Karl GIves us the CTO View on new Hires

May 1st, 2018
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  1. I'm the CTO of a Chicago-based Venture fund, not a headhunter at a recruiting firm, so I can't say what the rest of the world looks for, but i CAN say that we have a unusually broad group of businesses that we have to support, giving us perspective on what makes someone indispensable in IT. We are in the medical device manufacturing space, but we're also in oil-and-gas drilling, plus, we do precision laser cutting and micro-machining operations, and we're a high frequency trading fund, and more--all with custom hardware and global network infrastructure that is quite literally badass.
  3. You asked about what we're looking for? What things to learn? First of all, I should say we don't give a shit about certifications. In some places, that may get you in the door. But here, we care more about what projects you've built, even if only for yourself, even if only at home--for the sheer love of it. Many of the technology cornerstones our businesses started as an employee's home project. Linux, Asterisk, pfSense, ZFS/FreeNAS, Bash, Python, and even on-premieres virtualization fall into that category. Note the absence Cisco Routers, Windows Servers, AWS instances, and other technologies that are cost-prohibitive for the weekend experimenter.
  5. We like to hire people who think like scientists--people who self-teach and can figure things out--not the technician who may have the certs, but can only work by rote. We like to say Memorize nothing. Instead *really* understand how a thing works, and and a hundred million details will become self-evident.
  6. Everyone on our team does what they do for the sheer love it. They listen to Techsnap, not to "get ahead" in their job, but for the joy of hearing what others in the field are thinking about. These are the same people who, after working a full day in IT, go home, and build and play with their own home systems... just for fun.
  8. -Yours truly, @karlfife (Twitter)
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