Wednesday 19 September 2007

Business Principles: SBS, The Job Interview, and a Raised Eyebrow or Two

Whenever we have guests for the first time at home, there is always the obligatory tour around the house.

Nothing gets more raised eyebrows than the following:

SBS and Web on the feezer

On the left is our W2K3 Web Edition box that publishes HTML and PHP/MySQL sites, as well as DNS to the Web. On the right is our SBS 2K3 R2 Premium box serving our home network with ISA providing filtering for the Web facing services.

It isn't hard to see what is going through the observer's minds by the expressions on their faces: Everything from knowing grins, mischevious grins, or deer in the headlights. They all get a bit of an explanation depending on their technical abilities.

And, it brings up something that we think is very relevant in any person we may consider to help us out either under contract or via being employed in our company: Motivation and Experience.

We are very limited on the way an interview can proceed on the first visit in Canada. But, we can ask experience related questions:
  • How many computers/servers do you have at home?
  • How many virtual machines do you run and what are they?
  • VMWare or MS VS and why?
  • Dual Boot and what OSs?
  • How many years in the industry?
  • What is your operating system of choice and why?
  • What is the approximate mean throughput of a Gigabit connection (trick question too: duplexed or not!)?
  • Name 5 wizards in SBS.
  • What are the benefits of ISA on SBS?
  • LAMP?
  • *BSD?
  • Tiger?
  • Looking forward to Leopard?
  • Fusion or Parallels?
With these questions and more, we can better understand the candidate's motivation for being there. We tend to lean towards those who are passionate and motivated by that passion to delve deeper into the areas they love. There seems to be a direct correlation between the number of machines at home and the person's passion for what they are doing! ;)

And why not? It is the reason we are doing what we are doing! If it wasn't, then when things begin to seemingly fall apart, nothing seems to work, clients are upset because something isn't working as it should, a vendor just bailed on us, there seems to be nothing in the future for us, etc, etc, then that would be the distinguishing point between those who are motivated to get beyond "The Dip" and those who would walk away.

Karl Palachuk has a good blog post on the subject of "The Dip": Mike Writes about Right-Sizing.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


A Critical System said...

Certainly a cute place to have servers however in the long run however, the vibration from the freezer humming and certainly the open and closing of the door is not ideal for the pretty little hard drives. There is a tolerance for vibration but why push it?

Good Blog.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

Talk about a "holy smokes" moment.

The thought behind them being up there is primarily height safety - kids'n'buttons + water.

The thought of vibration never even occured to me.

Off to my favourite home renovations place to pickup some shelving brackets and a some wood for 200lb shelf!

Thank you very much for that! 8*)