avatar

Erik-Sparkfun

Member Since: August 3, 2009

Country: United States

Profile

Bio

Swedish Viking finding myself living in the United States and working at a very interesting place called SparkFun.

Role

IT Tester Robot Extraordinaire

Spoken Languages

Mainly English and Swedish.

Programming Languages

ALL OF THEM!1

Universities

University of Wyoming - Computer Science

Publications

If you find them, you’re good. And probably slightly creepy.

Eco-Gym

Can we somehow transform and take advantage of all that energy wasted inside gyms across the country?

Continue reading

  • While $1,100 to $1,200 a month for an electronics factory worker isn’t a ton of money for an American, that money does go a lot further in China, especially if you work for a business where a fully furnished apartment comes with the job.

    Compare that to an American worker at federal minimum wage ($7.25, currently), who has to work 150+ hours a month to reach that level, and that’s likely not with any better benefits than the Chinese factory worker.

  • I wouldn’t agree that you’re out of the running. Sure - it might for example be difficult to get straight into a Senior Electrical Engineer position if that’s something we’re hiring for, but every engineer’s path at SparkFun has been a different one. There are plenty of examples of employees who have started in shipping or manual assembly, to then move on to different departments and jobs depending on skill and interest. I do believe we’ve had a quite a few Engineers come through Tech Support, for example.

    As for SWIT, we all started off down different paths too. I think there’s only a couple of people (myself included) who actually have Computer Science degrees. I’m not trying to take anything away from having a relevant education - I’m just pointing out that there are many ways to become a skilled and productive employee in a given industry if you’ve got your sights set on it.

  • Giving feedback did take me a bit longer than I had anticipated. I wanted to make sure it was valuable to the candidates, but I also was very encouraged with the feedback I got in return from them all. While there was obviously some disappointment that they didn’t get the job, it was good to hear multiple people say they felt they got a fair shake regardless of whether they knew us personally or not.

    As a bit of a follow-up, we’re also planning on internally providing resources and training for those interested in learning more about the Software QA/Continuous Integration process starting later this fall. Exactly how it will look is something we have yet to figure out, but to those looking for a change of pace in their careers, we’re hoping to provide exactly that.

  • I didn’t read your post that way, I just wanted to clarify that I do believe we’re open to people of all backgrounds as long as they have the skills we’re looking for.

  • One last point: I hope that you don’t engage in any “age-ism” in your hiring.

    I have to admit that while this selection process would more or less eliminate most “isms,” we’re definitely at a disadvantage in that specific area with internal hires since SparkFun has a large number of younger employees. On top of that, since this was a junior level position, I don’t think there was much interest from the older segment of the company to apply.

    That being said, SWIT also probably has a fairly high median age compared to the rest of the company, though what that exact age is, I haven’t bothered actually finding out. But let’s just say that most of us fall in the range of 30-50 with a few outliers. I honestly do believe we’d happily work next to anybody regardless of where they fall on the age spectrum, though.

  • I agree with this. Looking up specific built-in functionality is easily done with Google once you are comfortable with the fundamentals of programming. No need to believe you’re locked into a specific family of languages because that’s where you started.

    Only time I can see this being trickier is if you’re starting with procedural/OOP and go to a functional programming language.

  • I remember losing my lunch to Nate because of a bug that was introduced last-minute. :(

  • Very good question.

    Here is a crummy link without a button.

  • As a foreigner of European descent and also former i18n engineer, I’d like to point out that when ASCII was popular on the web, it also included the “extended” part of the character set. This resulted in what is called ISO 8859. Without this, it would’ve been difficult for web browsers to display things like “Jag älskar smörgåstårta,” and “¿Dónde está el baño?”

  • Ha! I have zero influence when it comes to who wins this.

Solar Charger

Erik-Sparkfun 10 items

Are links working in here now? I need to find the project...