My employer, Coinstar, has a few openings here in Bellevue. We are looking for at least three Software Quality Engineers and a Senior Build/Tools Engineer, someone who can create an automated testing system for our kiosk software. The automation person will also be responsible for creating our software builds so they'll probably get a chance to automate that as well.

If you're interested or have more questions send them or your resume to me.

ETA: Added the actual job titles and links to job descriptions. Also, there are other jobs in the Bellevue area.

Now?

Jan. 19th, 2007 02:52 pm

Some of you might remember that I was looking for a job when things started going south at McAfee. I found a lead at a company called Rentrak and went out for an interview. The short story is while I loved them there was something they didn’t like about me so I didn’t get the job. For a few years I kept submitting my resume when I heard of any openings because I hoped that it was a lack of experience that kept me from any job. However I never heard anything back from them.

Today, out of the blue, I received an email from someone at Rentrak. They’re hiring and they found my LJ* where I talked about my experiences interviewing there. They are interested in talking to me about a job there. Son of a B****!!! Now? After I’ve moved 150 miles north?

I’m not ready to give up yet but I doubt I’ll be convinced to move back to Portland. (Sorry [livejournal.com profile] qt3_14159) Maybe I can work part-time in the office and telecommute the rest. Who knows.

*: Is 2007 for everyone to find my LJ?

I know some people are looking for work. I've really enjoyed working at Coinstar and saw a lot of new job postings go up on our internal site. You can browse them on our public job board and see if you find something interesting. There are quite a variety of jobs all over the country. Don't forget to keep checking back because I see new postings every couple of days.

P.S. What really sucks about missing my headphones is I converted a jar of change into an iTunes certificate over the weekend and I have a huge amount of new stuff that I can't listen to. Grrr...

Well I'm done with my contract at Intel. They escorted me out of the building at 3:30pm and I was damn glad to go. I'm amused by the stress Intel is putting on efficiency and cost cutting when I just spent two days plugging cables in and out of a machine to verify that they worked. That's something a low-paid worker in the factory should do not one of their high paid consultants. I know how much I made and can guess how much Yoh charged Intel for those hours. Not my problem anymore.

I have the weekend and two days before I drive down to California. Sounds like a lot of time right? Well in those four days I have to:

  • Empty a room full of books and boxes of papers. I need to finally sort through them, file the ones I'm keeping and shred the rest. There are lots of books that will be going off to Goodwill this weekend.
  • Haul a lot of broken/non-working items down to the dumpster in our complex.
  • Pack for a 4-day drive to LA and back.
  • Pack to move to Seattle because after I get back from the Cali trip I'll be driving up to Seattle to stay with [livejournal.com profile] dustin_00 until [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen and I have a place of our own.
  • Attend a farewell party for me Saturday night.
  • Spend as much time with [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen as I can since we will be away soon.

Funny thing is this I'm not very stressed about the whole thing. While I'll miss some very good friends in Portland I'm very excited about the future for the first time in a long time. Moving to Portland was a good move but there are far too many failures here for me to stay. My marriage failed (the previous one, not the one with [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen), my career stalled, we lost a child, many people who I thought were friends weren't.

A lot of decisions have been on hold lately too. I couldn't commit to joining a kayak club or volunteering because we weren't where we would be in the future. Now we know so I can start implementing some plans I've had for a while. Plans such as working with a physical therapist to strengthen my ankle so I can get outside more. Finding a taiji teacher so I can start training. Taking some classes and buying a kayak to get out on the water. All kinds of things.

hollyking: (ahead full)

I gave notice and unless they decide to escort me out of the building early my last day here will be Wednesday May 24th.

My first day at Coinstar will be Tuesday May 30th. Yay!

Damn it's going to be a long two weeks...

hollyking: (ahead full)

All that's left is to determine the start date. I've asked for June 1st so I could have some time after my California adventure to get up to Bellevue. Although I'll leave early if they need me sooner. I haven't told my current employer yet because I have the strong suspicion that I'll be escorted from the building as soon as they know.

YAY! YAY! YAY! YAY! I'll be coding! Finally! Oh, and +3/hour is nice.

Does anyone have a room I could rent for a few months while [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen and I look for a new place and get moved?

Yippie!

Mar. 21st, 2006 09:39 am
hollyking: (ahead full)

Last week sent my resume off to Stonehenge about some Perl jobs in Seattle. When I checked my email this morning there was an email about a job and from the first look I've had it sounds nearly perfect! Wah-Hoo!

Why do I keep singing the Banana Splits theme when I'm happy and excited? Isn't there a better song to express myself?

