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Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda's Resume. Anyone interested? (cmdrtaco.net)
376 points by cmdrtaco on Dec 2, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 154 comments

Rob -- you're like Superman. Could Superman have a resume? Seems like you'd just give them a card that said "I'm f*cking CmdrTaco, damnit!"

(The reference here is to a famous fake letter said to be from Sean Connery to Steve Jobs http://www.exophrine.com/2011/06/sean-connery-to-steve-jobs-...)

Seriously, it brings up a good point. If you have lots of name recognition, what's the best way to look for work? I'd suggest networking, but it's entirely possible to be hugely famous without a deep contact list. I'm not sure Rob has this problem, but if he did, it would be a difficult one to address.

Actual famous people have agents. For mere mortals who are very well known in a niche, put out the word that you are looking for work and work will find you. Resumes are not an accelerant for this process, since as soon as you're a resume you're competing with other resumes. Everyone in the market has a resume, but rather less people have a career that needs no introduction. I would not suggest downgrading yourself from that status (exception: post-offer pro-forma resume for HR after you have agreement in principle from decisionmaker).

Agree. I would add (if I understand your point and I think I do) that putting a resume out is somewhat deprecating to a famous person. If Rob doesn't land a job, as happens with unsold real estate, potential employers (aware of the public search) will wonder why he hasn't been snapped up by someone else quickly. By going public you run this risk. But doing the search in private (or as they say "quietly shopping") you avoid some (but not all) of the risk. If nothing materializes you can go public later.

"you're competing with other resumes"

Very true. One of the best ways to not be compared is to approach things in a way that there is no competition. Approach employers when they are not advertising. I did this once and got a job that in no way I was qualified for resume wise. Once a job is advertised or with a headhunter you're being compared to someone else. (Same with dating most of us would rather not have to compete head to head with 20 other people and hope to be chosen the best of the lot.)

put out the word that you are looking for work and work will find you.

Just curious to know, I am normal person or a mere mortal as you described.

How do I get hired without the normal Resume, Recruiter, HR, Interview process?

Here's what I sent to the Khan Academy for a job: http://davidchouinard.com/khanacademy/

In my experience, anything that gets around the formal hiring process is a win. Finding a way around the application process is the application process.

No idea why you're getting downvoted. (ex-Khan Academy intern here, good luck!)

Start talking to people in the area you are interested in. Find the person is initiating the hiring process (not HR.) Find out what the need is and if you can fulfill that need. A resume should come towards the end of the interviewing process when a job has been extended. The resume is a marketing document, like a relevant piece of marketing material that a competent sales person will leave with a prospect after the prospect has agreed to make a commitment. A resume should never (general case) lead the discussion of employment.

At the same time though, having your resumé sit at the top of Hacker News for a few hours simply because you decided to write a new one has got to be good, regardless of what's even on it. Think of each upvote as a personal recommendation.

The link in Daniel's exophrine URL is very not work safe, due to the pics in the sidebar (a topless woman, in my case).

I'm not a prude, I just want to help prevent people from getting in trouble if they're browsing from work.

I greatly prefer Norvig's resume:


Tons of amazing feats with lots of details while still feeling normal and pleasant.

I enjoyed that Norvig listed being co-recipient (along with 6 billion others) of Time's Person of the Year award in 2006!

That's funny, Norvig's papers on Scheme-on-Java are co-written by Tim Hickey. Including "SILK: a playful blend of Scheme and Java".

Edited to fix. Damn it, I rather liked the thought that Connery would write that. It fits the legend of both men very well. My comment works either way, fortunately.

Um, of James Bond maybe. Sean Connery has a reputation for being a very nice guy.

A very nice guy that supports hitting women ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FgMLROTqJ0

An important corollary would be his views on a woman slapping a man. There was a time when slaps directed at either gender were both acceptable.

As the stylish Mr. Noël Coward (a friend of Mr. Connery) once said: "Women should be struck regularly. Like gongs."

Just because I am friends with someone does not mean we share the same views.

> If you have lots of name recognition, what's the best way to look for work?

Well, you could just submit your resume to Hacker News, and it would get upvoted a lot.

Not really a fan of this, but made me think of Matt Mullenweg's business card: http://paulstamatiou.com/im-2-on-google

The card reads: 1. Go to Google. 2. Type 'Matt.' 3. Click 'I feel lucky.'

