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'[EE] Help writing a PIC job ad'
2007\10\29@231604 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
We have a need for an experienced PIC developer to fill a full-time,
permanent position in Phoenix, Arizona. Immediate projects involve working
with 18F and 24H series controllers, which are used in "smart" protocol
converters -- PC based scan tools used for automotive diagnostics. 90% of
the work is writing software for these chips.

I need help writing an employment ad that would be attractive to the Perfect
Candidate. :)  If you were looking for engineering work, what things would
you be looking for?

One question that we (the PicList community) have already answered, is that
most engineers prefer salary over hourly pay (see "[EE] Salary vs hourly
pay").

Does your company do anything like Google's "20-percent time"? What do you
think about it?

Would you say that a 40-hour workweek with only occasional overtime is a big
plus?

Your comments are appreciated, especially if you can specifically relate to
your personal experiences (either good or bad).

Vitaliy

2007\10\29@235000 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
In my recent job search the things I found that mattered to me were
(in no particular order :-)
- Pay
- Interesting/challenging work
- Vacation/holiday
- Flex time (ie, salaried worker - I meet my goals, am available to
others, but otherwise no strict office hours)
- Location (Don't really want to drive more than 30 minutes
- Good health benefits

In the end, however, I took a better paying job with everything else
less than desired.  The assumption being that with extra money I can
improve vacation time by taking unpaid days off, or pay the extra
needed for better health care, etc.  I still don't work more than 40
hours/week, though, but then I always meet my deadlines.  I would say
that I'm probably spoiled from my previous few jobs.  If I could find
the perfect job, it would include telecommuting 3-4 days a week as
well.

I suspect that full-time consulting and/or serial entrepreneur are my
ideal positions though, and am working in that direction.

I really like the idea of 20% time, though you'd have to make sure
your business is set up to reap the benefits of that time.  Google is
unique in that their mission, organize the world's information, is
fairly all-encompassing.  You give up 20% of your worker's time and it
may yield something really very cool, but completely unmarketable by
your existing organization.  Of course, that could simply mean the
organization needs to change...

-Adam

On 10/29/07, Vitaliy <spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTspammaksimov.org> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\10\30@010521 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> ... organize the world's information, ...

Isn't that really " ... own ... " ? :-)


       Russell

2007\10\30@035946 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
M. Adam Davis wrote:
> In my recent job search the things I found that mattered to me were
> (in no particular order :-)
> - Pay
> - Interesting/challenging work
> - Vacation/holiday
> - Flex time (ie, salaried worker - I meet my goals, am available to
> others, but otherwise no strict office hours)
> - Location (Don't really want to drive more than 30 minutes
> - Good health benefits

What if you had to rate them? Say, you had 100 points -- what weight would
you assign to each? :)

> In the end, however, I took a better paying job with everything else
> less than desired.  The assumption being that with extra money I can
> improve vacation time by taking unpaid days off, or pay the extra
> needed for better health care, etc.

I've recently met a couple of guys I went to school with. From what they
described, the place they work at really sounds like Dilbertworld. The
company is run by an old former military guy who is verbally and (if you can
believe it) even physically abusive. The biggest grudge that these guys have
against their boss, is that he tries to control everyone, and doesn't trust
any of his employees to do their jobs. He is secretive to the point of being
paranoid: a given employee is given a small piece of the puzzle, and isn't
told what that piece will eventually do. They develop on their laptops,
there is no network, no fileserver, no versioning system, and recently even
flash drives had been banned (lest employees steal secret military
information). A crossover cable is used for file transfer (pick who you want
to network with today). Since "if you want it done right, you have to do it
yourself", the owner has to put in long hours, and expects everyone to do
the same. Ironically, I met these two guys at a student project fair, where
they were sent with the purpose of recruiting new engineers for the company.
They left the fair at 7 pm, with a two hour drive ahead of them, moaning
about having to get up at 6 am the next morning (the workday always starts
at 7 am, sharp).

