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Ask HN: Has anyone ever been hired from “Who wants to be hired?” threads?
474 points by threwawasy1228 15 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 265 comments
Just a simple question, I have seen stories of people who were hired based on the job postings threads. Never once have I heard of anyone getting anything other than recruiter spam from the Ask HN: Who wants to be Hired threads. I think it might be useful to hear stories either way.

Were you hired after someone contacted you?

Did you receive responses that weren't recruiter-spam from your posts there?




I started the "Who wants to be hired?" threads over 5 years ago [1] after dang giving his blessing on it [2], and was super excited that it led to the job [3] that I still happily hold today.

I really wish these threads were more active -- and received more upvotes -- relative to the "Who's hiring" threads, as it seems like the signal to noise is so much better, and also seems like the success rate would be quite a bit higher.

I'm not sure if a) people aren't aware of the threads, or b) people don't have confidence in their success rate.

But as someone whose career -- and as a result, life -- got a big boost from it, I highly recommend anyone considering a move to try posting there. Seems like it could only help!

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7685170

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7682189

[3] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7833251


I've thought about it and my concern with using the thread if I were job hunting is that if a coworker saw me on it, it might come out that I'm looking elsewhere when I'm not wanting that out yet.

The Who's Hiring Thread would help me keep my search more private.


I think this is the major reason for the difference in volume of posts between the two threads.


And this is the reason why your online persona needs to be separated from your real life persona.


Or, just use throwaways (with throwaway contact info) when you want to post but remain anonymous (assuming you don’t need to go into details that would otherwise identity you).


I'd love for the whole 'hiring' section to be made a permanent fixture rather than a thing that only happens once every month. A spot in the top bar would be best.


There is always https://whoishiring.io which is collecting job offerings from those threads and some more


There's already a jobs link there


The jobs link is only for ycombinator companies.


I didn't know that, but it makes sense.


Yes, it's one of the perks of being in YC, I believe.


I think they would be more active if there were more variety in the type of work sought? Almost every post is seeking the same thing: full-stack dev, dev ops, and ops eng. If you're seeking something outside those constraints (i.e. pentesting, threat intel, risk management, compliance, etc) there's not much there. And although this is getting better, so many companies are still stuck on location-specific hiring constraints. HN has a global audience, posting here and constraining yourself to Nowheresville, Nebraska does you and your company a huge disservice.


Thanks for creating it! As for me it was certainly the "people don't have confidence in their success rate". Also was always a bit afraid of recruiter spam.

Here's the link of this month's edition, if anyone wants to give it a go (I finally did!)

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20325923


Is there an aggregation tool available anywhere for these threads equivalent to hnhiring.com for the "who is hiring" threads? I'm often looking to hire for startups within my network but sometimes the threads can become tedious to parse through.


I was hired into a life-changing job as a result of one of your threads. It seems I owe you a debt of gratitude. So thank you!!


I wonder how many people on HN are like me; no STEM background, no fancy degrees, no fancy qualifications, and thus don't even open either variety of thread because we're pretty confident we will never find listings in the one variety we are remotely qualified for and know that it is extremely unlikely anyone will want to hire us from the other variety.

Then factor in people also like me in Indy, that do not live anywhere near the bay area or other large tech center and have no interest whatsoever in relocating.


Yes! I posted in the threads on Jan 1 and Feb 1 of this year. I was contacted by a cumulative total of 14 companies, of which 2 were actually interesting to me. I'm a mechanical engineer working in robotics hardware, so that's a little different to the typical opportunities listed here. For both companies I was interested in, the process started with 2-3 phone interviews, then I was invited to fly out for on-site interviews (very important when working on hardware!). I was offered the position at both places, and ultimately accepted one. I joined a couple of months ago, and I'm loving it so far!! Feel free to ask me any questions


I have just general interest in robotics. Would you mind sharing what are you working on?


Why did you choose one over the other? Any unique insight?


Absolutely. I posted a message on a 'Who wants to be Hired' thread and was contacted about a month later by a lead developer who was hiring for a fully remote front-end developer position. After a few video chats and a 2-hour take-home coding exercise they extended an offer that I accepted.

I've been there for about 10 months and it's been a wonderful experience. Working remotely has literally changed my life, and the team members I work with are all fantastic people.

There are great companies out there and it's definitely worth posting. Good luck!


Not related to the original topic, but shout-out to working remote. It's been a game-changer for me, too. There are too many benefits to list, but the biggest one for me has been physical; after trying for years to stick with working out, it finally clicked for me with remote work + a gym in my garage.


I have been working out since 2011, and I have been working 90% remotely since 2016, I even edited my linked in to say Work From Home so anybody who intends to write to me knows in advance, I still visit the office rarely - when some big manager comes over, or to collect some documents.


Is there possibility to working remotely and learning tech lead skills?


Yes!

Also, "jeziňka" is a Czech fairy tale being [1]. Did you know? Or perhaps it's a Polish word play on "jeżynka"?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jezinkas


It’s so good for your health to replace commuting with exercise!!


One simple trick: I bike to work. Remote-only companies hate me!


I would bike to work. It's a nice 12km. But I think it would significantly shorten my life expectancy.


You must live in Iowa, where looking a cyclist at worst, warrants a fund because it is "accidental". We have a major bike ride across the state from West to East every year, called RAGBRAI along a different route. And seemingly every year, at least one cyclist is killed. Rarely is anyone charged with a crime. Tragic


What does your first sentence mean? I can't tell if it's a typo or regional phrase I am not familiar with.


i think it means: killing a cyclist is accidental, and warrants a fund only (whatever that is :-)


maybe fund = fine


I stopped biking into work because of the danger of getting hit. It's only about 7 miles for me, but on about a daily basis I would almost get hit. Paths that heavily interact with automobiles are not safe at all. Cars turning out/in crossing my path and stoplight intersections were a constant threat.


If it is not too hot, or too cold, or rainy, I take my 25km/h EU-regulated e-bike for my 7km trip to work (40% public road /w bike lane, 30% public road /wo bike lane, 30% forest road; 110m altitude to climb one way, 140m the other). I've average height&weight, but am not athletic - no chance I could do that route on a normal bike. So while it's not a huge workout, the bike doesn't go all by itself, and I really feel it has a positive effect on my overall health.

The additional 5km wouldn't make a huge difference with an e-bike (just 12m longer ride), as long as the altitude you have to climb isn't significantly more (you can check that on Google Maps).

Maybe you can rent a (proper!) e-bike from a specialist dealer and give it a try.


You could not do 7km each way an actual bicycle ? you need to see a doctor I think.

I am considering a slightly longer bike commute (mostly on bike paths) and I had a kidney transplant 2 years ago


I think the biggest risk is not the ride, but the vehicles on the roadway. Way back when I used to ride 6.6 miles from home to the university, but stopped after the second time I got run off the road. The bus was slower, but safer.


Statistically, it's the other way around.


Strongly disagree, depending how your commute is. In my office and on the factory floor we've had 3 major cycling accidents just in the last year - the latest guy was put into a coma for 2 weeks.

I cycled for 6 months before I could afford a car, and counted 11 separate incidents that could have ended with me hospitalized if it weren't for some adrenalin fuelled swerves. Had one accident where someone failed to indicate left as I was crossing the road of a roundabout, and I ended up on her bonnet. No amount of apologies make up for a broken rib unfortunately. How that was my only "major" injury still baffles me. Had another where someone failed to check their mirrors as they randomly swerved out and forced me into oncoming traffic. Never tried to overtake from that point onwards. I had 4 instances where people tried to overtake me way too close and forced me to bail onto the pavement (not fun with clip-on pedals). As soon as that bank balance hit the magic number I went and invested in driving lessons, insurance and a car.

Unless my future commutes have bike paths from beginning to end, there's no chance I will ever cycle to work again. It was the most miserable part of my day. I'll stick to my morning spin class and get to work early to avoid the traffic instead.


Judging by your language here and the fact you couldn't already drive, I'm guessing you're British, was this London? Because cycling has gotten a lot better in London in the last few years and I'm interested what your route is.


No, but it was in the South. I have cycled around London and it's much, much more friendly for it. It's improved substantially in recent years. I think part of that is culture - people cycle in London, so drivers/pedestrians pay attention for cyclists - and part of it is that there are substantially more designated areas for cyclists. In my current location, you're damned to end up under a car if you cycle on the road, and you're damned to get fined by the police for cycling on the footpath.


