Business of Software #5

Hiring biases and dogs.

5 years ago on this day, my wife and I landed in the Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport in Montréal, carrying literally everything we owned in four 70lb bags.

It was detachment exercise. From stuff, sure, but also from people. This is by far the hardest. I thought I’d keep in touch with friends and family, but once life found its new rhythm, I fell behind on my old relationships.

Living in a different country is an experience I think everyone should try, even if temporarily. It's terrifying and liberating at the same time. If something went wrong, I'd have to start again from scratch, and for nothing. But the feeling of starting a life over, unencumbered, is sublime.

That being said, I love Canada, and I don't plan to move again anytime soon.

Note: this obviously comes from a place of enormous privilege. At the time I was already an engineer, working remotely. Unlike most immigrants, I landed in Canada earning a salary in the top 10% of the country. I cannot imagine the kind of hardship that leads a person to a crowded-raft-across-the-sea type of immigration.


👩‍💻 Article of the week

How do we hire engineers more quickly? →

As any company goes through an accelerated growth phase, this question certainly pops into their engineering managers' minds. In this article, I'll attempt to answer that question based on my learnings and experience. Spoiler: the answer is to put shock absorbers around our biases during hiring.

Agree, disagree? Hit reply and tell me you experience!


🐶 Link of the week

There’s a New Weapon Against COVID-19. And It’s Dogs - by Fast Company

Researchers at the University of Helsinki managed to train dogs to sniff COVID-19 from the sweat of our skin and have started a passenger screening trial at the Helsinki Airport.

While we don’t always know exactly what they are detecting to ferret out specific illnesses, the clues are likely tied to a dog’s ability to smell volatile organic compounds—the metabolic junk our bodies produce all the time, which can vary with illness.

Not that we needed another reason to love dogs 🥰


This week’s newsletter has been shorter than usual, a reflection of the hectic week I had. Anyway, I hope you were at least a bit entertained. Please use the Share button below liberally 😜

Cheers to the weekend ahead 🍻