Categories
Career The Street Finds Its Own Uses For Things

Why you shouldn’t put your street address on your resume

Karly Blackburn’s cake resume, complete with street address (which I blurred out).

If you’re not familiar with the story of Karly Blackburn’s cake resume, check it out — it tells of her clever idea to make use of Albertsons’ cakes with printed icing and Instacart’s delivery services to land a job interview at Nike by sending them an attention-getting CV. She tells the story in her own words on LinkedIn.

There’s only one thing I would’ve changed to her plan: I would have left out the street address from the contact info. An email address, phone number, and city and state are more than enough. These days, putting your street address on your resume is a bad idea.

Why did we put our street addresses on our resumes?

In the Don Draper era, it made sense. These days, it’s a bad idea.

In the pre-internet era, you often got a response to your job application via postal mail, so it made sense to include your street address on your resume. It was a slower-paced era, when landing an interview could be a matter of weeks, rather than days or hours.

In this era of ubiquitous, instant internet communications, networked pocket computers always arm’s length away, and instantaneous access to databases packed with real estate and demographic information, it’s not just an anachronistic practice, but a potentially harmful one.

The Google factor

Consider this advice from a recruiter in one of my secondary LinkedIn circles:

This recruiter was probably a little too honest.

At least this recruiter’s honest enough to write about their morbid curiosity on LinkedIn. With a couple of clicks on Google Maps, a recruiter, or more critically, a hiring manager can get a sense of your socioeconomic status, especially in hyper-segregated metros. You could be ruled out based on race or class and wouldn’t even know it.

Others may rule you out based on the distance between your home and the office, or more importantly, the time it would take for you to get there. This shouldn’t be their call to make, so why give them the tools to do so?

Even more troublesome: the Zillow factor

In a comment made in response to the recruiter above, another recruiter posted this reply…

Read on to hear a similar story.

…which leads me to something I overheard while waiting to board a flight in late August:

It was a conversation between a couple of recruiters who were talking about a hiring manager that they both knew. It went something like this, but with the hiring manager’s name changed:

Recruiter 1: So wait, what did Todd do?

Recruiter 2: It was a total dick move, but in a way, I gotta respect it. The candidate put his address on his CV. Big mistake.

Recruiter 1: Kind of old-fashioned, but not a killer. What’s the deal here?

Recruiter 2: Well, Todd — being Todd — enters the address into Zillow and finds out that the guy bought the place at the height of the market. He looked at the price history, and it was obvious the guy overpaid big time. Leveraged to the max.

Recruiter 1: You weren’t kidding about “dick move,” were you?

Recruiter 2: Todd doesn’t stop there. He looks at where the guy’s working now, and figures that he needs this job to cover his new expensive house, and uses that fact to play hardball during salary negotiation. The guy’s still making more than he did at his old job, but Todd knew he was in a tough spot, and talked him down 10K.

Recruiter 1: That there is some James Bond villain-style negotiating.

Recruiter 2: I know, right?

Even your zip code is too much info

Some folks, such as this person on Instagram, are providing good advice by telling people not to put their street addresses on their resumes, but they’re still saying that the zip code is okay. This is still a potential landmine, thanks to the Esri ZIP Code Lookup Tapestry.

If you’re based in the U.S., you can try it out. Visit the page, tap the Explore Your ZIP Code button, and enter your ZIP code. You’ll get a marketer-focused set of stats for your neighborhood that looks like this:

The ZIP Code Lookup Tapestry lists all sorts of things, including:

  • The three largest marketing demographic categories in your neighborhood
  • Average annual spending habits in your area: credit debt, apparel, medical insurance, and entertainment
  • The levels of disposable income in your ’hood

This is just more data on which you could be judged. Leave your zip code off your resume!

For more about this service, see this article: This Is What Marketers Think of You and Your Neighbors.