Where in the world is this and how many people at your workplace cycle? That’s a very depressing story.


South of England. The town is also known as the worst place for cycle commutes outside London, which probably will single it out. We've probably got about 2k people across design, HR, head office and the factory floor, but of that I don't see more than maybe 50 people cycle, and of that only 20 or so regulars (mainly because it's just too dangerous). I bet you can imagine how fun that is with everyone trying to get out of work.

The local council (local government in the UK) have had a massive drive to get new cycle lanes in place - problem is, they're also completely inept so have put them in places where nobody cycles anyway. I've been told they are where they are purely to fulfil a quota so they don't look so statistically bad when compared to other municipalities, which honestly wouldn't surprise me. They painted road markings for nigh-on 10km of unused road, whereas all of the roads leading to the major industrial and office estates where people travel to daily have been completely neglected. It's beyond infuriating.


Pompey?


I won't say where exactly, but it's not there!


Greatly depends on the drivers around you. Here it'll definitely shorten your life expectancy if you're lucky, and will leave you with a nice whole-body paralysis, if you're not.

You know how motorists sarcastically refer to cyclists over here? "Crunchies", or something like that.


Also depends on the type of infrastructure available. I lived in the city until about 5 years ago and cycled everywhere. Out in the bush where I am now, with only narrow windy unshouldered roads (& many stoned drivers), I'd be dead in a week.


I don't have to drive on the road.

My work trip is 5 km and all the way is bike roads and pedestrian paths. One of the advantages of living in the nordics, I suppose.

I don't even wear a helmet in the summer - I just pedal intentionally slow.


> I just pedal intentionally slow

Anecdote: I was with a group of tourists and we were about to rent bikes for a guided tour. We were offered helmets, but only some were taken. Before we even departed, a girl managed to fall of her bike and injur herself. A second offer to use helmets was met with much more acceptance.


I cycle through the year. I put on my downhill skiing helmet at the first sign of autumns freeze.

Statistically speaking, dutch don't wear helmets and they don't get much injuries. It's as much about how you cycle and what the routes are like than having or not having a helmet.


Statistically, it depends.

In some cities it can be quite dangerous to ride around.


It's going to depend entirely on the city, and even the location of an office. For ANYONE to get to my office, at minimum you have to cross at least one highway, and likely travel down the narrow shoulder of it for several miles, to get to our building. For most you have to cross under interstate as well on said highway. There are virtually no bike lanes in Indy outside of a handful of neighborhoods.

Never mind we had it rain nearly every day for like a month and that this week it's in the 90Fs with air quality alerts and 60%+ humidity every day and just walking to your car gets you sweating and NO ONE wants to smell you all day because you biked to work... and then come winter it'll get below 0F many days with varying amounts of snow and ice. I think we had -35F windchill this past winter on a day or two it was -12F.


Depends on the place.

I happily biked for years in London (considered a dangerous cycling city).

I gave up in fear of my life in Fiji (tiny and sparsely populated).

I wouldn't even consider it in Dublin (which has a lot of cycle lanes).


FWIW I cycled for 10+ years in Dublin without incident


Maybe because people actively avoid biking on dangerous roads ? It's easy to say that bike is safer than car when being safe is the number one concern for a vast majority of people cycling, while it's pretty obvious it isn't for automobilists. It's _because_ people like quickthrower2 don't go on dangerous roads that bike is safe.


Depends where. Some routes in NYC are downright suicidal. I was knocked off my bike on one occasion in a roundabout. Injured my knee and swore off cycling to work. There are unfortunately plenty of jerks driving out there.


N00bs go through a period of being extremely prone to crashes. Folks need time (year or two) to swap their 'driving eyes' for their 'cycling eyes'.


If you mean accidents, then maybe. There were studies showing that it is still beneficial to bike to work even when the air is really bad from traffic. Or was it about jogging?


This idea always appealed to me in theory but I sweat so easily that it never made sense unless I want to show up covered in sweat and feel sticky all day. Maybe if there's a locker/shower I can use and go directly to work and shower there it could work for me.


I sympathize. My solution is a bit "much" but if you're looking for things to try:

I wear my gym shirt while bicycling which I sweat into profusely. I get to work and lock myself in the family bathroom, where I take my gym shirt off. Then, I take out a linen towel I bought that packs super tiny, get it wet, and wipe down. I stand and cool and dry off for a bit, then put on the shirt I packed. The linen towel gets a soapy wash in the sink and then wronged out. Then, towel and gym shirt get hanged on hooks in the office near a window (as far as I can tell there's no bad smell and I have explicitly asked others in the office) and both are dry within a couple hours.

Change into gym shirt after work and bike home, take a shower.

It's a process but it's worth it, I've lost 7 pounds without much else lifestyle change.

The linen towel is fairly critical - packs small, light, dries quick and is odorless (allegedly linen is anti bacterial). They're also great for travel in general.


Great ideas. I also have started bringing in an extra pair of shoes - loafers. I sweat into my hiking shoes that I wear into work, take them and the socks off so they can dry, then wear loafers around the office. At the end of the day I reverse the process.


Really depends on the climate - I commuted to my last job via bike, and it never would have worked in the summer without a shower at the job.


Get an ebike


That avoids much of the exercise (but has its own benefits).


I've heard it makes you more likely to actually bike around since it is easier.


Exactly. eBiking > not biking


From what I've been able to gather, on average you exercise about a third as hard. If it makes you bike three times more often, it's worth it. It also means you will be bothered significantly less by wind or other variability in travel time (maybe you are tired that day, for example).


Even a third might be being generous. I have never once really broken a sweat riding an eBike even in hot summer weather. I've actually had to put jackets/jumpers on to stop the wind chill on hot days - this never happens on normal bikes due to the effort exerted.

This however is precisely why I have some ebikes in addition to human steam powered ones - its so nice for commute or journeys when you want to arrive feeling refreshed but not need a shower or change of clothes.


Avoiding much of the sweat of exercise would be the point, no?


A lot of people pretend it is the tour de france. I just ride slower and take my time.


Something is triggered by there being a bike just in front or (much worse) just behind. The more dressed up and the better the opposing bike (somehow they are in opposition) the greater the effect.


I would still sweat. I sweat just getting out of the shower or standing in a warm kitchen too long with the oven on.


Biked to work for years and loved it until I crashed. No car involved just a stick or rock or something that allowed my front wheel to slip out from under me. If there’s some brilliant MEs out there, build a safer bike! Lower the center of gravity, improve traction, stability, whatever it takes!


What you desire exists: it’s called a recumbent tricycle.

I replaced a pretty good road bike with a Greenspeed GT3 Series II five years ago and have happily used it ever since, including three multi-week trips (two and a half weeks mostly through California, USA in 2014 before the Strange Loop conference; three weeks from St Louis, USA to Philadelphia, USA last year after Strange Loop; and a couple of weeks around this Easter in western Victoria and South Australia). Until I moved from Melbourne out into the country two years ago, cycling was my primary means of getting anywhere, augmented sometimes by public transport. Now I don’t cycle so often because I live in the middle of nowhere, 40km to the nearest town that I go to for church. For the last two long trips, I was essentially not fit beforehand (e.g. not having ridden at all for two months in one of the two cases), and doing something like that immediately on an upright bike would be murder on the buttocks, back and hands, but doing it on a recumbent trike was completely fine. I would not have done any of these solo cycling trips on an upright bicycle. Since this last trip I’ve even started vaguely planning to cycle around Australia at some point.

Recumbents tricycles are much safer. For example: they’re inherently stable; they’re closer to the road; they’re wider, so cars can see them better from behind despite them being lower, and so they can’t sneak by in such dangerous ways as they do in many parts of the world with bicycles; when riding one, it’s easier to be watching the road (especially compared with a road bike where you’re constantly craning your neck up); your mirror (necessary, since you can’t look over your shoulder) will be well-mounted and clearly in your stable field of view, you can constantly keep an eye on upcoming traffic, too; and as they’re unusual, cars pay them more attention and act more carefully.

On a good surface, a trike is much more comfortable than a bike. On a low-quality surface, such as many cycling paths, it can be less comfortable, since the seat and frame are providing suspension and not your legs as they can on an upright bike.

