Friday, October 24, 2014

New day, new company

Companies present customers with their best foot forward - just look at the iPhone packaging. First impression is everything, as any marketing intern will tell you. For new hires their first day at their new workplace is the most memorable and most defining. Statistically, the decision to stay or leave more often, than not, is made during a short initial period with the new company (sometimes literally in the first day).
Scrupulous, well-designed and meticulously executed hiring process helps to find the best candidates but this approach costs more - in resources and time. Smarter companies invest in the better hiring process but smartest ones extend investment to the new guy's first day also.

On my best first day
1. I came with signed payroll and benefits forms which were couriered personalized to my house a week in advance. The package came in a binder with corporate information, which included various curious and useful information including acronyms vocabulary!
2. My computer was immediately ready, equipped with all connections and passwords I needed.
3. I was invited to a team lunch (and I joined a hockey pool).
4. I've drawn my first design on a whiteboard.

On my worst first day
1. I did not have a computer on my first day (nor did I get it for the entire first week).
2. I've spent an hour writing down my name and address on at least fifteen various forms.
3. I was invited to a two-hour mid-project meeting where I felt very dumb and uncomfortable.
4. I sat through an hour-long movie about generic corporate ethics (apparently showing up for work drunk and sexually harassing somebody is inappropriate, who knew?).

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Creating dynamic LINQ queries

Dynamic LINQ library:
More object-oriented approach - with all goodies of the modern .NET in one mix: generics, extension methods and LINQ:
Same stuff with a little different samples from Joseph Albahari:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Job Search Corrida

Companies obviously put an effort to get good programmers on board. Nobody in the right mind admit in the advertisement that they're looking for any "average Joe". The incumbent must be motivated, devoted, self-starting individual with skills and experience in a range between a simple "strong and sound" to a "kick-ass expert". Next step would be a name tag requirement, and we know such cases (their employer(s) got lucky :).
There is no job posts on Workoplis promising dull non-creative daily routines. Raise your hand, who faces this reality daily? Honestly!
Have you ever seen "We have no interest in the employees professional growth" on Monster? But in the real life, how many managers get cagey when it comes to the training budgets?
Why would you trick a person, promising one thing and giving another? Maintenance, new development, design and quality assurance tasks are different by their nature and require not just specific skill, but different mindsets.
Big companies may just don't know any better but it comes as a surprise that smaller companies are notoriously worse! Those guys just escaped the soullessness and moved on because it sucked there! As entrepreneurs they are obviously smart, but for some reason it seems that they not willing to give the same credit to candidates.
So why not put money where the mouth is - and not just the hard cash but all aspects of the employment, including intangible ones - the real duties, allowed level of creativity, possibilities of training and growth and dozens other things.
Wanna know where the money are? According to the 2006 CIO Magazine study IT stuff turnover rate was 14.5 percent. For an average company of 40 employees this means that 6 people live every year. Let's be very optimistic and assume that it will take 15 days to replace the guy with 50K salary. The calculation voodoo shows that turnover will cost the company 31K. That could be expensive. This could pay for a ten week-long professional training - enough to make all potential defectors change their minds plus improving morale for four (yet) loyal employees. Should it be enough m even without taking into the consideration the improved productivity and output from the employees?
If your new hire is a smart guy - he will figure out the catch quick enough and you will loose him. If he never will - then congratulations, you've got exactly what you were looking for!

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