I felt bad telling them how things work in our company. Everyone is expected
to treat everyone with respect, regardless of rank (coincidentally, we don't
have "official" titles). There's no dress code. Each person is responsible
for their own work. Micromanagement is an evil that is to be avoided at all
costs, it is the person's responsibility to ask for help when needed.
Everyone has a credit card which they use to make day-to-day purchases.
There's no set schedule, most people have a key and can come in as early as
they want (a female employee came in at 4 am for a while, and left at 12
because of conflicting school and daycare schedules), or as late as they
want (11 am is the norm, early 'noon is tolerated). There's no pressure to
work overtime (and most people don't), taking time off for whatever reason
only involves notifying (e-maling) those affected. Dual LCDs come standard
(even for CS), and even though I cringed when a developer asked for a 30"
screen to use as his primary monitor ("luxury!"), after giving it some
thought we decided that if it results in just a 5% improvement in
productivity, it will pay for itself in six months. It doesn't matter where
the gain actually comes from -- decreased switching, placebo effect, or just
improved morale. This goes for the rest of the tools -- as long as the
engineer asking for a new toy can justify the expense, they usually get it.
There's an unlimited supply of coffe, soda, juices, tea, and hot cholocate.
We're not Google yet, so we don't have free lunches, but we do have frozen
dinners in the fridge, and pizza or sandwiches for lunch on Friday.

The only downside is, if my former classmates came to work for us, they
would have to take a 20% pay cut. Unfortunately, we don't have lucrative
military contracts.

> I still don't work more than 40
> hours/week, though, but then I always meet my deadlines.  I would say
> that I'm probably spoiled from my previous few jobs.  If I could find
> the perfect job, it would include telecommuting 3-4 days a week as
> well.

Telecommuting, eh? I've seen that on the "list of things that employees
want" somewhere. :)  I wonder how many people feel strongly about it.

> I suspect that full-time consulting and/or serial entrepreneur are my
> ideal positions though, and am working in that direction.

How long have you worked in this industry? Do you think your goals are
different now, compared to when you were younger?

> I really like the idea of 20% time, though you'd have to make sure
> your business is set up to reap the benefits of that time.  Google is
> unique in that their mission, organize the world's information, is
> fairly all-encompassing.  You give up 20% of your worker's time and it
> may yield something really very cool, but completely unmarketable by
> your existing organization.  Of course, that could simply mean the
> organization needs to change...

A few years back, we were struggling to find a reliable source of OBD
(On-Board Diagnostic) cables for our scan tools. The company we were buying
them from at the time, was difficult to work with, and reluctant to reduce
the price even for large quantities. So, with the help of other cable
manufacturers, we designed and built a replacement. Since we were committing
ourselves to higher quantities, we decided to sell off the surplus, and
launched a small website to help us do it (obd2cables.com). Today,
obd2cables.com accounts for roughly half of our total revenue, and if the
trend continues, soon it will be making us more money than our "primary"
business.

By the way, one can argue that Google's mission is not really
all-encompassing, since it only includes intangible products. I wonder
whether they have a policy that prevents their engineers from using their
20-percent to invent a better toaster...

Vitaliy

2007\10\30@041520 by Peter P.

picon face
Russell McMahon <apptech <at> paradise.net.nz> writes:
> Isn't that really " ... own ... " ?

I think that when you try to 0wn something too large to handle, it ends up
0wn1ng you ...

Peter P.



2007\10\30@140420 by alan smith

picon face
Are you still at Digi or did you leave?

"M. Adam Davis" <.....stienmanKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:  In my recent job search the things I found that mattered to me were
(in no particular order :-)
- Pay
- Interesting/challenging work
- Vacation/holiday
- Flex time (ie, salaried worker - I meet my goals, am available to
others, but otherwise no strict office hours)
- Location (Don't really want to drive more than 30 minutes
- Good health benefits

In the end, however, I took a better paying job with everything else
less than desired. The assumption being that with extra money I can
improve vacation time by taking unpaid days off, or pay the extra
needed for better health care, etc. I still don't work more than 40
hours/week, though, but then I always meet my deadlines. I would say
that I'm probably spoiled from my previous few jobs. If I could find
the perfect job, it would include telecommuting 3-4 days a week as
well.

