Friday, November 25, 2005


Start registering with job websites. Over a two month period I received daily or weekly emails from, The Guardian, Jobsite, Monster, Reed, YourTopJob, TotalJobs, Jobserve, s1jobs, Milkround, CWJobs, Progressive, Castle Careers, Search, Graduate Jobs and perhaps others.

One of the most annoying aspects of "jobs by email" is that recruitment agencies seem to resubmit the same listings once or twice a week, so you're constantly sifting through what you've already seen. Another point worth making is that as a recent graduate I had little commercial experience. Most job adverts specify a minimum amount of experience (commercial or otherwise), and this was one item I would scan adverts for before reading them fully. If the job sites could add more structure to adverts so that I could restrict jobs emailed based on experience required, my inbox would have been lighter.

InPractice Systems
The Company: A Dundee-based company that produces software for GPs to use in medical centres.
The Job: Work on the new version of their system, which will have a thinner client than previous versions. System is uses Oracle, Java and Flex.
The Verdict: Offered the job the next day. I asked to delay making my decision for a couple of days due to the Civic Computing interview I had lined up, which I was more interested in.

Civic Computing
The Company: Website and content manager developers based in Edinburgh. Main clients are the Scottish Executive.
The Job: Join the development team.
The Verdict: Denied second stage of recruitment process the day after turning down INPS.

InPractice Systems ends
I phoned the recruitment agency responsible for the INPS job and declined the job offer. The job was quite interesting, but I was still waiting to hear from Civic. Also, it was my first interview of the year and it had gone very well. I decided that if I was offered a job based on an interview where I was trying to get experience for the coming months, I would be offered jobs at interviews I was fully commited to.

Wood Group
The Company: Energy services supplier based in Aberdeen.
The Job: Join a small development team building reports from large databases.
The Verdict: Turned down for job.

The Company: Deliver bar codes and passes to mobile phones for clients. Dominate their market.
The Job: Join the development team
The Verdict: This interview was with the recruitment agency. I think I was offered a proper interview during the following week, but turned it down since I had found employment...

Company Net
The Company: Website developers, with a sub-company building E-Learning sites.
The Job: Join the E-Learning development team to update the framework that all the company's E-Learning sites are based on.
The Verdict: Offered the job that day. I am thrilled to have found a job which is appealing, and start looking into moving to the South of Edinburgh.

First NZ
The Company: Financial services company setting up new teams in the UK.
The Job: Join the development team. Early stages of job would be doing menial tasks.
The Verdict: Offered a second interview, which I turned down. I decided based on the interview that I didn't want to work in finance.

Company Net ends
The job falls through for reasons previously described.

Amazing (Phone Interview)
The Company: You should know this by now!
The Job: Join the Edinburgh-based development team adding new features to the site.
A 30 minute phone call with the recruitment agency for this job. I'm asked all the standard team role and communication questions. Compared with two phone interviews I had last year for jobs with large companies I do quite well, not leaving large pauses.
The Verdict: Offered a second interview.

The Company: Local auctioneers dealing mainly with cattle and motors.
The Job: Develop and maintain the company's website.
The Verdict: Turned down for job. During the interview it was explained that 50% of the job would be adding new content to the site. I suggested that during the job I would write a content management system to speed up this process, but apparently that would leave me with nothing to do instead. Also, the pay wasn't what I was hoping for.

Amazing (Recruitment Agency Interview)
I spent four hours in Linlithgow with the recruitment agency, together with 4 others in my group. We were tested for programming knowledge, verbal, numerical and logical reasoning, and given psychometric tests. We were also interviewed in an unusual way: the interviewer would ask a set list of questions, and write furiously while you stare at the top of his head and give your answer. You have to stare at his head because you are being filmed for future viewing. The interview also included choosing a topic from 5 options and giving a 5 minute presentation about it. I chose to speak about the Factory design pattern.
The Verdict: Offered a third interview.

A slightly shorter interview, only three hours long this time. I was interviewed separately by 4 members of staff, each asking different styles of questions.
The Verdict: Offered a job!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

My House

Just five days after getting my new job, I went down to South Queensferry to look at flats. I viewed four properties, one of which was apparently the old Admiral's House out in the sticks. One of the flats was really nice, so I've paid for the agency to hold it for me until I get paperwork for my new job through.

My current plan is to move down the road next Thursday and start work the Monday after (I get to choose my start dates for flat and job).

To help with my flat search I found a nice Google Maps extension called Tagzania that lets you add arbitrary items to a personal map. The system's a bit tricky to use (you need to enter latitude and longitude instead of a post code), doesn't seem to work in Internet Explorer, and has some formatting issues, but it was better than sticking pins in my Edinburgh map.

Anyway, the map I made is on Tagzania, and you can quickly find my work and new flat.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Proper Job!

After two months of relatively hard slog, I've managed to secure a job. It's with a very well known e-commerce company. I'm sure you know them. But I don't want to stick their name up for fear of being found amid search results. Trust me, this job will be AMAZing actiON.

I'm well chuffed!