Click here to close now.


Apache Authors: Jim Scott, Craig Lowell, Liz McMillan, AppDynamics Blog, Dana Gardner

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Industrial IoT, Mobile IoT, API Journal, Release Management , Apache

Agile Computing: Blog Post

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Being Wrong

The last in a series on the pitfalls of interviewing

There are times in life when you have to put your hands up to being in the minority, especially when you're in the business of putting your opinions out there in the market for all to see. As a lifelong holder of minority opinions, this is not new to me.

So effusive was the disagreement with my first blog in this series, that arrived from all corners of our growing community here, that I feel compelled to present the opposite view. I will wipe the spit and fumes from my face and in all probability convince myself that I was actually wrong in the first place. The source of our disagreement all comes down to this question:

How long should you take making decisions about people?

Last time round, I advocated taking an approach to interviewing that actively sought to avoid a hasty judgment. Bide your time I said. Make sure your first impression doesn't reinforce itself in an unhelpful way, asking easy questions of the person you like, or tough questions of the person you're not so sure about, I said. Give them the whole time you've allotted to present an overall impression, I said.

Balls. You said.

Almost all the feedback I received, including one rather irate phone call, told me I was talking out of my hat. (And they didn't say hat either.)

Prevailing wisdom it seems tends massively toward the opposite view, which in the spirit of seasonal democracy, I present to you now. Had this been one of my original blogs on interviewing mistakes I should probably have called it: ‘Trust your primary response, you will make the same decision eventually anyway.'

Some of my many dissenters on the subject refer to rapid cognition, often in reference to Malcolm Gladwell's hugely successful book ‘Blink', which explores what happens in our brains in the first two seconds that we encounter a given situation - a job interview being a perfectly good example.

Most of the feedback was less scientific, it just argued the case for calling it early and not wasting time over analyzing something if you know you're going to do it anyway. The point that stuck in my mind was the Managing Director of a well known oil field services company who told me that while you can change decisions, or walk back mistakes, you can never have back the time it took you to make the decision in the first place. His point was simply that mistakes are so common place in all areas of life, human interaction being based almost exclusively on the actual experience that comes after the fact, that you are as well to make a very quick decision and then be prepared to be equally quick to reverse or adapt it if it turns out to be the wrong one.

To use the example he used, you can navel-gaze over what vacation destination is right for you, you can research it all day long, but you simply aren't going to know if it's right for you until you get there. Rather than endlessly debating whether or not you're making the right decision, you'd be better served ensuring you're in a position to act quickly if you find you've made the wrong decision and correct it. Over time, he argued, you'll find that you enjoyed 95% of your vacations and not 5%, and that the time you spent second guessing your original thought ‘I feel like skiing, let's go to Colorado', was entirely wasted. If Colorado turns out to be too ‘this' or too ‘that', it was always going to be anyway. Have an escape plan to the place you've always liked in Napa Valley, and don't ever go back.

A surprising number of people wanted to talk about intuition. This honestly alarms me; sufficed to say that I believe that what people describe as their ability to intrinsically know things with no basis is simply a combination of subconscious sound judgment based on experience, combined with mathematical probabilities and our wonderful human ability to ignore all the facts that don't suit our narrative. I always trust my intuition. I've always been able to know what's right for me. Really? You've been divorced twice, so you might want to put your skills to better use.

Overall, I might even be convinced. There is so much to be said for being decisive, but accepting fallibility. We have a huge amount of experience that we can call upon, whether we realize it or not. Our brains do this for us at speeds we cannot comprehend.
I have heard it suggested that the phenomenon of our lives flashing before our lives as we drown is nothing more than our brains scanning for anything useful it can find from previous experience that might help it escape the danger it is in.

Ultimately, the world is faster than the mind and we will see ourselves pushed and pulled by the decisions we make no matter how smart we are and how convinced we are that we are right. Perhaps it's time to realize that we may need to jump quickly, and then be ready to jump again.

So in the spirit of quick resolutions, here's the final Top 5 mistakes made in the interview process from all sides - you can believe me or not, argue or not (I hope you do) and offer, as always - any other ideas:


1. The first impression trap

2. Getting the talking / listening balance wrong

3. Not trusting your first response

4. Allowing decisions to slide

5. Accepting uninformed outside advice

Next week, a new topic, new arguments to start and yet more opportunities for you to tell me how wrong I am.


Helpful information:
Help me find a job
About mechanical engineering
About civil engineering
manufacturing job descriptions

More Stories By Richard Spragg

Richard Spragg is currently the Senior VP of Marketing for Talascend. Talascend is a provider of human resources in the engineering, construction, technology and manufacturing industries. Today, Talascend brings its clients the opportunity to fully staff projects from a single source, creating an opening for substantial cost savings and increased efficiency. Richard has 14 years of experience in marketing, engineering and construction, HR & staffing in both the UK and USA. Richard's specialties include marketing, recruitment operations, public realtions and business development. He writes on various subjects including global engineering jobs, staffing and marketing in the technical sector.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Scott Guthrie's keynote presentation "Journey to the intelligent cloud" is a must view video. This is from AzureCon 2015, September 29, 2015 I have reproduced some screen shots in case you are unable to view this long video for one reason or another. One of the highlights is 3 datacenters coming on line in India.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief Architect at CTS, will explore the synergy of Big Data and IoT. First he will take a closer look at the Internet of Things and Big Data individually, in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. Then he will explore the relationship between IoT and Big Data. Specifically, he will drill down to how the 4Vs aspects intersect with IoT: Volume, Variety, Velocity and Value. In turn, Tony will analyze how the key components of IoT influence Big Data: Device, Connectivity, Context, and Intelligence. He will dive deep to the matrix...
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Building actually breathes - immediately flagging overheating in a closet or over cooling in unoccupied ho...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
The enterprise is being consumerized, and the consumer is being enterprised. Moore's Law does not matter anymore, the future belongs to business virtualization powered by invisible service architecture, powered by hyperscale and hyperconvergence, and facilitated by vertical streaming and horizontal scaling and consolidation. Both buyers and sellers want instant results, and from paperwork to paperless to mindless is the ultimate goal for any seamless transaction. The sweetest sweet spot in innovation is automation. The most painful pain point for any business is the mismatch between supplies a...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
“The Internet of Things transforms the way organizations leverage machine data and gain insights from it,” noted Splunk’s CTO Snehal Antani, as Splunk announced accelerated momentum in Industrial Data and the IoT. The trend is driven by Splunk’s continued investment in its products and partner ecosystem as well as the creativity of customers and the flexibility to deploy Splunk IoT solutions as software, cloud services or in a hybrid environment. Customers are using Splunk® solutions to collect and correlate data from control systems, sensors, mobile devices and IT systems for a variety of Ind...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
As enterprises capture more and more data of all types – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured – data discovery requirements for business intelligence (BI), Big Data, and predictive analytics initiatives grow more complex. A company’s ability to become data-driven and compete on analytics depends on the speed with which it can provision their analytics applications with all relevant information. The task of finding data has traditionally resided with IT, but now organizations increasingly turn towards data source discovery tools to find the right data, in context, for business users, d...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 150 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project manage...
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless Thingies, will discuss and demonstrate how devices and humans can be integrated from a simple clust...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...