Author Topic: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work  (Read 6010 times)

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Online brucehoult

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Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« on: June 21, 2017, 12:02:37 pm »
If someone doesn't know, that's Mr Freetronics. https://www.freetronics.com.au

I'm surprised he isn't a member here. He made a public FaceBook post today, so I'm assuming he won't mind the link being shared:

https://www.facebook.com/jonoxer/posts/10155472646613293

I love his protoboards, LeoStick etc. I bet a lot of people here have bought his stuff in the past.

Edit: he is. But only four posts ever https://www.eevblog.com/forum/profile/?u=25097
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 12:16:37 pm by brucehoult »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2017, 12:12:48 pm »
Woah, Freetronics mustn't be cutting the mustard these days and he's likely made the decision to call it quits. Or at least turn it back into a side hobby business.

Impressive Resume, I give it not even 24 hours before someone offers him work.

Quote
I need a job.
Unfortunately I don't really have a specialty, or any particular qualifications. I can't say "I'm a [...…]” and have anything meaningful to put in the blank.
Want someone to build you a custom pick-and-place robot? I've done that.
Maybe someone to design circuit boards that will be used by hundreds of thousands of engineers, hobbyists, and students all over the world? I've done that too.
Or design a custom satellite payload that will be launched into space and run science experiments? Done that. Twice.
Reverse engineer communications protocols? Yep.
Build racks of servers with redundant networking, storage, and backup? Sure.
Architect online software used by millions of people? Been there.
Integrate with a vehicle management system to extract real time data and report / control it live via the Internet? Done that, and delivered the conference presentation.
Use myself as a test subject for surgically implanting a microchip for access control and authentication? Yup, you may have seen me on TV.
Link environmental sensors and online data sources to a home automation system so it will open windows for passive cooling, but only if the house is not in "secure" mode, it's not raining, the active cooling is turned off, the delta between internal and external air pressure indicates the curtains won't be disturbed, and the external temperature is lower than the internal temperature which in turn is higher than a desired setpoint? No problem, easy peasy.
Set up face detection to pause the TV if you walk out of the room? Did it back in 2009.
Gesture recognition and control of a drone? That was in 2011.
Linking a virtual reality system to sensors and actuators to allow the virtual world to reflect and control the physical world? 2007. Did the conference talk on multiple continents.
Need functional props or gadgets for a movie or TV show? I built props that were used by Beyond Productions in the reality TV show “The Phone”, starring Justin Melvey from Home and Away, Days Of Our Lives, General Hospital, and other shows.
Need someone to communicate technical issues? I've written 5 books, delivered 125 conference presentations around the world, and my YouTube channel has more than 3.2 million views.
So I don't really know what sort of job I can get. I could build custom telemetry, datalogging, and pit-team displays for race cars. Sensors for self-driving tractors. Biometric systems for measuring power and accuracy of a boxer. Collision avoidance for drones. Wall mounted business data displays. Server infrastructure or online gadgets for your biomedical IoT-thingamajig startup.
But the problem is I'm not qualified for any of those things. I never finished university. I write code, but I'm not a programmer. I design circuit boards, but I'm not a qualified engineer. I write books, but I'm not a writer. And I'm obviously not a salesperson, otherwise I wouldn't be broke and unemployed at 46!
I have a personal lab that's better equipped than many corporate R&D departments. All the usual tools, along with a laser cutter, CNC machine, 3D printers, pick-and-place machine, and a mini photography studio.
If you can dream up a new gadget or product, I can probably make you one in my lab. And then take it to mass production. Over the last decade I’ve successfully applied for about $5M in R&D tax rebates on behalf of tech companies.
Over the years I’ve had a few people say “you should come and work with me at $BIG_TECH_COMPANY” but 30 seconds looking at the hiring requirements immediately disqualifies me. I’d never even make it past the filters to the first interview.
Searching through job sites for matching skills just gives me entry level jobs that I'm not qualified for. They all have lists of prerequisites, and I can’t tick a single box.
So, does anyone out there want to hire someone who isn't qualified for anything?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 12:17:49 pm by EEVblog »
 
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Online brucehoult

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2017, 05:09:36 pm »
Shortest thread ever :)
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2017, 07:51:54 pm »
His message sounds more like a rant than a resume. With that attitude it is going to be hard to find any job!
He better lists the tools he uses (software and hardware) and some recent projects he worked on (what he did himself and which tools he used). There are lots of people suffering from Dunning-Kruger with similar lists of accomplishment and the people in charge of hiring know that.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline DimitriP

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2017, 08:59:18 pm »
Qualifications vs experience vs ability/talent/knowledge will be the eternal argument.