I suspect that full-time consulting and/or serial entrepreneur are my
ideal positions though, and am working in that direction.

I really like the idea of 20% time, though you'd have to make sure
your business is set up to reap the benefits of that time. Google is
unique in that their mission, organize the world's information, is
fairly all-encompassing. You give up 20% of your worker's time and it
may yield something really very cool, but completely unmarketable by
your existing organization. Of course, that could simply mean the
organization needs to change...

-Adam

On 10/29/07, Vitaliy wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\10\30@143230 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Mon, 2007-10-29 at 20:15 -0700, Vitaliy wrote:
> We have a need for an experienced PIC developer to fill a full-time,
> permanent position in Phoenix, Arizona. Immediate projects involve working
> with 18F and 24H series controllers, which are used in "smart" protocol
> converters -- PC based scan tools used for automotive diagnostics. 90% of
> the work is writing software for these chips.
>
> I need help writing an employment ad that would be attractive to the Perfect
> Candidate. :)  If you were looking for engineering work, what things would
> you be looking for?

Heck, saying you're in Phoenix would be enough for me! :) Love that
weather...

As for the ad, my opinion and what I prefer seeing is: keep it simple,
to the point and short. I don't need a 2 page history of the company.

Bullet points are good, one section on what set of knowledge+skills that
are required of the candidate, another section on "what would be nice".

List the salary you are willing to pay and hours you want them to work
(I know most employers are very reluctant with this), nothing is more
annoying then getting your hopes up and then finding out the company
wants to pay you sweatshop rates. It's like going to a store and finding
none of the items have a price tag, very annoying. Even worse is finding
out the company expects you to put in 10hours/day, 6 days/week, I've
seen that. If you're up front then only candidates that are OK with that
will apply, and what's the point in interviewing people for a job they
don't want?

Allow multiple methods to apply for the job, i.e.
- an online form with an option to upload your resume
- a fax number to fax in your resume
- an email address to send the material in, and PLEASE accept PDF, it's
really annoying to see companies require documents in some odd format
that nobody uses. Even .doc isn't good since different versions of word
can REALLY screw up layout from other versions. PDF is so universal...

Give a timeframe for the hire and keep it short (i.e. need the position
filled by Dec 1), collecting applications for 6 months isn't a good idea
IMHO.

That's all I can up with right now, good luck!

2007\10\30@154521 by alan smith

picon face
Or.....go over and drop off a bunch of flyers at Microchip over in Chandler.....see if anyone who works there might be more interested in writing applications  :-)

Herbert Graf <mailinglist3spamKILLspamfarcite.net> wrote:  On Mon, 2007-10-29 at 20:15 -0700, Vitaliy wrote:
> We have a need for an experienced PIC developer to fill a full-time,
> permanent position in Phoenix, Arizona. Immediate projects involve working
> with 18F and 24H series controllers, which are used in "smart" protocol
> converters -- PC based scan tools used for automotive diagnostics. 90% of
> the work is writing software for these chips.
>
> I need help writing an employment ad that would be attractive to the Perfect
> Candidate. :) If you were looking for engineering work, what things would
> you be looking for?

Heck, saying you're in Phoenix would be enough for me! :) Love that
weather...

As for the ad, my opinion and what I prefer seeing is: keep it simple,
to the point and short. I don't need a 2 page history of the company.

Bullet points are good, one section on what set of knowledge+skills that
are required of the candidate, another section on "what would be nice".

List the salary you are willing to pay and hours you want them to work
(I know most employers are very reluctant with this), nothing is more
annoying then getting your hopes up and then finding out the company
wants to pay you sweatshop rates. It's like going to a store and finding
none of the items have a price tag, very annoying. Even worse is finding
out the company expects you to put in 10hours/day, 6 days/week, I've
seen that. If you're up front then only candidates that are OK with that
will apply, and what's the point in interviewing people for a job they
don't want?

