June 2013 Archives

Writing job-postings

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This crossed my bows recently:

Tech Companies That Only Hire Men

It's a job-shaming tumblr for job-postings that are written in a certain style:

He will be responsible for maintaining documentation relating to the PDP-2X and repair fax machines as required.

I went looking for more postings like that and I found that they really are not that common any more. I remember them being more common back when I was job hunting a couple years ago, but apparently things have shifted enough that these are now mockable.

And they deserve to be. It is not hard to write a job posting using gender neutral terminology.

Impartial third person:

The candidate will be responsible for documentation relating to the PDP-2X and fax-machine repair.

Or more and more common now, second person:

You will be responsible for documentation relating to the PDP-2X and fax-machine repair.

The very large majority of postings I see follow one of the two styles I just mentioned. Falling back on the old, "he is a neuter word in English," rule is definitely falling out of style. Good.

Perhaps you've seen this error:

Version mismatch with VMCI driver: expecting 11, got 10.

I get this every time I upgrade a kernel, and this is how I fix it.

Last year I created a commodity hardware based storage system. It was cheap, and I had confidence in the software that made it work. Still do, in fact.

I built the thing for massive scaling because that's just plain smart. We haven't hit the massive scaling part of the growth curve yet, but it's a lot closer to now than I was last year. So I thought big.

The base filesystem I chose is XFS, since I have experience with it, and it's designed from the bolts out for big. ZFS wasn't an option for a couple of reasons, and BTRFS wasn't mature enough for me to bet the business on it. One of the quirks of XFS is that it can bottleneck on journal and superblock writes, so I had to ensure that wouldn't get in the way.

Easy!

Put the XFS journal on an external device based on a SSD! Blazing fast writes, won't get in the way. Awesome.

But how to ensure that SSD could survive what was in essence a pure-write workload?

IT departments are going away?

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That's a nice attention-getting headline, and also the kind of thing technology futurists like to throw about. Anyway, quick hits:

  • Never under estimate the power of intertia. Companies that have IT departments, will tend to continue the practice.
  • The role of IT is definitely changing. Like it has for the past 40 years or so.
  • A Phat internet connection and a BYOD policy mean a lot of traditional IT problems are outsourced to all of those web-app suppliers you're using.

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