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Hiring geeks

(I never said my blog would be wholly noncommercial!) Yes, my company, 3 Phase Computing, is hiring (that link will expire in May). Whenever we hire, I like to provide a first-pass "clown filter" to weed out the obviously incapable. When hiring for Unix people, one way you can do that is to require that they provide their résumé or CV in PDF (OpenOffice will generate one for you); only the clueful under Windows will have a PDF generator installed. I prefer to have a line that reads:
  • ...
  • You must be able to think on your feet, and you must be able to read and follow directions.
And then require that all submissions be in plain-text or HTML format. That serves several purposes:
  1. It saves me a step when reading through the piles of incoming mail--plain text and HTML are rendered in-line in Thunderbird.
  2. It forces people to think a second before sending out their CV in the standard DOC format
  3. It makes it easier for me to search for text strings through my email using my email client
  4. Finally, it makes it plain and clear who does and does not actually read and follow directions
Other people favor requiring a bizarre subject line or text line in the body of the email (one of my clients likes doing that and it works well for him) but my method is slightly better insofar as it also serves the other purposes I listed. One of my friends (who wishes to remain anonymous) also warned me:
(19:09:30) xxxxxxxxxxx: PREPARE fo da Indians

(19:09:34) xxxxxxxxxxx: ROFL

which I had hoped to avoid by saying in my post "in-office", but alas, I probably should have said (in the great tradition of Craigslist postings in NYC) "NO ONE FROM OVERSEAS! IF YOU'RE NOT IN NYC, SORRY." Subtlety is lost in the classifieds...


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Would it be a step to far If I was to hand code* the PDF rather than have it generated via a program? clown filter I like it! :) *On a serious note its possible to do, I'm writing my own PDF library off the Adobe spec sheets.