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Doesn't understand bayesian logic! Doesn't understand risk management!


Idiot: We don't want to make any bad hires! Therefore, we reject a lot of good candidates!

FSK: If you pass on many good candidates, and you have a small chance of hiring any given bad candidate, then each good candidate you reject actually INCREASES your odds of making a bad hire.

Idiot: We made a bad hire once! Never again! Now we reject lots of good candidates to avoid that repeat disaster!

FSK: But, if you want to minimize your bad hire rate, you also have to minimize the number of good candidates you reject.

Idiot: NO! NO! NO! The way you make sure you hire no bad candidates is to be so strict that you reject lots of good ones! That's what everyone told me so it must be right!

In one ear and out the other. Why do people who don't understand statistics get to be managers? If you don't understand this statistics argument I made, you're unqualified to work in any sort of technical area.


It's actually fairly reasonable. The manager doesn't want to avoid hiring bad candidates. The manager wants to avoid being blamed for hiring bad candidates. They want to be able to say "I looked really really hard for reasons why Bob was a bad hire, and didn't find any, so you can't blame me for Bob being a bad hire."

Whether or not this actually reduces the number of bad hires is beside the point. It's a classic principle-agent problem.


Strictly speaking, I think raising the standards also could lower the probability of a bad hire (depends on the model - is bad hire completely random? does it depend on some parameter that is controlled?) together with a probability of a good hire, so I'm not sure it is a robust argument that raising standards always raises chance of a bad hire. I'd be happy to see a more rigorous proof (I know it's complete waste of time but for some people it's fun).


You're missing something vital here. They're not rejecting good candidates because they're good candidates, they're rejecting them because they're not sure enough that they're good candidates.

They fear they might be bad candidates. They'd rather reject too many than too few, so they make sure they reject everybody who they're not 100% is a good candidate. That means they may reject some good candidates that aren't easily identified as such, but it doesn't increase their chance of hiring a bad candidate; it decreases it.


Basing all of your management decisions purely on statistics is a bad strategy. You're assuming that the weighting of good vs. bad candidate is the same, when they're not.

Hiring a good employee is not nearly as impactful as hiring a bad one. If you can have a strategy that filters out 100% of bad employees, but unfortunately also filters out 90% of good employees, this is preferable to filtering only 50% of good employees, but also only filtering 90% of bad employees. You may have more good employees with the latter strategy, but the bad employees can kill the team.


People have an irrational belief in their ability to tell the difference. This is how one gets such flawed thinking in the first place (regarding priors and probability distributions).

Firms are hierarchy-based entities. "Technical Merit" is about a third or fourth order away from what really drives the hiring decision. Its also very imperfect predictor of actual performance.

The issues is that companies use the term all the time. They want people to believe they were hired for their merit, but merit is almost always 'fit' and not technical in nature. The technical hoops are just a CYA for when the 'fit' doesn't work out (mis-judgement) and they need something to point to as to that is not arbitrary in nature to explain how other people were not hired instead.


On a side note, this kind of passive-aggressive comment is not very welcome here on HN. Let's please keep discussion civil.


From the flash message on: https://developer.apple.com/library/prerelease/ios/documenta...

"Apple is supplying this information to help you plan for the adoption of the technologies and programming interfaces described herein for use on Apple-branded products. "

'for use on Apple-branded products.'


Maybe now Heroku will cut their hosted PG prices down a bit.


That's a new definition of "engineer" for me. Didn't realize that having a degree was a prerequisite of the title, like getting a PhD gives you "Dr."


Honestly, in this day and age the fact that you have an engineering degree is a sign that you can get your ass off the couch and strive to become something... not really any sign that you have something cooking in your head. Although, if you get through any engineering major curriculum you're likely not an complete idiot.

Engineering is a discipline. It's systematic, rigid, concise and if you fuck up you're liable for your actions. Would you hire someone who claims to be a self-taught electrical engineer, mechanical engineer? No. You know why? Because these people work their asses off to become licensed. Your hiring manager will probably lose people on his team if he hires someone who doesn't even have a single college credit. It's a matter of discipline and respect for your colleagues. In some areas it's regulated and you cannot hire an engineer without a degree.

Would you hire a self-taught software engineer? You can. What's the end result? All too often, your company on front-page news because this person made a rookie security mistake. Is he or she going to be responsible for leaking thousands of sensitive records to public? No. They might get fired, but that's it. Take this same example to medical field where a software bug can kill (and has before i.e. radiation treatments) and all of a sudden you can't even prosecute this "engineer" for murder.


In many countries "Engineer" is a protected title, and can only be used by someone who holds a Bachelor of Engineering or better. The difference between a BEng and BSc at my University basically amounted to more stringent record keeping and auditing standards for the University, and slightly more expensive tuition because of that.


I'm not saying I agree or disagree with GP, but some engineering disciplines require that you be licensed and are then called a "P.E.", Professional Engineer. Computer programmers don't, of course, and there are some that think we should be.

EDIT: Typo on "think"


Actually, DeveloperAuction is moving into other cities soon enough. After speaking with the team a bit, I got the impression that they see Silicon Valley as the testbed so they can perfect the process before taking it more universal.