I personally like to go fast, and am not afraid of roads on my trike; I didn’t worry much about roads on a bike either, but in high-traffic scenarios I definitely feel happier with everything on my trike than on a bike. I generally just ignore cycling paths and ride on the road.

Another negative point on the recumbent tricycle: having three wheel tracks instead of one is occasionally troublesome: highway shoulder often has corrugation at the edges (the Australian style of adding <15cm-wide bumps on top is unpleasant to ride over; the US style of ~40cm-wide gouges is intolerable and dangerous to ride over at even 20km/h, and it’s so wide you can’t even straddle it properly), and a 90cm wheel base sometimes doesn’t fit on narrow country highway shoulder, and so I sometimes have to go in the lane where a bicycle might not. Also dodging thorns growing in the shoulder can be more difficult—with the slick Greenspeed Scorcher tyres I had in my first long trip, I gave up counting how many punctures I had (it averaged more than one a day—I became skilled at repair!); I haven’t had any punctures other than the ones on that trip (I’ve only ever had two punctures since adulthood in Australia), and for subsequent long trips I’ve used Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres.

One more: trikes take more space. Greenspeed specifically pioneered and uses a folding frame, which is great for transport. I’ve taken my trike to the US twice now, just folding it in half and wrapping it up in a tarp, no extra cost with Qantas since it’s sporting equipment (otherwise it’d incur an oversized baggage fee).

But back to the positives: a recumbent tricycle is much more fun than an upright bicycle.

Why aren’t they more popular? They’re generally more expensive: in part because there actually is a bit more to them, but mostly because they’re less popular so the cheap junk category doesn’t exist, which will skew price perceptions. And not many people even know about them. This may be in part because of UCI’s ban of recumbents in 1934 (a sordid tale of political intrigue, commercial interests, wounded pride, and arguably bribery and corruption), which basically crippled the recumbent industry. http://www.pjrider.com/BentHist.htm has some details of the history and story. (For racing, you’re talking about recumbent bicycles, but recumbent bikes and trikes exist in the same “human-powered vehicle that isn’t an upright bicycle” category.) But recumbent trikes really should be more popular, because in most ways they’re just better than trikes.


For what it’s worth, you get better at falling the more you do it but this seems to be offset by age making falls worse. Slick concrete parking garages and road tyres are a very bad combo.


Sounds like you have a really short commute! That’s a great way to do it.


I try to live 5 miles or so from work. 10 round-trip a day, plus a little extra for errands (I never learned to drive) is enough cycling for me. I can do it in about half an hour at an easy and relaxed pace and during the winter it’s short enough to just walk if it’s snowy/icy.

But I know people who do 25 miles each way by bike for their daily commutes. Just depends how much you care about it and what you’re willing to sacrifice to do it.


I bike to a co-working space where I work remotely :)


Out of interest, could you give us a rough idea of the scope of a 2-hour take home exercise for a front end position?


Not the OP but I've given these so I'll answer.

Given a provided mockup of a react component implement it to the best of your ability. In my case it was a stopwatch (which has non-obvious edge cases in javascript) with some curvy UI that's tricky to do in CSS.


My view on these 'Who wants to be hired?' and 'Who's Hiring?' threads...

90% of the readership of Hacker News are Web Developers, either front end only, or full stack. As such the hiring threads are mostly jobs in that discipline.

I'm an oddball on Hacker News, I have a keen interest in all tech development, but my official skill set is Windows Server Applications based Architecture[1], and Identity & Access Management Design with a bit of Azure and Office 365 thrown in for good measure. I've posted a few times in the 'Who wants to be hired?' but not surprisingly had no responses.

For what it's worth, I am looking for work, remote/wfh only. My LinkedIn is here:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattowen/

---

[1] Although I do hands-on admin as well. I'll design it for you, and then build it as well.


Based on your skill set, we'd hire you immediately (we're a listed, 3000+ employee company). I work in the Berlin office, but we do have offices in every world region. The other comment here is BS. People who work with Windows Server, AD and .NET are sorely needed. Even more so in Europe, where an enterprise world exists that HN people apparently never heard of (see your 'oddball' statement). The real problem here is the WFH requirement. That's just a no-no. That doesn't mean we don't offer WFH (in fact, I'm working from home 3 out of 5 days a week), but remote only is not an option. I think the maximum WFH days per week for other people is around 2.

So I guess I'll say this (to anyone here): If you have experience with AD, C# and SQL Server optimization (nice to have) get in touch. I don't care if you have a formal education or you're 15 or 55. In Berlin with German skills, I can get you an interview almost immediately, for other languages and regions I'll redirect you to the appropriate contact.

I don't post in the we're hiring threads because we'd drown in the ML/ad etc company profiles. We don't save the world. We don't stop climate change. We don't use AI to be the next Uber of X. We need somewhat skilled devs working on (what HN would consider) boring problems, to help tens of thousands of companies/IT people get other boring shit done quickly.

minxomat[at]gmail.com


While I am not applying / not eligible for the post but this is so refreshing to see:

> We don't save the world. We don't stop climate change. We don't use AI to be the next Uber of X. We need somewhat skilled devs working on (what HN would consider) boring problems, to help tens of thousands of companies/IT people get other boring shit done quickly.


Nice summary. From my experience in the corporate world there is a huge amount of legacy software to work on, to migrate to more modern platforms (read: the web) and to replace with better software. All while people depend on it to get their work done every single day. Working brownfield and bespoke custom software, often on Windows in VB6 or Access, is not giving you elegance cred but it's definitively giving you street cred on the market for not requiring shiny toys to get work done.


> We don't save the world. We don't stop climate change. We don't use AI to be the next Uber of X. We need somewhat skilled devs working on (what HN would consider) boring problems, to help tens of thousands of companies/IT people get other boring shit done quickly.

I tell people this regularly - the low-drama jobs that pay well, have good working conditions, and are straightforward to get are in boring, unsexy business logic jobs. Market forces exists everywhere, even in tech jobs, and the sexier the company, the greater the supply of workers. Companies that have to work a little to hire good people tend to treat them well; companies with hundreds of brilliant engineers knocking down their door, maybe not so much.


From Windows Based Application Architecture and AD Identity Management asking for C# and SQL Server optimization (DBA work) it's a huge leap of faith. I see it often, 3 different jobs in a single person is the employer's dream.


Of course we don't require everyone to do all of these or even be the best at the majority of them. If your focus is on TSQL, then your dev focus will be schema design and query optimization. You still need to know how to build the software and fix some smaller problems which are blocking or impacting your work, thus the C# requirement. In that case, you'd rarely touch AD interfaces. Works the same for any other focus area. It's just that we can't put people in a dev position for this who are only AD admins. Hiring discussions are very transparent and everything happens together. We ask real question from our product dev problem set and let people work on real code if they want. At least in Berlin, other locations might vary.


> Based on your skill set, we'd hire you immediately (we're a listed, 3000+ employee company).

> The real problem here is the WFH requirement. That's just a no-no.

Thank you for the positive comment! Unfortunately the remote-only thing is due to personal health. I wish it wasn't so, but it is.


I feel the same way.

My skills are deep in engineering/physics/biotech, but aren't really in Web-Dev. As such, I've only ever had one person reach out to me via the 'Who want to be hired?' thread in the last two years, and they just ghosted me after one email.

Granted, I'm not really the 'type' for HN and the roles posted in the 'Who's hiring?' threads aren't really in my wheelhouse. But the companies are good to look through and then contact for other roles. I've applied to companies through them, but the results have been a mixed bag for me. Things like insane HW assignments that I submit, only to be ghosted.

I love the discussions on algos, programming/comp-sci, and EE, as such things are directly relevant to my work and career. There really isn't anywhere else on the web that has the userbase that HN has, despite me being only tangentally related to the core users here. That said, you find a lot of people here that are really super smart in some tiny niche too (like actual rocket science, oil painting, 12th century Indian hymns, etc) and I love reading that stuff and learning about some tiny little bit of the universe that ends up being facinating.

I'd love to see a HN type site that was more biotech focused.


I agree that the employers/readers of the thread are probably biased towards some areas, but is it really only web? I'd guess also native apps and statistics (machine learning) are quite popular.


Well... back end/infrastructure here (e.g. Linux admin & cloud engineer), so there's gotta be a few of us! But that's not supporting away from "web", it's at least not front end!


Same, backend engineer. I actually got hired from responding to a "Who's Hiring" post last year.


