Saturday, July 12, 2014

July Goals

Finished probabilities and most of stats on Khan Academy last month. The working out and sleeping in progress (i.e. failed!).

Half way through July already. It's been a pretty good month at work, made some hires, might be working on new roles in the coming weeks. Tomorrow, I'm gonna be 6 months into my contract at FB, so halfway through my 1 year, kinda nervous on what the future holds in this department. Guessing most people don't realize this outside of the recruitment industry, but it's mostly just contracts and agencies. Not a very stable career, but few are these days.

I said before that my brain needs to feel like it's going to explode every once in a while, it's how I know learning is taking place, that my brain is pushed to its edges. Feeling a bit burnt doing this every month though so I'm gonna do something more creative.

Always wanted to try stand up comedy. So July goal is gonna be coming up with a 5-15 min bit that I can do at a club. Should be fun until dry mouth hits from stage fright haha....hehe...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Returning My Surface Pro 3


Overall experience with the Surface Pro 3 has been mediocre. I was leaning towards keeping it since it was lightweight, full Windows OS, could handle a VM with 8gb, touch screen, and could learn to draw on it with the stylus included. BUT, the battery either completely died or something is wrong with the software detecting it so back to the store it goes (Please don't make me pay restocking fees!!).

Below is my experience with the Surface Pro 3.

NOTE: I orginally had that the below was a review of the product, but as chton on Hacker News pointed out it really was just listing the flaws. The Surface 2 in 1 tablet/pc is something I've really wanted for a while now, but I think the execution on the software side fell short. While the battery should be replaceable under warranty I just don't have the confidence to keep the device, especially at a total price tag of $1,400+ (keyboard price included). 

The Machine

Date Bought: June 22, 2014
Model: 256GB i5
Retail Cost: $1,299 + tax (in California so there's plenty of that)

The Surface Pro 3 had a quality build, it felt like a premium product.

  • Web Browsing
  • Trying Drawing Apps
  • Watching/Streaming Videos
  • Playing Asphalt 8 (Sad I know. I easily get addicted to games and play for a few hours a day until deleting it.)
The most intensive things here would probably be streaming videos and video gaming. 

  • Battery
  • Keyboard
  • Wifi
  • Pen Sensitivity
  • UI (User Interface) / Software

Here's the video of me demonstrating the battery issue:

NOTE: This was the first time I saw it in recovery mode. This was my 2nd try on demonstrating the battery issue and was probably the cause of the recovery mode screen.

The Surface had a problem recognizing battery after its first week. Wasn't really much of problem as it would display the percentage of charge after restarting. Today, the thing completely died. It won't work without being plugged in anymore.


So this thing costs $129... I read that it was a mechanical keyboard so I got a bit excited since I heard those were fantastic for typing. Wrong, other than the nice felt backing the keyboard felt really cheap. Bad experience with this keyboard.

Its really thin so there's not much key travel and the track pad was not responsive for the most part (I heard it was actually quite an improvement over older models). The mouse would skip and on certain apps it would stop registering the clicks and I had to resort to using the touch screen to close windows and tap search bars so at least I could type with the keyboard.

Once something on the keyboard forced the Narration Help setting on. Something must've jammed with the 'L" key as it went alway when I hit it. This is a crazy situation where it kept rejecting my sign in password since some keys weren't registering.


Issues with the wifi is well documented on Microsoft's own forum:

After starting up after a night it would have limited wifi access until it restarted.

Pen Sensitivity 

The pen is a cool feature / add on for the product. It was a pretty big bonus for me as I always wanted to get a Cintiq or something similar.

Out of the box, sensitivity for the pen was pretty bad for most apps. I had to press extremely hard to get the bold lines. Actually writing with it was too light (super light gray). Things got a lot better after downloading the Wintab drivers. After the download it felt pretty good and the pressure was similar to actually writing with a pen.

UI (User Interface) / Software

First, you probably have to change browsers if you're using Chrome. Windows 8 Chrome is pretty bad and DPI apparently isn't good in Chrome so at the screen ratio and resolution of the Surface will make it extremely obvious. The main problem is text on web pages. Very distorted especially when comparing to other browsers. Would recommended switching to FireFox or IE (yea...I just recommended IE, gives myself chills).

