Interviews and Decisions

Today I was at PA Consulting in London (Victoria). This was my last interview of my job hunting process as I’ve already been offered a job at HP which I’ve accepted (not signed on the line yet tho). There were 4 of us there, including a guy I met at the HP interview (he’d been offered a job there too). We got on quite well as I knew him and he was nice n chatty. We weren’t actually in PA’s offices as their meeting room floor is being re-furbished, we were on the 27th floor of a building nearby (which had rather spectacular views). Anywho, the day was set out to have three tasks. An interview by a senior consultant, a case study and a group exercise. Firstly, I’ll say that these were the hardest three tasks I’ve had at any assessment day.

The case study was to plan an initial meeting with the CEO of a phone company who somehow had 30% of the marketplace with a very small number of phone handsets. That was hard because you had to prep it all on your own and there wasn’t a huge amount to prepare for, just hope you covered everything. The other candidates said they presented using the flip chart but I just sat with an agenda and talked to him. The case study said it’s a discussion and presenting just wasn’t necessary to be honest.

The interview was just a standard interview, they went over the CV and didn’t ask too many hard questions. That bit was almost relaxing actually.

The group discussion, it wasn’t the solution that was hard, but the fact that the plan we came up with was so tight to budget and time that there was no room for error, which, of course, lets the assessors ask the most awkward questions. I was actually completely stumped by one of their questions, (about the history of the company that we were representing) but the rest of the team pitched in and blagged an answer. Thankfully though, I was the one who took the lead and made good suggestions for the marketing, pointed out mistakes in one of their working and thankfully corrected it because otherwise we’d have made the wrong suggestion.

I’ll find out on Thursday if I have a job with them. Would I take them over HP? Yes. They’re a nice bunch of people and they’ll train me to the highest standard and they’ll pay very well. The route up the tree is good and the bonuses can be great. If I don’t get it, it doesn’t matter. But, in my personal opinion it’ll be me and the other HP guy who get it if we are gonna get it. If I do, I’ll be happy in the knowledge that I’m one of 8-10 people who are the best graduate consultants in the country. That’s a great honor, and the usual ego boost for me 😀

There is a problem though, wherever I go. I will no longer have the time to develop Steel Software and Uni-Sport. It’s a real shame that I can’t carry on with my passion, but it’s the truth and I can’t kid myself that I’ll be able to do it all. So, as far as I see it, I’ve got a few options:
1. Stop all-together, leave it as it is now, get no new clients. Fix bugs as necessary and release the source code to each club
2. Stop, but make the project open-source
3. Keep the code, add in facebook API profiles, fix any problems that have come up and extend fantasy hockey a little bit so it’s manageable.
4. Keep the code, re-write everything so it’s facebook-integrated and modern with rails then attempt to keep a little side-business open with the occasional sale
5. Same as above but sell the code to someone else

I don’t think that option 1 would work. The clubs wouldn’t understand how to work it, but, if I can’t commit to anything then I’d prefer that option over number 2. Open-source community could do some funky things to it and I’m not sure I’d like it.
Option 3 is the most likely, it’s not a major amount of work and I can still sell it around Sheffield uni.
Option 4 would be ideal but the amount of time that would take is basically my entire summer holiday, not to mention that I’ll be learning as I go along which will slow things down immensely. If I found a buyer for this stuff it’d be amazing but I wouldn’t know who to start with. Only facebook would be interested and that takes away the public front-end of sheffieldhockey which is not what the club wants.

I think I choose 3, with the option of doing 4 if I have nothing else on in the summer. Of course, if the hockey club ask for the code, I’ll give it to them. I’ll also need to create a lot more documentation.

So, with that decided I can relax for the rest of my train journey, yay.

Steve

Currently Listening to: Queens of the Stone Age – Lullabies to Paralyze
Currently Reading: Not much
Currently Eating: Less
Currently Watching: Re-runs
Difference in £ between HP and PA annual salary: £5,500

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Steve Workman

Steve Workman is the Head of Web Engineering at Yell. He is also an organiser for London Web Standards is an occasional public speaker, talking about web performance and web standards

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