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Linking Las Vegas


At the end of August this year, I was contacted by a new startup called Gild.com that had an interesting business: they use various public online sources to score computer people as developers. Some of these are things like LinkedIn, Stack Overflow, and personal GitHub pages, plus recommendations and frankly I don't know what else, but it comes up with a number between 0 and 100 for your quality as a software developer. I'd scored 99.3.

Being me, I worried about how I'd lost that 0.7 points, but they assured me it was actually a very good score. In fact, they were calling because they wanted to make contact with those of us at the far-right of the distribution (I don't think they were looking at my PJM posts for that, no matter how it sounds) and see what our experience with recruiters had been. It happens my mother was a recruiter for umpteen years, so it was inherently interesting, as well as complimentary. They construct a sort of "scored résumé" from those public sources, and make it available to their clients, who are usually recruiters for large firms. Mine is here (click to download the whole thing as PDF):

Screenshot 2013-10-31 12.52.40

(Speaking of which, I'm still looking for a day job: you can find me on LinkedIn.)

The idea is a new direction for several startups, like one run by my friend Sumaya Kazi -- sumazi.com -- called "social data intelligence". The idea is that you can, using Big Data techniques and social network theory, learn about potential customers, or potential markets, or find people who can do a job for you.

I guess I must have sounded reasonable on the phone (hah, fooled them!) because they called me a couple of weeks ago with another question.

"Would you like to come to Las Vegas at our expense to attend a dinner during LinkedIn's Talent Connect conference?"

"Well, duh!"

Gild turned out to be an interesting group. I had lots of sort of second-hand connections to them anyway, and it was interesting talking to them. They've been covered in a couple of major media sources, the New York Times and PBS.