The way Fabien describes SF as a Mecca evokes the sense of wonder Woody Allen had about the City of Love:
You know, I sometimes think, how is anyone ever gonna come up with a book, or a painting, or a symphony, or a sculpture that can compete with a great city. You can't. Because you look around and every street, every boulevard, is its own special art form and when you think that in the cold, violent, meaningless universe that Paris exists, these lights, I mean come on, there's nothing happening on Jupiter or Neptune, but from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafés, people drinking and singing. For all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.
There's something nice about being in a city where everyone is one the same wavelength, but I think there's something more romantic about being holed up in a Parisian apartment that's stood the trial of centuries, committing to GitHub with the Eiffel Tower in the window (physical or otherwise) and such tremendous history all around you.
Having traveled around a bit I find city "personalities" very interesting, some, like Brussels, feel very bureaucratic and others, like Melbourne, feel a lot more laid back and relaxed. Zurich has always struck me as the 'busy' city, everyone seems like they are on a mission to get the most done that day, and London struck me a generally both pretentious and fun, sort of like you put on your "business" face during the day and then back to your "fun" face after work was over. And then there are cities with no soul at all, which seem to be either 'pretend' cities (going through the motions) or 'dead' cities (the soul has departed). It is always a bit sad to wander around San Jose as it feels rather soulless, even though I go there regularly to see plays.
No doubt, and Woody Allen and others have touched on this as well, what someone sees in a city is as much about who they are as it is how the city presents itself. My friends from USC that went into the entertainment industry see Los Angeles for example much differently than I do, but I fully recognize that its sort of like the city doesn't reflect any of the light I'm interested in.
I know too meta, sorry, its Saturday and I'm waiting for a kernel rebuild :-)
There's probably a fair degree of resentment at being unable to afford a decent apartment in the city. I imagine my tune'd be different had I lucked into something livable in a cool neighborhood, rather than living in an assortment of East Bay towns and commuting by BART.
I'll be working in the peninsula soon, at one of the giants, and that will have its own joys and issues. But I'm looking forward to seeing how my view of SF evolves, as it'll soon merely be that city across the bay I visit for dinners, shows and drinks.
When the laws prevent you from giving actionable feedback to the person you didn't hire, you know it has gone too far.
The government should have no business in your selection or rejection of new hires, and the firing of them if needed.
>I believe the US way to be better
I don't. It may be less backward bent than France, but there is certainly a lot of room for improvement - like being able to give proper feedback.
Except that you felt it because the other candidate interviewed and sold himself better.
The way it is being presented here you could always sue if you're black and the person they hired wasn't. It doesn't really work that way. They do have to provide proof of their claim of racism/sexism or whatnot. They didn't hire me isn't proof.
And for the employer, win or lose, it's a huge headache, risk and cost, with big PR downside to boot. The employer has no incentive to increase this risk by saying more than is absolutely necessary.
Then look at it from the pov of the corporate lawyer. If they okay you supplying a rejection paragraph instead of a rejection sentence and you do get sued then it looks a failure of the lawyer. Whenever I've worked with corporate lawyers they have always erred on the side of not doing anything because the risk is to their career and the rewards go to other people in the organization.
> I don't.
I was speaking about the technical interview instead of a more relaxing one we have in France.
I think rejecting candidate with a single formal sentence isn't what it should be, of course. Companies should be able to say what went wrong, but noone will for the legal issues raised in the comments below. Why should they take risks?
I will add than Twitter had a specific atmosphere compared
to other so called startups. The employees seem to be hired
on more than skills, everyone at their office is very much
hipster like, beautiful looking, feeling super confident
and ready to kick it. Walking around Twitter sometimes
almost feels like walking within a TV show.
In all fairness that's not what he said. Some companies - like google - have a very objective hiring process based almost entirely on technical skill. But many other companies include "fit" as a part of the hiring decision. I haven't interviewed at twitter but I could believe they are like that.
I've thumbed down candidates who did well on the technical part of the interview because I felt I wouldn't get along with them day to day. Not as extreme as "beautiful" people who are "ready to kick it", but more like arrogance or social awkwardness.
I thought coding was one profession where socially awkward geeks could make an honest living.
I think people with poor social skills can thrive in tech, but in a more internally facing position like pure development or testing.
I also don't want to work with someone who I don't think I can get along with, and more importantly; that I feel the rest of the team can't get along with.
It affects the team and ultimately it will affect the product.
You do feel sometimes technical isn't enough, but at Twitter you could definitely feel you had to look good. And you could also feel how current employees were proud to be part of the adventure. Proud as being part of the topnotch Silicon Valley companies.
I will add than Twitter had a specific atmosphere compared
to other so called startups. The employees seem to be ...
beautiful looking ...
> You’ll see an immense amazing positive atmosphere everywhere, people working day time for a normal job and coding on evenings in coffee places, trying to work on their latest idea. They might even raise a few millions dollars on it, really.
I completely appreciate this - it's an amazing cultural difference.
>Mecca for Software Engineers, the only place in the World where the guy in front at Starbucks has big chance to be Software developer.
I'm a iOS developer and I love software, but this was one of my main reasons for leaving SF.
The other course, depending on your country of citizenship, is asylum, which enables you to skip the queue and apply for your green card after a year. However, fraud is a big issue and you will eventually get slammed.
I was really confused because an E3 is a visa very similar to a H1-B for Australians and an E1 is a visa for traders from countries that the US has a free trade agreement with.
Google's teams don't hire; Google hires (teams aren't even able to influence the process, by design) -- then you get placed on a team.
