For the last six months I’ve been wondering what I will be doing with myself after I’ve completed my PhD. I have applied to about a dozen graduate positions over this time, and have only heard back from a handful of companies. I don’t know if the companies that I haven’t heard from are taking their time
I find it strange and sometimes rude that some companies these days don’t bother to let you know that they will no longer be considering your application for a job. Especially after it takes so much time and effort in answering all their questions in the application forms. They should at least have the professional courtesy to inform you that you will no longer be considered, especially since they can easily bulk mail a few thousand applicants using a mail form. The problem with being kept in the dark is that you have no idea whether they are still processing your application or have trashed it altogether. I’m sure others like me will not consider working at these companies in the future.
The companies that I have been thoroughly impressed with so far are: Google, IBM, ThoughtWorks, and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
The RBA is the odd one out, but they have a very large IT department, and have some serious IT infrastructure for moving money around. They do all of their IT work in-house, so nothing is out-sourced. It seems to have worked well for them. Now I’ve heard a lot of companies try to pitch their work-life balance to me, but this has got to take the cake. The best thing about the RBA is that being a government agency you only have to work 7 hours and 22 minutes for each working day of the week. You also get rostered days off, which is one extra day off work per month on top of your 4 weeks of annual leave. Any extra hours that you work can be claimed as overtime. This has got to be the best work-life balance in any IT role out there.
Google is Google. Every software engineer wants to work there, and why wouldn’t they? They have a lot of perks, such as free food and drink, video games, pool tables, etc. Sounds more like Club Med than an office. I think they are smart in providing these fringe benefits, as it confines you to the office so you work longer hours. However, I also want to sharpen my business acumen, and I don’t think Google has the capacity to do this.
ThoughtWorks is an IT consultancy that develop custom software solutions. They have a graduate program where they send you to India for 6 weeks of training at their “ThoughtWorks University”. I am familiar with a lot of the open source software that they work on, such as Selenium and CruiseControl. I am also attracted to their agile methodology, and their use of Ruby on Rails. However, I have my doubts that they actually use rails in Australia. It seems to be mostly .NET and Java development in Australia. I guess most of their billable jobs are in the finance industry, and Java seems to be the language of choice amongst the big banks.
I have also been very impressed with what IBM has to offer. They are a global corporation with close to 350,000 employees worldwide. There is a lot of room to grow and progress within the organisation. Not to mention the flexibility of changing roles along the way. I also like the amount of investment that they put towards developing their employees to become “future leaders”. The job that I am going for is within their Software Group. I have heard a lot of good things about this branch of their business from friends of mine that work at IBM. Even those that left IBM also have good things to say about them. I have also been very impressed with their recruiters, as they continue to keep me updated on the recruitment process on a weekly basis. I guess the only downside is that I will have to use a Lenovo Thinkpad with Windows. I wonder if the Thinkpad can be reformatted with Ubuntu Linux?