It's almost 2am. I just got back from a night on the town with Gordon, one of my fellow Verilab consultants from the UK. He's been to Austin several times before and knows a great deal more about 6th Street than I do. We hit a couple of piano bars, Esther's Follies, and landed at the Ginger Man on 4th Street for a final beer before calling it a night. Somewhere in the middle of all that I managed to consume two tasty slices of greasy pizza. Gordon had never been to Esther's... which would explain why he didn't protest when we sat down in the front row... Anyways, the evening was a good opportunity to do some team building and relax after a week of client meetings, coding, and interviewing. (Yes, Verilab is hiring. More on that in a future post.)
While at the Ginger Man, Gordon and I had a chance to talk about how things are going these days at Verilab, including how things have changed since Gordon joined Verilab in 2001. We also touched on the the talents of various people within the company and ways to continue to expanding our skills. As I was driving home I got to thinking about the creative energy present in every Verilab consultant and the impact that energy can have on the verification projects at our clients. I also started thinking about the things I've learned since I joined Verilab last October. All of it very cool stuff. So how best to describe our company's impact to potential new hires or clients? How about this. Imagine the project manager looking on as you describe the level of quality, completeness, and timeliness of your verification effort. What would he or she say? I'd like to think they'd say this - "That's verification? Cool."
If you're a potential client, you need to understand that our goal as verification consultants is to help you get your job with the highest level of quality in the shortest amount of time possible. Another primary goal is to make sure we've passed on our work to you so that you don't need us (to do the same task again) on your next project. As our CEO Tommy Kelly is fond of saying, we want to teach you to fish, not just give you a fish.
If you're a potential new hire, you'll need to flip your thinking around a bit. When you interview with us you're selling yourself to us from the minute you walk in the door. We will ask you tough questions. We will attempt to rattle you by asking about stuff you may not know. You have to show us you have the smarts, the mental toughness, and the people skills to be dropped into a client where you may face issues you're unfamiliar with or people who are hostile to what you're trying to accomplish. You may be great technically, but there is a difference between being a staff engineer and being a consultant. Come into the interview understanding this and you're halfway there.