I'm not really sure why this is so hard to see, the auction model is so weird, of course it'll take some time to figure out the kinks before "going global".


Yeah but the maintenance overhead on such complexity... Just wait till the teenage years!

Nah, given the design decisions inspiring this codebase, I don't have any reason to believe your daughter will have any challenge extending and reusing its functionality once she's grown up. ;-)


Our solution to recruiter spam:

Become a recruiter.

I'm sorry but how is your business model any different from that of a recruiter? (Other than claims of human or AI filtered quality.)

I just don't see how you will not run into the exact same problems that existing recruiters run into.

What makes you different than a normal recruiter building profiles of companies and employers and soliciting both? This just looks very familiar, abeit drop dead gorgeous. :-)

I guess if good design and AI are enough to solve the recruiter problem, then count me in, it's just not clear to me how you are really different from your landing page. (Other than of course it is beautiful, seriously fantastic work.)


There are a few things I dislike about recruiters that we aim to fix:

* They nearly all are technically incompetent, e.g. thinking Java is the cool word for Javascript and such. We know the difference between interfaces and inheritance, being developers ourselves, we are better at understanding the needs of companies and matching that to the desires of developers.

* Recruiters hide information, almost always. We're fully transparent with each pitch and include details about salary, team, etc upfront.

* Recruiters are about quick turn and will place you at any role that matches their keywords. We're more interested in long term relationships. In Pitchbox, this manifests itself in many ways...for example, just because you signed up today, doesn't mean you'll start getting job pitches tomorrow...instead we focus on relevancy and quality over quantity so you hear from us only when we think its particularly suited for you.

* The recruiting experience is horrible for companies too. The recruiter typically spams that hiring manager with resumes forcing the company to sift through it all. We provide simple useful tools for the companies connecting with Pitchbox members.

* If you liked our homepage for its simplicity and design, then you'll be happy to know we have built our entire product with similar focus. Interacting with it should be easy, purposeful, and enjoyable - pretty much the opposite of every interaction I've had with recruiters.

(BTW - Thanks for the kind words about our design)


Whilst I don't agree with the practice, the reason most recruiters are cagey about disclosing too much info on the company they represent is because they don't want the candidate to go to the company directly and saving the company $25k. How do you deal with that challenge?

Look, I'm incredibly vocal about the need to disrupt the recruitment industry but from what I understand based on the discussion here, the difference between Pitchbox and agencies is that you're developers not recruiters and you charge a flat fee. Am I missing something?


They may have an exclusive contract with the company for that position, for a certain period of time.

Or maybe the company name (or contact details) is NOT part of what they will expose to the candidate.


Generally they have a contract that says something along the lines of "if your initial contact with a candidate is through me, then you'll have to pay if you hire them". I think the caginess part is just an extra precaution.


This is my thought exactly. Recruiter here, 15 years with software engineers. The concept is interesting, and I dislike what many recruiters do to give the industry a bad reputation.

That said, you are contacting a select pool of self-identified candidates about a select pool of jobs after matching them through some algorithm or criteria. Then you charge a fee to the hiring firm which is probably only competitive in NY and Silicon Valley.

Engineers that are contacted by recruiters through other social media sites only consider it 'spam' when it's a job they don't want to hear about. If your system selects a candidate to share a job with, and the candidate is not interested, then the contact is pretty much the same as spam.

I have a pool of candidates that tell me what kinds of jobs they are seeking, their criteria, how active their search is, etc and I contact them accordingly. If they aren't interested, hopefully they don't feel it is spam, but it is just as invaluable.

The recruiter/engineer relationship is broken and hopefully good recruiters and entrepreneurs are able to think of some better ideas. This has potential, but for the price I'm not so sure.

I didn't see in the thread - one advantage for candidates in using a recruiter is being a buffer in negotiations, a guide, and coaching for interviews. An upside for companies that use recruiters is the negotiation help (at times) and closing deals that might not close without an intermediary. Does your service provide these additional perks to companies and to candidates?


It's a joke.

Tongue in cheek, self referential and self deprecating with a dash of realism.

Made me chuckle.


It's affectation that serves no purpose for the library other than to make me think the author has some issues.


He has issues because you don't get his sense of humor? You're out of order with that one.


It strikes me as an attempt at attention-getting, which in my experience often comes from insecurity. I'm not saying this is the case with this guy, but there's just no need for it.

So yes, I think he has some issues due to this particular expression of his sense of humor. It's not like I'm scared away by the language used - it was more cringe-inducing than anything.


Step 1:

Throw out this attitude. It's utterly useless.

Step 2:

Go bomb five technical interviews and learn from them.

Step 3:

Ace the sixth.


This applies to any type of interviews/beginnings. Since op listed himself as an entrepreneur who has sold companies, I'd expect this concept to not be novel. Probably, just a matter of regaining some confidence.


Yes. The first step to success is repeated failure. It's okay. If you can accept that it will happen then you can get it out of the way and be ready to succeed.


This is absolutely the right answer.


Be careful which you choose.

You'll be shown specific ads on google based on it.



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