Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Computer Science Industrial Year Skills Weekend No. 14

At least I think it is year 14 at Gregynog, a country house owned by the University of Wales near Newtown, where 2nd year students go through the mill with a view to improving their chances at interview. I think I have missed 2 weekends in that time.

For the last few years I have not interviewed, but lead workshops on goal setting and this year was the same, though I did join some interviewers to give a grilling during some of the free time I had.

I get a lot out of these weekends, mainly in terms of hearing about new technology. I work at the bleeding edge of technology, rather than the leading edge. When the stuff I work on does not perform, the company concerned bleeds. So I heard about a pile of technology I had not stumbled across before such as DBUS, Launchpad and Lua.

In terms of the students, I make the following general observations

  • They were far more interesting then the story their C.V.'s sold
  • They really were not confortable in building short term transient social relationships (which is what an interview is). In fact my 4 & 6 years olds are better at it.
In contrast to previous years, Aberystwyth Comp Sci now have a very switched on Career's person. What a great resource. Someone who has some industrial experience and a large slab of drive. C.V.'s were 95% very poor and in fairness to Caroline where only started in September. Most of the Student C.V.'s were produced by the students when they were in their 1st year. I had enough of reading about how good "team players" they were or how "highly motivated" they were. I will be the judge of that, just tell me what you have done on your C.V., not what you think I think you should think of yourself !
The weekend is all about learning and I also observe that as invited Industrialists we forget just how much we have learned in time between our 2nd year in University and today. The students are very much work in progress, though a bit of a wake up call was due in most cases. Perhaps awake up call the Industrialists (Clive included) got when they were of a similar age.

For next year I need to go back to interviewing for a change. My reputation has the hardest interviewer has been surpassed by Bryn.

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