November 7, 2011

Recruiting at the UC Berkeley Intern Fair

The P4Booth!
Who wouldn't want to visit such an awesome booth?

Lindsay, Jessie and I represented Perforce at the U.C. Berkeley internship fair last week. Going in, we didn’t entirely know what to expect – we’d never done this before! But boy, were we blown away. It was truly an amazing experience from beginning to end. We showed up about an hour before the fair officially started, to set up our booth and grab a bite to eat, and were instantly convinced that this was going to be awesome. There were booths from all different kinds of companies, with colorful signs, info-packets, and tons of swag to give away. The presenters at the other booths were very friendly, socializing while setting up banners, admiring each other’s booths, sharing ideas about how to best engage the students, and generally chatting and having a good time over lunch. There was no sense of competition or rivalry; in fact, we discussed what kinds of students we were looking for so that if a student came up to our booth that didn’t quite fit in our company, we’d know what other booths to point them at!

And then, at noon, the floodgates opened. And when I say floodgates, I mean the students burst through the doors and filled all of the empty space between booths. It was kind-of a madhouse, but the energy was awesome, and it was clear that this was going to be a major success. After a bit it slowed down and thinned out to a more manageable crowd, but there were never more than five minutes that passed without talking to a student (or three – they seemed to mostly travel in packs). All of the internship-seekers left our fabulous booth (arguably the best at the fair) with a gracious handshake and a smile, and most were thrilled to also leave with stickers, a stress-ball, or balsawood airplane with the Perforce logo on it.

At the end of it we were left with a stack of resumes and an enormous sense of satisfaction (and slightly hoarse throats, but that was a worthwhile price to pay). In total there were about 30 resumes of people we might consider. Of those, about 2/3 were interested in back-end engineering, 1/6 want to work on UI design, and the other 1/6 were interested in business/marketing/finance positions. Somewhat shockingly, only a small handful of them had used version control software, although it was a fairly even split between Perforce, Git, and Subversion (and one or two had used Mercurial or Bitbucket). This tells us that there is great potential in getting our product into the tool-belts of these future professionals. We’ll be distributing the resumes to the appropriate managers, and hopefully soon we’ll have some fresh young minds to mold, put to work, and implant the Perforce seed into before sending them out to do great things, and hopefully bring (at least a piece of) us along!