While the generic SWE / new grad process is close to what you describe, individual teams and managers regularly exert a non-zero amount of influence: in screening and routing candidates, recommending the interview slate, getting the packet to hiring committee, and bidding on a candidate once an offer is made.
It's also common for more specialized groups (such as Platforms) to have their own HC.
It may contain some interesting points, but it is obviously written by an ESL writer.
I find it fun when native speaker complain about ESL speakers, since in the end it is likely that international English will win.
I live in a non-English speaking country, the common language in the office is international English (there are 60+ nationalities, and less than 20% are native english speaker). It would be fun to track over time if the native speakers start speaking international english :)
I'm going to college in the US, but am from Germany, and what makes me reluctant to plan a future in the US, is the requirement for me to bind myself to a company for in worst case 10+ years to have the certainty that I can stay in the US, should I chose not wanting to be employed.
Aiming to be a freelancer or entrepreneur becomes next to impossible if you want to stay in the US without a green card. At least to my knowledge, I'd be happy to be wrong in this case.
Not really the case. Taxes + benefits can easily add up to that much. General rule is it costs 150% of a salary to employ someone in the US. Much of what might be lumped into taxes in other countries is just paid for separately (such as healthcare), but the overall cost of the employee sounds like its about equal.
That being said, here are a few things to know:
1) France's unemployment rate is north of 10% (closer to 25% if you're under 25) and it's not for lack of companies. It's because large companies are essentially on a hiring freeze until the economy balances out, because employment comes with a lot of string attached (hard to fire, expensive to fire, high social taxes on top of employees).
2) Startup employees don't work 35 hours a week - I've never once seen this, and I'd be curious to meet teams who did. If you want to work at a public tech company, or Google France, you may work 35hours/week, just like you would at EA or Oracle in the US. The fact is that the 35 hour work week is a law to protect employees, but the 6-month trail period that precedes your 'protection' usually sets the tempo for work life. Those who can't handle working 45-50 hours a week, or at the pace set by the company, are usually kicked out with 24 hour noticed within the first 6 months.
3) Getting a job in Paris is easy, especially for an American. Your CV is "I'm an American" and any startup who's raised 1Million+ will be a fool not to take you. So, if you're looking for a job in Paris, just tweet it, and you'll have a job offer by the end of the day. If you're a little less technical, Law/accountign firms hire international people with VISAs all the time to cover their intl. clients.
More news about French Tech at @RudeBaguette - http://rudebaguette.com
In Paris, nothing happens on that level. If you do want to come to Paris it's because of the amazing food, lifestyle, public transportation system, and certainly not because of the amazing startups we should have.
I don't know any developer in Paris that do a 35 hours week.
Actually it's even the contrary, French managers have a strong culture of evaluating employees performance based on presence. So you see a lot of peoples doing 10-12 hours a day, or coming back to the office on saturday.
It's still better than the US, "cadre" status (but not top management) is officially around 180-190 day of work per year (depending on the unions).
In SF, it's often necessary and hardly ever sufficient.
I think it's a core deep cultural issue about France. The whole system is completely corrupted, people are used to get "passe-droit" (not sure about the translation) for anything, and even the top Political leaders are acting this way. Politician asking cops not to be fined for something illegal they just did, a friend of a friend asking the School President to let their kid attend their school, etc.
The whole French society is based on this. Many say it's a Monarchy, and not a Republic.
I appreciate your comment but I'm not disappointed. If being rich means working 20 hours a day for 5 years will little luck of success in the end (like any startups), I'm not willing to pay the price.
I've traveled months per year the recent years, spent a year in Asia, rided 22,000 kilometers in India on Enfield (and about to go again for 4 months) and so more much I can't list here. I feel very lucky of my current position.
However I have to say the feeling I had when living in San Francisco is as following. If I had spent as much time and dedication on my projects while living in San Francisco instead of Paris, I would have had 100 times more in return than what I've had in France. On a money level, as well as on a professional level. Might be too late now.
San Francisco see developers as the only way to achieve their project they just raised 10 millions for. You're gold to them, they accept to pay a higher price.
In Europe most young developers want to be Product Manager (or any Manager positions), most developers in SF don't care about this, they want to have fun. The reason could be you get paid super well in SF, and not in Europe :)
I can count in one hand the number of technical freelancers I've ever seen or heard about but I also have never actively searched for one. On the other hand there are a lot of companies that act as middlemen between contractors and companies. These contractors are employed and paid by the middlemen, but they go on to work directly on the client's site. These middlemen make a very decent profit since they pay their employees the usual (20-40 euros/h), while they bill them out to companies for up to five times as much. In some languages these companies have a specific name but I don't know how to translate it. I think they're a bit different than the agencies in the USA where as far as I know they take a percentage of the contractor's hourly rate.
In any case I guess Linkedin is a decent starting point. In some European countries it is used by huge percentages of the working population.
For the contractor, contracting via a respected agency means you're almost guaranteed to be paid. However, they don't really offer much value beyond that. I personally dislike dealing with them but then again, my last contract didn't pay the agent, and I still got paid.
They don't really do that much besides spam the local job sites, but being from the US you won't know the local job sites, so you can either need to invest in figuring that out or you can pay recruiters their cut.
UK wise, there are a whole bunch of sites I guess the following catch most of the population:-
60000e is about £50000. Inside London or working within the finance industry, there will be developers who'll be earning more than that figure, especially contractors. However, typically contract rates seem to be between £200 - £400 per day, with some outliers on both ends of the scale.
It'd be hard to get me to move to SF in a senior role for anything less than $120k.