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How To Get a Job At a Mega-Corp

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the name-rank-and-serial-number dept.

Google 373

Barence writes "'With the economic hangover starting to wear off, the technology giants are once again recruiting in earnest. Apple, Google, and Microsoft all have vacancies on their websites, and now could be the perfect time to land a job at one of computing's biggest hitters.' PC Pro talked to people inside Microsoft, Apple, and Google to discover how to track down the best jobs, and what it takes to get through the arduous selection and interview processes." With lots of experience both within and without, what other words of wisdom can be offered to those wishing to break into a mega-corp?

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Other words... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784466)

don't do it.

trout (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784470)

I am a fish.

Freelance decker (5, Insightful)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784492)

I'd much rather be a freelance decker than work for a megacorps...

Re:Freelance decker (2, Informative)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784626)

To the unaware: That was a joke about Shadowrun [wikipedia.org] , a cyberpunk/fantasy roleplaying game.

Re:Freelance decker (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784784)

I thought it was a reference to Achilles' speech in the eleventh book of the Odyssey, in which he says that he'd rather be a hired worker for a poor man than king of all the dead.

Re:Freelance decker (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784638)

That might mean buying into the company’s brand ethos and cultural traits, but candidates must also show a willingness to work like a demon.

You may have a point. They're looking for idealistic young people who are going to work 80+ hours a week and not ask why.

Re:Freelance decker (4, Interesting)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784814)

I worked for Microsoft out of college (though I had some co-ops under my belt beforehand). I can't speak for Apple or Google, but Microsoft doesn't expect an 80 hour work week. My average work week there was 40-45 hours; it could drop as low as 35 or go as high as 50, but that was the exception, not the rule. I don't know of anyone in either group that I worked for that regularly exceeded 50 hours, and it was never my impression that managers expected that sort of time from anyone.

Re:Freelance decker (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785118)

I work for IBM, and it's the same. Sure, I work longer when there's an emergency or a looming deadline. But on weeks there isn't a lot of work I work less.

Working for a large corporation depends less on the corporation as a whole, and more on the people you work with or your manager. In my case, I have four kids (7-3). My boss knows my family comes first.

Re:Freelance decker (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785214)

Working for a large corporation depends less on the corporation as a whole, and more on the people you work with or your manager. In my case, I have four kids (7-3). My boss knows my family comes first.

Thanks for the mathematical explanation of how many kids you have. I'm curious as to why you chose that particular explanation -- why not use the simple four kids (2^2) explanation, it would make it a lot easier for those of used to thinking in binary.

I'm lucky, I have one kid -- I have a variety of ways I can express that:

one kid (1^n)
one kid (3-2)
one kid (lim[x->0]{(ln(1+x))/x)})
Etc.

Wait... did I get bogged down and miss your point?

Re:Freelance decker (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785302)

I'm guessing he was describing their ages ("four kids between seven and three years of age")... but personally I would have said "ages three to seven" instead of the more cryptic "7-3".

Also... four kids in four years? Seems kinda close together...

Re:Freelance decker (0, Flamebait)

turgid (580780) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785116)

Idealistic, young, shrewd people know that working 80+ hours a week for a megacorp is a hiding to nothing since by definition, megacorps are marketing-driven and can't produce anything truly interesting and exciting.

If you are really clever, you will work for a reasonable company 35-45 hours a week and pursue your dreams in your own time on your own terms.

Why sacrifice yourself to a bunch of ignorant, blinkered PHBs?

Re:Freelance decker (1)

lorg (578246) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784658)

Lofwyr doesn't take kindly to puny humans like you.

anyone noticed the snide arrogance? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784498)

in the last year, when interviewing...has anyone else noticed the interviewers air of superiority? like they hold the keys and you had better get to ass-kissing. i can't be the only one to have noticed this.

and this article...like the mega-corp is gods blessing to YOU. like you aren't just trading time for dollars and they aren't the ones making the profit? oh, please sir, may i have some more?

Re:anyone noticed the snide arrogance? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784604)

It often works the other way, too. I can't remember how many interviews I've given for programming jobs where the interviewee comes in all cocksure and arrogant. Not to single them out, but I've found those trained in India to be the worst.

They tell me about their training at some foreign university or college I've never heard of, about all of the certification they've received from Sun and Oracle and Microsoft, and all of these programming contests that they've participated in. Then I ask them to describe how a linked list works, and they tell me some shit like, "Java doesn't support linked lists, only arrays."

Then I thank them for their time, and tell them to leave.

Re:anyone noticed the snide arrogance? (5, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784882)

It's totally like a list... Thats linked!

Re:anyone noticed the snide arrogance? (2, Interesting)

bangthegong (1190059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785132)

Similar experience in a non-tech role, I interviewed a guy with an MBA but no experience, I explained that he was welcome to apply but would find it challenging to get the role when experience was absolutely necessary for this position. We didn't have the time to hand hold someone along. Anyway he immediately turned on me, started whining and getting angry "well how am I supposed to get into your field if everyone needs experience" etc.