The UI is confusing. Activating menus by sliding from the top of the screen, initiating triple split screens, figuring out what Metro apps are running by sliding from the left side of the screen and hovering back to the left (other wise it switches from current app)..., apps that similary followed this design, and apps that when resized you lose options!! Yea you can't get certain options on apps without it being full sized, there was no way I could tell how to get them back, these are things like creating new pages, choosing paint color, or drawing mediums. The insanity of it all!!!

I had no clue where the files were being saved to either for most of the apps. Things like the voice recording (it came with 2 or 3 voice recording apps and one of them asked where to save it, thank goodness) and drawings I couldn't find on the desktop when searching so I guess they're just within the apps themselves?

I did end up getting used to Metro (Modern UI?). Read an article that said it was designed this way because most people pinned apps to the task bar and MS decided to redo it this way instead of the regular desktop. Overall, still used the regular desktop more, but Metro isn't as bad as I thought it once was.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June Goals and Birthdays

Had my birthday last month, 25 now... The number of changes in the past year has been crazy. I finally made it out of the north east to sunny California. The future looks pretty bright *knocks on wood*.

May Goals: I made it through some math portions on Khan Academy and started on probabilities. The lessons takes a lot longer to get through now, probabilities, they're tricky haha.

June Goals: Given my current rate of self learning, I expect to finish probabilities and statistics portion by end of this month. I'm also working out again. Fitness goal is to work out 3 times a week and get at least 8 hrs of sleep (I have a feeling the sleep goal is gonna be harder to hit).

Friday, May 16, 2014

What is RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing)?

Sharing a write up I did previously. Many people know about in-house recruiters that are directly employed by a company. This post will cover a lesser-known recruitment type, RPO.
RPOs have similar functions to a standard recruitment agency, but there are major differences between the two.
Major differences between an RPO and a standard recruitment agency:
  • Representing the Account
  • Responsibilities and Access to ATS (Applicant Tracking System)  
  • Payment Structure

Representing the Account

An RPO is similar to a recruitment agency, but the employees there have the privilege of representing themselves as the account they work on to candidates. Example provided below.

Recruiter working for a regular recruitment agency hiring for a position at

“Hi. My name is David from XYZ agency and I have a position that you may be interested in.”

Recruiter working at an RPO on the account:

“Hi. My name is David. I'm working with Amazon's (or any other big name) recruitment team and I have a position that you may be interested in.”

The difference is small between the introductions, but it makes a large difference to the candidate especially if it is from a well known company. In the recruitment business it can mean either the start of a conversation, or being promptly cut off with a dial tone.

Responsibilities and Access to ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

RPOs work to promote their account. This ranges from creating news letters, candidate pipelines, and job postings. In addition to this we have full access to the client's ATS. An ATS is the system that resumes and contact information funnel into once candidates have applied to a position. Having access to a client's ATS is one of the reasons why RPOs can disclose specific job postings and companies versus agency recruiters who do not disclose this information.

Payment Structure

Agencies and RPOs both receive payment on positions they fill. A major fear of an agency recruiter is a candidate finding the company's job posting and applying directly. In this way the agency does not get paid unless they presented the candidate's information to the hiring manager before the candidate applied themselves. RPOs on the other hand freely disclose how to apply directly, in fact applying directly is a part of the process of getting hired.

RPOs charge a flat rate for the position that is being filled, it doesn't matter if the candidate found the position by themselves, an internal employee referred them, or even if the hiring manager referred the candidate (yes, this one is quite the easy hire). The amount charged per position depends on the seniority of the position, but it is usually several times less than the 20%-30% of a first year salary that recruitment agencies usually charge.

I hope this broad explanation of an RPO and how they are different from recruitment agencies has helped those that are interested in the subject.

Monday, April 28, 2014

May Goals: Math!

Not even on the 2nd part of the Andrew Ng's Machine Learing course do I feel my lack of math expertise hindering my understanding =(.


I really slacked off during my middle school / high school days. Prime example of a procrastinator. Failed AP Calc, passed Calc and Stats in college, and never took another math class again. I really did enjoy stats, much more practical in day to day life.

