2021. The year of redemption! The year in which I will do all the things that I wanted to but I couldn’t in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, those are the very same things that I have wanted to do for the past 3 pandemic-free decades. You know, back when the world was open and we had to actually work for excuses…

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

Is 2021 really going to be any better? The pandemic runs wild with the same inept politicians at the helm taking the most idiotic decisions. Spain is experiencing one of the worst snowfalls in decades. The US is on the brink of civil war. An Indonesian plane crashed in the sea. And North Korea just announced they’re expanding their nuclear arsenal. …


I did my fair share of interviewing in my time. So I should be good at it. Practice makes perfect, right? The more we do something, the better we get at it. Or at least, that’s the theory. In practice, I’m still finding it quite difficult to interview someone.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

The goal of any interview is to vet if the candidate can make a valuable contribution to the company or not and assess their level. That’s it!

No need for brain teasers, impossible situations, weird algorithms, or synthetic academic style problems. We need a teammate, not a techno-Rambo.

Leveling a candidate is a difficult topic, as there is no clear definition of a junior, mid, and senior engineer that’s consistently applied across the industry. They differ greatly from one company to another. I have seen “seniors” who couldn’t write a unit test. Or thought that one single 2000+ lines of spaghetti code file is the way to go. …


I enjoy reading quotes from famous thinkers from time to time. It’s like accessing concentrated wisdom, packed in a couple of phrases. Without any boring details. One either gets it or doesn’t. They’re like puzzles of the mind, just showing the focal point and allowing me to fill in the blanks and add my own interpretation.

Image for post
Image for post
Inspirational AF

This post is a collection of quotes I find interesting with my own interpretations added to them. However, I will not use the cliché approach of writing them in uppercase on an inspirational background of a sunrise, or someone doing yoga, or a waterfall. …


Talk to the engineers in your organization

I feel I did enough recruiter bashing in my two previous “letters to (tech) recruiters”: A letter to (tech) recruiters and A letter to (tech) recruiters 2.0 to try something else. Pointing out other people’s mistakes is easy. And fun. I must admit. I had my laughs writing it. Coming up with something constructive is, however, difficult.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Ken Suarez on Unsplash

But I decided to give it a go. Do a good deed. I scratched my car this weekend, so I could use some positive vibes. We can say I’m trying out the karma thing. I even bought a 10 euros lottery ticket. …


The COVID-19 pandemic took us by storm and fundamentally changed the way we interact: social distancing, face masks, sanitizing gels, and of course, remote working.

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

In the last 3 months, more companies went fully remote than in the last 10 years. Years of digitalization work have been done in weeks. Companies like Zoom saw their stock skyrocketing.

Remote working advocates have been quick to proclaim the death of the office and a perpetual WFH future. Personally, I don’t think that will be the case. I think we will flock back to our offices as soon as the situation allows it.

While the are pros and cons for each viewpoint, below are the top 5 reasons I don’t believe that remote working is not feasible in the long run. …


Spain is still in quarantine, but some of the restrictions have been lifted. More will follow next week. As the confinement is eased, the responsibility moves from the government to the citizen. That’s the official message. We need to be responsible for our actions in containing the pandemic. The streets full of thrown away surgical masks and plastic gloves tell a different story.

Image for post
Image for post

I want to go outside. For the first time in months, I can but I don’t want to. It’s raining. Barcelona is not a city built for rain. Even on a good day, if it rains, everything stops. Somehow it feels the entire city changes color and becomes gray. …


My initial letter to (tech) recruiters got a lot of positive feedback, more than I expected. It seems recruiters do have a sense of humor. Most of them, anyway. So I have decided to continue the saga.

Below are some other types of recruiter approaches I encountered over time.

Image for post
Image for post

The “Pinocchio”

What can make a Sunday evening more enjoyable than receiving a phone call from a recruiter eager to explain to me how amazing the work-life balance is in their company!?! And I’m like: sure, but before we start, where are you calling from exactly? Timezone-wise? Asking for a friend…

The “feudal warlord”

Hi Tudor, I’m looking for a <insert-technology-here>…


Psychology teaches us that when dealing with grief we go through 5 stages: “denial”, “anger”, “bargaining”, “depression” and “acceptance”. And nothing causes more grief to software engineers than dealing with bugs. Especially other people’s bugs.

Image for post
Image for post
By Courtesy of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, VA., 1988. — U.S. Naval Historical Center Online Library Photograph NH 96566-KN

In general terms, a bug is an anomaly in a computer system that causes it to behave in unexpected ways. The first bug was a moth that got stuck in the relays of a 1940s computer (full story here).

Present-day bugs are more software rather than hardware or well…biological in nature. And the fix requires a software engineer to dive in and patch the faulty code, although in some cases the solutions can be more exotic. …


As a software engineer with more than 15 years of experience, a LinkedIn and Stackoverflow profile, I got my fair share of interaction with recruiters. Some were spot-on with the relaxed to the point attitude that gets an engineer’s attention.

Others were really weird. I was contacted by a recruiter from the company I just left 2 months before. Or another recruiter called me and refused to tell me where they got my number from. That was awkward.

Image for post
Image for post
What’s my name :)

Over time, I started seeing some patterns emerging on how recruiters contacted me. …


It’s been one week since the Spanish government lifted some of the restrictions. People in my age group can go out every day between 6 am and 10 am and between 8 pm and 11 pm. I feel weird. A strange mix of “oh yeah” and “what the fuck”.

Image for post
Image for post
Morning bike ride — one the few pleasures of the “de-escalation” phase

On one hand, I’m excited about the thought of being able to go outside. On the other, for the first time in almost 25 years, I have to be home at a certain time. Feels like I’m a child again. Back then, the punishment could be a cut in my allowance. Now it’s a 600 euros fine. …

About

Tudor Barbu

Trust me, I used to be an engineer!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store