startups, investing, and miscellaneous thoughts

Google recently concluded a program where senior engineering manager candidates could get coaching before interviews, in order to help experienced people be as effective as possible during their interviews. My understanding is that they had systemic problems of engineering managers performing poorly on technical interviews, so the program was created to provide pointed feedback early in the cycle. We’ll ignore what that may say about the interview process (where we provide “training” for candidates ahead of the interview), but the program is changing a bit now, and my role as a coach is ending... (more) →

On Generalists

Over the past couple years, I’ve had the fortune to coach engineers through their career journeys, including people currently in coding bootcamps, to startup founders, to people bored at their BigCo job. Fortune, because it’s entirely as much a benefit for me, as I synthesize patterns for the first time to improve my own career and spot opportunities. One pattern that’s common, especially for new college grads who go straight into a FANG, is becoming specialists early. Certainly, being a proficient machine learning engineer right now is quite lucrative... (more) →

Recently, I moved this site to be a static site (via Hugo), as well as moving to .com (instead of .org, which I’ve owned for a lot longer). I didn’t want to break previous URLs, but my new posts have entirely new paths, so a simple path-for-path 301 redirect won’t work. Most importantly, I wanted the redirection to require nearly no maintenance and be near free. To avoid running a small server, I considered serverless approaches that would handle the URL rewriting for me... (more) →

Here are my ideas that are guiding personal investments, as well as macro views. I’ve noted where I have skin in the game with current positioning, which may be useful to project my relative confidence. You’ll notice that I have an active portfolio, while I recommend that others stick to as boring-as-possible three-fund or inexpensive target-retirement portfolios. Later, I’ll write about why I structure investments this way, but it very well may be a “do as I say, not as I do” position... (more) →

Essential Slick review

Essential Slick by Jonathan Ferguson and Richard Dallaway was recently updated to include Slick 3, which was a big update from Slick 2. Slick is a “functional relational mapping” library for Scala. Instead of focusing on Table ↔ Object relations, Slick uses functional programming concepts to build queries, bind data, and stream results. In Slick 3, the preferred API treats queries and IO operations (called DBIO) as values, which can be modified and stored without the presence of a database. This is familiar to anyone who has used scalaz’s Task or Haskell’s IO... (more) →