There are gaping holes in my math abilities. I usually did well enough to pass, but that's horrible since this left me with a swiss cheese foundation. Probably didn't retain 90%+ of what I "learned" in school. I think the biggest problem is that there was no connection to how applicable this is to the "real world", most likely why I liked stats, I saw that it was useful in determining bias with data that we're constantly bombarded with.

May Goal 

Utilizing Khan Academy I plan to get through Algebra II, maybe even Probability and Statistics, by the end of May. Courses I'm going to skip include Geometry and Trig since I consider them vastly difference than what I think is relavent for Machine Learning, unless I'm going to concentrate on Computer Vision. I have to consider whether or not to do Calculus, this will largely depend on what the Prob/Stats course will cover.

Did I mention that I love MOOCs? Well I do! <3.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Google's Making Sense Of Data = Fusion Table Tutorial?

Finished all 3 units of Google's Making Sense of Data course today. It took about a week to finish without doing the final projects.

What I was expecting: Introduction to data science and learning statistical methods.

What I got: Introduction on how to read graphs, empirical research, and Fusion Table.

This was a super basic course. I wouldn't recommend to anyone that has taken basic stats already. This course really acts as a tutorial for Fusion Tables, a Google product that's an extension of their Spreadsheet. Fusion Table feels clunky, but the I love how easy it was to visualize the data, I mean, we even get heat maps. =D

I like how they UI of the course probably better than the Edx course, but the layout is practically identical.

Gonna see if Andrew Ng's ML class has a stats prereq so I can start diving in and create that Singularity.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

April Goals Completed (...Somewhat lol) / Testing Careers


One the big things I wanted to pick up from the MITx course was how to determine O notation (time complexity). The course did a fairly good job of explaining it and I passed most of the quizzes on it, though my n log n understanding still needs work.

The last weeks of the course covered decision trees. I'm going to agree with commenters that this section feels rushed and was quite confusing for me to understand what it is suppose to do to writing code for it.

I did skip a few things like classes and object oriented programming since I did most of it during the bootcamp I attended.

Overall: This is a solid overview of python and how to develop time efficient algorithms. I think this covers a lot more detail than just the Codeacademy course on Python.

Testing Careers

I think going through the bootcamp was a great way to figure out if I wanted to do software development as a career, to a lesser extent I think this course helps with that decision as well. For me, these types of courses helps connect the dots that traditional school wasn't able to do. I learned skills from the courses, then was made to complete assignments that can be applied to real world situations right away.

The next courses I'm looking to take are in Machine Learning and Data Science. Since most investments/decisions are data driven these days, having knowledge of stats is super important. I enjoyed statistics when in school because it seemed so practical, especially in reading studies that we're bombarded with everyday and knowing what the conclusions actually mean and questioning methods that a study uses.

The bright side for me is, a lot of Machine Learning and Data Science in companies require programming skills as well. To develop the tools to analyze information, storing and pulling data from databases, and parsing documents.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

April Goals And The Past Few Months

Let's get started with all that has happened since the end of the bootcamp. 
  • Coding Dojo
  • Facebook
  • Self-learning (April Goals)
Coding Dojo

After the bootcamp I got a part-time offer from the school to be a Student Advisor. Created some recruiting courses/videos and also meeting with individual students on how to write resumes, interpret interview processes, and how to handle salary negotiations.


Remeber this post?

At the end, about wooing Google and Facebook. Funny thing, got in process for both of these companies for Sourcer roles. Facebook was super fast in getting the interview set up and got the offer same day =). As a Sourcer/Recruiter seeing how fast a company moves in the candidate stage is really important because it will be something I will be a part of. Didn't get to the on-site interviews with Google before accepting the offer from FB, maybe in the future. 

I'm currently on a 1 year contract with Facebook, started this January. It has been an amazing here. Everyone is super communicative and helpful. The level of access to hiring teams is incredibile, I can literally walk to up to their desks. I've already had meetings with managers, directors, and heads of departments. Just a great experience. 

April Goals: Self-learning 

Haven't done goals in quite a while. Self-learning has definitely been slacking. So for April goals I'm looking to complete Mitx Intro to Computer Science and Programming to build more of a foundation in creating algorithms. It's an 8 week course, but I think I should be able to do it in half the time if I really dedicate myself.