Categories
Career Programming What I’m Up To

My upcoming “Learn Python” course for Computer Coach

Computer Coach’s “Learn Python” course banner: “Live, online, instructor-led / Starting Sept 7th 2022”

The TL;DR

Here’s a quick summary of the course:

  • What: An introductory Python course! I’m teaching it on behalf of Computer Coach, a Tampa-based training company and friends of mine.
  • Where: Online, via Zoom.
  • When: Monday and Wednesday evenings, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., starting this Wednesday, September 7th.
  • How to enroll or find out more: Contact Computer Coach’s Kasandra Perez at kasandra@computercoach.com or (813)-254-6459 to find out more about the course or register.

You’ll need the following to participate in the course:

The state of Python

Selection of headlines showing how in-demand Python is.

All you have to do is look at the current developer surveys and tech news headlines to know that right now, Python is having its “moment”:

Graph showing most in-demand programming languages 2021-2022. Python is in the <a rel=#1 position with almost 150K job openings in the U.S. and almost 100K job openings in Europe." class="wp-image-35095" srcset="https://www.globalnerdy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/most-in-demand-programming-languages.png 600w, https://www.globalnerdy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/most-in-demand-programming-languages-269x300.png 269w" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px" />
Found via SiliconRepublic.

CodingNomads, a coding school in California, looked at thousands of job postings in North America and Europe and declared Python as the most in-demand coding language for 2022.

As for salaries…

Map showing Python salaries around the world (US: $111K, Canada $95K, UK $84K, Germany $97K, Australia $103K, India $14K).
These are salaries from 2020, found at CareerFoundry.

…you can say that the pay is decent. Pair Python with another tech skill (for instance, JavaScript) or a people skill (say, managing developers), and you can make even more.

The schedule

This is the course schedule for Learn Python. It’s flexible — if there’s a need spend more time on a specific topic, we’ll do that. The point isn’t to cover every topic on the list; it’s to give you the necessary grounding in Python and programming to continue after the course is over!

Sessions will take place via Zoom, which means that you can take the course from wherever you happen to be. There will be ten sessions, and each will run from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., with ten-minute breaks at the end of the first, second, and third hour.

  • Day 1 : Hello, Python!
    Wednesday, September 7, 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Setting up the programming environment
    • Introducing Jupyter Notebook
    • Variables and simple data types
    • Programming in sequence
  • Day 2: Algorithms aren’t just for Facebook
    Monday, September 12, 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Branching (a.k.a. “If” / “elif” / “else”)
    • Lists
    • Looping
  • Day 3: Organizing data and code, and listening to the user
    Wednesday, September 14, 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Dictionaries
    • Functions
    • Getting input from the user
  • Day 4: Getting serious
    Monday, September 19, 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Object-oriented programming
    • Working with files
    • Handling exceptions
  • Day 5: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro
    Wednesday, September 21, 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Running Python programs from the command line
    • Importing Python modules
    • Organizing files
  • Day 6: The web and data
    Monday, September 26, 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Web programming with Flask
    • SQLite: The database built into Python
  • Day 7: Just enough data science to be dangerous
    Wednesday, September 28, 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Introduction to data science and Python’s data science libraries
  • Days 8 – 9: Using your Python powers for good
    Monday, October 3, 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    Wednesday, October 5, 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Using Python to handle all sorts of programming tasks, which could include:
    • Building the scripts that generate the Tampa Bay Tech Events list
    • Automating email and spreadsheets
    • Building a weather app
  • Day 10: Just the beginning
    Monday, October 10, 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Review of everything covered
    • What you should cover next
    • Programming interview questions

What happens in the course?

Photo: Woman’s hands typing on Mac laptop.

This is not a passive course! This isn’t the kind of course where the instructor lectures over slides while you take notes (or pretend to take notes while surfing the web or checking your social media feeds). In this course, you’ll follow along as I write code on my screen. You’ll actively take part in the learning process, entering code, experimenting, making mistakes, correcting those mistakes, and producing working applications. You will learn by doing. At the end of each session, you’ll have a collection of little Python programs that you wrote, and which you can use as the basis for your own work.

