Chris Gibbons Design Technologist

Post-redundacy thoughts...

A random, ranty, sweary collection of thoughts & feelings that I captured at various points across across my redundancy journey.

Most of what I’ve noted down can be classified into one of the following sections:

  • Keeping motivation
  • Keeping focus
  • Keeping busy
  • Keeping fresh
  • Keeping sane

If fact, I probably will sort them once the post has gone live, and I can muster the energy to do so.

So, in no particular order

Market conditions are tough, absolutely no question about that, and arguably tougher than I’ve seen them in most of my career, but that’s no excuse for some of the arcane practices I’ve seen

Interviews are far far more convuluted than they should be; When things get to 4-5 stages, you really need to question WTF you are doing.

Don’t even get me started on tech tests! More of this to come later 👀

Feedback, or lack of! Ghosting… Seriously! This one really fucked me off, we’re not on fucking Tinder here, we’re talking about a person’s livelihood, and you can’t even be arsed to send a fucking automated rejection.

Absolute bullshit.

The phrase “hit the ground running” FUCK OFF. This is a huge misnomer, and in hindsight, a MASSIVE 🚩🚩🚩

Related to the previous point, “we need someone who can code”. Again, I might be a tad rusty, and I might not know all the ins-outs of TypeScript, but I’m not going to forget 15+ years of solid FE engineering overnight. It’s annoying and disconcerting when this type of bullshit is coming from Heads of Eng.

Picture the scene, you ACE the first few stages of a process, and get told as much via the hiring manager. You score very highly on leadership and values, confidence is good - not cocky, but certainly not low. You go into a pair-programming test, and see that there are *three other people on the call. WTF?!

You do the 1hr test, riddled with nerves, you get most things working, OK the test wasn’t perfect (but we had 1hr), and for the purpose of brevity you use an “:any” on some TS, again to get things working…

Feedback, eventually, comes back that you’ve not made it through, down to the two previous points, “:any” and a test not mocking something correctly.

I was floored.

So in a one hour tech test, with three on the test - one leading, one pairing and one otehr who I still don’t know what the fuck he was doing on the call, they deemed me not good enough and forgave all the previous feedback.

This one stinks to me. I gave some pretty scathing feedback (probably to the point where there’s no point me reapply, ever). I felt it was unfair and unjust. I could go on, but you dear reader would proably think I’m just bitter.

Right then, I’m glad that’s off my chest and out of my head, hopefully, dear reader, you’re still with me.

So why am I writing this?

Because along the way, over the last 6 months, all of the folks involved introduced fear, doubt and anxiety into my life, after ranking me on a small window of opportunity, in a very opaque, and often outdated/drawnout process.

And before you think, wow how cocky is Chris! Lets breakdown who is to blame here. in my opinion its absolutely both parties. I’m not without blame and not infalable in all this (letting skills lapse due to leadership roles, maybe not preping enough etc.), but interviewers and businesses are equally (or slightly more) to blame.

Unrealistic expectations in a very short amount of time; Not taking the person’s history and complete experience into account; Inexperience interviewers; Finally, and probably biggest, is not looking at the complete/full interview stages.