Edit: Added what the card reads instead of just the article link.

By the time I type "Matt", the "I'm feeling lucky" button disappears and, thanks to instant search, is replaced by a screenful (on a netbook screen) of ads for mattress discounters.

It might be worth adding:

"I'm Rob Malda. When you hire me, it's going to be the best advertising money you ever spend when every tech outlet in the world covers the story about where I am now working."

I'll get that into v2.0 ;)

Rob, long-time /. fan who migrated over to HN when the signal-to-noise ratio exceeded my threshold. I just wanted to say thank you, and also that it's slightly ironic that you seem to be following the same path over to HN... :)

That's not irony.

Also that's probably not even true, I would guess that cmdrtaco keeps reading slashdot for old time's sake if nothing else (you don't erase 14 years easily), and in 2011 it turns out you can visit several websites instead of giving allegiance to the One and only.

Indeed; and I tend to think of visiting HN, Reddit etc as like going to visit my kids/grandkids. They've grown so much!

To continue the analogy...do you feel that /. is wasting away, or is it just attracting a different demographic these days?

Why is that? I've been reading it for years (given at a high threshold) and it seems like the same old slashdot to me. It's also a great deal friendlier place than this one.

It's also a great deal friendlier place than this one

My experience has been the the opposite, I stopped contributing to user forum based sites after I left /. and did not do so for a long time. I read HN for a while before deciding that it was home, and it was, because in my perception, there was a lot less "I'm the smartest guy in the room" conversations. Take that with a grain of salt though, because it has been a long long time since I have been over there. Things almost assuredly have changed since then. Has anyone else had the same positive impression of the exchanges over there? Most the posts I see on the subject tend to complain that there is still a lot of it going on.

Hackernews is a lot less tolerant of digressions, jokes etc. It ends up being a much more "serious" place, for both good and bad.

HN seems to have a different set of values. While there's less tolerance for jokes and culture references for the sake of culture references, HN tends to house a lot of intellectually frank discussion that a lot of other sites discourage.

A good example is this post from several weeks ago on the subject of denying blood donations from donors with a history of male-to-male sexual contact: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3237895 It's very fact-centric, to the exclusion of any sort of pandering or apology. When I read this post several weeks ago, I immediately thought, "this would never fly on reddit; people would quickly downvote it for being 'insensitive' or similar."

This also reminded me of PG's essay "Persuade xor Discover." http://www.paulgraham.com/discover.html HN users seem to care less about "persuasion," which can lead to perceptions of "unfriendliness" because things aren't written to please people. However, it does lead to a lot of interesting discussion that couldn't take place on a site more concerned with being "nice."

There's probably more bravado but I tend not to notice it, in the sense that the brain tunes out noise. However, I find that different from the active downvoting of (what in real-life would be considered) the niceties of conversation.

E.g. I don't think I've ever been downvoted on slashdot but if I did it would be for spam or hate, not a "thanks."

OK I get you, I guess it is all in personal comforts, I personally don't suffer tech bravado well, I have run across that arch-type in real life too may times and it has always made (for me) getting good ideas done difficult to impossible. To the extent that when confronted with it, too many times, I will disengage, whether it be a site or a project/job/activity. I have come to understand that it is born out of stubborn ignorance and that it cannot be, or I do not have the capacity to, navigate around it, I therefore choose to not engage it.

On the flip side I can see where legitimate comments getting down-voted could be taken as rude, the ones I hate to see are new people asking legitimate questions and then getting dog-pilled into oblivion, but it is the nature of the site. I do wish there where less of the i don't agree, or my comfort does not like what you say down-votes but for me it is preferable to the "i'm always right" personality. I never really thought about viewing down-votes as rude, save for the occasions where it is evident that it is a group think dog-pile.

I still spend time on there (especially when I've overdosed on HN startup scene stories) and have had an account since 2000ish. Providing you filter no lower than level 4, I find it's still as good as it has ever been.

Linus Torvalds and Transmeta come to mind.

Accomplishments: "single handedly destroying the productivity of a generation of nerds"

Hehe, that's exactly what I was thinking of when I read:

"Objective: To use all of my skills to change the world for the better. Again."

I can only imagine what great things I would've done with my time if /. hadn't been around. Or maybe I would've simply stayed at the online forum where I was posting before /. came along, wasting my time all the same.

