Good to Know

Ways of Seeing Recruitment


machine learning

Okay, Look…

…if the job requirements include: Semantic Java, Hibernate, etc.  And the company is: a Web 2.0 business information engine that’s created (and is creating more) highly disruptive products.  And the team we’re looking to hire for: is our Core development team, which focuses on natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and information integration.

And you are: an embedded software engineer with a PhD in electronics, and a Masters in signal processing and controls.

Then, you can’t claim in your cover letter that your: “working experience closely matches the position requirements.”

Here’s the thing.  If this cat had made a strong, thought out pitch about how his work experience was in any way relevant, it’s not out of the realm of possibility he would get considered by some companies.  Not here, because we honestly need directly relevant experience for this critical hire, but a larger organization might have thought “hmm, smart guy, can communicate – and, it never would have occurred to us from his resume, but yeah, that project he did is relevant to what we do…”

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What I’m Looking for in a Software Engineering Candidate

We’re doing some hiring in our engineering group.  Incredibly cool stuff happening here: complete rebuild of our our core platform, live apps, UI.  Re-architecting it all in Java (we’ve been a C#/.Net & C++ shop until now).  Taking our UI, and making it hugely interactive, yet elegantly simple.  Developing new metaphors for search.  And, more that we’re not public with yet.

We’re going to need software engineers with chops in Java for both our Core platform (semantic, AI, rocket-science type stuff), and Web Dev team (that beautiful UI I mentioned, plus major changes to our apps, and more to come). Lots of interesting problems, in other words.

It’s kind of like building the technology for a start-up, front to back, but at a place that’s already profitable, and has 5 million unique visitors per month (instant eyes-on your work – cool!)

We want you to come help us figure it out.

So, this is an opportunity.  A hell of an opportunity.  Let me repeat: an absolute (cover your kids eyes) mutha-fuckah of an opportunity.  Every software engineer in & around Boston should be clawing their way to get in here.  And, we’re getting some traction around that.

But here’s the thing: we want the best.  I figure it’s fair: best software engineering opportunity in Boston, possibly one of the best in the country, deserves the best software engineers.

No more or this “contributed to”, “supported”, “implemented” crap on your resumes.  I want you to brag.  Say “Architected & built from the ground up”.  “Led team to glory”.  “Researched and championed the use of [insert name of esoteric but cool technology here], which led to rapid scaling of…”

You get the idea.  Be amazing.  Don’t be some also ran, mostly worked as a consultant, never showed initiative.  Stun us.  We’ll give you work to do that you’ll thrive on.

I mean, think about it: this has been a Microsoft shop, and now we’re free.  But, the team’s light on Java – you’ll be the man/woman.  Major resource, cool cat, all of it.  Get yer ass over here, before somebody else does.

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Surviving (hell, _killing_) the Technical Intereview

Mikhail Naganov has written a handy post for engineers who are stressing out about interviewing.  He’s spot-on when he says:

“what are the staffing needs in smart companies? They want people that can tackle complex problems in new problem areas. They want people that are responsible and passionate about their work. And, of course, they want people that can explain their solutions to colleagues.”

We’re going to grill you when you come through, but it’s not like we expect you to solve all of our problems correctly – if you do that, expect an offer before you leave (unless you’re a jerk – we have a policy against hiring those…)

One more resource I’d point you at (hat tip to Mikhail) – Steve Yegge’s poston interviewing at Google.  Worth a gander or two… That said, very funny counterpoint to Steve’s raving about Google culture can be found here (hat to William Wechtenhiser for that one).

Shameless, Shameless Plug…

…for votes 🙂  For whatever reason, Good to Know  is up for best recruiting blog of the year.  I’m pretty sure it’s not because my employer is paying for the grand prize (seriously – what I suspect is that Jason Davis, the guy who runs, the organizer of the whole contest, is just ridiculously nice and felt bad at how poorly I did at poker last time we hung out).

