Saying “no” to Yahoo

Recently I was flattered to receive a message on LinkedIn from a recruiter at Yahoo.  It’s a nice ego-boost to think an iconic Silicon Valley company might be interested in little old me (even if they are a company on the brink of bankruptcy and/or takeover).

But I politely said “no”.

Current Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously banned remote working in 2013, and continues to support that ban.  I think that’s a pretty big mistake.  Sure, working remote isn’t for everybody.  But it works really well for me, and a lot of other people out there too.  A wiser policy would be to measure what employees actually produce — then you could decide on a case-by-case basis whether an employee could continue to work remotely (or at all, if they’re that lazy).

This was my reply, for whatever it’s worth:

Hi ****,

Thanks for your message.  It’s certainly flattering to know that a company like Yahoo is interested in me, and I’ve been mulling it over the last few days.  In the end, however, I don’t think it would be a good fit right now.  I’ve read about Marissa Mayer ending remote working at Yahoo, which is anathema to what I’ve come to believe with regards to the ideal workplace.  I’ve worked 100% remotely for the last 3 years and have been tremendously happier and more productive in that setting.  As tantalizing as the idea of adding Yahoo to my resume is, I don’t think I would be happy at all going back to an office job.  Should that policy at Yahoo ever change, please let me know.  Otherwise I wish you the best of luck with your search!

Best regards,


So much for that.

Why I work as hard as I do

I have a bit of a high-maintenance client.  He’s a nice guy and everything, but one of those people who’s a bit too A.D.D. for their own good… you know, always running a mile minute, talks in broken sentences across numerous emails and texts that I later have to piece together, requiring a fair amount of telepathy on my end to figure out what he really wants me to do.

Sometimes he asks me questions by email which cannot be answered in less than two sentences… and I just know that anything I write beyond 2-3 sentences will never be read by this guy.

Well, recently he asked me a question (I think because he’s angling to start some new tech start-up or app or something, and wants to test my interest), and I ended up putting an unexpected amount of time and passion into my reply.  I guess the question hit a chord in me.

Continue reading Why I work as hard as I do

Review: X-Team developer hiring process (hint: it sucks)

Continuing on the theme of how job hunting sucks, here’s another example of exactly what I’m talking about: X-Team International.

No, I’d never heard of them before either.

I found X Team through this job posting on Authentic Jobs.  It sounded like a good fit, so I applied, including a brief message why I thought I’d be a good fit.  Like you do.

Continue reading Review: X-Team developer hiring process (hint: it sucks)

Review: Toptal hiring process

I did it!  I successfully passed the grueling Toptal hiring process, and am now a Toptal-er.  The process of making it into the top 3%, however, definitely wasn’t easy.

There are already a bunch of blog posts out there about different people’s experiences (good or bad) with the Toptal hiring process.  Not surprisingly those that passed tend to have really good reviews of it, and those who failed… well, not so much.  I’d like to add my voice to the chorus in as balanced a tone as I can.

Continue reading Review: Toptal hiring process

Job hunting sucks – here’s a great example why

A few months ago, I decided I’d had enough of my 19-year-old CTO-of-a-boss chewing me out for not adding enough line breaks in my code, and for not being “verbooose” enough (rhymed with “caboose” the way he said it) in my commit descriptions.  Yeah.  So I embarked on the only other thing worse than working for a 19-year-old spoiled twat — job hunting.

Continue reading Job hunting sucks – here’s a great example why