You weren't wasting your time, you were becoming a technology generalist. It's a useful skill!

Do a new site man. Slashdot->[Digg]->Reddit->CmdrTaco's new site.

As much as I have love for Reddit its ripe for replacement.

Agreed. Slashdot's moderation system is still not replicated well, and it was a rather good implementation.

Digg's not quite dead yet; not sure it needs the brackets.

This seems to be true. Can anyone explain the downvotes?

According to Alexa, Digg is the 190th most popular site in the world. It shows traffic holding steady for the past few months. And clicking on the pageviews tab shows that pageviews have dropped over the last year+ but not extradramatically.

Here's a graph comparing ycombinator.com and digg.com:


(Keep in mind that the scale is logarithmic.)

As a website owner, I would love it if my site were dying like Digg.

I am not sure if i should rate you 5 informative, 5 insightful, or 5 funny!

Definitely no -1 overrated though.

Alas - I have but only one mod point to give on this den of iniquity!

mod parent up!

Disappointed that Expertise bullets missed "Stuff that matters" right under "Nerds".

OMG Ponies !!!

No Github profile. Less relevant buzzwords than a resume on Monster.com. Lame.

If I hire you, can I get a 3 digit slashdot id?

They don't even let me post stories any more, you think they let me re-assign UIDs?

If you seriously want one, you can have mine, I have to dig the username and password up, it's been almost a decade since I last logged in, I am sure I have it in an old email somewhere.

You could try selling it on ebay :-)

I can throw in my 3 number ICQ id :)

Woah, really? Try auctioning it off in Russia. As of few years ago the going rate for 4 digit UIDs was in tens of thousand dollars.

My 4 digit /. UID is also prime. Does that command a premium?

So is my 1 digit UID.

@cmdrtaco: not so sure about that one... ;)

No doubt that is crazy, I created an ICQ account back in the 90's, and used it probably 2 times, maybe I need to go digging through my old email archives to dig some of that stuff up, I don't know if it is a low number, but they where not around long when I created it, I remember that much. It seems strange to me to pay that kind of money for just a low number. Whats the deal, does it give you some kind of street creds or something. I have been on Skype since it came out, 2003, if I recall correctly, so I am not too up on things like ICQ numbers being worth money.

I had a 3 or 4 digit slashdot id, but the password is long forgotten and I no longer have access to the mail account that a new password is sent to.

Ever have thoughts on doing another startup? I'm sure you've put a significant amount of thought into social interactions and moderation of an environment and it's community, I bet there are some very good translations there into some sort of social media service/internet karma scheme/more accurately focused targeting of peoples actual interests (and lack thereof). I'm willing to bet chatting with you would make for some great intellectually stimulating conversation.

I'd very much consider it.

Gotta be a fake. Not nearly enough misspellings. ;)

Reading this resume is like having the resume for Michael Jordan hit your desk. You're so impressed that you don't know what to do at it, other than stare.

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these...

No indent below Education is killing me!

College is left leaning.

Is that a double entendre?

Objective: To use all of my skills to change the world for the better. Again.

I normally glance at career objectives, sigh, roll my eyes, and move on to the the meat of the resume, but this one is actually good. Anyone searching for a job, do yourself a favor and follow CmdrTaco's lead. Your career objective shouldn't be long or full of bullshit corporate speak, and if it is that will hurt you more than it helps.

Kudos to Slashdot! It had a great impact. That is the word I would choose to use, rather than the word "Better". It is because "impact" can be quantitatively measured. "Better" is subjective.

So is this a legit account, it was created 99 days ago which seems kind of short for someone as wired in as Rob should be, can anyone on this site confirm that the account is indeed Rob? I don't mean to be skeptical but it's the kind of thing that could kill the credibility of the site. A site full of people that pride themselves on being critical (polite but critical, I remind you) being duped does not bode well for attracting people who want scrutiny of their information and not just more confirmation bias.

It just seems strange to me, why would Rob be in the market for a job, I could understand being in the market for a team but not a job, unless he did something stupid like I did and lost it all, if so I would love to hear that story. If it is I apologize for being critical I would have just imagined you being here a long time ago. I was one of your first users over on the other site back in the day, I always though based on your post over there that you would love it over here.