Sigh...

Mar. 18th, 2006 09:22 pm

I noticed that Rentrak is hiring again. I interviewed there in 2003 and fell in love with the company. I think I would fit in well with the office environment and working with the sharp folks there would rocket my Perl skills to 11.

Rentrak, or at least those who handle the hiring, don't have the same love for me. After my interview they never returned my calls and I've never received any response when I've sent my name in for other openings. I really wish I could find out their thoughts. Was it something I can fix such as a lack of skills or knowledge? Were there better applicants who had the skills they wanted? Heck, did I have some personality defect? I know I can go overboard when trying to appear confident and come off as arrogant. No matter what the reason I would rather know. That way I can either study and work hard to overcome the lack of skills and knowledge or just let it go if it's something I can't fix.

I'm approaching 6 years since I've worked a job where I wrote code for a living. For me this is hard because that's my bliss. It's something I enjoy doing, I'm good at it and I could do it forever. I don't want to be a manager and I'm not sure I would ever want to be a software architect. Working in an environment like I saw at Rentrak would be my ideal job.

The big problem is I'm not even sure how to restart my career and get back to coding. Sure, I get lots of calls for a job but thanks to the time I spent writing QA tools as McAfee everyone wants to hire me as a QA tester or validation engineer. They never actually read past the keywords they find on my resume (Word doc) to find out what my skills and strengths might be. In Kansas City this wouldn't be a problem because I have the connections to get a job without going through HR. Here I just feel like I've stalled and have gotten so off track I can't see my way back.

Any ideas or suggestions would be most welcome.

Wah Hoo!

Feb. 2nd, 2006 11:57 am
hollyking: (ahead full)

Intel just offered me a 9-month contract gig. I'll be writing some pretty low-level code to look for manufacturing defects in motherboards. It's the kind of coding I enjoy and with all the new advances in mobo technology there should be plenty of interesting problems to solve. Go me!

Thanks to everyone for their good wishes and help while I've been looking for work.

That interview I had last week went well. So well in fact that I have a face-to-face interview tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM. I think I have a good shot at this turning into a job offer. I hope it does because thanks to my misunderstanding of the unemployment information my benefits run out a lot faster than I thought they did. Joy!

hollyking: (ahead full)

Well I just finished a phone interview for a 9-month contracting gig. It's not really what I want to do, but it won't be the hell I suffered at my last job. Plus, since we were able to pay off a lot of debt recently that money can be used to build up our savings and our moving fund.

Did you know there's an online blackjack site that's run from here in Portland? Did you also know that they're looking for C++ programmers? Did you further know that they've expressed interest in my resume?

Well we do, they are and they did. So wish me luck and here's hoping I don't bust.

It seems there's some law in California that says you can't get a job with the word "engineer" in the title unless you have a four year degree. So I'm screwed and jobless for the forseeable future...

Good News!

Nov. 2nd, 2005 05:59 pm

I just received this in my inbox:

Hi Brendan,
Good news! Qualcomm wants to move forward with a perm offer. Give me a call to discuss next steps.

Yay! About damn time, too.

Today I had another extended with Qualcomm. Three more hours of designing state machines to detect three heads in a row from a series of coin tosses and writing a function to insert a node in a binary tree. I think I did really well again and even talked to the director for a bit about what my responsibilities might entail. Now for another week of waiting to hear how they thought I did... Sigh.

I lock the doors of my car and my apartment. It's a habit that I don't really want to break. Sure it means I can't just yell for someone to come in when I'm busy and they knock on the door. Then again it also means that random strangers don't just walk in to my living room while [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen and I are sitting there watching Numb3rs. Weird.

Qualcomm just called me back for another round of interviews! Wah Hoo!

hollyking: (ahead full)

Last night [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen and I went to see Underneath the Lintel at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts (PCPA). I highly recommend the show. A very good performance of a very interesting play.

This morning I went for an interview at Qualcomm. I nailed that interview. The first 90 minutes involved design questions and methodology. I was very nervous about this part because while I have designed more than one system I've never done it as part of my job. Most places skip the design and jump right into the coding. (A bad move in my opinion, btw.) I feel very good about that part. I could tell that my design ideas were inline with what the interviewer wanted and I even contributed a few new ideas. The second half was all about coding skills. This interviewer started with simple questions and we ended up writing template functors in C++ and function generators in Perl.