The course will start at the most basic level by walking you through the process of downloading and installing the necessary tools to start Python programming. From there, you’ll learn the building blocks of the Python programming language:

  • Control structures that determine what your programs do,
  • Data structures to store the information that your programs act on,
  • Functions and objects to organize your code, and
  • Using libraries as building blocks for your applications.

Better still, you’ll learn how to think like a programmer. You’ll learn how to look at a goal and learn how you could write a program to meet it, and how that program could be improved or enhanced. You’ll learn skills that will serve you well as you take up other programming languages, and even learn a little bit about the inner workings of computers, operating systems, and the internet.

What kind of apps will you build?

We’ll build as many applications as we can, based on your suggestions or needs. These include (and aren’t limited to):

  • CoverTron: My generator for cover letters for job applications. I actually used it in my last job search!
  • Tampa Bay Tech Events Transmogrifier: Every week, I put together a list of tech events for Tampa Bay, culled from Eventbrite and Meetup. It would take me hours to do it by hand, but it’s so much quicker with the automated help of a couple of Python scripts.
  • Find out when and where a digital photo was taken: When you take a picture with your phone or a present-day digital camera, that picture has EXIF data embedded in it, with the date, time, and location where the photo was taken. I’ll show you how to extract that info!
  • Editing photos: If you were assigned the task of shrinking a set of 100 photos by 25% (or any other similar basic photo editing task), you could do it manually, or you could make Python do it.
  • Creating interactive documents with Jupyter Notebook: It’s more than just a Python tool used by data scientists, Nobel Prize winners, and Netflix, but a useful programming environment and operations platform for everyday tasks!
  • Writing web applications with Flask: Just as Python makes programming much easier, the Python-powered Flask framework makes programming web applications much easier.
  • Passing interview coding tests: Learn how to deal with the most dreaded part of the interview for a programming job, and why Python is a key part of my coding interview strategy.
  • Using databases: Using databases is a key part of programming, and luckily, Python comes with a built-in database!
  • Data science: This is a giant topic and could easily take up the time to do this course three times, but I’d be happy to go over the basics.
  • Interactive storytelling and games: Python’s quite good at this, and I can walk you through the PyGame framework and Ren’Py interactive story system.
  • Mobile app development: Yes, there are ways to do mobile app development in Python.

How do you sign up for the course or find out more?

Once again, you’ll want to contact Computer Coach’s Kasandra Perez at Contact Kasandra Perez at kasandra@computercoach.com or (813)-254-6459 to find out more about the course or register.

Categories
Career Programming What I’m Up To

What you’ll learn in my online course: Using Python to detect startup founder megalomania

Poster for the Apple TV+ series “WeCrashed”.
WeCrashed was a good podcast and a great TV miniseries.

One of the more ridiculous aspects of the S-1 Form that WeWork filed during their first attempt at an IPO was the fact that the name “Adam” (WeWork’s founder / personality behind the cult Adam Neumann) gets mentioned in it a ludicrous number of times. It’s not unusual for an S-1 Form to mention the founder’s name a couple dozen times, but nowhere near as many times as WeWork’s original S-1 did.

You could go through WeWork’s S-1 and count the number of times “Adam” appears in its text. You could load WeWork’s S-1 into a text editor and have it give you that number. But what if you had to do that for a dozen, or a hundred, or a thousand companies and create a list of the number of times each company’s founder was mentioned in its S-1? You will write a Python script to do just that in my upcoming course.

I’ll guide you through the process of writing that script and running it on not just the text of WeWork’s S-1, but also for other hot tech companies, such as Zoom, Uber, Lyft, and Slack.