You just need to have some the above and  be at the  right place  (Gas station, bar, casino, hair salon, car auction, parts store, frozen foods section at the supermarket, gym, handgliding club,  etc etc) at the right time to meet the right person to hire you.

Yes, it sucks.
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 09:10:06 pm »
Ouch, I can feel his pain. I have a similar problem, even though I have a degree and my CV is way less impressive than his.

But I am also a generalist who is doing a little bit of this and that on various projects, not a narrowly specialized expert in some fad-of-the-day domain. Regular hiring processes and job ads are tailored to "one trick ponies" that can tick all the necessary boxes and do well at ridiculous coding tests or kids freshly out of college. Not to engineers with 20+ years of experience.

I am rarely replying to job ads these days (or agency recruiters that want me to call them without telling me why are they contacting me - those are a total waste of time). The best chance of getting hired is by going by personal recommendation and word of mouth. Someone will know someone else who could use experienced help.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2017, 09:25:51 pm »
Looks like a rant to me. No top 500 will be stupid enough to disqualify him for his lack of degree if he truly wants to work just like another ordinary engineer.
 

Online brucehoult

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 09:59:26 pm »
Ouch, I can feel his pain. I have a similar problem, even though I have a degree and my CV is way less impressive than his.

But I am also a generalist who is doing a little bit of this and that on various projects, not a narrowly specialized expert in some fad-of-the-day domain. Regular hiring processes and job ads are tailored to "one trick ponies" that can tick all the necessary boxes and do well at ridiculous coding tests or kids freshly out of college. Not to engineers with 20+ years of experience.

Fortunately, the place I'm working now doesn't hire the skills for any particular project, or particular skill set or tools. Some projects are ongoing, but many change every year. They expect you to be able to join *any* project and learn the tools, programming language, environment etc and make a contribution. Most people are 25 - 35, but I'm far from the only one 50+ and not the only 50+ they've hired in the last couple of years (if anything, the percentage is increasing). They also are prepared to put experienced "individual contributors" on the same salary grade as department managers.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2017, 11:42:23 pm »
Looks like a rant to me. No top 500 will be stupid enough to disqualify him for his lack of degree if he truly wants to work just like another ordinary engineer.

Without an internal contact, he will likely be filtered out by the HR drones. 

I'm OK with the rant-i-ness of it.  Companies all over whine and complain that they "can't find any one these days."  One need look no further than the ridiculously tailored job requirements of many positions.  This level of pickiness might have worked during the financial crisis with a huge unemployment pool, but now companies are actually going to have to suck it up and accept that the perfect candidate will not have every, single skill and qualification on the wish list.  It might have to go back to like it was two or three decades ago, where companies found a great person, got them off the street, groomed them into the job, and actually had a vested interest in the employee.   

I wish Jonathan the best.  :-+
 
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Online Electro Detective

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2017, 12:11:09 am »

He sounds like a 'can do' guy to me,  with the balls to tell his resume like it really is    :clap:

Any company clipboard hero with a clue should offer him some projects on the board, and if he's up for it, unleash him   :-+

It doesn't have to be a contract, just a good ongoing signed periodic mutual deal for the short term, and see what happens down the track 

I hope he scores a good gig somewhere  8)  with no twats running it

 

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2017, 12:23:26 am »
Joh was on The Amp Hour yesterday filling in for me, this will no doubt be discussed so keep an ear out.
 

Offline Muxr

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2017, 12:45:19 am »
I understand his frustration, but something kind of sticks out about that rant.

He's clearly worked on a lot of cool projects, and he's possibly a very knowledgeable person. But surely anyone who's worked on all those projects must have a pretty wide social network. Like how do you go broke after all those accomplishments? And how come no one in his social network is able to get him an interview? Did he ever take a real job, or were all his jobs startups (with an iffy pay but fun work)?

