Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Longer the CV, The Better

[for part 1 of this series, click here]

As we said, the prevailing Whiz-dumb thinks a long CV sucks.

But this is wrong on several fronts.

To see a real CV, and simply to demonstrate that TheHackerCIO never "Makes Shit Up", please click here, to see a real CV. This is Donald Knuth's example.  Academics understand what makes up a real CV. They live and die by them. They are an essential tool.

Now, is Donald Knuth an idiot for having a 40 page CV?

Or, are these Recruitment Pundits who tell us to keep it down to one page missing something?

Short answer: it's the pundits who are wrong.

Yes, Donald Knuth needs a CV. A long one! He needs to catalog everything he has done in the course of his career. Every book, video, audio, and paper he has written needs to be stated, whether refereed or not. That's hundreds of papers!

Now, maybe you're saying at this point, "But I'm not an academic. I haven't written three or four hundred papers. I have no need to itemize all of this." And I'm sure that's probably true. But if you're a senior technologist, you have worked on hundreds of projects. And every single one indicates  your unique skills, learned context, and achievements. All of that has contributed to make you the technologist you are. Why should it be ignored or forgotten? Is what contributed to making you the technologist you are now unimportant?

Far from it.

I know that this series is starting out as a bit of a teaser, but bear with me ...

Next time, we'll look at further reasons why all this detail is MANDATORY, for your own personal career development.

Until then, I Remain,



  1. Donald Knuth's CV is straight up nasty! Honestly, I didn't expect a man of his caliber to write such a ridiculous resume. If I should follow suit, and put all the comments I've ever written on the Web, all the blog posts I've ever published, all the programs I've ever written, all the people I've taught them something, all the places I've traveled, all the girlfriends I've had, and the number of pizzas I've eaten, then my CV will fill the whole world. Mr, Dr, Prof, .* Knuth, ain't nobody interested in the microscopic details of how you've lived your life; you should write a damn autobiography for that!

    And then I remembered: these people are academics. It's all about status, prestige, and class. But did you know that Google returns about 455,000 for "Donald Knuth" and 517,000 for "Charlo Greene," that KTVA reporter who only got known since late last year? Can I at this point conclude that, if it was about recognition, then Knuth would have been better off being a television anchor?

  2. I like your sense of humor, even if we're in disagreement on this. And I haven't posted all my thoughts yet, so it's too early to tell. But, let's not exaggerate here. All academics have resumes like this. And, stripping away the irrelevancy, such as number of pizzas you've eaten, I think it's a very worthwhile exercise to catalog the details of your career. It forms a basis from which to summarize and make some coherent sense of a "direction" your career took. And so, I'd agree with you that you could "write a damn autobiography" as a substitute for this! Of course, your autobiography would need to be slanted entirely toward your career, and leave out the girlfriends!