Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to frequently asked questions. Touch your mouse pointer to any question, or tap the question on a touchscreen, to see the answer.

Q. Why do you have this FAQs page?

A. I created this FAQs page to help recruiters and myself quickly screen each other for the right fit job. I learned and grew from my many lessons and experiences during job hunting not to waste time and energy by tolerating bad behaviors. I needed a way to filter out good job opportunities so I could focus on positive people, companies, culture, and jobs that were a good fit for me while also respecting me as a candidate in process.

Q. How do I contact you about a job opportunity?

A. First e-mail your job opportunity details to (on the resume). I generally respond within 1-3 business days.

Q. Can I phone call you about a job opportunity?

A. First e-mail your job opportunity details to (on the resume). I will reply back with some follow-up questions to pre-screen. If you directly call me, expect only a short callback where I will quickly pre-screen your job opportunity over the phone and ask for information to be e-mailed to me. A phone interview discussion may be scheduled for a later date after I have had time to research and prepare to discuss your opportunity. After an opportunity is mutually pre-screened via e-mail communication, I will agree to schedule a phone call discussion and or/interview. Note: I am only able to return phone calls and conduct screens with US-based recruiters who speak proficient English.

Q. What information do I need to e-mail you in regards to the job opportunity?

A. 1.) A copy of the complete job description (include company or client name), 2.) Location of job or work location (include complete physical address), 3.) Salary and/or Pay Range and 4.) Your contact information

ALL information is required. I will not be able to commit my valuable time and energy into accepting recruiter phone discussions and interviews unless I know who your client is and the compensation details.

Q. Are you open to relocation?

A. Not at this time. However, I am open to opportunities that involve travel if all expenses are paid and travel policies are employee friendly.

Q. Travel Availability?

A. I am open to business travel either domestic or international that pays for all travel expenses including: airfare, lodging, food, etc. with periodic travel back to my home base. Example: I will not live near a client site for a six-month contract without paid periodic travel back to my home on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. I am flexible to travel arrangements and the client or project needs. I also have a special clearance for quick travel domestic (Trusted Traveler) and international (Global Entry). If more than 25% travel is required for the position, expect to provide additional information upfront, including a copy of the company travel and expense reimbursement policies for me to see if it is employee friendly. Learn more about my company travel experience here.

Q. Travel Expense Estimates?

A. Travel expenses must be paid for either at expense or at a per-diem that will cover all my expenses. I would estimate this to be $30-60/hr. depending on your project's travel frequency, lodging costs, ground transportation, etc. Also, I will not accept projects that offer sub-standard lodging arrangements (ex: road-side motels, low budget inns), restrict my lodging to government per diem rates, etc. that put me in sub-standard lodging. Research what lodging discounts your client and project can offer so that I can better estimate the travel costs and expenses with your job opportunity. Learn more about my company and client travel experience here.

Q. Target Compensation?

A. This information is listed on my resume. The target compensation will also be in my response e-mail to your job opportunity.

Q. Salary History?

A. This information is strictly confidential and will not be provided.

Q. Why do you need to write a custom experience letter and require me to read this document before our phone discussion and interview?

A. The custom experience letter explains how my skills, knowledge, and work experience would be relevant to your job posting specific requirements and qualifications. My custom experience letter also aids in the interview process and is mutually beneficial to the job applicant, the hiring manager, and staffing firms conducting phone screens validating my fit for the role.

Q. The client is moving fast, can I have you interview on-site this week?

A. If your opportunity is expected to close within next 2 weeks from when you contact me, then it will not be in our best interests to continue the conversation. Please plan on 1-2 weeks for time to pre-screen, recruiter phone discussions, and write targeted resume submission materials.

Q. Can you come to our staffing firm to interview?

A. No, I will not physically walk into a staffing firm office to do any in-person interviews, assessment tests, etc. or to be placed in the computer system or presented to a client. I will agree to only phone and video interviews by third-party recruiters, staffing firms, etc. to validate my fit for a role after we have mutually pre-screened by e-mail to be a good fit.

Q. Can you provide references?

A. Yes. Direct corporate recruiters and hiring managers will receive a copy of my private professional references, including my last supervisor (but not current), after we have mutually pre-screened each other through e-mail. In additional to private professional references, my LinkedIn profile has publicly visible recommendations from former coworkers and supervisors.

Consulting Firms: My LinkedIn profile has publicly visible recommendations from former coworkers, supervisors, and consulting clients. If the opportunity is a full-time direct hire with multi-client work, then complete references will be provided after we have mutually pre-screened each other through e-mail.