Very different from the young man without the MBA who came to me and earnestly wanted to interview for the role despite having that same hurdle to overcome, correctly realizing that there was value in learning more about the job and by meeting the people on the team, he could potentially impress us enough that we waived the experience requirement - or if not, he at least saw value in building the relationships that would come from the process.

Needless to say, neither guy got the job, but that MBA would need to think twice about darkening my doorstep again, whereas the eager young man is someone I will keep in mind if I find a position that needs a sharp, motivated, positive person but doesn't require the experience. One more point - both of them could have decided that I was arrogant and holding the keys and requiring them to kiss ass, but the reality is I am confident (not arrogant) and I DO hold the keys, and while I don't expect ass kissing I also expect that part of the interview is not just your skills on paper but your ability to play nice in the sandbox with the other employees. If you walk in with the attitude of the AC above, interpreting the situation to be that I need my ass kissed, and that I am assumed to be arrogant because I do work as a manager at a mega-corp, well, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Good luck in your job hunt, you fill find a good position with a company of fellow paranoid schizophrenics I guess.

Re:anyone noticed the snide arrogance? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30785200)

A linked list consists of a set of structs, objects, or data structures of some sort, each containing, in addition to its own data, a reference to the next in sequence (and to the prior in sequence as well, if it's a doubly-linked list). These references let one iterate over the set of data structures in order to perform operations on each set of data in sequence.

Am I close? I'm only a classics major, not an engineer, but that's what I was able to remember off the top of my head.

Re:anyone noticed the snide arrogance? (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784644)

As opposed to the typical geek snide arrogance of thinking they hold the keys and you had better get to ass-kissing if you want your network to work?

Re:anyone noticed the snide arrogance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30785308)

Isn't that part of tech support?

Re:anyone noticed the snide arrogance? (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784752)

Well, this can actually be a tactic on the interviewer's side to make the megacorp look like it's highly desirable. :)

Of course... not many people can actually execute it right.

That's the nature of money... and you need it. (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784902)

You starve and die on the streets without it, and they have it.

"Laborers and holders of goods and services must sell today for labor and its products parish, decay, rot, get lost, take up space for storage, and invite destruction from a thousand different causes. But not gold silver, and paper money; they can be held virtually without cost. It is this privileged position of the moneyholder over everyone else (except landholders) in the marketplace that gives rise to interest (monetary). "

http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/newland-terry_on-silvio-gesell.html [cooperativ...ualism.org]

On moving beyond money (3, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785106)

The biggest challenge of the 21st century is technologies of abundance in the hands of those thinking in terms of scarcity.

Money is a collective fantasy about rationing; how can we move beyond it? As Iain Banks wrote, money is a sign of poverty. James P. Hogan in "Voyage From Yesteryear" also envisioned a post-scarcity society that had moved beyond it.

The last time an big company recruiter sent me an inquiry, I sent back this link: :-)
http://www.whywork.org/rethinking/whywork/abolition.html [whywork.org]

The problem:
"The Mythology of Wealth"
http://www.conceptualguerilla.com/?q=node/47 [conceptualguerilla.com]
"The Wrath of the Millionaire Wannabe's"
http://www.conceptualguerilla.com/?q=node/402 [conceptualguerilla.com]
"School Daze links"
http://listcultures.org/pipermail/p2presearch_listcultures.org/2009-October/005379.html [listcultures.org]
"Rebutting Communiqué from an Absent Future"
http://listcultures.org/pipermail/p2presearch_listcultures.org/2009-November/006005.html [listcultures.org]

Some more links about moving beyond the need to work for pay:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income [wikipedia.org]
http://www.basicincome.org/bien/aboutbasicincome.html [basicincome.org]
http://www.usbig.net/whatisbig.html [usbig.net]
http://www.pdfernhout.net/basic-income-from-a-millionaires-perspective.html [pdfernhout.net]
http://educationanddemocracy.org/FSCfiles/C_CC2a_TripleRevolution.htm [educationa...ocracy.org]
http://www.marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm [marshallbrain.com]
http://www.thevenusproject.com/ [thevenusproject.com]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gift_economy [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsistence_economy [wikipedia.org]

From something I helped put together:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobless_recovery [wikipedia.org]
"Dealing with a jobless recovery presents global society with some difficult choices about values and identity. A straightforward way to keep the current scarcity-based economic system going in the face of the "threat" of abundance (and limited demand) resulting in a related jobless recovery is to use things like endless low-level war, perpetual schooling, expanded prisons, increased competition, and excessive bureaucracy to provide any amount of make-work jobs to soak up the abundance from high-technology (as well as to take any amount of people off the streets in various ways). That seems to be the main path that the USA and other countries have been going down so far, perhaps unintentionally. Alternatively, there are a range of other options to chose from, whether moving towards a gift economy, a resource-based economy, a basic income economy, or strong local communitarian economies, and to some extent, the USA and other countries have also been pursuing these options as well, but in a less coherent way. Ultimately, the approaches taken to move beyond a jobless recovery (either by creating jobs or by learning to live happily without them) involves political choices that will reflect national and global values, priorities, identities, and aspirations."

