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Open Source, Publications, and Resumes

by mojotoad (Monsignor)
on Jan 21, 2003 at 01:39 UTC ( #228556=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Of late I have been perusing the essays by Daniel Read on the developer.* website. Dan is a talented writer with a knack for understanding many issues we face in our careers as software developers. (see The "Principled Programming" Project for more references to his site)

One of his essays, Art of the Developer Resume, I found to be particularly informative. He offers some hard-nosed advice on how to put together a strong resume that will stand out from the pile on a weary hiring manager's desk.

One aspect missing from the essay was whether or not publications and efforts in open source projects should be included on a technical resume, so I asked him (using The Perl Journal and CPAN as examples). Dan was kind enough to respond to my query and I present an excerpt below (with permission):

I would absolutely include your extra-curricular project work on your resume, and don't hide at the end either. If I were reading a resume and saw that, I would definitely consider it a plus because it communicates to me that here is a developer who is into what he does so much that he spends personal time contributing to something bigger than himself; here is a guy who won't just be here punching a clock. Also, I know the amount of written communication required to participate in open source projects, and I would also consider that a plus. Having an article published is something to be proud of as well, and communicates that you can write and that you are interested in your craft, not just your job.

This was gratifying to read. Now I just have to determine how to demonstrate that my current coding skills are considerably more evolved than they were in 1998 when I first released some of my modules. Though not as prolific (or talented) as some people I wonder if selective inclusion is the way to go.

Matt

P.S. For Aristotle I offer the single page printable version of the resume essay!

Comment on Open Source, Publications, and Resumes
Re: Open Source, Publications, and Resumes
by pdcawley (Hermit) on Jan 21, 2003 at 09:33 UTC
    Next time I rewrite my resume, one of the things that's going to be somewhere near the top, probably in qualifications will be "Has written perl.com's weekly summary of Perl 6 development activity since July 2002".
Re: Open Source, Publications, and Resumes
by mdillon (Priest) on Jan 21, 2003 at 09:48 UTC
    For those interested in getting a job working with Open Source software, I'd also recommend reading the recently published interview with Todd Cranston-Cuebas (Senior Tech Recruiter at Ticketmaster/Citysearch) entitled "How To Get Hired As An Open-Source Developer". It contains some insightful tips on what clueful recruiters are looking for in candidates for Open Source positions along with some nice suggestions regarding what to include (or not include) in your resume.

    Disclaimer: I'm in the process of being hired by Citysearch, so I might be biased ;)

Re: Open Source, Publications, and Resumes
by davorg (Chancellor) on Jan 21, 2003 at 09:49 UTC

    I've recently seen an example of this working against me.

    I had an interview for a permanent job with a large internet company. My CV lists all of my external Perl activities. Because of work like nms and my CPAN modules I always ask questions in interviews that are aimed at preventing me from getting into tilly's situation. I also mention that I can to carry on writing articles (and maybe even books) in my spare time.

    Normally I'm applying for contract posts and these external interests are seen as positives, but in this case the large internet company expressed concern that all the other things I was involved in might indicate a lack of commitment to a full-time job. They still were still debating whether or not to invite me to a second interview when I accepted an alternative offer.

    --
    <http://www.dave.org.uk>

    "The first rule of Perl club is you do not talk about Perl club."
    -- Chip Salzenberg

      Normally I'm applying for contract posts and these extrenal interests are seen as positives, but in this case the large internet company expressed concern that all the other things I was involved in might indicate a lack of commitment to a full-time job. They still were still debating whether or not to invite me to a second interview when I accepted an alternative offer.

      That sounds short-sighted on the part of that first company. Imagine not hiring these positions for these reasons:

      • A movie director because they create independent movies.
      • A graphical designer because they draw and paint in their spare time and show their art.
      • An engineer because they build hobby robots, train sets, or radio kits and trade with others who share their interest.
      • A chef because they enjoy gourmet cooking and run a tips and tricks web site or have a cooking show on cable access.
      • A carpenter who does volunteer construction work for his community.
      etc., etc.

      I suppose the real distinction here is people enjoying these hobbies while at the same time maintaining a public presence of some sort regarding that hobby.

      Anyway, the company you mention sounds short sighted. I'm glad you accepted that alternative offer.

      Matt

      mojotoad beat me to the punch. I would not want to be employed at a company that worries how my personal interest in my craft may impact my work output. I'm not looking for a place that is looking to hire a drone. This is along the lines of Abigail's Oath - I'm hired because I know what I do, not because I do what I'm told.

      Bottom line, negative as it may seem that it prevented you from getting this job, it probably prevented you from getting a job you didn't actually want to score in the first place. And esp. if you already had more interviews in the pipe and could afford to pick, I don't see any reason to think of that in a negative way.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

        Does anyone know a Perl Developer with strong DB2 for a contract position ?
Re: Open Source, Publications, and Resumes
by autarch (Hermit) on Jan 21, 2003 at 18:55 UTC

    Listing publications pretty much goes without saying. This demonstrates not only knowledge of the technology you wrote about, but also the ability to communicate well, which is a big plus for many employers. I list my book on my resume as well as some of the presentations I've done. The latter also highlights my ability to communicate, and the fact that I'm considered to have sufficient expertise to be worth listening to at a conference.

    I also list all my Free Software work, as well as the community work I've done (like helping create jobs.perl.org). Listing the Free Software is great, because it gives employers a chance to easily check out code examples. Even better, they may actually be using some of your code, and not have realized it. I list other work just because it can't hurt to point out my community involvement.

    Empirical evidence definitely supports the idea that participating in Free Software projects helps get you work. Being part of the Mason core team has led to more than one person getting in contact with me about consulting work.

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