It’s just one of the practical things I’ll cover in the Learn Python online course being offered by Computer Coach. Here are the quick details:

  • What: An introductory Python course!
  • Where: Online, via Zoom.
  • When: Monday and Wednesday evenings, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., starting Wednesday, September 7th.
  • How to enroll or find out more: Contact Computer Coach’s Kasandra Perez at kasandra@computercoach.com or (813)-254-6459 to find out more about the course or register.
Banner: Computer Coach - Learn Python - Live, online, instructor-led - Starting September 7th 2022

For more details, see this post: I’m teaching another 5-week / 10-evening Python course starting September 7th!

Categories
Career Programming What I’m Up To

I’m teaching another 5-week / 10-evening Python course starting September 7th!

If you’re getting this feeling…

…and you’d rather have this feeling…

Creative Commons image by Nick Youngson — CC BY-SA 3.0 Pix4free.
Click here to see the source.

…then the course I’m teaching might help:

a close up of text and logo over a white background
Graohic: Computer Coach Training Center logo

I’ve been programming in Python since 1999, and I’ll be teaching Computer Coach’s upcoming 10-week online Learning Python course!

The “TL;DR:”

  • What: An introductory Python course!
  • Where: Online, via Zoom.
  • When: Monday and Wednesday evenings, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., starting Wednesday, September 7th.
  • How to enroll or find out more: Contact Computer Coach’s Kasandra Perez at kasandra@computercoach.com or (813)-254-6459 to find out more about the course or register.

What will you get out of this course?

The biggest things that you’ll get out of this course are the tools to succeed in a tech career, namely:

  • An introduction to the most-used and most useful parts of the Python programming language,
  • a solid basis in programming principles,
  • and a bag of tricks that you can use in your tech career.

The course will use one of the best books on Python out there: Automate the Boring Stuff with Python by Al Sweigart (whom I had the pleasure of meeting in person earlier this year at PyCon):

…but we won’t just stick to the book. We’ll look at all sorts of programming examples and tricks, based on your suggestions or needs. These include (and aren’t limited to):

  • CoverTron: My generator for cover letters for job applications. I actually used it in my last job search!
  • Tampa Bay Tech Events Transmogrifier: Every week, I put together a list of tech events for Tampa Bay, culled from Eventbrite and Meetup. It would take me hours to do it by hand, but it’s so much quicker with the automated help of a couple of Python scripts.
  • Find out when and where a digital photo was taken: When you take a picture with your phone or a present-day digital camera, that picture has EXIF data embedded in it, with the date, time, and location where the photo was taken. I’ll show you how to extract that info!
  • Editing photos: If you were assigned the task of shrinking a set of 100 photos by 25% (or any other similar basic photo editing task), you could do it manually, or you could make Python do it.
  • Creating interactive documents with Jupyter Notebook: It’s more than just a Python tool used by data scientists, Nobel Prize winners, and Netflix, but a useful programming environment and operations platform for everyday tasks!
  • Writing web applications with Flask: Just a Python makes programming much easier, the Python-powered Flask framework makes programming web applications much easier.
  • Passing interview coding tests: Learn how to deal with the most dreaded part of the interview for a programming job, and why Python is a key part of my coding interview strategy.
  • Using databases: Using databases is a key part of programming, and luckily, Python comes with a built-in database!
  • Data science: This is a giant topic and could easily take up the time to do this course three times, but I’d be happy to go over the basics.
  • Interactive storytelling and games: Python’s quite good at this, and I can walk you through the PyGame framework and Ren’Py interactive story system.
  • Mobile app development: Yes, there are ways to do mobile app development in Python.

What happens in the course?

Photo: Woman’s hands typing on Mac laptop.

This is not a passive course! This isn’t the kind of course where the instructor lectures over slides while you take notes (or pretend to take notes while surfing the web or checking your social media feeds). In this course, you’ll follow along as I write code on my screen. You’ll actively take part in the learning process, entering code, experimenting, making mistakes, correcting those mistakes, and producing working applications. You will learn by doing. At the end of each session, you’ll have a collection of little Python programs that you wrote, and which you can use as the basis for your own work.

