Friday the 13th: Jason Gets Laid Off

January 13th, 2017

Yup, it was 11 years ago, Friday the 13th.  Last day of my job.

Driving home I distinctly remember feeling the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. The problems from my last company (I was the general manager and there was a lot of turnaround that needed to happen) were not my problems anymore.   What a relief.

The worry and fear was also setting in… but this was the beginning of the road for me.  JibberJobber was only a few months away… little did I know how my future had really changed on that Friday the 13th.

I wonder what your personal Friday the 13th marks the beginning of?  Something great, I’m sure!

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job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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JibberJobber Speed Issues Update

January 12th, 2017

Thanks for your patience as we work through some speed issues we’ve had for far too long. This has been very frustrating for my team, not to mention expensive.

Just today I was reading an article on my local news site about hackers.  There’s been plenty of talk about hackers, whether it’s because of the password leaks because of hacks into LinkedIn, Yahoo, and the hundreds of other high profile sites/cases, or because of the hacker influence on the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

Hackers seems to be a far away thing, not really impacting our day-to-day life (that’s arguable, I know).  But it has definitely impacted me, my developers, and my users, every single day.

Just yesterday we had a pretty light day… only a few thousand hacking attempts were made.

Only a few thousand.

It made our server slower, because instead of just serving our users, it had to address the hackers requests.  So, users write us and report that it takes 20 or 30 seconds for a page to load.

That is ridiculous, and unacceptable.

My team gets distracted because I say “stop what you are doing and let’s address this.”  That means that what they are working on gets put on hold… and JibberJobber evolves and improves slower than it should.

This problem is frustrating and expensive.

It is also demoralizing to everyone involved.

We have a plan moving forward, though.  It’s like Plan B, but really, Plan L or J.  We’ve been working on this problem for years.

I think this is the right plan, though.  We have a new server admin involved, and will be switching JibberJobber to Amazon’s hosting environment. That makes me nervous just typing it, only because when we first launched JibberJobber Amazon was having all kinds of reliability issues… it just didn’t seem ready to host our stuff yet.

But I think it’s time.  We’re moving forward on switching to Amazon, the pioneer and leader in cloud hosting. Inherent in that move should be always-the-best hardware, as well as anti-bad-guy software to keep the hacking down.  Those are two great benefits of the move.

In addition, the new server admin will be working on finding and identifying any place that he can help, including speed optimization, security, and other stuff (contingency, code delivery,  and other things the developers will know about, but users typically won’t see).

I hope that this change brings noticeable differences… faster JibberJobber, more reliable uptime, etc.  I appreciate your patience as we’ve worked our way through this, and look forward to having my developers spend more time on making JibberJobber better, and not as much time on reacting to bad guys.

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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JibberJobber now always https (aka, “secure”)

January 10th, 2017

JibberJobber launched 11 years ago this year.  Back then, I had some reservations about SSL (aka, https, encryption, secure, etc.). Because of my roots in web development, I was concerned about having too much of the site going through the encryption process, which means that every single thing that gets “served” to you has to go through an additional process…. which means it takes extra time to serve every single page.

Back in the days of slower internet connections and slower computers, it was a legitimate concerns of web developers from yesteryear.

I should note that there were two very specific places where we did encrypt data: when you logged in (so your username and password were always encrypted) and when you upgraded (so your credit card information was encrypted).  But, we’d then switch you back to unencrypted.  We also have had a link so you could force SSL whenever you wanted.

But, of course, things have changed.  Internet connections are faster, computers are faster, servers are faster, and the overhead of serving encrypted data became negligible.  Bad guys have gotten worse and users have become more sophisticated.

If you notice some of the websites you frequent, you’ll see that they are ALWAYS in encrypted mode.  And now we are too.

Always.

jibberjobber_secure

More good changes are on there way… stay tuned.