General Staffing Firms: I will present my references and recommendations document directly to a client if there is still interest after the phone interview. You will not have permission to view and/or contact my previous coworkers and supervisors to solicit work. My LinkedIn profile has publicly visible recommendations from former coworkers and supervisors.

Q. Can I contact your current supervisor?

A. If I am currently engaged with a client, consulting firm, or as a direct-hire employee you may not contact my supervisor or any other team member for references. Contacting a current supervisor while employed could damage my standing with that employer. I have many supervisor, client, and colleague references and recommendations from previous employers that are listed on my references document.

Q. Do you have consulting client references?

A. Yes. See also my LinkedIn profile for the public recommendations.

Q. Will you be able to pass a background check?

A. Yes, I have no criminal records, exceptional credit, and a residential history. I have worked in control centers that manage the electric grid and have had to pass scrutinous background checks for my previous employers and clients.

Q. Do you have a security clearance?

A. Not currently, but I would be able to get one if we applied because I am a United States citizen and can pass a background check.

Q. Will you submit to a pre-employment and employment drug and alcohol screen?

A. Yes. Standard urine, breath, etc. sample drug testing only

Q. Will you submit to "hair follicle" pre-employment and employment drug screening?

A. Recently, I have become aware that some employers are now requiring something called “hair follicle drug screening” for pre-employment and employment drug/ alcohol screen. After much research and considering the promotion videos, procedure videos, user complaints, medical lawsuits, and cosmetic consequences of 3+ bald spots (example here), I have decided not to submit to hair follicle testing.

The ACLU has ruled that hair follicle testing is both unreliable and discriminatory. Please read the article here. It is my civil right, religious belief, and personal choice to not cut my hair. If you are denying job applicants a substitute urine sample test as a condition of employment, you are breaking the law.

According to the Bloomberg Law, it’s the hair-follicle test that is the most unreliable and could cause headaches for employers compared to urine testing. Read the science inaccuracy and legal issues here on their website.

Administrators of the hair sampling are not regulated nor required to carry a license to handle and cut hair. If you walk into any barber or hair salon in your state, the people working on your hair are required to be LICENSED to touch your hair.

Also, it is a lifestyle choice that I choose to cosmetically dye/bleach my hair and a testing center would turn me away because their tests can be invalidated by the cosmetically treated hair. They also turn away a bald men, women/men with buzzcuts, and other issues.

Requiring job applicants to butcher their hair for your opportunity is both disrespectul and a violation of human rights.

If your company or client requires hair follicle testing, please verify that the standard urine, etc. tests can be substituted as a condition of pre-employment and continued employment.

Proudly drug free.

Q. Do you have samples of your writing and coding abilities?

A. Yes. I have a portfolio website here. My portfolio project website is under constant revision and update to place as many code and project examples as available.

Q. Do you have samples of your writing and coding abilities from your "professional" experience?

A. Would you want me sharing your company's code with prospective employers? I have signed and agreed to numerous non-disclosure agreements that prevents me with retaining, sharing, exhibiting, and otherwise showing any work I have done for my previous clients and employers. Code written for previous employers and clients are confidential and will not be shared (would you want me saving and publicly sharing your project code?). You may view my many employer, client, and coworker references to validate their satisfaction with my technical abilities.

Q. Please take our Personality Tests for the application process?

A. No. I will only take any personality surveys for team-building work management purposes and during my course of employment. If I find out that you require a candidate take and pass a personality screening test as part of the job application process, I will think the company incredibly ill-advised including the people running it and will no longer want to work there. Rescind my application immediately.

Also, if you send me a personality test link after I directly apply to your job without first introducing yourself (I have seen this all too often) and allowing us to pre-screen each other, you are disrespectful and rude to candidates. I will tell you this now and in my response.

Companies are ill managed if they are sold on a product that makes them believe these pseudo-science tests filter out bad candidates. Read more below:

1.) a "personality test" should not be used to "weed someone out" 2.) these tests are pseudo-science and companies market and sell you the pseudo-science to make money off you 3.) people can and often do fake answers to get the results they think you want to see 4.) studies have shown that the algorithms/tests do not take in account how a person’s national heritage, gender, religious views, race, and other factors can skew results and lead to unintended discrimination 5.) it creates a homogenous and boring workforce of similar like and minded people (good article here).