Re:anyone noticed the snide arrogance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30785178)

I'd say you were applying at the wrong place. While it didn't work out in the end, when I interviewed with Google in Dublin despite the fact that there were the usual interview questions we had some quite nice discussions and it was rather pleasant.

Get bought out by them. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784506)

That way, you can toil for years as you watch them destroy what you've worked on. Highly recommended.....

Re:Get bought out by them. (4, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784862)

If you have a company that is a buyout target:
Only sell out if there is enough $$$ in it that you don't have to keep working there. Maybe stay for another 6-12 months to ensure a smooth transition, but then get lost. Of course, very few posters here actually have a company that might get bought...

Orly? (2, Insightful)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784508)

With the economic hangover starting to wear off...

Says who?

Re:Orly? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784670)

Some analyst after casting the bones...

Re:Orly? (2, Funny)

ezelkow1 (693205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784990)

I thought it was after cutting off a chickens head and letting it run around on a game board

Power down your engines (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784516)

Drift around in a small ship until you get assimilated.

Re:Power down your engines (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784744)

Drift around in a small ship until you get assimilated.

That only works at Target or if you've managed to build a ship capable of interstellar travel.

Bring rope, lots of rope. (5, Funny)

toppavak (943659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784518)

With lots of experience both within and without, what other words of wisdom can be offered to those wishing to break into a mega-corp?

Black clothes, a ski mask and quiet footwear would probably help.

Re:Bring rope, lots of rope. (1)

Maniacal (12626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784732)

Oh, and one of those suction cup, glass cutting thing-a-ma-bobbers. Those are sweet. And a long rope with a 3 pronged hook on the end. Can't go wrong with that.

Re:Bring rope, lots of rope. (1)

assemblyronin (1719578) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784852)

Oblig:

Connor: Do ya know what we need, man? Some rope.
Murphy: Absolutely. What are ya, insane?
Connor: No I ain't. Charlie Bronson's always got rope.
Murphy: What?
Connor: Yeah. He's got a lot of rope strapped around him in the movies, and they always end up using it.

Re:Bring rope, lots of rope. (3, Funny)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785034)

Always have a clear objective and stick to the objective.

If you go in to steal the credit card information from the mainframe do not get distracted by the laptop just left in someones cube. Just leave the laptop alone, its probably loaded with software capable of tracing back to you. Targets of opportunity are just opportunities for you to get busted.

Slashvertisement? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784526)

I only skimmed the first and second pages, I didn't want to wait for all five pages to load.

What I gleaned from those two pages though is that large companies have job postings on their web sites. What a breakthrough! Who would have guessed this?

Re:Slashvertisement? (1)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784860)

Holy fishguts, Batman... you're right!

Re:Slashvertisement? (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785038)

I expect in the remaining three pages there were some interview tips as per the summary..

In other news I just read the first page of Moby Dick, turns out there's some guy called Ishmael, what a shitty book..

Be persistent (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784528)

I have an interview with one of them next week. My tips:

* Don't give up. Be persistent in contacting with recruiting managers.
* Create a network. Do you know people there? I know many people who work for all of them.

Pretty simple, IMO.

Re:Be persistent (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784590)

* Don't post those pictures of yourself posing nude next to an inflatable dolphin on Facebook.

Re:Be persistent (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784650)

Too late! Dang it!

Re:Be persistent (1)

kbielefe (606566) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785084)

Phew, that was close! Good thing mine's with a porpoise.

Re:Be persistent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30785278)

What's the purpose of posing with a porpoise?

Why? (3, Insightful)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784580)

SMB all the way. Unless you enjoy either having your spine ripped out, or relentlessly climbing the corporate ladder. I guess they supposedly have great salaries, but what is your soul worth? I have yet to find a corp that can beat the perks of working for a successful SMB. We need another article called how to break free of the giants.

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784634)

Sure that will work for Nintendo. But what about other corporations?

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784876)

I spent 6 months on a "move existing code to different environment" project. Maybe 3 days of it was code changing, the rest was meetings and "engaging" other teams and getting misinformation and basically having to figure out everything myself, or interested parties like the integration people who have to deliver to clients helping figure it out.

At some point, every company moves to short-term cost reductions instead of focusing on maintaining infrastructure for when things pick up again. The first clue you're in trouble is when they fire smart people because they are too expensive. Then the remainder of the smart people see what's happening and jump ship. The few who remain struggle to keep everything afloat, only to get laid off when the company gets bought/merged.

If your potential employer already had its IPO, you're in danger. If it has ever bought another company, you're closer to danger. Short-term planning is responsible for some of the most soul-draining policies and requirements ever to offend humanity by their very existence.

