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skimbit Work

Who needs sleep?

A little while ago, we were talking in the office about an app called “Sleep Cycle” for the iPhone. The way it works is that you put it beside (not under) your pillow, and then it uses the accelerometers and such in the device to keep track of your tossing and turning overnight, giving you a handy graph of how well you sleep. This is what the graph looked like the first night I tried it:

Sleep monitor

It’s pretty typical of the results for then. This is what it looked like for last Monday night, one week later:

Untitled

Proving that, if nothing else, unemployment is good for my rest.

Yup, me and Skimlinks have parted ways, and I wish them all the best for the future, but it does mean that after a short break for rest (see above), relaxation (see previous post) and the betterment of my soul (er, still working on that bit) I shall be diving back into the sea of sharks that is the employment market.

Not looking forward to that, to be honest. Interviews suck no matter which side of the desk you’re sitting on. Anyone know of any interesting startups/companies in London needing geeks?

4 replies on “Who needs sleep?”

Why the obsession with startups? They tend not be the best for employment longevity, as you must’ve noticed. Is it for the slightly better odds than winning a Lotto jackpot it’ll be a huge success and the early joiners will become rich and famous? 🙂

Anyway, while I can’t give you any recommendations of London startups, I wish you the best of luck.

I like working for startups. Mostly, I like working for small companies with where everybody knows what’s going on, where there aren’t the levels of paperwork between what needs to be done and what is going to be done now, where the atmosphere is social, relaxed and still somewhat frantic. Plus, I’m a generalist, and I enjoy doing too many new things. Startups tend to require people to fulfil needs outside their hired role, and that appeals to me too.

I’m not opposed to working outside the startup scene, but that’s where the company I tend to like working for tend to be 🙂

Originally, I joined startups because of the tales of “First in get options” and “get in on the ground floor of a growing company”. (Actually, I originally went for startups because the only way out of the “you need experience to get experience” loop was to find a company with a low enough budget to hire me). Both of these aren’t really good reasons, as it turns out. Most options are useless, shares only slightly less so, and startups – along with every other tech company I’ve worked with – hire rather than promote. But the companies are more fun to work for, in my experience, and that makes the difference.

I think the aspects you like are more a factor of company size than age, although I guess small companies tend to change size by growing, being absorbed, or failing. Maintaining a more or less static size seems to be almost impossible, it seems. (Well, unless you consider static departments in larger companies, in which case there’s often a case that they’re not allowed to change size, since that would upsed interdepartmental pecking orders.)

However, the larger, established companies tend to have more management experience at hand, and will be more likely to nurture developers into technical team leaders, project managers, line managers or what have you. Small companies can’t afford to spend the time/money/risk needed, so will hire managers instead.

All in IMEandO, of course. But if you find a company (regardless of company size, really, but dependent on team size) talking about Agile methodologies – without being XP religious – there seems to be a decent chance you’ll find both an informal, multiskilled and energetic environment, and a willingness to nurture internally.

Those graphs look awesome. With my apnea, I’ve always wished I could get a graph of how well I actually do sleep during the night.. I don’t need an alarm, being unemployed, but seeing how much the apnea affects my sleep would be wonderful.

Pity I don’t have an iPhone.

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