Allow multiple methods to apply for the job, i.e.
- an online form with an option to upload your resume
- a fax number to fax in your resume
- an email address to send the material in, and PLEASE accept PDF, it's
really annoying to see companies require documents in some odd format
that nobody uses. Even .doc isn't good since different versions of word
can REALLY screw up layout from other versions. PDF is so universal...

Give a timeframe for the hire and keep it short (i.e. need the position
filled by Dec 1), collecting applications for 6 months isn't a good idea
IMHO.

That's all I can up with right now, good luck!

2007\10\30@171949 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
They closed the office here in Ann Arbor and offered to relocate us
but the offer did not suit my needs.  I'm now doing embedded software
at MicroMax, a local company that does a lot of consulting with
automotive companies.

Still keeping my resume up to date and an eye out.

-Adam

On 10/30/07, alan smith <.....micro_eng2KILLspamspam.....yahoo.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\10\30@185549 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> Heck, saying you're in Phoenix would be enough for me! :) Love that
> weather...

Come on over! :)

> As for the ad, my opinion and what I prefer seeing is: keep it simple,
> to the point and short. I don't need a 2 page history of the company.

Hm.. well wouldn't you want to know at least a little bit about the company?
:) How's this (bottom of page)?

<http://www.scantool.net/index.php?mode=displayPage&content_id=8>

> Bullet points are good, one section on what set of knowledge+skills that
> are required of the candidate, another section on "what would be nice".

What do you think about the web developer ad, is it up to your standards? :)

> List the salary you are willing to pay and hours you want them to work
> (I know most employers are very reluctant with this), nothing is more
> annoying then getting your hopes up and then finding out the company
> wants to pay you sweatshop rates. It's like going to a store and finding
> none of the items have a price tag, very annoying. Even worse is finding
> out the company expects you to put in 10hours/day, 6 days/week, I've
> seen that. If you're up front then only candidates that are OK with that
> will apply, and what's the point in interviewing people for a job they
> don't want?

Well, the hours are easy (40 hrs/wk, no mandatory overtime). But you're
right about the salary, it's probably the toughest thing to figure out for
"mind worker" positions. What would you say is a reasonable salary range for
this PIC developer position?

> Allow multiple methods to apply for the job, i.e.
> - an online form with an option to upload your resume
> - a fax number to fax in your resume
> - an email address to send the material in, and PLEASE accept PDF, it's
> really annoying to see companies require documents in some odd format
> that nobody uses. Even .doc isn't good since different versions of word
> can REALLY screw up layout from other versions. PDF is so universal...

We do everything above, except #1 (unless the job post is on Monster).

> Give a timeframe for the hire and keep it short (i.e. need the position
> filled by Dec 1), collecting applications for 6 months isn't a good idea
> IMHO.

I'm not sure about this. Posts on jobing.com type places already have an
expiration date, and really -- the position is open until it's filled. What
if there isn't a single good candidate in the heap of resumes?

Vitaliy

2007\10\30@185719 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
alan smith wrote:
> Or.....go over and drop off a bunch of flyers at Microchip over in
> Chandler.....see if anyone who works there might be more interested in
> writing applications  :-)

I don't think I would be welcome there ever again, if I followed your
advice. :)

Although I did try to persuade a Microchip guy to send me a resume,
unsuccessfully. I guess he really likes to work there.

Vitaliy

2007\10\30@192023 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 10/30/07, Vitaliy <spamspamspam_OUTmaksimov.org> wrote:
> M. Adam Davis wrote:
> > In my recent job search the things I found that mattered to me were
> > (in no particular order :-)
> > - Pay
> > - Interesting/challenging work
> > - Vacation/holiday
> > - Flex time (ie, salaried worker - I meet my goals, am available to
> > others, but otherwise no strict office hours)
> > - Location (Don't really want to drive more than 30 minutes
> > - Good health benefits
>
> What if you had to rate them? Say, you had 100 points -- what weight would
> you assign to each? :)

I can't easily weight them, but a quick "If I had to choose between x
better and y worse or x worse and y better" combined with a bubble
sort, and I simplify with the assumption that there are no hard
blockers or 'close to difficult' choices - ie, everything fits my
general goals:
- Interesting/challenging work
- Location
- Flex time
- Vacation/holiday
- Good health benefits
- Pay

Please keep in mind that this is with everything satisfying my general
range of desires.