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job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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New Feature: Salary Range on Jobs

December 22nd, 2016

The release from last night was perhaps one of our biggest, most feature-rich releases we’ve ever done.  In addition to the new Insider Information Video Library, we launched a yet-to-be-announced corporate offering (so companies can hopefully get a little closer to our users, in a appropriate and value-add way), and fixed a number of bugs (or, design-flaws), as well as added some new much-needed functionality.

One of the things we added is the ability for you to put a minimum and maximum salary on each job you are tracking. This will allow you to figure out which jobs you are most keenly interested in pursuing, and which might end up being “step jobs” (that is, a job that is not permanent, but it’s better than being out of work, while you keep looking for the right job for you).

When you go to the Job Detail Page, you’ll see these fields:

jibberjobber_salary_range

This is just the beginning of something big.  There are more enhancements we’ll roll out to really enrich this part of JibberJobber… for now, if you can figure out the min and max salary numbers, start to put them in!

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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Big Announcement #2: New Job Search and Career Management Video System

December 21st, 2016

Almost two weeks ago I shared Big Announcement #1: I’m Transitioning.  Today I get to share Big Announcement #2…

As I mentioned in the earlier announcement, I have been doing a lot of courses for Pluralsight, and as far as I know, I’m not doing any more courses for them.  This freed up a significant amount of time.  Oh, what to do with all that time?

Well, I decided to go back to the JibberJobber Video Library and see what we should do to update it.  Instead of making a few tweaks here, a few changes there, we decided to do a complete overhaul of both the user experience (UX) and the content.  Here’s what you need to know about the new video library, which was released in the wee hours last night:

A New Name:

Instead of the JibberJobber Video Library, we are calling this (some version of) the Insider Information Videos. Why? Because of who the video content is from… see the next section :)

New Content

Instead of just me (Jason Alba) doing courses, which is what I started out with many years ago, I am interviewing people involved in the hiring process. Right now I’m focusing my energy on HR, hiring managers, and recruiters. I love coaches and resume writers, but the feedback I’ve gotten is pointing me in this direction: find out how hiring is done by the people who are in the hiring trenches.

What does a recruiter really think about your resume? Ask a an insider (the recruiter)! What policies affect hiring? Ask an insider (the HR professional). What really influences a a decision-maker in an interview? Ask an insider (the hiring manager)!  There are other insiders I’ll interview… watch for new content over the next year.

The good news is that information from these people should supplement, and complement, what coaches are telling their clients/candidates.

Updated Content:

The LinkedIn content needs to be updated. I’ll review the content for the other stuff, and update it if I can improve it.

Updated Interface

“Interface” is a jargony, kind of boring word. But this is a critical point. Instead of a menu where you drill down to find what you are looking for, we approached this from a “what are the best ways to sift through tons of video content?”  There are three main ways to find answers to your questions, or the right videos for you to watch:

Categories, such as: HR Interviews, Recruiter Interviews, Fortune 500 Interviews, etc.

Tags, such as: interviewing, negotiation, informational interviews, etc.

Search, which is way cooler than you might think.  Why? Because not only are we searching on the names and descriptions of the videos, we are actually transcribing every video, put it into a closed-caption format, and when you search on a word or phrase, we’ll show you exactly where, in every transcribed video, we mention that word. So, in an interview, if we talk about salary negotiation five times, you’ll be able to jump to each of those five mentions easily.

That means that finding the right information in dozens, and eventually hundreds of hours of content, will be really, really easy!

Updated Pricing

For the last many years, the pricing to buy videos was simple: pay $50 and get one of the courses, like LinkedIn, Informational Interviews, etc.  You could even bundle one year of JibberJobber with some videos and get a discount.

We’re switching over to a Netflix/Hulu-like model: pay one low monthly fee and get access to everything.

But wait, it gets better!  You could pay for video access for one year and get a discount, or, the best offer we have is for you is to upgrade for one year on JibberJobber and the video library, and you’ll get 50% off on both. Here’s what that looks like:

Monthly: $9.95/month

One year: $99 (save $20)

Bundle one year + one year of JibberJobber Premium: $120 (save $60 on the video library upgrade and $60 on the JibberJobber upgrade, for a total of $120 savings).