Re:Why? (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784942)

Eg, why I like for-profit SMB, efficiency is the model because the bottom line is small. When a Company takes home less than 50 mil a year you have to be careful with assets. It is produce or leave. Whereas in bigger corps fat and bureaucracy are everywhere.

Re:Why? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785070)

At some point, every company moves to short-term cost reductions instead of focusing on maintaining infrastructure for when things pick up again. The first clue you're in trouble is when they fire smart people because they are too expensive. Then the remainder of the smart people see what's happening and jump ship. The few who remain struggle to keep everything afloat, only to get laid off when the company gets bought/merged.

I am seeing a similar syndrome with the exception that certain people are putting in mechanisms for extracting money from the sinking ship. Kind of a Die Hard situation with money laundering through service providers. Makes for a short hard snap at the end with less annoying lingering I suppose.

Off to work on my resume now.

Re:Why? (1)

flabordec (984984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785240)

SMB all the way.

Amen, brother, Super Mario Bros all the way.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30785270)

I fail to see what lanman has to do with this.

First, be a foreigner (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784582)

Seriously, many of the "published positions" are reserved for H1-B and other candidates who will not need pensions, who will cost less in salary, and who will be less likely to question management. It was laid out very well in this famous old video: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFajGU)

Others are simply fraudulent: I used to work at a 500 person company which listed positions in my department and others where the "listings" were used to bump up head count for stock pumping and advertising reasons, while deliberately ignoring the hundreds of advertisements in order to demonstrate our "growth" and encourage investment while not actually paying for employees. The same nonsensical behavior used for the H1-B craziness are used for just this sort of stock pumping: roughly a dozen positions were always listed as "open", even though they'd quietly bury all the resumes. Other tricks, not in the video, include deliberately requiring far too many qualifications, listing far more qualifications than the role requires, listing far *fewer* qualificiations. It's especially fun when an HR department bases its manpower on number of applications handled, rather than number of employees placed or speed of placement.

Re:First, be a foreigner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784740)

What's this "pension" of which you speak?

Re:First, be a foreigner (1)

Maniacal (12626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784774)

This many be off topic but you mentioned it. Does anyone ever get pensions anymore. I've worked for 10 companies or so and never 1 mention of pensions. I saw it mentioned in an article this morning as well. I thought pensions went out with my Grandpa's generation. Do people still work at companies that provide them?

Re:First, be a foreigner (2, Informative)

mdf356 (774923) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784844)

I had one at IBM when I started in 2001, but by the time I left in 2008 they had phased them out for new employees in favor of an improved 401K plan. (Employees kept the pension plan that was in effect when they started... except for the change to a "cash balance" plan in the late 90s that they got sued over by employees a little too young to stay on the really old pension plan).

I suspect NASA still has a pension plan, but there you're working for the government.

Re:First, be a foreigner (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784916)

Depends... Are you a member of a union where the union controls the labor market for your skillset? If the answer is yes, then there is the possibility of getting a pension if the company doesn't go bankrupt and you end up with a fist full of worthless shares of stock as compensation instead.

Re:First, be a foreigner (1)

MightyMait (787428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785176)

One of the reasons I work for county government rather than private industry is the pension. I make less up-front, but I like the idea of a steady income when/if I retire. Of course, there's always the nagging fear that the pension will disappear before I get a chance to collect it...

Pensions are dead (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785186)

With the current demographics (rise in longevity, rise in medical expenses to achieve said longevity, and drop in family size), retirement is no longer economically viable. Companies don't want to be responsible for something that will be really difficult to impossible to provide.

Re:First, be a foreigner (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785198)

Union jobs generally still have pensions. In this day and age and economic climate, I wouldn't bet your life on them paying off...

Other jobs usually just do 401k matching instead. Personally, I much prefer this.

Nobody has thought of it (5, Funny)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784598)

The first page says... to get a job, you need to find a vacancy.wow!

The second page says... to get a job, you need to pay attention to the job description.damn! this is awesome!

The third page says... to get a job, you need to submit your CV and wait.holy shit! it never occurred to me that I need to submit a CV!

The fourth page says... to get a job, you need to talk relevant things during the interview.oh noes! I always talk about movies during interviews!

The fifth page says... to get a job, smart casual is a safe choice.This tip is godlike! Most other applicants dress in bikini and that's why they didn't get a job!

Re:Nobody has thought of it (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784696)

The first page says... to get a job, you need to find a vacancy.wow!

The second page says... to get a job, you need to pay attention to the job description.damn! this is awesome!

To be fair, this isn't the only option. You can also be good enough to get noticed. And while many people assume that you must be a super-star in another mega-corp for that (which certainly helps, yes), it's not the only option by far. So long as you do something well, and - this is important - your work is somehow highlighted, so that recruiters can find it online - they will find it.

Speaking from personal experience, an invitation from the employer to send your resume for a vacancy they have (which you didn't even know about) can follow such seemingly pointless things as posting good solutions to problems on technical forums/newsgroups (and these days, I guess, StackOverflow).