The course will start at the most basic level by walking you through the process of downloading and installing the necessary tools to start Python programming. From there, you’ll learn the building blocks of the Python programming language:

  • Control structures that determine what your programs do,
  • Data structures to store the information that your programs act on,
  • Functions and objects to organize your code, and
  • Using libraries as building blocks for your applications.

Better still, you’ll learn how to think like a programmer. You’ll learn how to look at a goal and learn how you could write a program to meet it, and how that program could be improved or enhanced. You’ll learn skills that will serve you well as you take up other programming languages, and even learn a little bit about the inner workings of computers, operating systems, and the internet.

What will you need for the course?

Nothing fancy:

How do you sign up for the course or find out more?

Once again, you’ll want to contact Computer Coach’s Kasandra Perez at Contact Kasandra Perez at kasandra@computercoach.com or (813)-254-6459 to find out more about the course or register.

Categories
Career Programming Tampa Bay

Tampa’s LT3 Labs helps students discover tech careers

New tech lab opens in north Tampa, helping students discover careers in computer science

LT3 Labs — where “LT3” is short for “Learning Tomorrow’s Technology Today” — is a brand-new space in the Rithm @ Uptown zone at Tampa’s University Mall with a program where young people not only learn the skills, but the confidence required to choose technology as a career.

The 8-week program, called PATH, is geared toward high schoolers who typically wouldn’t pursue careers in coding. CEO Chris Morancie says that the goals are to help students discover a love for tech beyond merely using it, address the skilled worker shortage, and ameliorate income inequality. They’re graduating their first PATH program cohort next week.

Want to find out more? Here’s a local news piece on LT3:

Categories
Business Career

Adam Neumann, a16z, and the importance of “south-pointing compasses”

The all-too-likely outcome of grifter Adam Neumann’s foray into residential real estate management. Tap to view at full size.

I have good news for those of you who wanted a second season of WeCrashed! As I write this, the top story on Techmeme is the New York Times article on Andreesen Horowitz’s $350 million-ish investment in Adam Neumann’s latest business outing, a “residential real estate management” startup called Flow. There’s also a post by Andreesen Horowitz that describes Flow and yet somehow doesn’t get around to explaining what this company does.

Who is Adam Neumann?

If the name Adam Neumann isn’t familiar to you, let me sum him up for you as quickly as I can: he’s the grifter behind what Jacobin aptly described as “the biggest, dumbest scam in American history.” That scam is WeWork, a millennial high-concept version of the office space rental company Regus, that marketed itself as a Silicon Valley-style tech company with Fyre Festival-like hype (in fact, Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland rented office space from WeWork).

By hyping themselves as more than just an a company buying and renting expensive office space to the generation that could least afford it (but with free beer and wine — at least for a little while), and despite hemorrhaging wheelbarrows of cash, they managed to con their primary investor, SoftBank, out of about $10 billion in investments and into a $47 billion valuation. That fell apart after they filed for an IPO, the mandatory disclosures for which revealed their financial fakery.

Then came the more interesting stories: the tales of Neumann’s bizarre behavior, from often walking around barefoot in a weed-induced haze and insisting that employees do shots of expensive tequila with him, to fomenting not just a cult of personality, but a generational dynasty in the spirit of the emperor from Asimov’s Foundation novels.

Neumann’s antics cost its big investor, Softbank, so much that they considered selling one of their companies: Arm, as in the chips that power just about every smartphone, a whole lot of IoT devices (including the Raspberry Pi), a fair share of Chromebooks, and Apple Silicon computers.

I wrote about this in What if WeWork’s jamoke CEO accidentally changed the processor industry?

The immediate aftermath:

  • The IPO was cancelled 33 days after it was launched and all the WeWeirdness came to light.
  • SoftBank took over WeWork.
  • Neumann’s reward for screwing up? SoftBank would give him about $1.7 billion to step down from WeWork’s board and dissociate himself from the company.

What was Adam Neumann’s follow-up act?

What do you do when you’ve been exposed as the bozo behind the “biggest, dumbest scam in American history?” You look for even dumber people to fleece. So Neumann got into Web 3.0.

