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Showing posts from November, 2011

So you got a couple of job offers, how do you negotiate from here?

I just interviewed a solid QA candidate.  She seemed qualified for a job and had the right experience.  It was no secret that she was interviewing in multiple places and got several offers because she deserved it.

We started putting together an offer on the upper end of where we felt that she would land.  The other company being a less exciting startup came in with an offer that was greater than ours because, frankly, they had to.

That is the awkward situation where the candidate has to call someone back and say: “I am getting a better package from another company, what can you do on your end?” The moment is awkward because we, engineers, generally are not used to going back and forth.  We have an answer and some data to back it up, the negotiation game makes everyone uncomfortable.

What happened next?  Next, we matched the offer.
Later on we got another call: the other company is beating this offer by $8,500.  The candidate said that she thought that we were a more exciting compa…

CSS design guidelines for offshore outsourcers

My struggle with outsourcing of design continues.  A couple of weeks ago I told all of you guys about the issues I was having with getting offshore designers.  Some of you told me that I should cut my losses and just find someone in San Francisco who can meet with me and bang out a design in a day.  I figured that I am going to keep working through it because I already had too much vested interest with these fellas. On top of it I am also using Elance Escrow so I already have a deposit that I can’t easily get back.

These guys finally came up with an acceptable design and now it’s time to actually slice it and put it into CSS.  I can already tell that it’s probably going to be amateur and crappy so I figured I’m going to save a few round trips by writing up some guidelines.


I am not a full time web designer, however I’ve been managing engineering teams for close to ten years now so I think that general engineering principles and some basic SEO understanding can be helpful.

Here are t…

Why do so many technical recruiters suck?

It’s Tuesday, I get a call from an unknown number.  There is a little hesitation, but I finally pick it up.  My number is listed on my business card and I feel like I should get these calls unless I am in a meeting.

-Hi, is this Mike?
-Yes, speaking….
-Hi Mike!  How are you today?
-Fine…
-I am calling from XYZ Co, and we deal with recruiting and staff augmentation.  I was wondering if you are looking for software developers.

We are in San Francisco and it’s late 2011.  Every tech company is looking for developers.  If they were not looking… just wait till one of their devs gets recruited away. Now guess what?  You are looking!

Yes, I am on the market for some developers and this guy bought himself a few minutes…

-Have you looked at the website?
-Honestly I have not had a chance to yet, but I have a couple of Ruby candidates that are really good.

Hmm…. so you don’t know what we are looking for. You didn’t care to open up our website and look at the career page, and I have a feeling t…

Using Offshore Designers

I am working with a new design firm and this time to save some cash I decided to go offshore.  The guys I am working with right now are in India and I seriously think they don't get it.

In 2001 I had an offshore project management firm and we had partners in India, Belarus and Ukraine.  Honestly all of them sucked.  The best offshore designers we worked with were in Argentina.

I can already hear a bunch of voices complaining about generalizations, however I am not the only person to notice this.  Today I decided to go a step further and figure out: "why is it that the guys in Ukraine or India do not wow me with their designs?"

Let's dissect this latest project and figure out what has been going wrong.  I believe it's indicative of design issues in general.


the designer didn't have an overall strategy for the design.  For example: are we going to go with vector graphics, photos, straight edges or rounded edges?  A lot of those types of decisions need to be don…