December 27, 2018

Résumé - Software Engineer

I finally got to building a new resume. I've stripped off my recent programming experience and instead added my current job at the Day Worker Center, digging trenches. It leaves a considerable gap, and my career is full of considerable gaps. I've been trying to make visual representations of my career for a good number of years now and not gotten much/any feedback from my network on the matter. My vision seems oriented toward populating a timeline with interrelated events and accomplishments. I think about my path as a series of small careers. I've always left an employer with enough notice, except when I leave due to hostility or dishonesty from my direct supervisor... those conditions are inhumane and require no professional courtesy. And thus, I've left my resume with employers who will speak neutrally or highly of me.

It's hard to know who still has a positive impression; the magic question of reference checks is "would you hire Harlan again?" to which they should give an enthusiastic "Yes!"... but with social media and my own inqueries via email and illegal contacts from angry subsequent employers to poison the well, one can never be sure. I mentioned recently that there should be a legal FOIA (freedom of information) request process for former employers. It's very dehumanizing to have critical details of a story missing.

I can be sure that I'm the black sheep of what's left of my professional network. If one goes back through my long term history, like back to 1999, they will discover a professional, patient, assertive, forward thinking worker. If one goes by what my San Franciscan managers have to say, well, they'd have to tell me what they say because the theme has been a total lack of feedback and reciprocation from them. It's totally unprofessional to disparage former jobs... it's also 2018 and jobs worth disparaging are on the rise and everyone is all the more miserable for it. What's the definition of insanity again? Repeating history and expecting a different result.

So here I am, positing a resume that includes manual labor at the end of a 15+ year professional career. I'm homeless, and so I can't do the interview process properly. It's also taboo to admit to being homeless, and I went a few months of concealing and only being judged for being dirty/unresponsive. I am clean and responsive, when all of my needs are met. I was recently gifted membership to a gym that conveniently lets me take showers at any time of day, which is a first since becoming homeless six months ago. Between that and getting help from old old friends, I might be able to pass a round of interviews.


Now, is that what I really want to be doing?

Yes and no. I want a job that will appreciate me and let me be an autonomous man with my own goals that exist outside of the group.

Startups are very hive minded and ultra judgmental starting from the social groups. Choosing to not participate in any topic of conversation will lose points and lead to being perceived as an outsider, so simply having a Midwestern American view is enough to be called a bigot and treated with intolerance. Having private politics and not talking about them in the workplace is not an option, because everyone must have the same views and the machine ensures that is the case. All good Democrats talk about their views! And that's where I am. Forced to talk about my views, in order to address problems that resulted from chronically not assimilating by not discussing my views. I'd love to go to any of my past workplaces and leave national stage politics aside. That's likely not the only issue, but it's the root... and the intolerance has certainly not come from my end. There is one key issue to me, which ironically leadership also tends to disagree with me about.

I've historically had a strong opinion there should be Open Source software capable of replacing any given proprietary system related to self expression. Going back to the beginning, I created blog engines and instant messengers. Now I create more DevOps ecosystem and developer tools, and have implemented an open source live streaming and video hosting platform that's ahead of its time. I don't have the team to seek funding for my own projects, no business aptitude to be a solo founder. But the longer I spend on the street, the stronger my desire to spread the word of my platform and the greedier potential employers seem to become. One fellow warned me about taking too long to call him back after his calling me at 4PM on Christmas Eve and my returning his call early in the afternoon the day after Christmas. I flipped it around by talking about on-call schedules, and fairness... I keep saying that people appreciate my full presence with them, so much that they want me to be always available when they call me. This excludes anyone else who I might be doing business with, including myself... which means that I need to be paid for the opportunities that I need to leave on the table while available on short notice.

The more I talk about my own ambitions, the more bottom feeders' ambitions drift toward my own into what I feel will be for them the celebration of saying that I ripped off their idea. It's a dangerous game, because those people are likely to always have more resources than I do unless I can find somebody who values me enough to employ me under good working conditions and be honest with me rather than trying to use me for their own ends and bite off as much as they can. They are so social because they don't have hard technical skills. I am so weakly social because I invest my time in hard technical skills. I am the golden goose and also the only one to fend off the vultures who would otherwise squeeze me until I die.

So do I want to be doing this? Clearly the answer is yes, I want to be getting another job as part of a team. But I want to be part of a team that isn't full of takers. And if I can't find that, then I'm willing to go to the end of the earth laying it down for myself and bringing on whoever wants to join.