This is a collection of thoughts and statements about things that annoy me. I am a big, angry man. Hear me roar, or piss off and give me peace.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My favourite Nokia product

Here's a scan of my favourite Nokia product so far:

And the reverse side:

Yep, that's Nokia as in phones... Sako is part owned by them. Here we have a flattened box for.222 Remington cartridges, which would appear to be a popular choice for the hunting rifles made by Sako...

I wonder if the hippy types will give up their phones knowing just how diverse Nokia's interests are...

I have a sudden urge to visit Texas again, and do some more shooting.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


What is it with recruitment agencies and their love of certifications?

I am keeping an eye on the job market, and keep on seeing positions advertised for random places with a job spec that takes the piss. Not only do they want someone who is skilled in everything, but they're only willing to pay a salary of £20,000 or so for it. Do they really think they'll get decent folk for that for a highly technical job and keep them?

Recently I enquired regarding a simple IT manglement job - apparently it required ITIL and Prince2 certifications... What did people do before certifications? Oh, perhaps read CVs, see what actual real world experience they have, and make a judgement based on that to see if it's worth dragging them in for an interview. These days, it's keyword matching on a CV, and are you certified for... A poor excuse for recruitment.

Do certifications actually prove you're capable of doing the job, let alone a good job?

In my experience, no. (And from a hell of a lot of colleagues and friends on both sides of the Atlantic...)

The last time I interviewed anyone for a job was several years ago - dotcom times. We needed another one or two Unix systems administrators. A whole bunch of folks would be certified out the wazoo (technical certifications), and utterly incompetent at actually administering systems, and probably be a cunt to boot. But we persevered, and got a good guy who stayed with the company until more Venture Capitalist madness ensued, and he was "downsized".

It's worth noting that ITIL was developed by the UK government... Let's just remind ourselves of how many Government IT projects are on time, on budget, and work... (I know that's just asking for some smartarse to post comments about a project for buying toner or some shit like that).

I had the unfortunate luck to do a peasant level Six Sigma course recently (just the white belt). It seemed to embody everything I hate about certifications - it's stuff I did in a first year university half course on management. It's not difficult - and in fact it's mostly common sense. But then we're rather short on common sense these days, aren't we?

The only benefit of (some of) these certifications is that they nail down a common language to describe things. Having said that, it does mean that this common language is really a form of jargon, and pretty much renders the benefit null and void!

What scares me the most is that for a couple of days of course, you'll pay £1000 or more, and it's no guarantee you can do the job - just that you've remembered some answers long enough to pass a test, and maybe got a natty binder and mug for your trouble.

Anyway, back to recruiters being useless... I think the problem is recruiters are recruiters - they don't have a technical background, and as such cannot read a technical CV, see that the person is capable of actual work, since all they are doing is pattern matching... The answer to this problem is take recruiters out, shoot them, and go back to the company hiring their staff yourselves.

And in other news, gissa job... I can do that... Go on, gissa job!

I swear

From a friend of mine who is a software engineer and is now doing an MBA sent me this link to an oath for business people...

Take the Oath

I will act with utmost integrity and pursue my work in an ethical manner.

Integrity? Ethics? Aye, right.

I will take responsibility for my actions, and I will represent the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.

I will take responsibility and make sure I have a golden parachute so when I fuck it all up and run the company in to the ground I'll get a massive pay off, and a monster of a pension!

This oath I make freely, and upon my honor.

Ah, well, we know we're in for more of the same, since we know they have no honour.