Let's assume instead that it isn't an issue of one has slightly better
benefits than another, but instead I had to give things up.  This
would yield the following order:

- Pay
- Good health benefits
- Location
- Vacation/holiday
- Interesting/challenging work
- Flex time

So I'd choose the company with more interesting work that doesn't have
flex time than the company that has flex time but terminall
uninteresting (tedious, boring, etc) work.  I will choose the company
that meets my pay goal above one that meets all my other goals, but
will not pay within my goal.

But there are big grey areas.  Hopefully you find this more helpful
than confusing...

{Quote hidden}

So, what's the pay, and do you offer relocation help?  :-D

> Telecommuting, eh? I've seen that on the "list of things that employees
> want" somewhere. :)  I wonder how many people feel strongly about it.

I think it's variable, and a lot depends on the person and the
organization.  It takes a _ton_ of discipline to telecommute, and you
have to work harder at things that naturally occur in the office (such
as hallway conversations that change meeting times).  Right now
companies limit it to people that they _really_ want to keep on board
who demonstrate that they can keep pace.  Still hard to get into.

> How long have you worked in this industry?

Well, it depends on how you count.  I've been consulting part time for
7 years now, but that was while working full time doing computer work,
and going through the engineering program at the University of
Michigan.

I've run into a few companies that look at my 2005 graduation and say
that I only have 2 years of experience, or look at empoyment with
Rabbit and say I've only been in the industry for 3 years.

I've met with one company that took into account that I've been doing
this as a hobby since the early 90s starting with microcontrollers and
phase control light dimmers/controllers for DJ use.

> Do you think your goals are different now, compared to when you were younger?

When I was younger (am I allowed to say that?  I don't feel old... :-)
I assumed that I'd have to do consulting in order to get the wide
variety of work that I desired.  I'm not really interested in becoming
the world expert at one particular niche - I'd rather do one project
for a few months, then get a new project that uses different
techniques/technologies/etc.

Although I do have a peculiarly strong interest in wireless internet
connected devices.

So far my experience with companies has matched what I expected - you
pretty much do the same the over and over again, and in large
companies you have the added pressures of cost cutting and bored-room
overhead (sic).

So... My goals have perhaps achieved a finer focus, but the general
aim is the same.

{Quote hidden}

That's an excellent case study!  Quick, write it up and send it out to
Circuit Cellar, EETimes, etc!  Or at least Jack Ganssle, he seems to
be interested in such stuff.

> By the way, one can argue that Google's mission is not really
> all-encompassing, since it only includes intangible products. I wonder
> whether they have a policy that prevents their engineers from using their
> 20-percent to invent a better toaster...

They've talked about this a few times (recruiter seminars).  IIRC
their reviews include discussions of what they've been doing with
their 20% time (and they do have to use it), and that they are
re-directed if their project isn't progressing into something 'useful'
to Google.  I understand that useful is defined very loosely, though,
so if someone's working on a toaster that prints google news
headlines, then they may let them go at it until they get bored and
move on to something else.

-Adam

--
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Moving in southeast Michigan? Buy my house: http://ubasics.com/house/

Interested in electronics? Check out the projects at http://ubasics.com

Building your own house? Check out http://ubasics.com/home/

2007\10\30@195133 by Rolf

face picon face
Vitaliy wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Well, I had a look, and it did appeal to me. Well presented. Almost made
me want to send a resume, but I don't think you want a Software
Developer with 10+ years experience in the Financial Industry.... who
plays with PIC's and HTML in limited spare time and lives in Toronto,
Canada.... ;-)

Only small nitpick.... fix the line "Give us your salary require"

Rolf

2007\10\30@195916 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2007-10-30 at 15:54 -0700, Vitaliy wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> > Heck, saying you're in Phoenix would be enough for me! :) Love that
> > weather...
>
> Come on over! :)

Hehe, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it)
I'm extremely happy working for the company I work for (AMD, the company
formally known as ATI...). More specifically the group I work in is
pretty much the best group of people I've ever worked with.

