terriko: (Default)
I'm pleased to announce that I will be joining Intel's Open Source Technology Center (OTC), starting October 21st.

This is a big transition for me: not only have I physically moved to the Portland area from Albuquerque, but I'm also moving from academia to industry. However, I'm not moving away from either security or research: my official job title is "Security Researcher - Software Security Engineer."

There are lots of crazy smart people at Intel, especially at OTC, and I'm really excited (and a little scared!) about joining their ranks. This is exactly the job I wanted: I'll be doing security in an open source context (not only behind closed doors!), working with interesting people on interesting projects, and I'll be positioned such that my work can have an impact on the state of computer security in a global sense. It sounds like I'll be working primarily on web and Android security, which is challenging, fascinating, intimidating, and highly important. Wish me luck!
terriko: (Pi)

This may have been the most directly practical of the sessions I attended! My raw notes are on the GHC12 wiki (and they're quite interesting, including a lot of questions from the audience) but here's some take home messages:

When job hunting, make sure to excel at the following:

(The speaker joked about this as "win all steps, all the time")

1. Resume and web presence

If you don't have an online presence, you can get passed over. Nowadays, this includes LinkedIn, and the speaker (as a LinkedIn employee) told us that filling in more information is generally better, and that your LinkedIn profile can be used to supplement a shorter resume with greater detail if you so desire.

2. Meeting the recruiter

A recruiter is interested in your passions, your fit with the company and company culture, so articulate your interests and show your personality!

3. Phone screen.

Be prepared and do research on the company. The worst thing is to be unprepared, so make sure you learn about the company and have questions ready. Show your passion during the interview, and let the interviewer push you in the right direction -- if you're not a great fit for one position, they might know of others. And make sure, even if you're not sure if you want the job that you treat it seriously: it's good practice and you don't know if you might want to apply for another position in the organization.

4. Onsite interviews.

For tech interviews, you need to be comfortable writing on a whiteboard, so practice doing it, and practice articulating your ideas as you write. This is the way to show your interviewer how you think!


When writing a Technical resume, make sure to excel at the following:
1. Fundamentals.

Make sure you've proofread and had others proofread for spelling and other mistakes, and make sure the formatting is organized and consistent.

2. What did you contribute or learn

Women especially want to focus on the team effort, but companies want to know about you, so focus on what you did to affect the outcome of a project. Make sure to differentiate yourself: don't just list skills, talk about how you applied them.

3. What value was added in the end result?

Think about the bigger picture and talk about how your work impacted the project, your company, the world. If you can, quantify what you did whether that's percent speed up, dollars saved, or increased value of the project.

4. Differentiate yourself, authentically

Highlight ways you stand out, especially as a leader. Did you take on additional responsibilities? Negotiate between two groups? Do exceptional community service? You shouldn't over-embellish, but make sure you demonstrate what makes you awesome and unique.

5. Does your resume convey your personal brand?

One way to check this is to have someone read it and ask them to summarize you in two sentences or 5 keywords. If what they say doesn't match up with what you'd hoped to convey, maybe you're sending the wrong message and need to revisit.

There were a lot of really interesting questions at the end of this session, and if you're interested my raw notes are on the GHC12 wiki, including all those questions.

Note: If you're one of the speakers and feel I accidentally mis-represented your talk or want me to remove a photo of you for any reason, please contact me at terri(a)zone12.com and I'd be happy to get things fixed for you!
terriko: (Pi)
multiple job offers

People have started to ask me what my plans are after I finish this postdoc, or rather the frequency with with I get asked has reached an arbitrary threshold, so I guess it's time to write about it. The short answer is that I'm not planning to start my job hunt 'till October at the earliest, but here's some more detailed information about my plans in case you, like many others, are curious:

1. I'm currently expecting to be at UNM 'till around Nov 2013, which would be the originally expected 2 years. The date's a bit flexible: the grant I'm on goes a little past that I think, and I can leave earlier if I have another offer that needs to start right away.

2. I'm focused on getting some publications out before I start the job hunt at all. I'm hoping to have results from the router work as early as next week, and I've got a plan for publishing my remaining thesis work, so at minimum I want papers for both of those to be out for review before I start looking.

3. My job hunting mode will probably kick off around the time of the Grace Hopper Celebration in October. That's not the greatest timing, but it's a good enjoy goal date for the papers to be out and the job fair and related resources available at GHC12 is an excellent opportunity that I don't want to miss. I'm happy to consider things that come up before then, but October/November is when I'll polish up my resume and start being active in my search.

4. I'd like to go back to Canada, but I do have a US visiting scholar visa that can be extended and transferred to another qualifying job. (It can be used for up to a total of 5 years, of which 2 are going to be used here at UNM.) There's some fascinating legalese around my current visa that makes Canada the easiest choice for my next job, but I'm not adverse to other countries.