Re:Nobody has thought of it (3, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784806)

I guess what they are trying to imply that getting a job at a Mega-corp is most like getting a job at anywhere else in the real world.

I suppose most computer nerds might have been confusing it with the tactics they've learned from video games. To work at Microsoft I simply cannot show up that the local bar, find the executives in the far room, and pass THE THREE TRIALS in order to work for them.

Re:Nobody has thought of it (1)

AttillaTheNun (618721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785050)

Some friendly advice to my competition. You need to stay current with acceptable business attire and trends regarding how to set yourself apart from the throngs of job interviewees.

This insider information is my gift to you. Use it with care.

http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/ [peopleofwalmart.com]

Re:Nobody has thought of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30785062)

Dang, when I interviewed it was all a bunch of dudes in suits that showed up. I need to work where you interviewed so I can interview chicks in bikini's!

Interview tips at Mega-Corps (4, Funny)

rwwyatt (963545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784602)

  • knee pads
  • Bring Your own lube
  • ???
  • YOU ARE HIRED!!!

Re:Interview tips at Mega-Corps (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784690)

I don't want to know what ??? is, I don't want to know what ??? is, I don't want to know what ??? is, I don't want to know what ??? is, ...

Lalalalala, I'm in my happy place.

Re:Interview tips at Mega-Corps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30785024)

+1

Re:Interview tips at Mega-Corps (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785108)

Yeah, I thought the article was wrong on this point:

But what does it take to beat off hundreds, if not thousands, of fellow applicants and land a job at one of the tech elite?

You're supposed to do that to your potential bosses, not your fellow applicants.

Apple Retail IS NOT EQUAL to Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784606)

After spending nearly 7 years in Apple Retail all I have to say is STAY FAR FAR AWAY.

Don't work for a big company. Find an awesome small local company. You'll be happier.

Re:Apple Retail IS NOT EQUAL to Apple (0, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784918)

Long ago I promised myself that I would never again work in a retail environment, no matter how technical it may be. Being treated like peoples' bitch puts a real hurt on your self-esteem. Here are the customers to avoid, and why:
  • Asians - picky, pushy, with chalkboard-screech voices. They will try to get you to do everything for them.
  • Arabs/Indians - They will load up shopping carts filled to the brim, then they will just leave. Alternately, they will go to check out, and toss items away one by one when they see the prices rung up. Guess who gets to put all those go-backs back on the shelves?
  • Jews - similar to Asians above, except that they will insult your merchandise. They will find any excuse to schvitz.
  • Old people - A combination of Asians and Jews above. They are by far the worst customers of all and they will always complain to the manager. If you see one, run.
  • Gimps - kinda like old people, but not as bad. Make no mistake about it - they are pissed off and will invent excuses to take their rage out on you.

And now the good customers. The results may surprise you:

  • Hispanics - Usually polite, very family-oriented. They tend to buy lost of foodstuffs because they make thier meals from scratch.
  • Blacks - Very easygoing, with well-developed senses of humor. Contrary to popular stereotype, they are very patient when they have to wait or when something goes wrong.

And with garden-variety Caucasians you have around a 50-50 chance. They tend to be impatient.

Re:Apple Retail IS NOT EQUAL to Apple (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784988)

I worked for Tieto for a while and it really depends on the location.

Re:Apple Retail IS NOT EQUAL to Apple (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785068)

You didn't get a job in Apple Retail expecting to move up to working on Apple products did you? If so that would be the saddest thing I've heard in a while

Get Acquired (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784608)

I've been at "megacorps" twice. Both times by acquisition.

With so few megas, and so many minis, why bother? Just look for a good job. Sooner or later the megacorps will acquire your employer. Then you can decide if you actually like the megacorp.

Just don't... (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784616)

I worked for two years in a megacorp, and it was a horrible experience. The worst part about it was how upper management treated their employees. Compensation was below market standards. We were compensated less than market standards, yet expected to work longer hours, and be more productive during that time, than other corporations. HR hid all important information behind several layers of red tape.

The actual work was somewhat interesting, but there was no advancement. Sure, there were lots of dog and pony shows, but managers were encouraged to keep their employees in the same position for years, and would give bad internal references to facilitate that. It was considered easier and cheaper to hire externally for one position than hire internally for one and then have to hire again to fill the new vacancy.

The only real benefit to working for a megacorp is the prestige that comes with the name. "I work for XYZ," usually got a few looks of admiration or envy from those who didn't know any better (like friends and family, but not colleagues).

Why would you want to? (4, Insightful)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784618)

With lots of experience both within and without, what other words of wisdom can be offered to those wishing to break into a mega-corp?

You'd better be young, idealistic, without a family, and willing to trade your life for your job. Some large trendy corporations might not be like that (yet) but the vast majority of corporate america is a slave labor camp. My advice is to stick up for yourself and don't let anyone take advantage of you, because they will if you allow it. Overtime is for emergencies, not business as usual. And emergencies had better not be business as usual. If you think working 50 or 60 hours a week and foregoing vacation is normal or "necessary in today's world" stop it. Just stop it. Life is not all about working.