Neumann’s Web 3.0 venture, Flowcarbon, a company that purports to “use blockchain technology to put carbon offset credits on-chain, accelerating the creativity and scalability of climate change solutions.”

In spite of a bullshitty-sounding mission and being run by a known bullshitter, Flowcarbon somehow raised $70 million — $32 million in fresh equity, and another $38 million through the sale of Flowcarbon’s fake money — er, cryptocurrency — which go by the name “Goddess Nature Tokens”. Their big sucker — er, investor — this time: Andreesen Horowitz, a.k.a. their shortened name, a16z.

But that was in May, which was nearly four months ago — a whole damned internet year!

You see, as of mid-July, the Flowcarbon project has been, in their own words, “paused indefinitely.”

Third time’s the (c)harm

And so we come to Neumann’s third big questionable business outing: this “residential real-estate management” startup, which took his previous venture’s name and shortened it to Flow.

Feel free to steal this joke: Creating the new company name from the previous one is probably Neumann’s only success in carbon removal.

Backing Flow is — once again — Andreesen Horowitz, who this time threw even more money at Neumann and company: $350 million, which the New York Times describes as “the largest individual check Andreessen Horowitz has ever written in a round of funding to a company.” a16z value Flow at $1 billion.

Flow appears to be yet another institutional investor on a mission to buy up all the available real estate and bring back feudalism.

As the New York Times puts it:

Neumann has purchased more than 3,000 apartment units in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and Nashville. His aim is to rethink the housing rental market by creating a branded product with consistent service and community features. Flow will operate the properties Neumann has bought and also offer its services to new developments and other third parties. Exact details of the business plan could not be learned.

I fear this idea has legs, but I also take comfort in the fact that Adam Neumann is at the helm. Why? Because he’s one of my south-pointing compasses.

The importance of south-pointing compasses

You’ve probably been told about the value of having mentors and role models, because they provide us with a “horizon” — a direction to move towards, something to strive for, and examples to follow.

But what’s equally valuable is the type of person I refer to as a “south-pointing compass,” or what others have called an “antirole model.” It’s just as important to know what not to do, which is why we in tech like to look for antipatterns. In fact, south-pointing compasses are antipattern practitioners.

I’ve found it very helpful in my career to maintain relationships with a number of south-pointing compasses because they’re so useful. Some of these relationships are parasocial (I know them, but like I know characters in a book, not personally) or arm’s length (I know them, but keep things at the cordial acquaintance level). All of them have at least one valuable thing to teach, even if that lesson simply is don’t do what they do:

  • That striver who always follows the latest flavor-of-the-week management trend, and executes it poorly, only to dump it for the next trend? South-pointing compass.
  • That person who keeps hopping onto the next big language/framework/platform and starts but never completes any projects with that thing? South-pointing compass.
  • That coworker who constantly performs what HR kindly calls “career-limiting moves?” South-pointing compass.
  • James “Google ManifestBRO” Damore, the person Robert C. “Uncle Bob” Martin became (or maybe he was always that way and just decided to reveal his true, regreattable self), Curtis “Mencius Moldbug” Yarvin and their ilk? South-pointing compasses, and holy crap, does our industry have waaaaay too many of them.

So I’ll be watching a16z’s and Flow’s moves. And employ George Costanza from Seinfeld’s only winning tactic: Do the opposite of what they do.

Categories
Career Programming

My “How to solve coding interview” articles so far…

Meme: Coding alone (picture of not-too-bright Spider-Man villain The Rhino with stupid smirk) vs. Coding in an interview (exact same picture of not-too-bright Spider-Man villain The Rhino with stupid smirk).

Are you trying to pivot into a programming job? Are you part of the Great Resignation and looking for your next coding gig? Are you learning coding and looking for examples of how to solve programming problems?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might want to check out my series of articles on this blog in which I show you how to solve coding problems that tech companies have been known to ask in interviews.

Here’s what I’ve written so far: