News from back at work: Monday, I might be spending some of my day giving someone a job interview. I say maybe because while my boss has said he will want me there for it, I figure any of my boss's plans are contingent possibilities and not to be taken as literally as things which might happen.
But he's met up with a guy who knows a guy who just got a degree in some field connected with geographic information services, or GIS, which is one of the popular social media things lately --- foursquare and those gimmicks where you can see what people around where you are said about stuff --- and it has some relevance to what we do. Particularly, to what I've been doing. I've been learning on-the-job GIS stuff to get my project up to its current position, which is where we can start showing it to customers and they see what it is and why they should like it. I should mention, I don't feel threatened by the idea of hiring a guy to do some or even all of my current job; I'm happy to turn things over to people better-qualified, particularly as it'll make it easier to withdraw gracefully and move to Lansing if there's someone ready to take up my burdens.
Of course, I don't know how to interview someone, but from what I gather, nobody doing job interviews actually knows what they're supposed to do anyway. My brother advised me that the first thing I really have to find out are whether the guy will be comfortable in the amorphous and arbitrary organizational structure here, which is a darned good question. I get the feeling my boss doesn't see people as fully part of the team until they've yelled at him about something and stormed off, which may be good for making sure people feel they're taking initiative and will not be intimidated, but is not for every soul.
The second thing he advised is I should ask what GIS stuff he plays with, what kinds of geographic things he does for fun. The theory there is that anyone can get certified in a field, particularly one that's actually showing signs of being in demand; but you aren't going to get a skilled person unless you get someone who does it because he likes it. This is actually something I've encountered in academia: the idea that the person you want as, say, a chemist is the one who's committed the atomic weights of oxygen and sodium and such to memory. It's not that they're needed, but that someone who's done that did it because of loving to get wrapped up in the details of chemistry.
So, I guess I have to ask, ``have you ever made any silly foursquare widgets, and would you feel comfortable telling the boss here if he doesn't shut up you're going to punch him in the nose?'' This could make for very interesting responses.
Again, if it all happens. I have got stories about just the past week at work ...
Trivia: The transverse Mercator, also known as the Gauss conformal, mapping, was developed by Johann H Lambert. Source: Maps and Civilization: Cartography in Culture and Society, Norman J W Thrower.
Currently Reading: The Federalist Papers, Editors Charles R Kesler, Clinton Rossiter. Well, I'd just never got around to them before.