I got the job!!!

Holy cow! I got the job!
Yesterday was the hottest day of the year – so far! (Make it stop! Please make it stop! I am melting!!)
What did I get to do? Drag my fat, lazy butt 25 miles north for my first true in-person interview since becoming unemployed earlier this year.
Uncool – literally!
I was dreading it! First, I don’t drive much and this place is quite a way away from where I live. Our 9 year-old car doesn’t even have 50K miles and the ‘baby’ car just hit 3K. (Man am I blessed!!)
Second, it is HOT! I hate heat! My ideal vacation is a cruise that includes a small boat ride to the glaciers! My theory is it is better to be cold than hot; you can always put on a sweater or bundle in a blanket, but there is a limit to how much can be removed.
Aware of my personal disposition to the situation, I went forward with the scheduled, re-scheduled, scheduled again interview and chose to make it into an adventure. This is the first time in this wonderful ‘sorry, lady, you are unemployed now.’ adventure that I have been asked to interview in person, so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to practice my skills!
Well it truly is an opportunity and they want me! Yay!

Acronyms kill understanding

I am preparing for a long-awaited job interview. (yay!)
As part of my due diligence, I like to review relevant information.
I continued to trip over the same acronym, in various contexts. Think these webpages might cause issues?

Mobile-first verse Master-data

MDM_Mobile_Device_Management

MDM_Master_Data_Management

 

Why is it so hard to get a Job Description?

I don’t get it. Every time I ask for a job description, I get pushback.
Seems to me if you have gone to all of the activity to get a position posting approved, you at some point created at least a bullet-point-list of what you want. Give me that.
In the absence of actual job descriptions, I will go with the following:

The Scrum Master’s job is to work with the Scrum Team and the organization to increase the transparency of the artifacts.

This work usually involves learning, convincing, and change.

Transparency doesn’t occur overnight, but is a path.

A bit bummed

When this week kicked off, I had a job interview scheduled for this afternoon. This opportunity was a bit out of my comfort zone, but I truly was looking forward to it. I like challenges.
Monday, phone call with the recruiter to go over a couple of items to help improve my success when meeting with these folks. Fortunately, the recruiter forwarded me the profile information for the individuals I was scheduled to meet.
Tuesday, I was out and about taking care of things. The recruiter calls my home phone, not once, but twice in a four hour period. They were smart enough to email me as well, as I am not so good at answering the telephone unless we have scheduled something.
Bottom line, they want to re-schedule the interview for next week. Fine, sure, whatever. I really am interested in doing this interview. We have re-scheduled. I think I might like this job.
Now there’s a qualified statement for you. How am I supposed to know? I have not been forwarded an explicit job description from anyone – not the recruiter nor the client.
The reason I want to do this interview is to be ‘there’. This is not a basic, back-office job with a major corporation doing business-as-usual production. They are new. They produce tangible products. They deal with mundane issues. They are exceeding and their growth curve is phenomenal!
The bulk of my career has been in software-as-a-service products. I haven’t done serious erp in almost 20 years. Supply chain for me meant meeting QoS guidelines. It would be fun apply those principles to actual, physical products. To have the opportunity to participate in the creative process from beginning to end!
Maybe what I need to do is continue developing the definition of what a scrum master does or could do within this company and share it with this particular recruiter?

Completely, unrelated sidebar – WP could you fix this incredibly ridiculous scrollbar experience, please.
Wodpress_scrollbars

Capital One epic fail!

Change is inevitable. It is kind of like death and taxes. No matter how well planned and organized you might think something is, give it time, it will change. Today’s rant is brought to you by my latest disappointment in banking and life upheaval 101.

I am so disappointed in Capital One!
They bought my favorite banking institution a number of years ago, but it wasn’t until recently I actually started paying attention. [New goal in life: Be in a position where I can fire and forget a ‘stash’ account!]
This is a wee bit of a tale of woe. Years ago, I opened an account with ING Direct! This was ‘bleeding edge’ banking and I gave it a try, not to mention they were offering the highest rates of return for savings. I LOVED it. This was the BEST banking UI and experience I had ever encountered! It was better than my brick and mortar experiences, hands down! Mind you, this was all before the whole “Mobile First” approach and we back-office types were still trying to figure out how to plumb the system, not to mention how unsettling this completely virtual banking relationship seemed to many of us, BUT they offered a high-yield alternative to traditional banks.
The timing was opportune for ING Direct – they were already offering decent rates for minimal deposits. (Probably the incentive that got my attention…but we are talking about a decade ago…) I locked in a 5% rate on a traditional CD for as little as $1,000. Sure do wish I would have had more to risk!
The onboarding for ING Direct was old school. It was multi-factored authentication, but it required the end-user to jump through a few hoops. I actually liked it. I remember telling my fellow product designers about how ‘comfortable’ I felt every time I logged into that account.
Fast forward to today. A lot of time has passed. My cd matured. I rolled it over, but am not getting anywhere near as much interest! Capital One said they were going to make this new account the ‘best of both worlds‘ I am here to tell you they failed – epically! Dear heavens why did you have to make this so painful, to do the same things ING Direct was doing so successfully?

