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Move on, nothing to see…

2012 December 11
by Tim

This blog is dead. An ex-blog. Deceased. It is no more, has ceased to be, bereft of life, it rests in peace.


Google search quality sucks

2011 November 16
by Tim

Take a look at the screenshot – 3 out of the top 4 results for a search query on “hr jobs in Cape Town” are job aggregators. The websites Indeed, CareerJet, and are all job aggregators which means that they scrape their content off other source websites.

I have no real problem with websites scraping other sites and consolidating their content, but my expectation is that the collection of mighty brains at Google could tweak their formula so that the source of the content is typically ranked more highly than a site that rips the content off and has no original content of its own.

Awesome… free, high-quality recruiting software

2011 September 16
by Tim

I’ve taken a whirl through SmartRecruiters and I think it’s brilliant.
And their business model is the bit I like the best.

For those that aren’t familiar with acronyms like ATS and RMS, Applicant tracking systems and Recruitment Management Systems are typically ‘enterprise’ software that helps companies manage their recruitment processes and their pool of applicants.
Offerings range from complicated to simple, and expensive to cheap, and include options such as Taleo, Oracle’s iRecruitment, Graylink, HR Smart, ProfessionL and others.
And now there is a simple a clever system that is free – SmartRecruiters.

SmartRecruiting is not advertising supported, and derives their revenue by taking a cut from the various job boards they have integrated with such as Monster, CareerBuilder, eFinancial Careers and others.

Very smart, and great software.

Software is eating the world

2011 August 24
by Tim

So says Marc Andreessen, and I think he is right.
Full article is here at the WSJ

I case you’re lazy and want the 1-line summary:

My own theory is that we are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy

Andreessen shows how almost every industry has either been transformed already by a disruptive shift towards an online and software-centric approach, or is about to be transformed.

The bit that I find particularly cruel in the South African context, is that the shifts we are seeing take place are likely to leave economies such as our own far behind in the battle for global competitiveness.

many people in the U.S. and around the world lack the education and skills required to participate in the great new companies coming out of the software revolution. This is a tragedy since every company I work with is absolutely starved for talent. Qualified software engineers, managers, marketers and salespeople in Silicon Valley can rack up dozens of high-paying, high-upside job offers any time they want, while national unemployment and underemployment is sky high. This problem is even worse than it looks because many workers in existing industries will be stranded on the wrong side of software-based disruption and may never be able to work in their fields again. There’s no way through this problem other than education, and we have a long way to go.

This quote should be terrifying to South African politicians… if this is what is happening in the US, we’re in deep trouble in South Africa with our poor general standards of education.



Another nice win for Lucene!

2011 April 7
by Tim

I know not everyone has a favourite piece of search tech, but I’m a big fan of Lucene and Solr. We use Solr all over the place at News24, and we’ve started using it on Careers24 by rolling deploying it for the job search side of the platform.

I noticed today that Twitter had done a swap of their old Ruby/MySQL search for a custom search engine built on top of Lucene and Java, and in the process managed to speed their search up by 3x.

That’s no small speed increase, and it’s also meant that their search servers can handle 10x the load, which in turn means a smaller server footprint, lower power, less heat, and way more headroom for growth.

Nice… any tech that can handle a billion daily queries is probably good enough for us….