Q. Please "Write Custom Code Per Our Spec" for the application process

A. Maybe. But first review my portfolio work (here) for samples of my coding abilities. I will consider custom code requests only after interviewing with the hiring and team members to see if we are mutually interested. My project portfolio, experience, and recommendations should be enough validation to that stage.

Custom Code Requests: If you are looking for samples of my coding style and technique, I will redirect you to look at my sample projects on my website portfolio and GitHub. If you are looking for free work, NO. However, if none of these online projects meets your expectations, I do take requests for custom project or code examples. Sometimes, I love the freshness of an interesting project and challenge.

I may approve of your "write custom code per our spec" request IF:

1.) It is reasonable request and will take only a few hours of my time as a developer. Longer projects that will take 3+ hours of my time should have some incentive, like a gift card.
2.) Have no special costs to me (should be obvious: example cloud costs, third party APIs that are not free).
3.) I retain ownership of the work I create. I can post to my website portfolio, GitHub, and utilize as I wish for future work.
4.) Unique. Not already related or available on my website portfolio and GitHub.
5.) Demonstrates knowledge, a skill, value, etc. that I otherwise do not have available in my portfolio.
6.) Company or client is not allowed to retain my work for their utility.
7.) My submitted work will be reviewed and judged by a technical SME who can understand and run the solution, program, etc.
8.) Also, I do not take kindly to "pressured time requirements" such as, this code test is due in 24 hours. Well just think that maybe I have a LIFE and other stuff to do than your code project request. A reasonable request would be 3-5 days based on my availability not yours. If I am currently employed and asked to do a coding project, I will require 7 days as the expected completion.
9.) The custom code project request must be clearly defined with all requirements thoroughly explained. My questions relating to the project request should be promptly answered otherwise, I will add the time delay to the submission deadline. Sincerity and completeness are also expected in your responses, otherwise I will refuse further participation in the candidate process.

Some Developer Interview Talk and Best Practices

I recommend reading a good article here. Here are some really good points from this article:

"Asking a developer to write an application for you before you’ve made a formal offer of employment is also disingenuous, and disrespectful."
"I’m sending out resumes to each one that I can find. I simply do not have the time to write fifteen code samples a day, just because you want to evaluate me against your coding test."

Also, a good number of experienced programmers are now refusing the exams because they are also being asked to work for free

I have established an online portfolio of example coding projects and samples. You can request access to see my class projects, online certificates, and even college degrees if you are so worried. I also take suggestions on special requests to add to my online portfolio (see above).

And finally, a kind reminder that employment is an at-will relationship, and most employers can tell within the first 30-60 days if an applicant is a good fit for their team. I would suggest you try me out and see what I can do.

Q. Please take our "Online or On-Site Coding Tests" for the application process

A. No. I have already taken coding tests are part of my Microsoft certifications and college courses. The online coding tests are not representative of the day-to-day work that an experienced software engineer is tasked to complete and do not come with an IDE (development editor) like Visual Studio that has “intellisense” that professionals use to code. Instead it tests on college text-book style algorithms that most professionals like me do not care to review in our free time for a job interview unless we are aspiring for $500k jobs at Google. Instead we work with .Net and programming libraries that optimize our tasks and real-life work.

Also, if I see an intrusive countdown clock on the screen, that may cause me to panic and focus not on the test, but solely on that clock, which is not a fair assessment. Many of these online tests are mass marketed, full of software bugs themselves, and not an accurate reflection of how an engineer will actually perform in the work place, solving a problem over time, and even if they work well with clients and other people, etc. Plus Hello? Test Anxiety!!! How about we test YOU! It is my opinion that online or live coding tests are very disrespectful to job applicants.

Developer Talk and Interview Best Practices

I'd like to quote this guy when he said " Asking someone to do a live coding test in front of you is asking for failure. Are you going to be standing over them watching their every keystroke when they are working for you? no? Then why would you test them in that environment? It doesn’t give a good indication at all as to how well they code (and the style in which they code) when given the freedom to do so."

Q. Please take our Aptitude Test for the application process

A. NO. Seriously? You are asking professionals to go through aptitude testing? How about NO. How about we test YOU! Go test yourself!

Q. Will you sign a non-compete agreement?

A. I will sign your non-compete to protect your firm’s intellectual copyright information and not solicit clients to steal business. However, I will not sign agreement that in anyway restricts me from making a living in the business or industry after termination.

Note: Non-compete agreements should be worded for only legitimate business interests. Many non-compete contracts are considered illegal in many states and may not be enforceable in courts if they restrict former employees from making a living article here.