He could be the type of person who only works on cool projects (the next shiny thing), I know a few of those. And they don't make great co-workers. This means someone else on the team has to pick up the slack when something (boring) isn't getting done, and those unglamorous tasks are usually very important too.

As someone who's a bit of a jack of all trades myself, you still have to be able to specialize into things which pay your bills, whether you like it or not.
 
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Offline grouchobyte

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2017, 05:28:00 am »
I understand his frustration, but something kind of sticks out about that rant.

He's clearly worked on a lot of cool projects, and he's possibly a very knowledgeable person. But surely anyone who's worked on all those projects must have a pretty wide social network. Like how do you go broke after all those accomplishments? And how come no one in his social network is able to get him an interview? Did he ever take a real job, or were all his jobs startups (with an iffy pay but fun work)?

He could be the type of person who only works on cool projects (the next shiny thing), I know a few of those. And they don't make great co-workers. This means someone else on the team has to pick up the slack when something (boring) isn't getting done, and those unglamorous tasks are usually very important too.

As someone who's a bit of a jack of all trades myself, you still have to be able to specialize into things which pay your bills, whether you like it or not.

What you say is true and am inclined to agree. There are people like Johnathan who are absolutely brilliant and lots of fun to be around. In my years working for others I have encountered these lone wolves who, given a project, do an absolutely amazing job and usually impress the entire team with their ability to think on their feet and do virtually anything they put their mind too. Unfortunately, they often make piss poor team members. I wouldn't go as far as put Johnathan in that category since I don't know him from Adam. However, when someone spends years doing their own thing and then makes a slight vocational shift, it is becomes difficult to integrate into the corporate mire of engineering development and the politics that suffocate them.....vis a vis : a regular job. I've known some very bright and creative types self-ignite and run away screaming after jumping back into the engineering game after years of doing their own thing.

Consulting or contract work is a nice compromise and something I would recommend for a unique talent like Johnathan to consider. You get to be creative, yet remain independent enough both financially and otherwise, reserving the right to tell the client to stuff it where the sun doesn't shine if things become unbearable. Of course, there's always video blogging, but you need a personality for that......right Dave?

If Johnathan can handle the international date-line limitation, I might be able to muster some $$ project.  I have something you could start on real soon. PM me if interested, Johnathan.

@grouchobyte
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 05:39:12 am by grouchobyte »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2017, 07:58:54 am »
Consulting or contract work is a nice compromise and something I would recommend for a unique talent like Johnathan to consider. You get to be creative, yet remain independent enough both financially and otherwise, reserving the right to tell the client to stuff it where the sun doesn't shine if things become unbearable. Of course, there's always video blogging, but you need a personality for that......right Dave?

Don't ask me, I just make videos and for some reason enough people watch them to make it a full time living.
 

Offline EEVblog

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« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 08:03:41 am by EEVblog »
 
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2017, 02:31:30 pm »
Guess he needs a better tax accountant, getting a bill like that is hard to do otherwise. I guess the consultant work from exposure here will help a lot, bigger worldwide pool, and likely he can grab a lot of smallish ( not iphone like, but bigger than a 5 unit job) turnkey jobs, or even get some shared design work with some smaller companies that do not have the skill to do it themselves but which are just not amenable to an off the shelf solution.
 

Offline GameProgrammer79

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Re: Jonathan Oxer is looking for work
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2017, 09:41:26 am »
he is probably beating the bush  :-DD There is some truth to it though, companies are inclined towards hiring guys with formal degrees. That's again for entry level jobs.. once you are out of that, being there in real world, faced real world problems (no ideal resistors, inductors or capacitors), current knowledge, practical experience weighs more than your formal degrees. 

But again his post is quite informal, that's the nature of this guy, can't blame anyone. I am pretty sure, he won't find it difficult to get a good job if he makes a genuine effort, reaching out to his contact and viewers.

Being philosophical - help comes to someone who helps themselves. If one says after 46 years he never had a formal education :blah:, so he can't get a job - it will be very difficult for even companies to offer him a job. Rather he should project his accomplishments - knowledge, research papers, books, projects, links to git hub, youtube etc

Folks I am getting back in Electronics game after 18 odd years :)
 


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