can start coverage of the race years in advance. They do this simply by discussing and speculating on potential candidates and ramping up the coverage from there on. This election has been nuts (at least from my perspective) in no small part because of all the media attention generated around it.