Find a Recruiter (4, Informative)

cowtamer (311087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784660)

Provided you have the requisite skills, find a recruiter (aka Head Hunter) to get you a contract position at Microsoft (Volt, Comsys, et al.), Verizon, etc. You'll make more money, get a peek at the corporate culture (to see if you like it), and might have a better "inside track" at applying. You might even get paid for all the hours you work! (depending on the ethics of the corporation and your contract agency).

The down-side is that you will have to pay for your own benefits (generally) and may resent the fact that someone is taking home part of what the company pays without doing any work for it, and will have less job security.

How do you contact such a person, yo ask? Post your resume on Monster with the right keywords (provided, of course, that you have the skills!).

YMMV

Re:Find a Recruiter (1)

bruns (75399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784790)

And when your contract is over at Microsoft, be prepared to be without a job for at least 3 months before they will consider rehiring you. Within those 3 months, you are not allowed to work in the computer field. I've had more then one friend who worked for MS on a contract basis and they were royally fucked over - alot of broken promises for full time non-contract work and being forced into a position they weren't hired for.

Re:Find a Recruiter (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784946)

How do you contact such a person, yo ask? Post your resume on Monster with the right keywords (provided, of course, that you have the skills!).

I've had better luck with Dice. I get at least a call or two per month from recruiters.

Re:Find a Recruiter (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784994)

You'll never get hired full-time at Microsoft from Volt. Possibly another contract agency, but as long as you're with Volt you might as well learn to love that orange badge.

Re:Find a Recruiter (1)

IronChef (164482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785312)

At least when I was contracting at Microsoft, being a contractor was not much of an advantage for getting a real job. (I worked for 3 different agencies while I was there.)

Over several years, I learned of about 2 people that moved from contract to full time--and it was always full time in another department.

As a contractor, your manager is unable to give you any kind of consideration for full-time job openings. It was forbidden, at least where and when I was working.

Got a contractor that would make an ideal full-time employee? Got an open FTE slot? Want to hire the guy? Tell that contractor sorry, I suggest you go to Microsoft.com and apply there. Good luck.

(My manager did give me a lead on a position well away from our department, which did result in an interview. It was his own turf he had to be careful about. Not that he had any head count to fill anyway... There were 3 full timers and about 6-8 contractors depending on workload. As far as I know, the full-timer headcount has only gone down in that department too.)

Those positions have always been there. (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784664)

Uhm, the three companies you mentioned have had job offers up the entire time of this 'economic hangover' has existed.

You get in the same way people have ALWAYS got in. A friend on the inside or dumb luck.

The friend on the inside helps you bypass retarded HR people, otherwise you have to rely on dumb luck to get past that particular part of the process. After that, you just need to actually have a clue and fill their needs for them.

I've never had to deal with retarded HR in my career, luckily. Every job I can think of having, I got because I knew someone that worked there. In fact, thinking of all the people I know closely, I don't know of anyone right now (with the exception of a google employee friend, which I don't think knew anyone before hand) who got their job without knowing anyone at the place.

Re:Those positions have always been there. (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785208)

Those positions may have been there, but they weren't being filled. Many positions were just placeholders. They got approval to open the position, then the company came on hard times before they filled the position, and once things got bad, the manager didn't want to risk hiring someone only to have to let them go a month later. Many didn't even know if they themselves would have a job next week. Keeping the position open, rather than closing it, allowed the managers to fill that position quickly when things turned around. It would mean less paperwork, and there would be no chance that upper management would turn down the request. At least, that's what all my research, including what hiring managers at various companies have told me personally, indicates.

Small is better (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784700)

In my own personal experience, I've found that the smaller the company, the more enjoyable it is to work for. Every time a friend starts complaining about their large company employer, images from Office Space start to pop into my head. The most frequent occurrence is the "Do you know I have five different bosses?" thing. For real. And all I can do is snicker.

As with every rule, there are of course exceptions. Some people thrive in a very rigid, stratified environment, and can handily deal with the bureaucracy. To them, the extra money and benefits are worth it. I have not found this to be the case personally. To each his own.

I work for a very small company, and if I wasn't working for them I would be freelance again. Freelancing is probably the most enjoyable thing you can do as long as you have good business acumen. It is not for everyone.

I cannot personally imagine applying at a large company on purpose, unless I was desperate or the job position was exceptionally interesting and included a large degree of freedom.

caution (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784758)

MegaCorps suck the souls out of employees, as they wither away doing the same thing day after day while being accosted constantly by wasteful internal politics. The best of the MegaCorps, like Google, will even give you "20% time" so that they can own the rights to your own best ideas.

