I’ll admit it, I love attending job fairs. Sure, it’s an incredibly exhausting experience to talk to one person after another for several hours. However, if you thrive on interacting with others, it is also hugely stimulating. I’ve attended a number of job fairs lately looking for great engineers to join our team here at TheLadders. Uncubed, which we attended Friday, is one of my favorites. It bills itself as something of an “un-job fair.” I’m going to respectively disagree with them. Uncubed is everything I love about job fairs but taken up a notch. The energy level is higher. Perhaps it’s the music, or the food, or the alcohol that flows freely. Maybe it’s the electricity that is New York City and its citizens. Whatever it is, Uncubed feels different. Louder. Stronger. Faster. Better.
My day of loudness started in a rather subdued fashion – with a touch of learning and education. There were several classes taught early in the day. I spoke about how TheLadders has been leveraging Storm, a real-time event processing engine. It was great to get out into the NYC tech community and introduce people to Storm. I’ve always been more comfortable teaching in a collegial style. It probably stems from my having attended a small liberal arts college where class sizes usually peaked around 10-12 people. I tried to bring that spirit to Uncubed by using Paintbrush as a virtual whiteboard to sketch out the concepts I was trying to explain. I love teaching, and it was a cool challenge to teach an audience that was split evenly between engineers and non-engineers.
And then, the real fun began: wave after wave of people stopping by the booth, a blur of faces and conversations that come in rapid-fire succession, life stories and professional histories spilling out everywhere. Through the exhilarating chaos, we were able show off the great things we’ve been building, like:
- Our new responsive consumer website;
- TheLadders Scout, our proprietary competitive analysis tool for job seekers; and
- Our new mobile application that is going to turn the job market on its head.
And every now and then, I got the chance to talk deep computer science with a possible team member: distributed systems, machine learning, Storm, Hadoop and all the things that excite me intellectually and keep me coming into work every day. In the end, that is what I love most about job fairs: meeting smart people who I can talk to about solving hard problems, and that’s exactly what I did at Uncubed.
Sean T. Allen is the Principal Architect for TheLadders. He started at TheLadders in December of 2010 and has engaged in one brutal refactoring after another ever since. His turn-ons include programming languages, distributed computing, Hiwatt amplifiers and Fender Telecasters. His turn-offs include mayonnaise, stirring yogurt and sloppy code. He is one of the developers of Redline Smalltalk; an implementation of the Smalltalk programming language that runs on the JVM. You can often find him rambling on twitter.