This reminded me something. A short while ago I visited Dima Kuchin and his new baby in Holon. We had a talk about software and IT industries, and he told me about his friends, who also had a baby.
The little guy didn't sleep too well, so his parents bought an electric swinging device. The killer feature: an audio trigger. Whenever it detects cries above some volume treshold, the swing motor turns on for five minutes. And then there was evening and there was morning, and also a bug and a workaround. Yes, they were software engineers. Can you guess the end of this story?
The baby was too quiet for the automatic craddle, and all his tears would all be in vain. The parents sleep in other other room... Now, every time they hear their baby crying, they scream aloud. That keeps the young guy happy, without ever having to get up from the bed.
"услышав лай караульной собаки, часовой дублирует его голосом"
More on the subject of children: do yours have GUIDs?
During the great professors' strike, he was not much into politics. Yet, he was in the committee responsible for the talks. It finished with a white night of agreements.
"Look, " someone said, "if we give you 1.5%, the other guys will also want. And if we give out 1.5% to both groups, it will already be 3% to the total budget".
"No, " he said, and started to slowly explain to the whole finance ministry and histadrut leaders the proper mathematics of dealing with fractions.
Ofer Eini, the histadrut chief, carries a pocket mathematician with him sometimes. The young guy says: "yes, that's true what you explain, in theory. In practice, it is not exactly so..."
When he came, someone was nearly finished packing it into his SUV. Eli: "I am sorry, this is my balloon". The guy - "No, it's mine. I found it first!"
The balloon was successfully returned to owners.
Together with DP we came up with easier, down-to-earth and more engineering-oriented quantities directly measurable in a human conversation:
Bandwidth is how fast one can think to produce output. This might not always be important, but usually it is, especially when estimating price-performance ratio to make the hiring decision.
SNR - Signal to noise ratio - is the ratio of meaningful, smart, relevant and correct things s/he says to the total audio output. It's usually up to the interviewee to balance the trade-off between SNR and Bandwidth, but you should be able to factorize by it to deduce the total mental capacity.
All other skills you should be able to teach the employee yourself. If you cannot teach, don't hire anybody. Relevant background = oxymoron, if you are going to develop only new things. Remember - specialization is for insects.
- aerobic workout (2 electron-volts per C02 molecule)
- going to lavatory (number one and number two)
- haircut, shaving
- donating blood/bone marrow
- donating organs
- male orgasm, female menstruation
Worth to mention that you may even consider leaving your mass intact. Accelerating downwards, ultimately in a free fall, will show immediate results. If you want it long-term, move to the equator , a space orbit or a smaller planet. Remember - helium inhalation is cheating (as is swimming or travelling to low altitudes), despite the added value of making funny voices.Enjoy, and don't go crazy. Thank you very much.