David always becomes Goliath (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784770)

Another thing to point out, as many people here have pointed out, David almost always eventually becomes Goliath, or David eventually goes out of business. Just compare the US federal government today to the Empire it was trying to get away from during the American Revolution. Fortunately, it is easier to step away from a company that has been acquired should you so choose. And quite likely with a fist of stock payout in your pocket.

The other nice thing about working for small companies, is if you see the conditions drifting towards bad management or bad decisions, you can call them out on it, and it's not too late to change course. Big companies who have had too much success tend to get lazy. With Microsoft, you have a company that for too long had no real competition, so they got real sloppy, and real lazy, and have trouble keeping up with the latest trends. The cracks are starting to show at Google as well.

How? The better question is WHY? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784776)

Why would anyone WANT a job at a megacorp? Ok, job security might be a perk, but hey, have you ever had a hard time getting a job if you're good?

I had my share at huge international corps and every single time it was a gig that I could not stomach for more than half a year. It beats being "between jobs", but that's about it. Are you a geek? If so, then why the heck would you want to deal with bureaucracy getting in the way of everything? How could you stomach following "procedures" that are deemed correct no matter if you're programming software or refilling toilet paper. One size fits all. And it was great 20 years ago so it just has to be good now!

How can you stomach living under the thumb of a quarter report filling over-his-own-network-cable-stumbling idiot calling himself manager? He will be the one making the decisions for your work and you will be expected to do it, despite knowing that what you do is just plainly wrong, but it has to be done that way because marketing and legal decided it's the way to go. For reference, see cramming IE so deeply into Windows that it can't be separated, in case someone yells antitrust.

How can you stomach being the n-th coder from the right and being measured by some metric that simply does not measure how much meaningful work you really do? How can you stomach being busy gaming that system to appear very productive instead of doing meaningful work because everyone does just that and the ones who really work are getting lectured because they don't fulfill the "plan"?

How can you stomach meeting after meeting after meeting where everything that gets accomplished is wasting time because nobody will actually address the problem because it might end up in the meeting protocol and the real progress is made during the coffee breaks when people finally dare to voice their real opinion? If that.

Why the heck would you want to put up with all that?

Re:How? The better question is WHY? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784856)

Peter? I've been trying to find you all week! Did you get that memo we sent out about the TPS reports? I just wanted to let you know that we're now putting the new cover sheets on all the TPS Reports before they go out, so if you could just try to remember, that would be great! Thanks, Peter!

Oh, oh, and I almost forgot! I'm going to need you to come in tomorrow, alright? Yeah, we, uh, lost a few people this week so we need to play a little bit of "catch up". So, if you could come in at about 9 am, that would be great! I'm also going to need you to come in on Sunday, as well!

Alright? Thanks, Peter!

Re:Why? if you want to work big, you need the mega (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784956)

If you want to work on large scale projects, you pretty much have to work for a megacorp (or contract there). Not many 10 person companies are doing rollouts of 10,000 different applications to a million desktop users. What about an application with thousands of individual requirements? Not many 10 person companies are building moon rockets or mars rovers, pieces yes, but putting it all together just takes lots of people, and that means large company. There are intellectual challenges to big, just like to small, and getting practical experience in scalability is pretty darn useful.

Megacorp aside... innovative jobs instead... (1)

davecrusoe (861547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784798)

Megacorps aside, the interview process has changed significantly in the past few years. We're a small nonprofit [plml.org] devoted to building complex educational designs. While we're keen on building a lithe workforce during out startup stage, and while we're compensating only at the stipend level, our interviews are meant to bring in the best individuals we can find.

What does that means? It means that in addition to the interview itself, we discuss cases and, in many cases, ask for a code sample and/or add a programming challenge. The process isn't meant to be dispiriting in the least; but it is meant to bring in the most compatible, most visionary young people we can find, and, in our case, to help them get a significant boost onward toward their dream (read: visionary) career.

So, the arduous selection process isn't just a part of big-megacorps; it's becoming a part of many smaller (but highly innovative) organizations as well.

--Dave

Re:Megacorp aside... innovative jobs instead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30785086)

but it is meant to bring in the most compatible, most visionary young people we can find

That's a rightful lawsuit waiting to happen.

Wear a suit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784818)

Wear a suit.

Meh.. (1)

xxuserxx (1341131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784896)

Unless your an exec I dont know why anyone would want to work for a public company. Less pay and more BS. Granted I never have to worry about it since im a high school dropout but the small to medium business sector shows me lots of love. I did consult a few public companies in San Diego mainly branch offices and I did not like how IT was treated.

economic hangover starting to wear off?? (1)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30784904)

WTF?? more like Acid is just starting to kick in.

Back when we were being prepped... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30784958)

During my MBA recruitment prepping this was a story we were told....

Big mega corp asks interviewee, "How many baby diapers were sold last year?"

Interviewee: "Well, there are 300 million people in the US, 20% childbearing age, and of those roughly a third have babies. So that's 20 million babies. A baby needs at least 2 changes per day so that's 730 diapers per baby. Times 20 million that's 1,460 billion diapers each year."

