After months of stressful job hunting I am happy to say that I have found a new professional home at Mainsoft. Beside being the main contributor of the Mono project, their product family enable .NET code to run on any Java-enabled platform. In the end I chose Mainsoft for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I believe in their products; second, I enjoyed the interview process with a lot of people who are sharp, but still humble; third, they are working with wikis, blogs and are responsive to their end-users.
My search for a new job was a long process and it took me to a lot of different places, mostly because I wasn't in any hurry to leave my previous job as integration manager at ECI Telecom, where I was a part of a great team. I had the time to wait until I found something I felt was just right. The problem with job hunting in Israel is that most hiring is done via recruitment agencies. That means that you can't really browse from a wide selection of employers, but you are rather at the mercy of the agencies. Having been on the recruitment side of the process as well, I don't see the benefit for the employers either. Sure, you'll get a lot of CVs, but these are candidates who aren't enthusiastic in working for your particular company. Also, many of the agencies' attempts at rewriting the candidates' CVs make it look much worse - you could at least expect them to use a spell checker.
One peculiar detail is that in all my interviews I am invariably asked the same question: "Are you Jewish?" I guess it is my exotic looks that raises their curiosity, but I've stopped to be surprised by the question. I am sure it is illegal to ask this during a job interview.
During my job search, Mainsoft was the only company where I actually sat down at the keyboard to write and debug source code. To let the candidate program on a white board or a piece of paper doesn't give enough information about a developer's capabilities. The interview process with Mainsoft was an extended one, and I wasn't until after one phone interview, 4 technical interviews and another one with human resources that I was offered a job. You might think that 6 interviews seem like overkill, but I appreciate their quality assurance measures, and this is definitely the kind of team I want to be a part of. And I am not kidding you when I say that I went through more difficult interviews during this time - but that will be the subject of a blog post sometime in the future...