Having a similar profile, I can tell there are such jobs but they are fairly rare. Most of such work is done these days via outsourcing companies, believe it or not :(


> 90% of the readership of Hacker News are Web Developers, either front end only, or full stack.

uh, how could you know that?


I’m a web developer doing a lot of c#, some sql a bit of python and Kubernetes. So it’s also hard to box people.


>I'm an oddball on Hacker News,

No, I'm an oddball. No degree, no STEM background, no interest whatsoever in CS as a career. Still quite interested in building a better future for humanity though.

However, it seems tech companies/VC firms/think tanks/philanthropic entities forget (or outright ignore) the fact that it requires more than coders and degree holders to make society happen. sigh.

In the past few years I've come to be incredibly shocked as I discover more and more how myopic the tech-leaders/teach-wealthy/younger philanthropists are whether intentionally or unintentionally. A significant percentage come from families where education was stressed, where the families were financially comfortable if not wealthy, a lot of them started working when they started their first startup in college or their first job was out of grad school, people that went to k-12 schools in privileged areas or went to varying levels of private schools, went to top-tier colleges to either drop out when they became millionaires or to graduate and go on to become billionaires long before their peers even finished paying off their crippling student loans. The companies, and empires, they run after obtaning a modicum of success almost entirely require a minimum of a 4 year degree for entry-level positions with most wanting to see at least one major accomplishment or project under your belt to even get a skype interview. They want people of a specific mindset, they want people with a specific background, they want people with specific accomplishments. Even those that go on to help those that are underprivileged via their philanthropic efforts, just look for the cream of the academic crop, they look for those that have somehow defied the odds and are still already exceptionally bright on paper, to help them get their de facto dues card (a degree) so they can have yet another like-mind to join their ranks.

But those of us that have different experiences? We get told things like (these are actual quotes from rejection emails to me in the past year and a half):

"You obviously have many of the skills we're looking for. However, for the Customs Brokerage role we require a BA/BS degrees" at the time I had 12 years of experience doing the job, but no 4-year degree in ANYTHING so wasn't good enough for an interview.

"We know that our process is far from perfect, so please take this primarily as a statement that we have limited interview bandwidth, and must make hard choices. We'd welcome another application in no fewer than 12 months - the best way to stand out is to complete a major project or produce an important result in that time" thank you for comparing me to bits and stripping me of all humanity, also what 'major project' or 'important result' should I produce for an entry level position in a field where I'd literally be assisting in creating the initial framework for AI policy research? I mean, must everyone that helps with AI policy be a CS type? Should the common man not be consulted when deciding how our future robot overlords will rule us and how are personal data may or may not be used by such projects?

I am the oddball. I'm John Q Public, not C. S. Programmer.

I just want to see a better future for myself and our species. I can't write fancy code, nor do I have any desire to. I'm not going to be the guy that creates the first AI or the first cyborg prosthetic indistinguishable from a human limb. I'm not going to crack cold fusion or bring C4 rice to market. I can sit back and go "that's a good idea BUT here's 17 ways I can exploit it in its beta phase, if you get it fully functional and the company scales I can exploit it even more ways and use it for personal gain and to cause great pain and suffering to individuals or the masses, maybe we should stop and think about this, and these 3 features are all but guaranteed to be used more for bad than good" I can go "so explain to me exactly what you are trying to do... oh, hey, yeah so I know your world is only CS but this was done by such and such in 1973 and I know I've read about it in a few books, let me check my evernote references... ah yes so here's a science fiction story where it was done but here is where some students did something similar, does this give you any ideas for getting past your current roadblock?" and I can go "man, you look burnt out, you need a break, come on let's go walk for a few minutes and talk about something else so you can come back with a new point of reference".

I am the oddball.


I decided to put myself back out there after a few years of freelancing and, among other avenues, posted in a "Who wants to be hired". I had psychologically prepared myself for a long and frustrating search as I wasn't in a particular hurry and promised myself to be selective about where I landed, making sure it was a genuinely good fit.

I got three responses through HN, one from a company in the city I live in, one from a fully distributed team, and one from a holy s__t SV company I had fantasized about in years past.

All three were amazing opportunities and the people I spoke with were so awesome--genuine, authentic, enthusiastic, and of an altogether different caliber than what I had been anticipating.

I interviewed for a few weeks with all three and was honestly agonizing about what I'd do if I got an offer from more than one. I don't know what exactly I was expecting, but what I was not expecting was to feel so much like I was in the driver's seat of my job search experience. It was almost like I was interviewing them for the job, or more accurately, it was as if we were on an equal footing (I don't delude myself that that was actually the case, but it's how it felt dealing with such awesome point's of contact).

I wound up accepting a completely different offer from a co. in my city that I connected with through a different channel and that really ticked all the boxes for me--I mean--I feel really lucky, I truly love my job. It would have been an insane opportunity to take the role at the SV unicorn (had they extended me an offer, I'll never know) but at the end of the day I just wasn't ready to pick up my whole life and move cross country in my 30's.

Wow did I ever get derailed. The moral of the story is, while I didn't technically get hired through a "Who wants to be hired" thread, I did have an altogether highly positive experience, and I imagine, if anyone else's experience is like mine, that lot's of people get hooked up with awesome opportunities through that channel.


I tried out the last thread not expecting much to come from it and some surprisingly well-matched opportunities came my way. In fact, someone contacted me just yesterday from the same thread and that was over a month ago now!

What seems to happen with hiring is good companies very quickly get overwhelmed by bad applicants. Consequently, they have to instate barriers to try filter out the hundreds of unqualified people who apply. Unfortunately, the same filters also affect the people you want to hire and make it less likely you'll be introduced to a good engineer.

If you've already been in the industry a while you'll probably suffer from the same problem: A hell of a lot of low quality recruiter spam; Bad companies wasting your time with sub-minimum wage offers, and so on. Sometimes you just need 10 minutes to speak to a real person and you can both tell straight away if it's a good fit or not.

Good luck to people looking for their next opportunity. There are some great companies out there.

Edit: I find it amusing hacker news works so well for this compared to traditional career websites. It probably works so well precisely because it doesn't market itself as such, and on a dice roll the signal to noise ratio is far higher. Hopefully this doesn't change any time soon as having a high-quality service like this is very, very useful for people!


>If you've already been in the industry a while you'll probably suffer from the same problem: A hell of a lot of low quality recruiter spam; Bad companies wasting your time with sub-minimum wage offers, and so on. Sometimes you just need 10 minutes to speak to a real person and you can both tell straight away if it's a good fit or not.

As a noob I would just like to say...it isn't limited to experienced professionals.

As soon as I landed my first job my email and linkedin caught fire. Non stop spam, bad matches, and etc.

"I was looking at your resume..."

No way you were looking at my resume and came up with this job... kinda stuff.


We get TONS of people that apply to our jobs with shotgun strategy... Really annoying looking for an experienced Linux admin and we have to review a fresh college grad with no Linux or Mac experience and one year of java programming. HR policies require us to be fair to all applicants, so our panel had to spend 15 minutes recovering the application and highlighting why they do not meet 9 of the 10 required qualifications.

This is mostly because it system makes it easy to apply to multiple listings, so people upload their information then click 2-3 times to apply to each job.

So, compared to getting a whole lot of those, or "I can find someone for you" responses, I can see why people have more luck reaching out to a community of people with the rough skill set


When in comes to the hiring threads, I seldom see Linux sysadmin jobs. Everyone wants a Pyton/GoLang/Java developer. I do most of my coding in Bash and Ruby (Puppet), and write json or yaml config files. It seems that a lot of the people looking for "DevOps" are looking for developers who can use Jenkins and Docker, not serious operations people who can work with dev in the same team to make a high availability and performant product.


> Really annoying looking for an experienced Linux admin and we have to review a fresh college grad with no Linux or Mac experience and one year of java programming.

It's not your fault, but the industry has relatively few entry-level positions, especially for the bottom 75% of graduates.


I personally support 3 entry level Linux admins / clouds engineers under me (1 well paid intern, 2 full time)

One was in college, one fresh grad 2-year degree, one with degree and 1 year experience.