5. I'm not committed to either academia or industry at this point, and I wasn't planning to make a more concrete decision on that 'till I have actual offers. You can expect me to be looking at a combination of academia and industry labs. I have one lab already on my shortlist after the last round of interviews. I turned down their offer of an on-site interview because I had decided on UNM, but if they're still taking on new hires when I'm done here I'd like to continue the process with them.

So I'm not looking yet, but do feel free to pass job leads my way if something comes up that you think would be up my alley.

Speaking of jobs... I *do* have a couple of friends looking for jobs more urgently than I am: One is a very talented programmer who's currently located in Halifax but willing to relocate, and one is an efficient mostly-windows systems administrator who's looking for a job in the Ottawa area. They're both around intermediate level, but given the job market they're willing to work more junior positions if that's what it takes. I'm happy to pass leads along or obtain their latest resumes if I can help make a connection!
terriko: (Default)
The job: Postdoc at the University of New Mexico

I'm going to be starting a postdoc at the University of New Mexico this fall.

I was fortunate enough to have some great interviews and offers, but I chose UNM because I was guaranteed to be doing the sort of research I find most interesting there, and because the people are fantastic. It was actually the only place where I got much chance to meet my prospective colleagues so I know I'm joining a very interesting team of biologists, software engineers and security folk. Part of my job will involve being the glue between the 4 teams, so I'm likely going to work with a lot of different people on a regular basis!

One of the researchers compared the project to skynet, and it's actually disturbingly apt, although thus far without the homicidal AI. Maybe that's where I come in? More seriously, I'll be working on biologically-inspired artificial life / computer immunology for security applications. Their early results are insanely promising, and I'm really excited about working in a space where no one will be fazed by my use of biological metaphors for things. (I was raised by wolves biologists, recall.)

And yes, for those of you who heard about some of my other contract negotiations: this postdoc does mean that I'll be able to continue working in open source and more specifically that I'll be able to continue working on Mailman. I'm all excited about doing some informal user testing on the work our Summer of Code students have produced, so expect to see me asking for help with that once I'm settled.

The move: Albuquerque, NM

John and I were down house hunting this past week, and have secured the most beautiful apartment for Sept 1st. I wish I'd taken pictures to show you; it's really gorgeous with high ceilings, this nifty kitchen, and even a hammock in the backyard. The landlords actually knew and could name their neighbours, which makes me feel better about the neighbourhood, and it'll be an easy bike ride in to the university which alleviates my need to buy a car right away. It'll be just me there for at least the first few months, but there's enough space for John to move in later. There is also a full guest bedroom, so please consider coming to visit!

Moving is... going to be a pain. The quotes I've got today run $5-6.5k, and I've been allotted a $1.5k moving allowance. The cheap quote is from PODS, assuming I move a 8x8x16 pod which they recommend for a 2-bedroom, but I may phone them again for the 8x7x7 sized quote since I'm planning on leaving a lot of my furniture behind. Currently planning on taking my bed, a couple of the good bookshelves, clothes, kitchenalia, and a few boxes of books. It may make more sense to ditch the bed and just ship small boxes, though; we'll see. Moving recommendations appreciated.

The thesis

Is not yet complete -- my supervisor just got back from a family event last night and is back to editing today, so I'll be back to revisions later this evening. I really hope this can be done soon!
terriko: (Default)
I keep most of the posts about my job hunt private out of respect for the companies and people involved, but since more than one person has asked me about the tweet I made linking the private post, here's a public version.

I got an email from one of my recruiters today, letting me know that she's leaving the company and giving me information for my new contact there.

The shocking part of this is actually that she told me at all; this is the first time a recruiter's been kind enough to let me know. And yet, it's far from the first time this has happened to me.

The funniest were the couple where a recruiter had contacted me and I turned them down... then a few months later I'd get an email from a new recruiter saying "hey, I took over so-and-so's accounts and are you still interested?" I tried not to laugh and say, "still interested? I was never interested!" since it's hardly the new person's fault if the outgoing recruiter didn't have complete records.

I digress, but the point is that this was a really considerate thing to do, and beats finding out when some new person starts contacting me, my mail starts bouncing or, even worse, suddenly all my mails vanish into the abyss and I don't know why. Plus I feel reassured that the new recruiter will have my info and we can continue where the last left off.

I wish I could thank my original recruiter, but her email account there is now closed, and I'm guessing it's too creepy to look her up elsewhere or put her name in this post. But I wish her the best of luck wherever she's going next, and I'm glad to have had such a considerate recruiter this time around -- this is just one example of the things she did to make sure my interview experience was good, and I appreciate it.
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