Are you an outplacement firm, resume writer, or career coach?  Reach out to me for information on bulk pricing: Jason@JibberJobber.com.

What’s more, this is just the beginning. Over the next months, and years, I will work on adding more content and enhancing the video system, FOR YOU.  Over the next few days I’ll be cleaning up the library and getting all of the videos categorized correctly… so it will undergo a transformation. But it’s ready for you to go into now.  Just login, mouse over Tools, and click JibberJobber Videos (right under Pluralsight Videos).

What do you say? Are you in?  

Just login to your JibberJobber account and click on Upgrade on the bottom left… the payment page will allow you to choose what level you want. If you have any questions or problems, just let us know here.

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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Big Announcement #1: I’m Transitioning

December 9th, 2016

Yes, you read that right. Surprised?  So was I.

Lest you think I’m talking about transitioning from JibberJobber… well, no. I’m definitely not.

Many of you know that for the past four years I’ve been working with Pluralsight to develop their soft skills and professional development content.  That has been a fun ride. I planned on giving them another three years, but as any JibberJobber user knows, things change.

I have created thirty one awesome courses (well, at least 30 of them are awesome :p) that have been watched by many of Pluralsight’s customers.  In 2015 I worked on fourteen courses… no one does that.  It was insane.  I figured doing fourteen courses would entitle you to a therapist and a masseuse… alas, I got neither :)

What I did get over the last four years was an amazing education. I learned from Aaron Skonnard what a startup CEO looks like, talks, and how he/she thinks.  I learned about culture in a different way than I had every been exposed.  I learned that the heart of a company is the sales team.  Er, perhaps it is the environment and culture.  Or, perhaps it is the strategy, vision, and execution.  Oh wait, it might just be hiring amazing people and enabling them to do stuff. Or, actually, they kept telling us that we (the content producers) were the heart or key of the company’s success.  What success?  Massive revenue growth.  Unicorn status.

So, I’m transitioning FROM doing Pluralsight videos.  What am I transitioning TO?  That will be the Big Announcement #2, hopefully the week of the 19th.

What I learned is that no matter what your plans are, if you aren’t in 100% control, then things will change.  I learned this almost 11 years ago… when I got laid off (Friday the 13th, January of 2006).

It was then that I decided that I would have multiple revenue streams. I didn’t want want one employer to be able to yank 100% of my personal income.  JibberJobber was started as a project in the hopes that I would eventually make $100 a month… which would be that mental safety blanket when I landed my next job.  Fortunately, I wasn’t good at landing my next job.

Anyway, if I have any regrets about the past four years with Pluralsight, it is that I neglected JibberJobber.  Sure, I worked on it. Sure, my team kept working on it.  But looking back on it now, I think there are many product manager things that I should have been doing that I simply didn’t do.

That is being corrected.

So, hang tight… I have a Big Announcement #2 coming in about a week.  It’s something we’ve been working on for a while now, and we’re really, really excited to finally roll out the first phase of it.

Any guesses?

Oh yeah, one final thought. I really think Pluralsight is awesome, and I’ll continue to do whatever I can to help them grow. I’m not leaving on bad terms, it’s just a change in their needs. If they come back with some more work, I’d be happy to look at it. So, yeah, that’s where we stand :)

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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JibberJobber is a Top HR Blog, According to BambooHR

October 25th, 2016

Check out BambooHR’s list of top HR blogs, with JibberJobber at the top of the list in the “recruiting and hiring” specialty: Top HR Blogs 2016 Edition.  Scroll down past the top 10 general blogs and you’ll see the specialty blogs.

Thanks for the recognition :)

top-hr-blog-award-2016

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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I Started My Business Ten Years Ago

September 21st, 2016

And I’ve learned a bunch of things. Here’s a post I wrote on LinkedIn that shares a bit of the story and learnings: I Started My Business Ten Years Ago.

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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JibberJobber Downtime: Why, and What Now?