While I’m under zero illusion I’ll win, I wouldn’t mind not coming in dead last.  Seriously.  Soooo…. if you’re so inclined, I’d appreciate it if you clicked here and exercised your right to vote.  Primarily in categories #1& #6 – well, feel free to vote in the rest, too – in fact, I’d recommend checking out all of the nominated blogs – there’s a lot of really great guidance out there, from a gang of remarkable minds.

Little Visual Tutorial on Where We’re Heading, and Where We’ve Been

Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us

So, some of my friends/ colleagues might roll their eyes and say “duh” when they see this, but that’s because they’re Web 2.0/ 3.0/ “to infinity and beyond!” types. But, for the rest of us humans, great little history lesson. Care to be part of one of the companies that’s builidng the new us? Reach on out, we’re busy & could use your talents..

Vice President of Engineering Position With ZoomInfo

Hello out there, whoever you are. It’s always weird writing these things, never really know who’s reading them besides Kari Hanson, our PR Director – and she’s mostly reading them while biting her nails, waiting for me to say something that will make her job harder.  Don’t worry Kari, that day will come.  This may well be that post, who knows…

That said, probably not.  This is a fully self-serving post, but a fairly clean one.  I’m looking pretty darned hard these days for our new Vice President of Engineering.  Key thing is going to be somebody who knows how to make killer Web-based products, manages well, and who gets that this is a business.   I’d be happy to talk to a Director who’s ready for their career-making move, too.

 So, if you know somebody (or, hopefully, if you are that somebody) let me know.  This is a great place to work.

ZoomInfo and the future of internet search

Not to brag, but… Well, we went and did it – shook things up a bit.  Again.  Just in a bigger way than usual.  Early this morning, ZoomInfo launched our brand-spankin’ new approach to search.  Deeper searches, new algorithms, a new architecture, and a brilliant new UI.  We’re going to be offering free access to much of what we’ve been charging for up to now.

We’re already all over the business press:

As mentioned previously on Mashable, ZoomInfo has long been a standard for business research and provides data for recruiters, job seekers and others involved in corporate environments. Their new semantic search improves on their existing product and brings forth the needed evolution for niche search engines, and would do best to be applied to others across the board. -Kristen Nicole, Mashable 


With $12 million in sales last year and some 1600 corporate clients — including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Oracle, PepsiCo and about 100 of the Fortune 500 — business information company ZoomInfo has decided to provide free access to most of what it had been charging for.  On Monday, plans to offer a newly improved business-oriented semantic search service, tailored for finding information about companies and their employees, to any Internet user under an advertisement-supported model.                   -Thomas Claburn, Information Week

“Sapna Satagopan, an associate analyst with Jupiter Research, said the site is unusually good at looking at relationships within companies, a benefit to both marketers and recruiters that will disrupt the prevailing model of corporate data collection.”                      -Leah Messinger, Red Herring

ZoomInfo is able to generate detailed company descriptions, revenues, key employees, merger links, product categories, industry competitors and current job openings. It does this using semantic Web search techniques that allow a user to search not just by keywords, as Google does, but by concepts. -Eric Auchard, Reuters

So, very, very cool buzz in (and outside of) the office these days – nothing like working with people who are at the top of their game, and who are enjoying what they do.  I’m ramble on some more, but with the new launch we’re hiring like crazy, and I need to pound the phone/ e-mail a bit.  If you’d like to make my life a bit easier, why don’t you go ahead and apply already??

We’re Web infinity, baby.  Come join us. 

Open positions at ZoomInfo

Shameless, shameless plug, but what the hell, it’s my blog – we’re hiring like crazy.  If you’re looking to work for a very cool, red hot, interesting company, and you live around Boston, get in touch.  Like, now.  We have openings in: sales, marketing, web development, core development, QA, etc, etc…  I would love to talk to some of you interesting people….

Oh, and one thing (because it needs to be said, sadly, again): use spellcheck on your resumes.  It’s free, it’s just a button you have to hit, and it will keep you from spelling “motivating” motavating.  I mean, c’mon…

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