EG #17: Humans override technology
Our technical overlords aren't in control quite yet.
Our interactions in job interviews are designed.
Input data into a resume format. Input data into a job description format. Load data onto a platform. Press a button. Ask this list of questions. Take X amount of time. Provide feedback in this box. Trigger an automated email. Stay within the defined technical boundaries.
Thanks for reading Engineers’ Gate ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Seems mechanical from this view.
The interaction is designed to be technical. To extract as much data needed to find as many patterns as possible. Providing the managers with metrics to get funding for more headcount. Linear by design.
As much as this interview system is mechanical and technical, the decision to hire lies with humans. Systems based by design.
This is why connecting with former colleagues & good recruiters powers your job search up to the next level.
Introductions are then made outside of the technical system. This is how my best relationships function with hiring managers. They aren’t waiting on a trigger in a system. They are waiting for me.
It’s done in a phone call followed up with an email highlighting how your specific experience can help the manager. Or done over lunch.
Instead of working through portals as the interface, try working through people.
Earlier in my career, I bought into the power of the portal. I was biased as a person hired from a portal. The people who trained us did not learn recruiting with the internet. They were old school. Learning to network in person at an office and sending faxes with printed resumes to managers. I thought I could place more people focusing on the internet and ended up wasting time scouring sites like Monster & Dice. Not fully getting what LinkedIn could be until much later. Meanwhile the owner of the firm could pick up the phone and get people referred for any job he had open. Running off of an Excel spreadsheet.
I thought the tech could replace that human element. That people wanted a transactional relationship. An experience similar to online shopping. Some people do, but most do not when it comes to a decision as big as a job.
Through this experience, I realized tech changes while human nature does not.
Think outside of the designed system and connect with humans.
Notice what happens.
Video games and source code as art?
That’s the statement MoMa makes in the exhibit, Never Alone, Video Games and Other Interactive Design.
Elevating gaming to an art form. Preserving the digital artifacts as carefully as a Jackson Pollock painting.
Thinking about design in this way opened up a lane of thought usually reserved for physical works of art or furniture pieces on display in the rest of the museum. Bridging the old and new. Giving space to bring us all together and appreciate different points of view on the fundamental question of what is art.
Stretching thought on how even your own hands, eyes, and senses act as interfaces.
The exhibit takes you through three pieces needed for interactive design- the inputs, the designer, and the players. All working together to influence behavior and experience of the people in the system. They highlight that the interactive design draws people in, brings people together, and creates communities.
Old familiar favorites like Pac-Man are presented to play along with SimCity, Minecraft, and others. They designed the height of the machines to be accessible for everyone, including children.
Check it out:
In person here
Usually, for long runs on the weekends leading up to race day I’m running alone. The predictable beep of a metronome competing for attention in my headphones with the randomness of Red Hot Chili Peppers radio playing in the background. This is my time to reflect, relax, and take in the beauty of Central Park. My typical chosen route. My design.
However, last week was different. Sans headphones or metronome, I ran 16 miles with my husband. We’ve run all of our marathons together and will complete the six world major marathons together this year in Boston.
His chosen route is different. He starts on the sidewalk to gain a mile before entering Central Park and he cuts out a hill to end the run on a flat path surrounding the Great Lawn. The design of the route impacts the experience of the run.
I found myself annoyed with the different route at first. Waiting for traffic lights to change, bobbing and weaving through slow walkers, and looking down to avoid stepping in fresh dog poop is not my definition of relaxing.
Then I got curious about what I was missing. This worked for my husband, why not me? I reframed the annoyance as an energy leak that would take away from the run and moved on mentally.
The community we shared made the experience. When I hit a small rough patch with stomach discomfort, I kept going and worked through it instead of stopping. My husband kept pace even on the later parts of the run, where it’s common to slow down. We shared the effort. Drawing energy from each other and our fellow runners around us.
And from the looks of it, everyone decided that their New Year’s resolution would be to run. Where normally we’d see a group or two running together of 3 people, we noticed at least 5 groups of 10+ people eagerly chatting away in a mass of sneakers, sunglasses and positive vibes. It’s easier to keep going when you see other people on the same road, at the same time, moving forward with smiles.
Let’s keep moving.
See you next week!
PS: If you or any of your friends have been impacted by recent tech layoffs, I’m here to help with resume review and talking through how you’re presenting your skills and experience. Sometimes all you need is feedback.
People over systems. 💯
I don’t have any time for recruiters who find me by keyword search and don’t even what the keyword means or it’s context. 🤦♂️
PS: Are you running the London marathon?
Do hiring managers actually like using job portals to find candidates? As a job seeker, I've never liked them. Every company would have their "own" site, which is often just a career portal template, forcing me to enter the same info over and over again. It always ended up being a whole lot of work for a whole lot of nothing.