Today in job requirements FAIL

I got a call from a recruiter asking if I had experience with “ETL”. I’d never heard of it, so I truthfully said no, I had no idea what it was, and she went away.

After the call, I looked it up. Evidently it stands for “Extract, Transfer and Load”. Isn’t that what 90% of computer programs do? Isn’t that what the programs I’ve written and maintained for the last god-knows-how-long to extract aviation data from various sources in various formats, transfer it into my own format (combining data from several different places into one semi-coherent whole, throwing away the data that doesn’t interest me), and load it into my database for future use does? Or when I took data from Island and RediQuote and massaged it so that it looked like what SunGard’s trading system was expecting so that SunGard UMA users could trade stocks on them? Or when I converted data from the SMPTE ShowPlayList schema and stored it into our database so we could schedule movies and disassemble and re-assemble our own concept of what a show schedule was?

So yeah, I think I understand the concepts behind “ETL”. But because I was honest to a recruiter, I’ll probably never get a job doing it when it’s called that. The problem with the whole job market is that it’s full of cases like that, where recruiters and HR departments have a checklist and are just looking for people with the right keywords on their resume. That’s why I hope that and catch on with Rochester companies, or companies who understand that off-site doesn’t necessarily mean the sort of idiots you see on Rentacoder who think they can solve the Halting Problem for $500.

More technique video

This time I was the camera man filming Dan and Stephen. I kept the camera at the front of my cockpit, which enabled me to reposition it as needed, but it also meant that my paddle and arm sometimes occlude the image. It’s a trade-off.

There was a fourth person along for the paddle whom you may glimpse once in a while, but he may or may not have been playing hooky from work so we won’t mention him.

[youtube KQMskReo2Yo]

Back in the Thunderbolt

Yesterday I went with Dan and Stephen to Baycreek so that Stephen could try out the new Epic V12 that just came in. It’s one of the specially decorated ones that was provided to the Dutch team in the US versus Holland challenge in last weekend’s Mayors Cup kayak race. Baycreek also got the one that Greg Barton himself paddled for the US team, but that one is already spoken for. I noticed with some amusement that Greg, who is one of the two designers for Epic Kayaks, gave himself a weed guard on his rudder but didn’t give one to the Dutch rival.

Because we were on the bay instead of on a canal or river, I wasn’t so concerned about picking up leaves so I was able to get back into my wonderful Thunderbolt. I also brought the video camera and put it on Dan’s boat. In the following video, I shot a couple of minutes of Dan from the front, and a bunch more where we turned the camera sideways to shoot myself and Stephen. I have to say, I’m really pleased with how good my technique looks. Everybody on the team has been telling me my technique is good, but it’s really cool to see it from another perspective.

[youtube r-R59nOJKSI]

Oh, that’s worrisome

My colo server crashed last night. Nothing in the logs, no indication of why, it just hung up. A power cycle fixed it, but that’s the first time it’s crashed in so long I can’t remember how long it’s been. The last note about downtime I can find on my blog, from March 2007, wasn’t the fault of my box, it was a general problem with the hosting facility.

I hope the hardware isn’t crapping out after years of faithful service.

It’s not about the boat!

I was at the Huggers Ski Club “PaddlePower” end of season party, and a couple of us were discussing a person in the club who has absolutely *horrible* technique, and yet because she’s so awesomely fit, she manages to be the fastest woman paddler in the group at the Wednesday night time trials. I told the people I was talking to that this other person is way fitter than me, but she’s six minutes or more slower than me because she just horses herself along using her arms with no body rotation or core muscle involvement at all, and if she learned some technique she’d be scary fast. The people I was with scoffed and said it was all because I’m in a much faster boat. I couldn’t seem to make them understand that it was only the fact that I’ve spend literally tens if not hundreds of hours working on my technique with a coach or a video camera or just doing technique drills alone that I’m even able to keep a boat like that upright, never mind make it move efficiently through the water. And lets not forget that between the last time trail last season and the first time trial this season, I managed to improve my time by nearly three minutes, without changing boats.

I think next time trial season, I’m going to challenge them – the first one of them that manages to get into my Thunderbolt and paddle it around the time trail course without dumping gets $5, but if they dump they owe me $5. If they manage to better my best time in the Looksha, I’ll give them $25. I think I could get rich on that bet if anybody would take me up on it.