Elf M. Sternberg

Full Stack Web Developer

Where one teaches, two learn.

Tag: #job search

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Startup Founders: Please Do Your F*#!ing Homework.

I recently had a job interview that, frankly, baffled the hell out of me. It started out well enough: he had a VC backing his new "spreadsheets as a service" software model, had $2 million in seed money, and was looking for developers to help turn his prototype into a product.

I worried a bit. I'd interviewed at Airtable three year prior and gotten turned down because of my patents. I designed the prototype for what is now Splunk's dynamic dashboards with dataflow subdisplays; it was an application of the Fundamental Algorithm of Spreadsheets to a dashboard (the relationship of the spreadsheet's grid/cell system to the directed acyclic graph underlying how data gets updated). Airtable didn't want to piss off Splunk, despite the patent being wholly defensive and probably defeatable with a prior art argument.

But as we talked I started to wonder just how much he knew about the field he was stepping into. Not financially, but technically. Because this guy had just not done his homework.