Per a recent interview[1]: "I promised my wife that I would take a few months off from work before I began looking for a job. That time is now at an end, so it’s basically time for me to start shoving my resume out there and seeing what my next chapter looks like."

[1] http://www.webstock.org.nz/blog/2011/rob-cmdrtaco-malda-inte...

Thanks, apparently I missed some news.

I can absolutely confirm that it is him. Although you have to trust that I am in fact, hemos, but the other folks I know on here can attest to that.

Maybe we should implement a PGP-style circle of trust on HN... =D

Seriously, why not create a GPG web of trust?

Because it's already easier without encryption to get people's trust from scratch than it is to impersonate someone else.

BTW, as an aside, I am really happy to see that both of you guys are over here.


Right, I get the irony of trusting the guy that says the other guy is the guy. I just though, I either missed something and a few people would pipe up. It's not scientific sure but suffices for my, "well maybe it's him, filter"


Thanks pg, Ill take your word for it.

Who's that pg guy? Is he legit?

So far, yes.

Except on Thursdays.

It wasn't Rob, but the account was handed over to him a while ago. You can check his blog to confirm that.

Right- an anonymous HN user squatted the nick, and handed it over to me when I resigned from Slashdot in august.

Thanks man, I did not know that info of his story, my knowledge of his adventures stopped when I left /.

I'm sure you've gotten tons of interest and I'm not 100% sure what we'd do, but I'll fly you out to Beijing and put you up somewhere nice if you want to see if there's a fit. A many-hats-wearing-change-the-world type person can do just about anything they want, when they find the right mix of something that excites them and good people to work with.

My finance guy who raises money for projects is here Dec 13th to 23rd so it's particularly a good time, but I'm flexible. Could also meet in Taipei around New Year's if you like. You might want to check up on my crazy antics before you throw in with me though, in the last couple weeks I've gotten a lot of comments ranging from "a literary hero" for the open letter I wrote to S&S to complete maniac, jerk, dick, etc.

Anyways, who knows, maybe nothing's there. But we can definitely watch some Cowboy Bebop, check out the Forbidden City, and see if there's anything worth changing in the world. Email in profile if it's interesting to you.

Ever worked in a team?

Managed teams for 13 of the 14 years ;)

That's a no? ;)

Well, I wasn't the CEO, so I was always on someone's team.

Oops, apparently I offended some of your fans.

How many people were working for slashdot if I may ask?

You're confusing me Rob. You want to be someone's employee, follow someone else's vision, get a regular paycheck, dental plan yada yada - and yet you want to change the world. Again.

It's definitely possible to do, but not as likely, and resumes are a bit played out, esp. for someone with your credentials.

Yep. Totally confused.

That's a bit bleak. In corporations, you work for someone; in places like start-ups, you stand a good chance of working with someone. You don't need to be the founder to get into that position, but it's obviously an option.

Rob doesn't need to parade around a resume to get in a startup. The boy is prequalified.

Resumes that can pull off an 'Objective' line always make me smile. Those that can't make me cringe.

Rob, if you are still interested in the social media space, have you thought about:

a) applying at reddit

b) starting up a reddit competitor (your karma system is still among the best I've seen)?

If not, what kind of area are you thinking of? I'd imagine your varied skillset would be awesome at a very small startup.

Your next move should be to rebuild local government with more control and transparency into public dollars. It's what we're doing at CivicSponsor, drop me a line if you want to talk.

Personally posted over 15,000 stories, rejecting a million more.

Although 15K is not a small number, for some reason seems like it should be more. I guess that makes every user submitted slashdot story that was posted by cmdrtaco himself that much more cool.

An oldie but goodie: http://slashdot.org/story/05/03/02/1456237/yahoo-turns-10-fr...

You are very good sir, and also lucky. You are talented and hardworking, but, still lucky.

There's a lot of talented and hardworking people here, like you, not as lucky tho.

  >> There's a lot of talented and hardworking people here, like you, not as lucky tho.
Not denying a significant random component to success, but success does not seem to follow a random distribution.

If given a choice between picking someone coming off a big success, or someone who looks equally smart but was only moderately successful, many would choose to bet on the person who was successful last time.

The initial success though given all parts being equal is just as random, so you still have the same odds starting out. It's the same concept as what Buffett calls the *Lucky sperm club". His concept was just applied in the other direction, being born into success.