But I need someone who's actually better than me to help with weird issues that you simply don't get in school... Like adjusting the DNS resolver process.. or dining out why gnome won't start in a virtual infrastructure (which most people don't even know where to start looking in logs)

So I'm very open to entry level people, but I need another experience person to help


I've found that you seldom get any deep level Linux admin training in schools. They all teach fundamentals, the seven layer cake^W OSI model, how http works, stuff like that. If you're lucky, they cover /var/log/messages, a few basic commands, then dive deep into stack traces or something else programmer-centric. Then again, I'm mostly self taught and have 10+ years experience. BTW, debugging Docker just sucks. I'm looking for better tools for that.


It's funny how that works.

People get people who aren't right for the job applying.

Recruiters out there gathering up people not qualified.

throws up hands


That is why I deleted my linkedin profile years ago.


I just gave it a go yesterday but I don't have high expectations. Even in "Who is hiring" thread I noticed most offer are onsite USA - at least for me (iOS developer) and for many this is out of reach or they don't want to go through lengthy VISA process.

"Remote" tag is often confusing since in many cases it means: 1) Remote but USA only 2) Remote but only 1-2 days a week 3) We put remote just to grab your attention and to get more candidates but we actually prefer onsite

Personally this often discourage me to apply even if otherwise I could be a good fit. Also if you put REMOTE I guess for many companies you are no-go candidate since you haven't gained trust yet.

As for me I wouldn't mind relocating somewhere for the first few months for higher bandwidth communication and to gain some trust but that rarely works if company doesn't have remote culture.


I find these threads a good way to be aware of interesting tech stacks being used and companies I might not otherwise have read about.

I once talked to a CTO of a local company without the primary intention of working there purely out of curiosity. I did end up working there as the other company I was accepted at had a hiring freeze for a month or more. I turned out to be a great place to be. New (to me) Rails stack, Go microservices when it wasn't so common and scaling challenges.


Similar a couple of months ago with 4 positive responses: "Ask HN: Has anyone got any offers via “Who wants to be hired” thread?" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19062296


I got my first professional contract on a "Who wants to be hired?" over 5 years ago! I didn't have any professional experience and was a junior dev at the time. I met my current employer because of/during that contract as well.


I had a company that wanted me to put in several hours of using their DevOps simulator before they would even talk about salary or the position.

They just wanted to get people to test a product from an unrelated company.


My 2c: I like the idea, but if I were searching I would not post because I know people in my current job browse hacker news and my profile is quite specific.


You might be able to anonymously describe your skillset, work experience, and achievements and have folks contact you and then provide identifying information. I certainly appreciate the sentiment you're suggesting here: it's bad optics to participate in one of these threads, and have someone from your company notice. That being said, I doubt your concern is as likely to occur as you might think.


Why not make another account just for that if and when the time comes?


> Why not make another account just for that if and when the time comes?

That’s not how HackerNews works.

I have an alternate account from which I have posted a few times in different “Who wants to be hired?” threads, and every single time my post is marked invisible (aka. shadow banned). I only realized that some time ago when, by chance, I checked my post with a private browser session both with and without logging in with a different account to the one used to post the message.

I’ve resorted to contact companies instead, that way I can handle my options a bit better. Most of the time when I get contacted to interview at a company is recruiters trying to position me in a company that I have absolutely no interest in, or startups that don’t even know what they are doing.


I hired someone from one of these threads a few months ago. I chose them over other candidates based on a strong “portfolio” web site, showing me the person understood their code existed to serve business values (not the other way around).


So the HN candidate had a website that a business was based on? Or the candidate just had a good "fake" website that has a lot of good business code in it?


No, rather they had a good “I’m a freelance developer” web site that showed two things:

1) Some amount of professional experience in the technology we were looking for a contractor in.

2) An attitude that boiled down to “I write software to fulfill business objectives.” (The opposite attitude is what I characterize as the “hipster coder,” who says “I couldn’t possibly work on your legacy system unless you agree to rewrite it from scratch in $hot_new_stack.” Yes, I have literally had a contractor tell me that before, about a webapp based on a 5 year old front-end framework.)


It is a funny old world when the one fact that they are willing to be managed as a technical contributor sets a candidate apart.


There are developers that if you let them loose on your code base without supervision for 6 months you'll find that your simple rails app turned into a 12 docker container microservices monster without ever so much as stumbling near a business requirement.


I am the person who ends up cleaning up after hipster coders, or as I call them "ninja cowboys". They move on to their next high-profile, resume-building gig, and I take their sloppy proof-of-concept that got crammed into production and make it stable. I tend to view $hot_new_stack with a jaundiced eye because of that.


Related: Does anybody have a job or job ideas for me? I finished my veterinary degree in Germany (very late, but I finished) and I am a proficient coder, mostly web development in Django, but I also have a passion for Data Science (in Python and R) and Machine Learning. The veterinary degree here means I have a broad understanding of biology, medicine and food safety. I also did a bit of bioinformatics.

People often say that's a killer combination, but actually I have problems finding concrete positions I would fit in. I fear I have to somehow create that position myself, which is also not that easy. Ideas or hints would be appreciated!


I would suggest you go for it! A very good collegue of mine. He also finished vet school, went on to get a masters degree in bioinformatics and shaped up his DS/ML skills on his own time. He started in a local data analytics company and then transitioned to a full software development company where together we have brought in and started DS & ML efforts. His colourful experience definitely broadened his view and is now what I would label a senior guy and has the perspective and understanding of the business side of things.


It sounds like you are looking for a job where you can use both the veterinarian and the coding skills but if you are just looking for a well-paying job I heard that there is a shortage of veterinarians in Sweden right now: https://www.atl.nu/lantbruk/brist-pa-veterinarer-ett-hot-mot...


We are hiring at the moment, have a look here: https://www.redheads.de/joomla/index.php/?option=com_jobs&vi...


Looks interesting...


Feel free to send your CV anytime. Our HR staff are super approachable and nice to work with.


Fellow German here, mail me at sebastian@progether.com if what we do makes sense to you.


There are a lot of medical startups looking for tech folks with medical domain knowledge.


For example?


Google for “medical startups in $my_area.”

Please contact me if you want (see 'who is hiring' thread for more info).


Isn’t being a vet in Germany more lucrative than being a software engineer there?


Certainly not in the companion animal business unless you own your job. And to own your job you need more experience than the university can give you and also lots more money.

Many clinical jobs I am qualified to take are paid so badly that veterinarians qualify for social rent assistance.

Bovine, porcine and poultry pay better, but I'm not that interested in those fields.


What does it mean to "own your job"?


It means starting/buying a veterinary practice or owning a stake in a clinic (mostly just bigger practices). It's not really an investment because the value of the stake/practice tanks as soon as you stop working and at best you can sell "your job" to someone else.

And yes, I am legally qualified to start a practice and render virtually any treatment services I want. But I would suck. That's why you need more experience in places where the buck can stop with someone else.


The path my mother followed (as a doctor for humans) was to approach an existing physician about joining that physician's practice. She joined, the patients got used to her, and she bought out the practice when the other doctor retired a couple years later. This was the first thing she did after leaving medical school, but obviously there were a couple years in there of being the junior physician in the practice, which gives some time to gain experience.

She gives me to understand that changes in the legal landscape have resulted in US doctors mostly abandoning the idea of having their own practice in favor of being hospital employees.


Which in the veterinary field means very low paying entry level jobs.


Perhaps, but I see no reason to believe that recent legal changes pushing American physicians into abandoning their independent practices would apply to veterinarians in Germany...?


It means that you are the founder & investor of your own job/startup/company.


It means to be your own boss rather than be hired by an existing veterinary outfit.


There are no experience requirements for being your own boss.


Yes, depending on your interest in data science and working for pharmaceuticals.


I reached out to a company from a Who's Hiring post and got hired. Great job, got to move with relocation.


Echoing this. I ran across my current employer in a Who’s Hiring post, bookmarked it for later, and then ran across them again an Angel List and applied. Been here for a few months now.


I had a similar experience -- I found my current job on the "Who's Hiring" and it's by far the best job I've ever had.


How does relocation actually work, especially if you are overseas?

I got like a ton of stuff in my home... I guess I could trash my furniture and buy new one, but what about my other things?

Does relocation include transportation for that too?


> How does relocation actually work, especially if you are overseas?

It depends on the company, of course.

In my case, when I interviewed at Booking.com —just to give an example— I was offered a relocation package to move from New York to Amsterdam, this package included transportation of some of my belongings, support for my partner, and two months of rent. They also offered me some help to find an apartment, and was told I would get a discount in my taxes for the first year, which they also offered to take care of for the first year (assigning one of their accountants).