September 6th, 2016

The last few weeks have been really exciting on the development side of JibberJobber.  One of my developers is rolling out a major enhancement to the job postings which should add considerable value to each user.  Another developer is working on a very cool enhancement to the video library which, of course, should add considerable value to each user. Another developer is fixing and tweaking little things here and there to make JibberJobber more intuitive, flow better, etc.  Why? To add considerable value to each user, of course!

While they are working hard, and our users are working hard on their job search, we’ve had some unplanned and unfortunate downtime that has been beyond frustrating.  Let me share with you what happens, and the why of the last few weeks, and what we are going to do about it.

When JibberJobber goes down at least four people, including me, QA, the developers, and the server admin team, get an email alert, immediately.  Shortly thereafter, I (and Liz) start to get emails from our users… some are very kind, some written out of sheer frustration.  Bottom line, we know it’s happening… we’re just not sure why it’s happening. But we jump in and work on figuring that out.  There have recently been three reasons why JibberJobber has gone down, which I share below. Note that we haven’t had any data breaches that we are aware of, and no user has lost any data. If there were a data issue, we’d revert to our backups, which run at least once every 24 hours.

Server software incompatibilities.  There is a certain software on our server that provides a necessary function. However, we’re pretty sure that this software, which I won’t name, has caused our server to crash multiple times over the last few years. This is kind of the worst scenario because the resolution is that you have to physically touch the server (which means, if it’s after hours, someone has to get out of bed, drive down to the server farm, and sit there and get it to reboot), and has sometimes taken hours to get back up.  We should be switched off of the software this week or next week, and have this issue behind us.  I really, really hope that this is the problem, and that the solution will give us long-term peace of mind (which we haven’t had for too long).

Bad guy users. Well, I’m not sure I would call them users. Maybe losers is a better word. These are people who get a free account, and then, as a “user,” abuse the system.  The latest, last week, which took our server down for 10 minutes (kudos to my developer who identified the problem immediately and resolved it) was posting multiple job postings per second.  It was too much activity and took the server down.  The resolution is to find things like that, and remove the ability for a user to abuse.  In this case, only allow someone to post X number of job postings every Y minutes, or something like that.  The immediate solution in this case was to terminate the user and block their IP address.

Horrible, horrible, people. The most frequent issue we’ve had lately has been hackers or spammers. They haven’t gotten JibberJobber accounts, they just set up servers from multiple places to attack our server. We have had this kind of activity coming from about 15 different countries, and have worked on blocking them when we see them… there are some automated server-side solutions that look promising, to handle this 24×7, without us looking and blocking all the time (which is exhausting, and very distracting).  We have applied one as a band-aid solution and so far it’s doing a pretty good job (although we have had some issues with regular users who were blocked). Once we get the server software incompatibilities fixed, we’ll move to a more long-term solution for this issue.

The bottom lines:

  • We are very sorry that downtime has happened,
  • We have been, and are, working on keeping JJ up, and reducing the unplanned downtime significantly,
  • We appreciate anyone who has reached out kindly and patiently, asking WHAT’S UP???
  • We understand the frustration, because we feel it too, from anyone who has reached out and said WHAT’S UP, GET JJ UP!!!

I’m hopeful that our strategy moving forward will make JibberJobber more reliable for you.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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My Next Big Thing

August 18th, 2016

And I could use your help… I posted this on two LinkedIn Groups yesterday:

I’m working on a new project, which I hope to roll out in the next four months. I think this will be the biggest (most impactful) idea I work on since the inception of JibberJobber. I could use your help… I’m specifically looking for hiring managers and HR who are involved in the hiring process. (I am already talking to enough recruiters, for now) If you are a hiring manager and have a lot of experience finding talent, or work in HR in a hiring (or advising for hiring) capacity, please email me (Jason@JibberJobber.com). If you can recommend or intro someone to me, please email me!

Do you know anyone that is a hiring manager or in HR (that is heavily involved in hiring and growing teams)?  I’d love to chat with them.  My email is Jason@JibberJobber.com.

Thanks!

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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