Not really a lot of relevant experience. Would like to see some Hadoop or heck, even some C#. Let's talk again in a year or two.

If I had that background, I'd probably be most interested in some kind of political/activism startup (e.g. Votizen), or some kind of project/funding startup (e.g. Kickstarter). Presumably there are non-competes to make starting "unslashdotted.org" or something a no-go, and I don't think I'd want to after working on one from 1997-2011.

How Janet Hoilian got more stock then Malda I'll never know.


Agood lesson in there for today's bootstrappers

You need to look for Blockstackers in the document rather than Rob or Jeff.

Why is it marked scribd?

That's a linked to the scribd HTML version of the PDF.

Oh Rob, being a long time /. reader, I know you'd ban someone's account to Hades if they did on /. what your doing here.

Just sayin.

Notice that my resume isn't ON Slashdot!

I'm working on some interesting things with zndx.org -- email with my username if your're curious.

That's an odd résumé, which doesn't look at all like a software engineer résumé. Is this intentional or is CmdrTaco not an engineer at all? Programming languages? Frameworks? Specifics about the scaling and daily operations of /.?

It's also pretty light on the kind of position he's looking for.

If I were hiring engineers, I honesty wouldn't know what to do with such a résumé.

I think it is safe to say that CmdrTaco is more than just a "mere" engineer.

That's also what I thought until I read his résumé.

Which tells me there's something wrong with it.

I pause awkwardly every time I read résumé with the accents.

Typo? Replace "self moderating" with self-moderating". Thanks for /.

So what's your dream job?

Amazon is hiring :D

What did the 2 fingers say to the mouse? CLICK!

I'm CmdrTaco Bitch!


I don't think I've ever seen a resumé covering a 14-year tech/tech-related career that fit on one page.

You can do that if you have a Wikipedia entry.

I should get him to the post his joke resume. It's not even just one page, it's two lines on one page.

My joke resume that I made a month ago: http://cmdrtaco.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Joke-Resume.p...

Dear Mr Taco,

Thank you for your recent resume. Unfortunately, we have no openings for any experienced slashdot.org's at this time.

We shall keep your resume on file and will contact you should an opening arise.

Yours sincerely,

JP Doctor

For the record, I like this one better.

Whatever resume gets me the best job is my favorite.

What kind of job are you looking for, would make you happy?

Yeah...cmdrtaco should write the job description he seeks, not the resume! His resume is the worldwide community of nerds he has helped grow ...

You only need one good one.

This is gold. Remove the references line, and you're hired instantly.

It's to weed out employers that have to ask for references!

Right, but the references line is implied. It's part of the process.

This looks more like a gravestone.

Dexter? Why didn't I know that? A2 here, but Hi5.

I think this one is almost more effective. Maybe a mix between the two.

Someone else can link the joke version and try to get HN karma... I felt dirty just posting the first one.

You must be new here.


Lawl, you goobers. :)


/trae aka: OcToBrX MyCaPsRsTuCk

FrAnTiC fOr CaKe

My version would just be "wrote slashdot".

Mine would be "google me"

Mine already is.

Damn if I had a startup right now I would hire you as you are close to me geo-location :)

BTW, how is the startup scene in your area of Michigan?

Decent; but not great. Nate is doing http://ingenuitas.com

Rob, if you're still looking at this thread, check this out:


Change the world for the better by changing the money for the better...it can happen. This software even has a built-in karma system.

Thanks for /. Cheers.

Insert obligatory post from Netcraft confirming that XYZ is dying.

In Soviet Russia XYZ confirms Netcraft is dying.

Since nobody is playing devil's advocate, I suppose I have to. :-)

Have you done anything that doesn't fall under the "slashdot" header? If I saw this resume, my first instinct would be to say "Yeah, he made slashdot, but how do I know he's not a one-trick pony?"

Might I suggest a couple of open source projects or something to suggest that there's more to you than a degree and slashdot?

I like the nice, simple, and to-the-point layout. But I think it might be a bit extreme.

I don't think anybody cares about patches to enlightenment, afterstep, or various X11 widgets written 15 years ago!

Its not for life if he eventually sucks. But now he doesn't want to work for you anymore!

That's childsplay compared to http://ezyang.com/ezyang-resume.pdf

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