Sadly, this isn’t far from the truth in the IT world… They want unicorns…

Looking to hire a Jr Data Scientist:

– 15 years Python
– 30 years SQL
– 20 years AWS
– 15 years Spark
– 15 years Terraform
– Core contributor to assembly code base
– Team player
– Should have some sort of martial arts experience, whether Ninja, Jujitsu, or Karate. All 3 is preferred.
– Knows SQL, NoSQL, NewSQL and all future flavors of SQL
– Project Management experience
– Strong experience with Keras, TensorFlow, Sklearn, XGBoost and preferably has written their own ML library from scratch.
– Should have published at least 2 top level academic papers preferably focused around a Convolutional Recurrent Back-propagating Neural Network
– Open source contributor at least 5 projects.
– Experience leading teams of 10,000 people or more
– Managed CI/CD pipeline for an application with at least 2 billion daily users
– Should have at least 1 PhD, 5 is preferred.

Yes, we have ping pong tables and an open floor plan and lots of salty snacks in the breakroom. Organic Kombucha on tap.

The interviews will consist of a 5 day process of whiteboarding algorithms from scratch followed by writing your own compiler and a coding exam will be taken at random from the 20 most popular programming languages.

And the best response…

Dear Hiring Manager. Im interested in Jr Data Scientist Position you posted. I’m sure that my yet short but fast growing 50 years career matches your profile. In addition to the listed requirements i have pilot license and speak Hebrew and Hungarian fluently. Im eagerly looking forward your offer including 7 digit monthly salary net in British pounds, premium medical insurance for all my family and relatives, working space at least 100 sqr m, personal assistant, lawyer, company jet, 6 room apartment in the downtown and welcome bonus at your convenience.


Snerk… — 17 Comments

  1. Company in Canada wanted to hire my uncle back in the 70s. Canadian law required that they eliminate any possibility of Canadian candidate first (back when Canada had sensible immigration laws). They wrote the job description to include that the candidate must have U.S. Army chaplain experience. Make it specific enough and you get the person you intended to hire all along.

  2. Truth: Our first question to potential new hires was, “Have you ever had a serious head injury?”
    The correct answer was YES.
    That tended to scare off the stuffed shirts and people with out a sense of humor.

  3. God for a dollar ads. Meant to justify hiring immigrant that was seeking the old foot in the door position. This allowed entry of the whole fam dammly.

  4. I’ve seen ads for Nuclear HVAC engineers almost that bad. Jr Engineer position, ten yrs experience, P.E., masters preferred, five years experience with their (proprietary) building management system that they bought fifteen years ago from a company that no longer supports it, etc. Oh by the way the listed salary range is less than recent grads fresh out of college are getting in the rest of the industry

    • Information Week used to run ads like that, wanting some eclectic mix of mainframe and PC experience, fluent technical Japanese, and willing to work the help desk, relocate to some tiny town in Idaho, generous pay up to $25K.

  5. Unicorns, definitely.

    But the HR folks are in a little bit of a no win situation. Ridiculous specifications aren’t that crazy a response to not understanding the requirements of the job, not being able get a fast trustworthy summary of candidate skill, and needing to ensure compliance with employment law while preventing lawsuits over not being hired.

    Hmm. Hiring may be a specific example of a more general business design problem. And as the percentage of population employed by massive bureaucracies, the number of entrepreneurs looking to fulfill unmet business needs with wildly innovative new ideas may decrease. Ordinary person facing problems may retain a lot of the normal rate of innovation, while stuff that requires experience to even notice remains underserved. From this perspective, it would be surprising if there were not significant ‘squid farms on Mars’ type problems.

  6. I’m pretty sure that only an idiot would try to specify a position in terms of numbers of PhDs.

    It seems like with PhDs the important position related bits would be more in terms of what work was done for the degree.

    Work done after the PhD would seem to be at least as good as work done on an additional PhD.

    An additional PhD from the same advisor in the same field would seem to indicate that one did not successfully learn self management during the first PhD. PhDs in distinct fields from advisors with different rare expertises seem like they could possibly be worthwhile, but how would the hiring managers have the background to specify a position as /requiring/ dissertations in a specific set of fields?

    Okay, sure, with a team of PhDs, you may need a good systems engineer with the right expertise to get them moving together. Better trying to hire all those people than trying to specify and hire an actual high performing multidisciplinary genius. Extremely intelligent super experts are rare, and if you need to replace one that made a position fitting their talents, there may well not be another one that fits.

    • Bob, you’re on target. Give the systems engineer a cattle prod and two bags of candy or cookies. I’ll … er, he’ll need it to get the PhDs and others pointed in the right direction and working. I don’t miss that.

  7. After a 30 year career in IT…yeah. As Old Grump accurately notes, “God for a dollar”. Or a company trying to find out if they can get one fool to do 5 jobs for the price of 1/2 job. And I’m not going to give HR a break. I stopped having any minimal faith in them when they went from Personnel (root “person”) to Human Resources (a resource is something that gets used up or changed in the production process). That’s when, no matter what your career area or skills, all employees became fungible.

    Smartest thing I ever did was to retire early. The rats won, and they’re welcome to it.

  8. Passed this on to my son (IT manager at major university) and best friend’s son, also IT and game developer at large Japanese entertainment company. Both thought it hilarious and on knife edge of truth.

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