How a No-Name, Nobody-Ever-Heard-Of, Kid* Like Me Got Hired by BHIS from a Craigslist Ad

Jordan Drysdale //

ADVISORY: The techniques and tools referenced within this blog post may be outdated and do not apply to current situations. However, there is still potential for this blog entry to be used as an opportunity to learn and to possibly update or integrate into modern tools and techniques.

Step 1: Craigslist

Step 2: Magic Time

Step 3: Profit $$$$$$

I traveled to Scottsdale last year to enjoy some Citrus fruit around my uncle’s pool after deciding that my job was not exactly the best thing for my health. I had been working crazy hours, was bogged down with one disaster after another. Life literally had come crushing down on my soul like a brick on an ant. The smallish town from which BHIS hails is not exactly known to be some kind of employment mecca so generally speaking, people just settle for what’s available. I was considering moving back toward Colorado since so many of my formative years were spent in Fort Collins and Denver. Jobs were plentiful, the outdoors beckoned and I missed my family down there.

It was time to make a decision when, through one of the world’s single largest jobs marketplaces, I found a post from BHIS. The wifey certainly scoffed at the thought and cautioned against sharing personal information. We discussed it briefly, forgot about it and headed to Scottsdale to spend some time with family. My uncle is a crazy successful entrepreneur there and was, at one point, Scottsdale’s “Business-Person of the Year.” This is no small achievement for anyone and his advice was simple; “Ask yourself what you have to lose and what you have to gain.”

[If you haven’t seen this Craigslist post, you should.]

We had almost forgotten about the job post and I was sure I’d missed the deadline that last night in Scottsdale. I checked it out, drafted a text-only resume and submitted it. I wondered “Why in the world BHIS would request a text-only resume.” I’ve come to find out, if you know any of these folks and their “Word Web Bugs” or “TrackBack” trickery, you get it. Word docs can contain all sorts of hackery fun. The chances of someone at this company opening a file attachment with a .docx extension are close to “hell freezing solid.” Anyway, Rick from BHIS called a couple of days later to discuss some pre-req Linux questions and scheduled a follow up with Mike. Mike called and drilled me, spoke in Spanish and asked me to come in and meet John.

Interviewing with John is like standing in front of a firing squad with itchy trigger fingers. “Oh, you wirelessed at your previous gig? So, which came first, WPA1 or WPA2…?” I went ahead and assumed he wouldn’t bother asking if it was obvious and asked him to explain. As those of you who have attended one of John’s classes, engagements or other public speaking series events, you know he is not short on explanations. He also asked, “…based on your networking background, is it possible to connect to port 70000…?” Hmmm, I pondered and as far as I knew it was impossible. John asked me to figure it out, and yes, it is possible.

Anyway, I guess the point here is that you too can find your dream job. This company has challenged me every single day to be the absolute best I can at logic and problem solving. I’ve been challenged to navigate mistakes, work with our employees and customers on a level that I had never experienced before. It definitely wasn’t about what I knew or didn’t know at the time. I was expected to, under pressure, make intelligent and analytical decisions. That led me to figure out the C compiler uses math and simply starts over after the highest port. So, instead of him connecting to port 70000 and typing commands back and forth, the compiler had dumped that connection on to port 4464. Sure, I needed to ask him to fire up tcpdump and the answer was staring at me in trace data, but that’s not the point.

Trust in yourself. This industry needs more analytical problem solvers. Keep looking, we will keep hiring the best and brightest.


*Editor’s Note: We would describe Jordan as more like a guy, and less like a “kid” but either way, we kinda like him.

Want to learn more mad skills from the person who wrote this blog?

Check out this class from Kent and Jordan:

Defending the Enterprise

Available live/virtual and on-demand!