I know they offered a similar —if not the same— package to other candidates.

For other companies, no matter how big or small they are, the relocation package depends on how important your position is going to be. For a regular software developer, you may get the plane tickets which may or may not include a budget to bring a some luggage, but you’ll probably have to bring the rest on your own. For more relevant positions like managers and specially a CEO, CTO and the like, they may offer you to pay for your accommodation for certain period of time, will assign you a budget to move your belongings, and similar benefits to what I got offered to move to Amsterdam.

If you are Apple’s Tim Cook, they will move absolutely everything you need no matter how expensive, troublesome, or delicate.


Really depends on company. I work for an University, and we have a stepping ladder of "stipends" we offer to assist in relocation. They go this route basically to avoid any haggling, tracking of payments, or other issues... It's essentially like a signing bonus to help relocation.


Maybe it would be a good reason to get rid of the stuff you have? It can be liberating to not have to be responsible for keeping track of a bunch of "stuff."


I have hired several people over the years this way, very successfully so.


I posted here and was contacted by the founder of a startup the same day. Got invited for an interview and received an offer a week later. I don’t recall getting much spam from that post.


I've hired people from here, and have been consistently impressed with the quality of CVs I've received whenever advertising roles. The only recruitment agency I've worked with that has been able offer candidates of the same level/niche would charge me $1500 a month or more.


I think another thing to take into account is geography. My impression is that there are many international readers that would not consider jobs inside the US. I know there are international job postings as well, but (and I may be wrong) I don't see people moving jobs across countries unless they were approached more personally (or vice versa: they would not necessarily approach a country switching job posting based on a HN thread).


I’ve had several great connections and solid job interviews, as well as my current role at the USDS.

I am currently* a “Senior/Lead SWE” that’s flirted a lot with SRE.

Earlier in my career it was a lot harder to get responses, but still managed to get an interview or three out of it.


About to start in 2 weeks! This was the first job I contacted through HN, and they were very responsive. No recruiter, no spam.


I posted twice in the past. Only received one email from a recruiter at Cryptokitties. The message was a complete mismatch with my profile. Stopped posting.


I got interviewed by two large linux os vendors that make roughly identical products, and both interviews were identical - they seemed to go extremely well, they spoke of having me fly in for team interviews, and how training would happen, but then they completely ghosted on me. With both companies I followed up a week later with a thank-you probe, but absolutely no follow up. Since it happened from both I was able to move on by convincing myself it was just procedural and not personal.


I received some messages when I last posted in a 2014 thread, including one from who would eventually become my first manager trying to grow her team. It wasn't even a good pitch (relative to what I wrote) but I needed a job so talked to pretty much everyone, and as I learned more I convinced myself to continue and readily accepted the offer. Though I thought I might only spend a year in bigco, here we are just about 5 years later...

My last job before that was found by getting contacted after uploading my resume to craigslist in 2010, so I consider myself 2/2 on the post-and-wait strategy.

I get lots of recruiter spam (mostly via linkedin) but I don't really want to ever think of it in complaint. It's kind of nice to know if I need a new job fast I have a lot of contact entry points to try before playing the submit-application-here lottery or post-and-wait game. And occasionally I've been very tempted to reply to some anyway. It's "spam" in the sense that I've listed not being interested in jumping ship except for having a few rare details that would at least make me consider, but we all know most everyone's technically on the market regardless given the right offer even if it lacks certain 'requirements'. Recruiters just have a job that depends on believing they always have the right offer.


I had a couple of phone conversations based on posting in the "Who wants to be hired". Nothing led to work but enjoyed speaking to people who reached out. I'm in a less popular niche with manufacturing applications so I think it's good for spreading a wide net.


Have any recent grads/<2 years of experience folks gotten interviews or an offer from these threads? It seems like it's mostly for senior engineering roles.


Yes. I made a post 3 months ago with my resume, and was contacted if I was interested in a position. I just started at the job last week.


I don't like the fact that if you post a thread there, it'll last forever : https://hn.algolia.com/?query=who%20whant%20be%20hired&sort=...


I have. About 6 years ago. Turned out to be a career defining role for me.

I also just reached out to someone from the “Who wants to be hired?” thread about an open role on my current team.


Yes! Last time I was interviewing I got multiple offers from my post. I did get some recruiter spam but it was mostly founders or early engineers that did the reaching out.


Yes. Had a hiring manager reach out to me from a company I already blindly applied to but was in limbo with.

Went directly to on-site interview stage after a quick call and am still happily employed here 5 years later.

Definitely the most important post I ever made in my life :)

I don't think I got any additional recruiter spam around the time of that post. Maybe back then recruiters didn't watch those threads yet?


I have applied to companies and posted my contact info a few times on different usernames: Usually no response.

Compared to some of the other people in those threads, my resume is not stellar, so it's not surprising that they can wait or find someone else that's better.


Several interviews with very few solid (or high quality) experiences. It's becoming a bit of a dumping ground for recruiters running out of ideas. Especially frustrating are the folks that don't seem to understand what "remote" means.


That's why I've been saying that there should be a tag for GLOBAL_REMOTE which means/infers is up to you go to the office or not, and you can be anywhere in the world (like Gitlab)


"Remote" means the job is 100 mi away, and you will be given the opportunity to work from home 1 day a week after a year on the job. Oh yes, and we will pressure you to interview with this client because we really need the commission money.


Remote also means you need a US visa, of course.


Case in point: I had scheduled a call yesterday with BibliU (who posted in the June Who's Hiring) for today, and their person was a no-show to the call. No email, no phone call, just a no-show to the video call. That could have been for any number of reasons, but the lack of communication on behalf of the companies posting in the Who's Hiring threads now has increased significantly.


I've tried to find people that way, but usually there is nobody. Let's see, searching for "assembly" and "assembler" and "embedded"...

1. I already asked. He wants Rust and probably won't leave Albuquerque. Bummer. He'd be perfect.

2. Argentina... nope.

3. Barcelona... nope.

4. One might work. I probably already asked, but don't remember.

5. Remote only... nope.

6. Lisbon... nope.

7. Paris... nope.

8. I already asked. He won't leave southwest Florida, even for Tampa or Melbourne. Bummer.

9. Bay Area and won't relocate... nope.

10. He's hesitant to relocate. Hmmm, I could try.

11. Paris... nope.

So that is the situation as of now, with 155 comments 7 hours after the post. I can email a couple of them.


Seems to me like the actual problem is staring you right in the face, though: you are not in a tech cluster and you don't want to countenance remote working. That instantaneously removes 90% of the pool - or rather 99%, since no city on Earth has 75m people in commuting distance. No wonder you struggle to find people, particularly for a hard skill like assembler.


Somewhat yes. It depends on where you draw the line for "tech cluster", both for the size and for the industry.

Austin and the DC area sort of count. No, they aren't the Bay Area, but nothing else is.

Specifically for low-level security work, there are a number of competitors both large and small in Melbourne, FL. There is also embedded work related mainly to aerospace.


> there are a number of competitors both large and small in Melbourne, FL

And they are all competing for the services of assembler programmers living in Melbourne FL, population 80,000.

Wouldn't it be smart to widen that pool?

EDIT: obviously you have security constraints, I appreciate that - but most businesses in similar circumstances won't, and still won't consider remote, to then bitch about skill shortages.


I did a lot of research as I just moved here myself. Melbourne is not physically a large city. The county that Melbourne is in has nearly 600K people. If you count people within say, 45 minutes, that number grows to probably over a million as that gets you to Orlando outskirts.

This area has a ton of tech jobs it seems...


I did remote work for a while, but honestly, I prefer going into an office.

Even with a home office, my family or dogs and up demanding a lot of my attention through the day, and it's difficult/frustrating since it takes me out of my mental zone/thought process.

That was a while ago.. now, as a manager, I could try some remote employees, but I honestly prefer having face time with my employees... Most remote workers never want to use webcams (in my experience with 5 remote working peers over my career), which severely impact my communication capabilities (I can't get facial ques or body language from the interaction).

I also delt with a supervisor that hid a work impacting personal problem in his remote working... Over 2 years he did less work and supervising, was hard to reach most of the time, and would (eventually) only communicate by email. If he came into the office, people might have seen that HR needed to provide assistance sooner.