The best part was when he asked me about my favorite algorithm. That's an easy one... One time (in band camp) I designed an algorithm to compress and decompress data. No big deal you say? Well, it wasn't a great compression scheme, the neat trick was the decompression step only required one buffer and kept all the variables in registers. I don't recommend that for everyone but in this situation is was just what the doctor ordered. Only needing one buffer cut the memory requirements in half and keeping all the variables in registers made the damn thing fast as hell. We talked about the problem with compression and how to handle a block of data that can't be compressed. Then we went on a tangent about compression schemes and how you can get better results if you adapt the scheme to the data. For example, when compressing a dictionary of words you can get better performance by treating prefixes and suffixes as symbols and not just each letter as a symbol.

Most of the work is in C# but they didn't ask me about any of that. They said they would teach me what I needed to know and that they were more interested in my skills and abilities than any particular language syntax. Well, I hope they call, because it sounds like an interesting place to work.

When I arrived at home after taking [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen to work today I received a phone call about a job. This one was new because it was Symantec asking me if I would be interested in a position. Whee! I've never been called by a company before. Even better, they called for a C++ development position.

Still getting quite a few calls for contracting jobs. Sadly, most of them are for jobs I don't have the necessary experience which are located on the east coast. I do have an interview with a local company for a 3 month gig in downtown Portland. Here's hoping it goes well.

I heard from my Uncle in Mobile Alabama via email this morning. They lost a few shingles on the roof and are without power, but are otherwise fine. Their biggest problem is that their water comes from a well on their property so the lack of power means they are also without water. I sure hope they can finish their move to St. Louis before another hurricane or at the least before hurricane season next year.

Having a bit of free time lately I've been thinking about what I could do to make a difference. It really didn't take long to figure it out because I've already been working with my local ARES group. I haven't participated for a while but I'm going to dig out my radios and start checking in and attending meetings again. Go me. ;)

Now is also a good time to restate a few good ideas so people can be ready in the event of an emergency in their area:

  • Create a communication plan with your family. There should be a designated person in each area who is the one responsible for calling another family memeber and letting everyone else know your status. Making only one call out of a disaster area can help relieve the load on the phone system. For example, in my family we are separated into a few geographic areas. I'm in the Northwest, my brother is in Kansas City, my mother & grandmother live in St. Louis and for the moment my aunt and uncle live in Mobile Alabama. If something happens here I call my brother with information, he would also call me about anything that happens in Missouri. My uncle calls his sister in St. Louis, like he did this morning, with any updates from Alabama. Instead of Rick having to make four phone calls from a disaster area he made only one. Someone else could have called for help or let their family know they were safe with the time he could have been calling me. This reminds me that I need to talk with [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen about getting her family integrated in this plan.
  • Setup a 72-hour emergency kit. You can find information about these on many websites including the FEMA website. Having a supply of clothes, food, water and medicine handy could make a big difference. W7RAS posted a message that included a few items to include in your kit that I thought were good suggesions.
    • Regional and local maps. You might be forced to take alternate routes when evacuating an area and a good set of maps covering the region would make that a lot easier. I really like the Thomas Guides because they're easy to read, have a good coverage of the country and stack nicely under my seat in the car.
    • A non-battery powered emergency radio. Battery powered radios are very convienent to use but batteries do wear out. The best bet is a hand cranked emergency radio. Disasters have a way of blocking out the sun which makes the solar powered radios useless. I'll be adding one of these to my kit.
  • Make friend with an amateur radio operator. Phones fail during disasters. That's a fact. All day long the NTS net is sending messages back and forth across the country. Normally they pass routine traffic and birthday greetings to practice their skills. Right now they're very busy getting messages in and out of the areas affected by Katrina. If you can't get a call out to your family a ham could send a message through this system and let your loved ones know that you're safe.

September is National Preparedness Month. I urge you all to take some time to learn and implement a few simple steps to help you survive a disaster. It can happen to any of us without warning.

P.S.: Damn you [livejournal.com profile] kerrizor and your podcasts!

Tornassuk!

Aug. 25th, 2005 09:43 am

Following the tradition of naming my system after bears I've named my new PowerBook Tornassuk. According to the Polar Bears International fact page folks in eastern Greenland call polar bears Tornassuk.

I recived two calls this morning about jobs. Both are for 6 months or so. The problem is that one is in Bellvue Washington and the other one is on the east coast. They both sound interesting and it looks like I'll make some nice bank if I take the east coast gig. I just don't know if I want to be away from [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen and my friends that long. At least I'll be able to come home each weekend if I take the Bellvue job. I put in my resume for both of them. Let's see what happens.

PS: Damn LJ and their default of auto formatting!

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