She got the job even though she pulled every fucking number out of her ass - I checked later. Why? Because they wanted to know how she thought.

Now you know how big-corps get people that make moronic decisions for big bucks.

Me? I would have just googled the fucking number and come up with a number that was, oh, I don't know, ACCURATE?! Nope, wrong answer - they want to see how you "think".

You see, most of the interviewers get their techniques and questions from the an flight magazine or from the Management Guru du jour's book that's on the Wall Street Journal's web site. So, kids, look at the best seller list, read the fucking things, parrot what you read and you're in.

Big corps devolve into stupidity after a while.

The best fucking tech interview I ever had was by a manager that reminded me of Bernie Mack. He asked, "What would you do if you didn't know what we were doing in some areas?"

I replied, "Go to Borders that night, buy a book on it and start cramming."

Right answer! He left to become Mr. Mom - his wife was an MD.

I HATE corporate life but in this economy, there's not much of a choice.

Re:Back when we were being prepped... (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785064)

I HATE corporate life but in this economy, there's not much of a choice.

There is always a choice, unless you want things handed to you. Then you get what you get.

Just got out of an interview with HP (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30785048)

A friend of mine recently interviewed at HP. I talked with him about it.

He said that they are starting to hire again, that they told him they needed to get their head count up because they really had not been hiring in the past 6 years.

The vast majority of people are over 40, with pretty stagnant skills. One guy started asking him about a linked list in Pascal, that's how out of date they are! A hardware engineer didn't know what software defined radio was. Now, this guy that interviewed is a pretty smart guy, the best electronics guy I know in town, yet was not able to land the job after seven technical interviews. He also runs his own small software consulting company. He said the most unusual thing during the interview was a big boss lady that asked: "How was your first day?" as he was being walked out the door after 5PM.

Our consensus was that the manager could not differentiate between an interview candidate in the department and a new hire.

Another guy said that they used to serve steaks and have beer busts back in the good old days. He said those days at HP are gone. Now the cubes are smaller, like 6' x 8' Sounds like the power factory in the Matrix to me. A prison for your mind. Personally, I'm glad my friend didn't get the position.

Megacorps (4, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785104)

I'm actually a bit surprised at the almost-uniformly negative response to "mega corps." I've worked at two companies that could be described as "mega corps." The first, while not exactly soul-crushing, bore such a striking resemblance to Office Space that I was happy to leave. The other one has been an almost-uniformly pleasant experience, with a solid focus on tech and very little bureaucracy. What I've taken away from this is that you can't judge the quality of a job by the size of the company.

As far as the 60-hours-per-week thing goes, both jobs had me firmly in the 40-45 hours range. The lone, very rare exceptions (50-55 hour weeks) were solely due to my own fuckups, and my desire to not have my fuckups impact the rest of my team (as in, they're actual people who didn't deserve to look bad because of something I did). I've never been forced to work long hours.

On the topic of overtime, I've found that mentioning "quality of life" and "no mandatory overtime" in interviews will get you dropped like a hot-potato if the company in question actually does expect 60 hour weeks. I've made it a habit to ignore people telling me not to ask these things, and make sure to ask it in every interview. Tends to weed out the places I don't want to work.

I realize that my experiences may not be the norm, though.

The sad truth (1)

jmickle (941634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785128)

The truth is you either need to be outrageously awesome and do something that changes the way we use computers (very unlikely), have an intense amount of luck to make it in or be a complete slob. I can speak from experiences when i say some people simply dont deserv their positions, and you see this alot in large companies. Other then that the only true way into a good corporation is to buy the management drinks at a bar or know someone lol

Re:The sad truth (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785260)

You left one out: work at startups and become an employee via acquisition. It's happened to me twice, including at one of the companies listed in TFA (didn't like it there; I work somewhere else now).

Thanks to mega-corps... (1)

Adammil2000 (797026) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785254)

I've learned so much and gained access to brilliant people that I never would have met elsewhere. Don't tell smart, young people to intentionally ignore the incredible opportunities that are available in such places. The better advice has nothing to do with mega-corps and is more about behavior: Avoid blind ladder-climbing strictly based on pay, otherwise you end up stuck in a high paying job that you hate, but cannot leave because your true calling in life cannot pay the bills that you've accumulated so far.

Why I work for megacorp (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30785310)

I am currently at megacorp and there are few reasons why
- 23 days vacations
- 12 holidays
- plenty of sick time
- working from home pretty much on your own schedule
- above implies working pretty much from anywhere (local or international)
- some deadlines but not too bad, workload 40-45 hours
- $$$ (salary) + $$$ (bonuses) + $$$ (benefits)

so reason I would conisder quit
- 5 managers to report to
- meaningless corporate training
- track your time in multiple tracking systems
- managers above any other employes
- politics

None of this talks about the actual work I do since lots of it depends on how I define it. Sometimes it is pretty interesting, sometimes can't stand it but it must be done.
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