> > As for the ad, my opinion and what I prefer seeing is: keep it simple,
> > to the point and short. I don't need a 2 page history of the company.
>
> Hm.. well wouldn't you want to know at least a little bit about the company?
> :) How's this (bottom of page)?
>
> <http://www.scantool.net/index.php?mode=displayPage&content_id=8>

Don't get me wrong, SOME info is good, but any person serious about
getting a job with a company will independently check out the company.
The amount of info you have there is IMHO perfect.

> > Bullet points are good, one section on what set of knowledge+skills that
> > are required of the candidate, another section on "what would be nice".
>
> What do you think about the web developer ad, is it up to your standards? :)

It's very close. The lack of a mentioned salary range bugs me, although
you do say things elsewhere to limit my "bugness", but it's still there.

Oh, and the typo:
Give us your salary require

:)

> Well, the hours are easy (40 hrs/wk, no mandatory overtime). But you're
> right about the salary, it's probably the toughest thing to figure out for
> "mind worker" positions. What would you say is a reasonable salary range for
> this PIC developer position?

Unfortunately, being from a different country, and having been in my job
quite a while I'm not really able to give what a fair salary for any
position would be.

> > Allow multiple methods to apply for the job, i.e.
> > - an online form with an option to upload your resume
> > - a fax number to fax in your resume
> > - an email address to send the material in, and PLEASE accept PDF, it's
> > really annoying to see companies require documents in some odd format
> > that nobody uses. Even .doc isn't good since different versions of word
> > can REALLY screw up layout from other versions. PDF is so universal...
>
> We do everything above, except #1 (unless the job post is on Monster).

That's OK, I'm not a fan of the online form, but I do understand how
nice it is for the company since every app is similar.

I was on the other side. Between my 3rd and 4th year of university we
had a "Professional Experience Year", basically a 16month paid technical
co-op. Every job was applied for using the same form, VERY easy for us
to apply to multiple jobs.

> > Give a timeframe for the hire and keep it short (i.e. need the position
> > filled by Dec 1), collecting applications for 6 months isn't a good idea
> > IMHO.
>
> I'm not sure about this. Posts on jobing.com type places already have an
> expiration date, and really -- the position is open until it's filled. What
> if there isn't a single good candidate in the heap of resumes?

Yes, that is a problem, my answer would be to repost the position with a
revised date.

The "bug" for me is the applicant doesn't know when to "give up" on
expecting a call from you. I was once called in for an interview 4
months after I applied. It was annoying since at the point I pretty much
forgot WHO the company was and had to redo all my research (which was
made harder by me being stupid and not being able to find my
application...). Perhaps other people aren't as thorough when applying
for jobs. I always did quite a bit of work before I showed up for an
interview. For technical jobs it means even more prep work since it's
good to review the basics of the field in case they ask technical
questions.

TTYL

2007\10\30@204903 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Rolf wrote:
> Well, I had a look, and it did appeal to me. Well presented. Almost made
> me want to send a resume, but I don't think you want a Software
> Developer with 10+ years experience in the Financial Industry.... who
> plays with PIC's and HTML in limited spare time and lives in Toronto,
> Canada.... ;-)

Well, wouldn't the location make it even more appealing, given the season?
;-)

> Only small nitpick.... fix the line "Give us your salary require"

Oops! Thank you, fixed.

Vitaliy

2007\10\30@211530 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> Hehe, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it)
> I'm extremely happy working for the company I work for (AMD, the company
> formally known as ATI...). More specifically the group I work in is
> pretty much the best group of people I've ever worked with.

Then you should definitely stay where you are. In the end, people is what
it's really all about.

> Don't get me wrong, SOME info is good, but any person serious about
> getting a job with a company will independently check out the company.
> The amount of info you have there is IMHO perfect.