So I think issues like these make the idea of remote work scary to employers... What interview questions can you ask to very "dedicated remote workers" from "easy paycheck remote workers"? How to you improve performance in remote workers if they consistently perform much slower than in office workers?


> Over 2 years he did less work

That's a failure of upper management to demand accountability from him. A lot of people hide a lot of stuff even when they are at the office.

> What interview questions can you ask to very "dedicated remote workers" from "easy paycheck remote workers"?

The same you ask to discern between "dedicated office worker" and "minesweeper-champion office worker"?

> How to you improve performance in remote workers

Promote accountability based on deliverables and targets. Establish always-on communication channels and systems, keeping remotes involved in the decision-making rather than being recipients of orders. Have periodic reviews, particularly if things are slower than expected. And at the end of the day, don't be scared to let people go if they are not meeting expectations, or to put your foot down on things like webcam usage if you really need it.


It's a shame you're not open to remote. I didn't post in that thread, but matching on "assembly", "assembler", and "embedded" is right up my alley. Unless you happen to be anywhere near Regina, SK :)


Let's avoid judging -- remote is awesome if it works, but a lot of people aren't open to remote precisely because they're in a field or industry where it's incredibly logistically difficult. For example if you're a hardware company it's often pretty hard to do work without the actual hardware in front of you.


100% agree, which is why I'd want hardware delivered :). Not as easy for e.g. an electric vehicle, but pretty straightforward for smaller electronics. I come pre-equipped with a decently stocked lab: nice 'scope/logic analyzer, ok spectrum analyzer, nice soldering setup for SMD, hordes of JTAG adapters and dev boards, 3D printer, etc. I've been doing remote hardware work for a while now; there are definitely a few challenges, but it's generally worked just fine.

Edit: I looked at their profile and saw the citizenship requirement, and more of a description of the kinds of stuff they work on. I get why remote might not be encouraged for it :). The point still stands generally though; remote hardware work is possible and not a huge burden for most situations.


You're not wrong, but for an awful lot of combinations of hardware and remote locations, it's reasonable to ship gear as needed. I do firmware work remotely, and think of occasional fast shipping (or more rarely, work trips) as a cost of doing business.


Again, typically not easy if you are doing industrial hardware that weighs 100 pounds, has fragile components, still in a phase where various hardware components need to be regularly tweaked or replaced by their respective experts on the team, needs to be on-site to function at all, and depends on other infrastructure.

If you're doing consumer hardware, different story.


I've done remote embedded (and instrument control) work. It's not impossible. I mean, who is really into electronics and doesn't have a bench setup already? Also most test equipment these days has network connectivity, so you can even work with that remotely in some cases.


Why aren't you open to remote work? I've been at NodeSource for the last four years. We are all remote. I honestly don't understand why anyone would go to an office to write code in 2019.


It's mainly about security. We keep our stuff off of computers that can reach the internet. I get two computers at my desk, one for random internet junk and one for real work.

I happen to like the side-effect on work-life balance. Nobody will ever expect me to do a bit more work at home. When I go home, I'm totally off work. I also get paid overtime, so I'm not getting cheated at the office either.

It's also somewhat about physical hardware. Remote use of screw drivers and soldering irons is difficult.


> I happen to like the side-effect on work-life balance.

There's no problem with work-life balance while working remote. You can even have better work-life balance as you don't need to take half a day off from work to attend to a 10-minute chore that can't be rescheduled. It needs maturity and trust on the part of the employers and the employees. You're almost boasting about calling a bug a feature.


I think I see the problem: "half a day"

Depending on what you mean by "a day", each commute direction is 2 to 3 hours. (or I suppose 6) You have a very long distance, or severe traffic, or something else unusual. It sounds like you would be driving over the mountains to reach a place like LA or SF.

I've been a software developer at 5 different work locations in 2 different states, but I have never commuted more than 20 minutes. Currently it is almost that if I walk, or 3 minutes if I drive.

This is because I choose small cities with affordable housing and low traffic. Big urban tech hubs are popular, but they mean you probably won't get a large property right near work.


I have no commute as I’ve been fully remote for the last 8 years.

But traffic is insanely bad in places like Bangalore and people just can’t choose to live in smaller places because 99% of the jobs in India are in places like Bangalore. The half-a-day case is much more the norm than the living-closer-to-work case in my experience.


Yes, for me at my current job it would be half a day - an hour plus each way for a ten minute "bankers hours" task.


Depends on the industry. I work in robotics and remote work is difficult. Almost every engineer needs to work with actual physical things that move and break. Motor controllers dying, cameras lenses getting smacked out of alignment, wires getting pulled, test circuits going up in smoke, these aren't things that are easy to deal with from a distance.

In general, it's also embedded systems that are (a) most difficult to remotely flash and test and (b) most easy to irreversibly damage if you're not in front of them during the testing process.


It's funny, because people who code assembly and embedded systems are exactly the type of people well-suited for remote work.


...unless it requires futzing with the scarce pieces of shared development hardware by hand?


Huh, why do you say that? I’d assume not because of the hardware constraint, etc. I’d imagine web devs are best suited to remote. Usually low sensitivity to the code or data and no hardware and the product itself is accessible everywhere.


Compilers/assembly/embedded systems/demo scene people have been coordinating on mailing lists since the 90's, sending patch files to each other on their slow clunky machines on their slow clunky 56k internet connections. This demographic imo is going to be way better at remote work than some brogrammer, which is what the OP is looking for perhaps inadvertently. And I say that as someone not at all of the noble compilers/assembly/embedded systems demographic. With these people, you don't need to worry about the ops and management impact of low face-to-face time, because they need zero of it. Could be a stereotype, but it definitely tracks with the people I know.


> but usually there is nobody.

Yet you list 11 people with 1 "ideal". There seems to be lots of people.


No. There are 2 to try, and 9 that are not possible due to location.


I get that. But it's not that there's nobody. (Available / with the right skills) There are no people matching your non-technical requirements, which is very different.


So, I'm not really looking at the moment, but this post struck me because I just moved to Melbourne, and venturing to do more low level work. If you have any resources/suggestions, or just want to say hi, feel free to reach out.


> -no. That doesn't mean we don't offer WFH (in fact, I'm working from home 3 out of 5 days a week), but remote only is not an option. I think the maximum WFH days per week for other people is around 2.

Souprock! you still have austin office right? not looking for work right now but is the sec clearance still a requirement?


Yes, and sort of. Most sites don't require an existing clearance, but you'd have to be eligible. The main reasons for rejection seem to be foreign connections and debt you can't handle. After that I think it is addictions and fraud. Stuff you did many years ago is less of a problem than recent stuff.


I found my current job on the "Who is Hiring" thread, and I have had two gigs plus a couple of near misses from the "Seeking Freelancer" thread. All of this occurred in 2019.


I tried it last month, since I'm averse to LinkedIn and similar resume sites. One of the responses was spam from a startup that scraped&NLP'd from the montly HN post, to generate resumes for people on their own resume site. Their spam seemed to imply that I already had a generated resume presence on their site, and I should create an account so that I can edit/correct it. (Which is some of the sketchy resume site behavior I was trying to avoid by trying HN instead.)


Sure did. If I recall correctly (this was about 5 years ago), I probably had 3-4 phone interviews / tech screens out of it, and got hired at a really great place (Mavenlink).


> Were you hired after someone contacted you?

I got 2 interviews + 1 follow-up not leading to an interview out of emails sent to 6 companies. Didn't convert either of the interviews but I think I was very close with one of them. I think talks broke down over salary expectations when speaking with the VP of Eng.

> Did you receive responses that weren't recruiter-spam from your posts there?

Yes. 3-4, of which about half were promising, in response to 1 post. They didn't work out for other reasons.


I’ve been posting in the "Who wants to be hired" threads occasionally since they started (somewhere in 2014 if I recall correctly) and have been doing so monthly recently. I'm also including a basic Q&A in my posts. I've varied the tone and content a bit over time. It's not an A/B test, just an attempt to keep things entertaining.

You can find my recent post here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20326583

What each month brings is very diverse. Companies are of all shapes and sizes, from different locations and different lines of businesses. It's fairly interesting by itself. I've gone through multiple interview hoops through the years and those tend to also be very diverse. I've done HR chats and tech chats, phone screens with code and phone screens without. I've done take-homes and I was twice flown to on-sites. There is also a fair amount of spam, canned recruiting emails and the automated "CTO bait-n-switch", but the overall positive far outweighs the negative in my mind. If you are considering to post - just do it.

