Go Down

Topic: Automated focus stacking controller (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


A plethora of similar hobbiest projects also exist

A plethora of similar hobbiest hobbyist projects also exist.

If you play the guitar, you are a guitarist.  If you don't wear clothes, you are a nudist.  If you engage in some hobby, you are a hobbyist.  In general, X-ist means "one who does X".

If you are bigger than everyone else, you are the biggest.  If you are richer than everyone else, you are the richest.  If you do your hobby better than anyone else you are... a professional.  Not a 'hobbiest'.

If you are very small and round, wear waistcoats, and traipse about Middle Earth, you are a hobbit.  No relation.

I don't wish to be tediously pedantic, while knowing that correcting the grammar of strangers on the internet is something only the hobbiest  8) of pedants do.  But as an EE design engineer I participate in many job interviews, vetting recent EE grads for the type of design position that tends to appeal to hardware hackers, and over the past year or so I've seen dozens of otherwise bright - sometimes potentially brilliant - candidates go down in flames when HR read the bit in their résumés about their "hobbiest" activities.

My role in these interviews is to determine the suitability of the candidate for the position, so I rarely even read their résumés (especially with new grads who might not have prior professional experience).  I give them a couple of problems and ask them to communicate their thought process as they solve them; the point is not to see if they can solve those problems, but to see how they approach solving problems in general.  I'm looking for signs of the kind of hard-won intuition that is found in most tinkerers, but only some students.

The people in Human Resources, however, get most of their information from the candidate's résumé.  One of the things they are looking for is a measure of the candidate's ability to communicate well, and they pay special attention to the candidate's technical writing abilities.  An inability to distinguish between adjectives and (pro)nouns, even in a case as seemingly irrelevant as this one, is taken by them to be potentially symptomatic of larger communication problems and/or professional, interpersonal, perhaps moral failings on the part of the candidate.  Which means it doesn't matter how talented I think the person is, HR simply isn't going to give them the job.

tl;dr: Be a hobbyist, but don't be the 'hobbiest' hobbyist... the career you save might be your own.


Feb 19, 2013, 02:27 pm Last Edit: Feb 19, 2013, 02:37 pm by retrolefty Reason: 1
Which means it doesn't matter how talented I think the person is, HR simply isn't going to give them the job.

Which means your company has it's hiring process and priorities messed up such that you are not able to hire the best candidate in your judgement, unless you too think grammar should be a prescreened show stopper. HR should have 'veto' on legal things like background checks, immigration status, valid drivers licence, maybe even credit check, but to allow them to pre-screen candidates based on resume grammar is just giving your competition a leg up.

I too was involved in a lot of candidate interviews as team leader of hiring for electronics technical positions in a large oil refinery. HR did have first shot at eliminating candidates, but their mandate was just for legal requirements and that basic job requirements were met, with no judgement based on resume content, that was in our mandate along with the candidate interview. In the last session I lead we had over 700 applicants apply for the positions being offered.

We too designed about six 'open ended' questions that made the candidates verbally explain their thought process to work through problems and I believe it did a good job of separating the wannabes from the been there done that types. We were hiring for experienced people so I imagine that if would be somewhat more difficult selecting from only recent graduates with minimum prior employment experience. The last round I lead we had to give 30 interviews over five days and 'force rank' them for our higher management (not HR management) to select how many they wished to hire from the list. They hired 12 of them and five years later 8 of them had been promoted to supervisory positions so I think our process was well designed and executed.


Go Up