Great, thank you! :)

> It's very close. The lack of a mentioned salary range bugs me, although
> you do say things elsewhere to limit my "bugness", but it's still there.

I'd be very happy if someone could shed some light on the subject of salary
guesstimation.

> Oh, and the typo:
> Give us your salary require
>
> :)

Yeah... :) Fixed, thank you.

[snip]
> I was on the other side. Between my 3rd and 4th year of university we
> had a "Professional Experience Year", basically a 16month paid technical
> co-op. Every job was applied for using the same form, VERY easy for us
> to apply to multiple jobs.

Call me corny, but I have a strong dislike for form letters and mass
mailings. I want to hire someone who wants to work for *us*, and not the
shop down the street. A good resume is always a personalized resume, written
for and addressed to the potential employer.

Resumes with cover letters addressed to a company other than our own always
end up in the reject file. We have zero tolerance for sloppiness -- if you
can't get your resume right, who will believe that you are "detail-oriented"
? C'mon, it only takes a minute to quickly scan your application for
bloopers -- isn't the chance of landing a good job worth it?

{Quote hidden}

Makes sense.


2007\10\30@214550 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
M. Adam Davis wrote:
{Quote hidden}

It makes sense, sort of. I think what you're saying is, you value
interesting work more than pay, as long as the salary meets your minimum
acceptable level. So, for example if your minimum acceptable pay level is
40k and:

- company A offers 40k and interesting work
- company B offers 50k but boring work

you would choose A over B. Right?

> So, what's the pay, and do you offer relocation help?  :-D

Estimating an acceptable salary is the hardest part of writing a job ad. :)
How about you guys tell me what you would consider "fair" pay for a PIC
developer?

If we were reasonably sure we knew what we were getting in terms of skill
set/performance, of course we'd help you move. :)

I think the hard part about estimating the salary, is that there's almost
never a candidate who meets all the requirements and is ready to hit the
ground running. And as Fred Brooks points out, the difference in performance
b/w great and average programmers is an order of magnitude. So an employer
may be willing to hire a less experienced programmer with the intent of
investing in their training, but because of the risk involved and the
resources required for training, the employee would be offered a lower
salary (compared to the "ideal" candidate).

>> Telecommuting, eh? I've seen that on the "list of things that employees
>> want" somewhere. :)  I wonder how many people feel strongly about it.
>
> I think it's variable, and a lot depends on the person and the
> organization.  It takes a _ton_ of discipline to telecommute, and you
> have to work harder at things that naturally occur in the office (such
> as hallway conversations that change meeting times).  Right now
> companies limit it to people that they _really_ want to keep on board
> who demonstrate that they can keep pace.  Still hard to get into.

Yeah. Unfortunately, the technology hasn't evolved enough to completely
replace the benefits of real-time, face-to-face human interaction.

{Quote hidden}

I'm kind of in the same boat. I finally got my Computer Engineering degree
last year, after too many years of stop-and-go/part-time education.

> That's an excellent case study!  Quick, write it up and send it out to
> Circuit Cellar, EETimes, etc!  Or at least Jack Ganssle, he seems to
> be interested in such stuff.

Nah, it's not that good. :)

> They've talked about this a few times (recruiter seminars).  IIRC
> their reviews include discussions of what they've been doing with
> their 20% time (and they do have to use it),

what if I want to just continue working on my assigned project? Verboten?

> and that they are
> re-directed if their project isn't progressing into something 'useful'
> to Google.

Redirected by whom?