I've learnt a lot from those postings. Reaching out is not easy and I'm thankful to whoever does. My main take-a-way is this: by reaching out, a person shows that they are the proactive kind who cares for their organization and tasks. That fact by itself is a very positive signal to me. I'm thus always trying to put best effort into whatever organizational recruiting process follows.

I have yet to be hired as a result of those posts.

P.S - ... but that one from last month that is still in process would be perfect for me. Especially if it goes south... ;)


Nope; my big problem is that people are looking for senior positions with 10+ years experience, yet are paying entry level salaries...


... and will dump you as "not a fit" if you are over 30.


Yes. I was hired by a university on a temporary position from HN after I finished college. It was my first job post-graduation.


I have hired multiple people using that thread.


I have hired an excellent junior engineer from one of those threads.


Would you mind giving some information about what makes a junior engineer stick out in those threads? I'm currently looking for that type of work and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


I landed a job interview for tech startup in LA, but I blew the interview. I didn't know my linux terminal commands.


Yup, I posted for the first time a month ago, and got hired by someone looking for exactly my skills. I liked them enough that I took a chance, dropping other opportunities that were in the pipeline.

Meanwhile, I'm STILL getting rejection notices from companies where my application has been sitting in their queue for over a month.


I was in the middle of a harsh bout of unemployment after the startup that hired me out of school folded unexpectedly (literally in a week's time). I was going from contracting gig to contracting gig but got tired of chasing people for money.

On a whim, I responded to just one such thread on HN. I got no recruiter spam, but rather an email from a company (I won't say which for privacy reasons) that totally changed my life. Great recruiting process, interesting and challenging interview gamut, and they made me an excellent offer contingent upon relocation, which I was hoping to do anyway.

So, the answer to the question is YES those threads work IF you work them. Stay on top of your emails, follow up, be diligent, study hard. It's so so worth it.


My co-worker found his current job from a HN post a number of years ago. Also we're currently hiring so check us out :) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20327435


> Did you receive responses that weren't recruiter-spam from your posts there?

Maybe I've obfuscated my email address well enough, but I don't get any recruiter spam from the listing. Now that I look back on that, it's something of a miracle.

That said, I've only been contacted once per the thread. After one email I was ghosted by the company. Not uncommon really.

I'm not really the niche for HN, I'm mostly a bio/medtech and engineering person. I love the discussions here, but my expertise is on the edges of the Gaussian that is HN.


My experiences do not really match: Some CV compiler website has been emailing me ever since I posted on the thread, and the opt out is "If you don't want to hear from me anymore, just let me know".

Except there's no MX record for the website (Image: https://elixi.re/i/oamrerwz.png ), so I can't reply to them asking them to remove my email from their list.

If the person behind those emails is reading this: Please stop, it's annoying and I will not give you my money, even with a discount.


In taking a look at your postings on the 'Who want to be Hired' thread you list your email outright: hnjobs@ave.zone

I've written mine out as : robert.heffern (at) gmail

I suppose that the way that I wrote out my email address is just a bit more difficult for a computer to parse and scrape, hence my lack of spam. However, it may also be screening out people that want to talk to me, and I would never know.

That said, you have a very impressive gitlab resume! Great work!


I have hired about 12 developers from these threads over the past 5 years.


My previous job came from a "who wants to be hired" thread (and by extension my current job, which came about through people I worked with).

An engineering manager noticed my post and passed it to their internal recruiters. I was interviewing with multiple companies and they came out on top.

It turned out to be a great experience. After 4 years they were acquired and most of us have moved on, and several of us formed the engineering team at a seed stage startup.


`Ask HN: Freelancer? Seeking Freelancer?` is also interesting.


The freelancer thread has delivered me a few new clients. I wouldn't want to rely on it alone, I've probably had as much work from network contacts as I have from that thread but it's not nothing.

My current "steady" (albeit less than 100% of my time) client found me through that thread several years ago.


I got a few offers that were aborded midway for one reason or another, for example a few ones were cancelled after they realized I didn't had a EU citizenship (I made clear I was brazillian and lived in Brazil, but they assumed I had some kind of EU passport anyway... although legally I should have one, bureaucratic issues made me not have one)

Also some companies asked me to do some puzzle style tests, that at the time I didn't pass.


Also to provide a bit of a tangent to your question, the "who's hiring" thread is predominantly developers and some project manager openings. People with a narrow set of specialised / a bit old skillset like Windows AD / Enterprise Setup administration, VMware / Citrix Administration and related profiles find it difficult to get suitable opportunities here.


I have definitely gotten interviews over this. I am not sure if my job was through who's hiring but I do know I did at least 2 onsites from it.


I posted once from an old account but never received any responses. Most of the jobs at the time were for web developers in the US. I'm a devops/systems engineer (AWS/Security/Scaling so whatever the new title is for that) so my skills don't seem to be in very much demand.

It would be nice if we could maybe break up the threads into different types of roles perhaps?


Yea, I've gotten at least two jobs that way - one fulltime, and another part time consulting. And a few interviews, which went well.

When I'm looking it, I just normally search for Ruby or Rails and see what pops up. I almost never get turned down for an interview if they are using one of those, which is likely due to having ~10+ years experience with them now.


For the people that are hiring / have hired people from these posts, what do you look for? What makes a post stand out?


Yes. Was a lot simpler/faster than the usual process. Instead of stereotypical questions, just start to actually do something (analyse, code) so a lot less stress and more the the point.

"If you were to meet a very rich man *?" "-Does not matter: you are not rich anyway and once we are married...."


Absolutely. I have applied multiple times and contacted once. While I did not get hired, I can assure you (based on the series of interviews and a coding challenge) , yes , people do get hired and the interviewers are genuine people looking to hire talented people for the role they advertised. No recruiter spam yet.


I have, for three fulltime remote jobs so far. Also got an offer for another FT position, but that was from a comment somebody left in some other thread, not in Who's Hiring.

I'm from Europe and these jobs were all in the US. It's doable, you just have to be a reasonably strong candidate.


Interestingly I'd been wondering the exact same thing, having only recently decided to respond to the latest "who wants to be hired" thread.

This is me - https://www.simongilbert.net


Yep, am currently working remotely for a company that found me in one of those threads :)


Somewhat related, I reached out to a few people on the "Freelancer? Seeking freelancer?" threads and had several responses, one of which I just started on.

I wouldn't be surprised if people had similar luck on all such threads.


I was just going to post a similar thread from the hiring manager's side. Genuinely curious how many responses y'all receive. I'm in Chicago, not SF but the responses almost never come.


I usually get several responses off of something like this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20328264

It's almost always at least 1 response. I don't think I've ever gotten more than 10 responses. Something like 4 is typical.

On average I think I find one that is good and one that is minimally acceptable. Several have been hired, but at least one of those was redundantly discovered elsewhere.


Thank you! I felt like my description wasn't far off so I'm going to adjust a little. I'm not opposed to juniors but that's all I have received thus far after 6/7 months of using the thread.


I've posted in the May 2019 thread and I've been contacted by 2 companies, no recruiter-spam; I didn't get hired, but I've slightly adjusted my search parameters since then.


I'm a hiring manager, but not a recruiter, I use it most months we have a position open to do direct reach out as the pool of people is generally pretty good.


Yup. I joined a company in SF in November 2015 (thanks @jlisam13). Now neither of us are there, but I met the people with whom I co-founded my current company.

Definitely changed my life!


Yes, I got a job at an ad tech start up. It was a huge move up for me (previously doing government contracting). Since then I got a job at a FAANG.


I hired the best Engineering leader I have ever worked with early in his career from posting on an HN "who's hiring thread".


I talked to some internal recruiters but all emails came to a dead end. I got a better response than applying on LinkedIn or company websites.


I wasn't hired, but I got an interview on the basis of one -- at a real company that you have almost certainly heard of.


I got my current job from there 3 years ago, started my freelancing career, then moved to New Zealand to work full time


I was hired ~5 years ago from a post on one, and we have since hired a couple other people as well from those posts.


Yes, multiple times, and with relatively high quality organizations compared to the norm, I think.


Yup, I got hired through those threads for the first time in the US almost a decade ago.


One day I hope to be a success story here. Glad the thread exists every month!


Yes, I was hired of such a thread. Still working for the same employer.


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