Magenta – fail

So sad. I was talking to a recruiter about some of the work I had done in my recent past.
One of our core initiatives was improving the tools used in the assisted channel. In English: If you talk to a sales associate or call customer care, you interact with someone. That is ‘being assisted’ and you have become a participant in the assisted channel process. Anything that happens now would be impacted by the tools and improvements to the user experience. (the “user” is the internal resource)

I am very proud of the work we did over the last few years, so I have no problem bragging about what was accomplished. My issue is trying to communicate it to wireless outsiders. In an effort to show the types of tools we worked on, I suggested the recruiter take a look at magenta’s website and do a coverage check.
EPIC FAIL TMO – screen shot below. So, so sad…..TMobileMaps_EpicFail

Rocking round the way…

Love me some Joe Walsh! They are inducting him into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame this summer! Wish I could go….

Alas, that is not in the cards, but I did my own version of rocking around the way over the weekend. I made more actual progress in my search for a meaningful next step in my career trajectory in a five minute geekdom conversation while with my son.

Interestingly enough, I was whining about Windows 10. I was given some really good pointers to try. I was way too paranoid to make changes to this system while on the road, but I put those suggestions to test as soon as I was comfortable. Holy cow! What a difference. That’s one of the reasons why I like rocking around the way!! Thank you!!!

I provided my analysis below, if you are interested.

My Windows 10 machine is a dog. Right before I left, I was trying to figure out how I could improve performance. Seems pretty easy to identify the root cause:

Bottleneck

My conclusion – the only way to speed up the performance on my system is to upgrade the hard drive to solid state. I was depressed. The cost to perform such an upgrade is prohibitive and I am unemployed!! Idea abandoned, but not forgotten.

Fast forward to an entirely interpersonal encounter that provided me the opportunity to whine about my need to upgrade my write speed. I was provided with 3 steps to try that would reduce the system overhead. (I was kicking myself for not thinking of that!)

Today, I applied those suggestions! Below are the results:

20170627_Bottleneck

I owe someone at least a steak dinner! Thank you!

The beauty of this interaction is that it was an entirely organic interpersonal learning. It is so refreshing!

Haven’t been the same…

Today’s post is about preparing for a phone interview I have this morning. (I have a love/hate relationship with phone interviews.)
The situation is: I need a job.

  • This one is something I could do.
  • The pay is reasonable.

Now do I want to do it?
I view this initial interview as a conversation. This is a two-way street.
The interviewer is attempting to ascertain if I will be able to do what it is he envisions needs to be done to help his organization succeed.
Got it.
In my opinion, we have already completed this checkbox item, or else we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
I have asked for the Job Description – I really believe that anyone doing any kind of a search for someone should have taken the time to define what they really need and not just a gut level awareness that they need something. The response was so generic, that it gives me cause to pause, but reading the list provided me a little insight into the hiring manager’s style and gave me a hint about what has annoyed him in previous interviews.
I need to communicate with him that I am flexible and comfortable with change.
I need to get him to define his terms. What does he consider a ‘scrum meeting’?
I need to know how they treat contractors.

Ultimately, I decided to do the interview. It is scheduled. It will be a good opportunity for me to exercise my skills. This means, I was able to get beyond the gate-keeper in the process. My biggest challenge has been getting the youngsters to understand me as my non-traditional experience doesn’t fit well into the new millenia checklists that have been developed over the last few years. I don’t think it is ageism as much as it is inexperience.

since you had your little crash…’ The first lyrics I heard from the album that quickly became my favorite. It is one of those songs that I still remember where I was and exactly what I was doing when I heard it for the very, first time.
Note to self: write a post on the entire album, it might be a fun little trip down memory lane.

Eagles_HellFreezesOver

Blame it all on my roots

This little march down memory lane has been refreshing. I have remembered a few things I had forgotten.

  1. I like using song lyrics as section headers – this started with my grad school papers eons ago.
  2. I have been in iterative design and development for a long, long time – kind of nice to find more legacy artifacts.
  3. Pictures, pictures, pictures! Oh my goodness these are spread throughout my hard drive.
  4. A lot of things changed during my tenure at my latest gig. It is more than a little unsettling to put it all together.
  5. I think in dates. Give me a date and possibly an experience or question and I can tell you everything I was doing that day. This is scary!

 

Cleaning the hard drive

A couple of months ago I noticed that the performance on my personal laptop was not awesome. Deep in my soul resides a latent hardware geek who is always interested in getting the best performance possible out of the systems at hand.
I checked all of the basic things to see if there was some random service that was consuming all of the systems resources.
Overall, my system is rather healthy. My cpu is barely being used 25% of the time.
My memory is below 30% used.
My bottleneck is the hard-drive.
I need to upgrade to solid state drives, but that is a wee bit cost prohibitive, so I am tuning. Joy of joys!