> Moving in southeast Michigan? Buy my house: http://ubasics.com/house/

You're STILL selling it? How long has it been on the market? :)

Vitaliy

2007\10\30@225005 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 10/30/07, Vitaliy <@spam@spamKILLspamspammaksimov.org> wrote:
> Estimating an acceptable salary is the hardest part of writing a job ad. :)
> How about you guys tell me what you would consider "fair" pay for a PIC
> developer?
...
> I think the hard part about estimating the salary, is that there's almost
> never a candidate who meets all the requirements and is ready to hit the
> ground running. And as Fred Brooks points out, the difference in performance
> b/w great and average programmers is an order of magnitude. So an employer
> may be willing to hire a less experienced programmer with the intent of
> investing in their training, but because of the risk involved and the
> resources required for training, the employee would be offered a lower
> salary (compared to the "ideal" candidate).

http://www.ganssle.com/salsurv2006.pdf

Chances are you're looking for 5-9 years experience, so should expect
to be paying around $82,000/year with variation based on cost of
living in your area, demand, etc.  Software engineers are paid better
than firmware engineers, which are paid better than hardware
engineers.

> > They've talked about this a few times (recruiter seminars).  IIRC
> > their reviews include discussions of what they've been doing with
> > their 20% time (and they do have to use it),
>
> what if I want to just continue working on my assigned project? Verboten?

I don't know.  I expect a truly motivated employee has varied
interests, even within a given project, and so perhaps 20% time could
still be spent on the same project, but on aspects that are low
priority and wouldn't otherwise be scheduled/assigned.

> > and that they are
> > re-directed if their project isn't progressing into something 'useful'
> > to Google.
>
> Redirected by whom?

I don't know how the organization is structured.  I know that some
people work on more than one project/team - would they have reviews by
both managers, etc?  Perhaps the information is a Google search
away...

> > Moving in southeast Michigan? Buy my house: http://ubasics.com/house/
>
> You're STILL selling it? How long has it been on the market? :)

Oh we've slowed things down a lot.  We first put a signpost up in the
front yard just over a year ago, but we stopped actively advertising
and listing it near the beginning of this year.  The land we purchased
is being difficult in terms of sewage disposal, so we're working
through that slowly.  If someone offers us what we're asking, we're
happy to move now, but we're not aggressively matching the price to
the market.

Given the recent turns in the local economy housing is very depressed.
If you want to buy a house or land in southeast Michigan, now is the
time to invest!

-Adam

--
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Moving in southeast Michigan? Buy my house: http://ubasics.com/house/

Interested in electronics? Check out the projects at http://ubasics.com

Building your own house? Check out http://ubasics.com/home/

2007\10\31@052143 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>> Well, the hours are easy (40 hrs/wk, no mandatory overtime). But you're
>> right about the salary, it's probably the toughest thing to figure out
>> for
>> "mind worker" positions. What would you say is a reasonable salary range
>> for
>> this PIC developer position?
>
>Unfortunately, being from a different country, and having been in my job
>quite a while I'm not really able to give what a fair salary for any
>position would be.

I would suggest putting an expected salary range that you are hoping to pay,
but that it is negotiable for a suitably qualified person.

In the web writers advert you do say frequent pay reviews, so that would
give you an out if someone you liked for the job was pushing the negotiable
bounds somewhat, as you could point out that you would consider the figure
they want within so many months, on the basis of the frequent reviews, and
their work ethic and results.

2007\10\31@053025 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>> Don't get me wrong, SOME info is good, but any person serious about
>> getting a job with a company will independently check out the company.
>> The amount of info you have there is IMHO perfect.
>
>Great, thank you! :)

Perhaps a 'further information at ...' with link to a more comprehensive
page.

I have to admit I also found that advert page pretty well done, concise,
well laid out, salient points emphasised with bold type, easy to read.

2007\10\31@053903 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>How about you guys tell me what you would consider "fair"
>pay for a PIC developer?

You mean apart from 'as much as possible' ;))

You may want to run your advert past some employment agencies in your area
to get a feel for salary ranges in that job description. Doesn't necessarily
mean you have to list the position with them ...

2007\10\31@122713 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> >How about you guys tell me what you would consider "fair"
>>pay for a PIC developer?
>
> You mean apart from 'as much as possible' ;))

LOL, yes. :)

> You may want to run your advert past some employment agencies in your area
> to get a feel for salary ranges in that job description. Doesn't
> necessarily
> mean you have to list the position with them ...

Great idea, I think I'll do it.

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